Saturday, October 21, 2006

Milepost 16

One year ago today, a small caravan was making its way westward into the setting sun through the Columbia River Gorge. A Nissan Pathfinder bearing Pat, Windy, Princess Dark Star, Little Buddy and Lenny followed by a U-Haul driven by Phil connected by little walkie-talkie radios. As we drove through The Dalles and started down the Gorge we began counting off the green milepost markers…86…85…84. On the radio, entries from the Lewis and Clark journals were being read and we could envision them traveling the same path on foot so many years ago.

67…66…65 and Hood River went by. No stopping now. Press on regardless. The rest of the family was waiting at the other end at the home these children found for their mother and had spent the past month painting and fixing and carpeting to make it warm and welcoming. New carpet on the floor, new mini blinds on the windows. They chose the colors to make a sunny background for the furniture that has graced so many of their homes.

33...32…31 and the spectacular glory of Multnomah Falls whizzed by on the left. We’re on the cells phones now, announcing our imminent arrival. After four long days of cross-country travel with three people, three animals and two vehicles, we were exhausted and ready to stretch our legs and then get a good night’s rest.

20…19…18 so close. The signs of civilization along the roadside. Gas stations, some industrial buildings. We are almost there. Lewis and Clark Park and the Sandy River Delta. Exit 17 to Troutdale. One more to go.


Finally…Milepost 16 and the Wood Village Exit. A few turns and we are pulling up in front of #43 on Elderberry Circle. Home before dark to a loving welcome and a joyous reunion of the whole family. The end of the journey from Missouri and the start of a new life in Oregon.

2 Comments:

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