Friday afternoon, Karen and I drove out to the Rock Creek campground east of Mt. Hood, where we set up camp. After eating, we went for a long walk with the dog, along the lakeshore. It was still and warm at sundown, as we settled in for a peaceful evening.
The folks in the space next to us, were just getting warmed up, however, and their rowdy antics lasted for hours, disrupting the sleep of everyone else. It was really the most inconsiderate yahoo behavior I've been around in years - quite remarkable.
They settled down somewhere long after midnight, and, fortunately, packed up and left early Saturday morning. After a while, we headed out for the annual Wamic rummage sale, a long-standing obsession. We got a bagful of assorted useful stuff for $1, including two stainless-steel saute pans (that match our daily pots and pans), an ink-jet refill kit, catnip toys, and more.
Then, we checked out a minor State Park that I'd heard about but had never visited. The White River flows south and east from a glacier on Mt. Hood, and its canyon, a few miles south of Wamic, is quite deep and impressive. It crosses a major lava flow near Shearer's Falls, the site of White River Falls State Park. The thundering sound from the parking area promises a spectacle, and the view from above is indeed impressive. However, following the 1/4 mile, steep, dusty trail, down into the canyon, is worth the effort.
Much more of the waterfalls and canyon is revealed, as hundreds of swallows swirl around and around. There are also the remains of a 1910 power-plant at the bottom - someone went to a lot of trouble. Here's the view:
By the time we got back to the campground, our friends were beginning to arrive. Over the next few hours, the gang showed up, we had our normal splendid dinner and campfire, and the wine was flowing, and the night was quiet, as it should be.
Sunday morning, it was bright and breezy, and the stiff wind continued all day. Karen went golfing with the golf-nuts (they call it the annual 'Wamic Open') while I stayed around camp, reading and organizing stuff, while I waited for Dylan and his friend Jordan to show up.
They got there around 11, which was a major relief, not only for their safety in making the drive and finding the campground, but because their arrival was the critical piece in the weekend's plan. I turned over all our gear and the dog to them, and, after Karen got back, the two of us headed off.
We drove north to The Dalles, then continued into central Washington, up to Yakima. This was the route I had taken (in the other direction) one day in 1976 - the first day I ever set foot in Oregon. Traffic was pretty light and the day was beautiful, although still windy. At Yakima we join I-82 to Ellensburg, thru a surprisingly remote and empty landscape. This was a road I had never taken, which is always a thrill. We hit I-90 and turned west, towards Snoqualmie Pass.
It's a dramatic drive thru the Cascades, with snow-topped mountains, sweeping alpine vistas, swirling clouds, and even a bit of rain. The temperature dropped 20 degrees as the rain increased. By early evening, we were on the long downhill ride into Seattle, as the views changed from mountains to suburbs to urban congestion. Six hours driving finally brought us to our hotel, where we got cleaned up, got a bite to eat in a neighborhood BBQ joint, connected with our friends, staying at the same place, and finally settled in, on a real bed in a quiet room.
Monday morning, after breakfast, we headed over to the nearby Seattle Center, where I checked in our group for the Folklife festival. Then, over at the theater, I had a chance to warm up and get a feel for the piano. I was satisfied. Ed, Ilene and I met and talked through the six or seven numbers we had prepared, and changed into our concert clothes (we had a genuine dressing room, which was a hoot).
We were performing in a beautiful theater, probably the most fancy venue I've ever played. We were the 3rd act in the 'Big Jewish Show', and, I must say, it was great fun. We were all relaxed, and, despite Ilene's guitar issues (one of the pegs holding her B string to the body popped out during her first number, hit Ed in the head, then continued into the audience), the playing and singing was well-received.
THE ENTIRE PERFORMANCE IS HERE (our act is called V'Chaverim).
Karen was in the audience, with the video camera and its manual. She never did figure out how to turn it on, so all we have are a couple of still photos. Here's one of Ed and me, on stage, getting ready to start:
After we decompressed from our performance, we changed clothes and headed out to wander thru the festival. Someone said there were 100,000 people there, and that seemed possible. An amazing scene - dozens of separate stages, plus innumerable street performers along the walkways. Food, too!
Too soon, though, it was time to head out. We connected with Ilene, walked back to the hotel, loaded up the car, and headed south. I-5 was an easy drive - traffic not bad and a superb day.
Home by 6. We spent hours cleaning the house and doing laundry. I emptied one duffle and immediately began packing my larger one, since I leave for Wisconsin Wednesday morning.
Today's my day to get a few things organized, mow the lawn, send out some invoices, and prepare for yet another trip. The people of the future may find it hard to believe that people lived like this.