Wednesday, November 26, 2008

To Portland with Laurel, James, Kiley, Lee (and Teagan)

I didn't realize until the phone rang that I'd be going into Portland today to pick Lee up and come back with him to Astoria. Laurel and James were going in anyway to spend Thanksgiving with Laurel's mom, and I rode in with them. We all got ready quickly, since they hadn't planned to leave until early afternoon. Kiley (above) was prepared at a moment's notice, so no problem there. The only issue is that I felt like taking pictures, and Kiley seemed to think the camera was an evil instrument of torture, because she'd turn away and pop into the back of the car when I pointed the lens in her direction.

It was a stunningly gorgeous fall day. The drive to Portland from Astoria takes about two hours, but I never get tired of it. Even though it's on highway and Interstate Freeway, the scenery is mostly trees and forests. The route goes along the Columbia River the whole way, although it's usually hidden by trees and the sloping bank. One drives east to Longview, then south to Portland. Ships can navigate all the way to Portland. The quickest auto route is from Astoria to Longview on the Oregon side of the river, then from Longview to Portland on the Washington side. At Vancouver, Washington, we cross the river again into Portland (Oregon). You can go the southern route from Astoria over Highway 26, but we usually go via Longview along the river.

Here's Laurel, driving.

It's too bad about the power lines here. The colors are beautiful. The black dots are Canada geese. You can see the white patches on their faces when you blow it up to the original size. There are a lot of sloughs along the river. We're on the Washington side of the Interstate now.

Lee likes trains, and I took a couple of photos for him. The engines were orange and horribly out of focus, so I didn't include them.

Not that these pix are so interesting, but this blog is my memory book, so . . . it doesn't matter.

I'm sure this pic doesn't do justice to the light. Everywhere we drove in the city, the sun shone through colorful leaves. I love the black trunk and the leaves in contrast. I couldn't get a shot of some of the best ones, so I settled for this tree near Starbucks when we stopped the car.

More light and leaves, although this tree looks more like spring than fall.

These bushes were pretty against Starbucks' latte-colored wall.

Here is Laurel with Lee (her dad). They hadn't seen each other for about six weeks. First Lee and I went to Paris for a week, then he spent three weeks in India, a week in Chicago and a week in Bend. Meanwhile, Teagan has been growing to the size of a pineapple (according to the baby web site). I'm not sure if that's with leaves on or off. It was a beautiful day and it was nice to be together. We all had sushi for lunch with Laurel's mom, then Lee and I drove back to Astoria where the sun was history, at least for now.

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