Monday, October 16, 2006

Salmon Festival

The Chinook are spawning in the Sandy River, and yesterday this annual event was celebrated at Oxbow Regional Park. It poured down rain and, in true Oregon spirit, many people gathered to mill about, listen to music, eat really expensive food, and drop by the many craft and information booths set up inside the giant white tent.

It was a fashion parade of rain gear for adults and children and by far the most common brand name seen was Columbia. (This just happens to be my son Andy’s place of employment.) Kids were decked out in bright colors and all the kiddie transport devices had umbrellas or rain shields. Vendors sold items that were, of course, all natural such as handspun wool and native clay pottery. Lots of booths had interactive games for the children (designed to facilitate learning) and prizes and most of the folks had tote bags full of helpful information for living green in the greenest place on the planet.

The booth with info about Measure 26-80 was my first volunteer stint of the day. The measure will add about 4,000 acres to Portland Metro’s park system as well as provide funds for 140 “neighborhood” projects. Through this measure, Wood Village will receive a substantial grant for wetlands restoration. (I serve on the Parks and Recreation Commission and I’ll have a say in developing the plan.) Residents of the Metro Area will vote on this measure on November 7th.

After a short lunch break, I moved over to the Friends of the Columbia Gorge booth where I passed out information about the Hiking Program and answered questions about the effects of a tribal gaming casino if Warm Springs builds one in Cascade Locks. I had an especially interesting conversation with a member of the Wasco tribe who was there for the dancing exhibition. He had not made up his mind where he stood on the issue and was very grateful for the facts I provided him.

The rain continued throughout the day but that did not douse the spirits of the outdoorsy crowd. The wagon ride behind two Percheron draft horses was very popular. And there were people of all ages dancing in front of the band. The parking lot became a mud bog and it was the first time in a year of living here that I used the four-wheel drive on Rider.

Home to take the dogs for their walk and then a hot shower. Crashing on the couch to finish reading the Sunday paper and to watch the Cardinals get trounced by the Mets. Now it is Monday and I’m glad I don’t have to be at work this morning!


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