Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The Difference

Columbia River Gorge from Bridal Veil Falls trail overlook, 2014

Columbia River, 2015 - taken with Nancy at Bridge of the Gods, OR
Aurora and I took a quick trip back to Multnomah Falls and Bridal Veil Falls the morning that we had to fly out of Portland. Most folks would have slept in, had a nice leisurely breakfast and gone to the airport on time. Nope, not us. We squeezed every last drop from that trip! In four day's time she and I spent two days flying out and back, managed to get in a trip the OR coast, visited and interviewed at two colleges, did a huge loop around the Olympic National Park and made two trips up the Columbia River Gorge. Every day held week's worth of experiences. It has taken me the better part of a year to process some of them.

Nancy and I visited here last month when we dropped Aurora off at college in Portland. Everything was dry, brown and crunchy due to the extended drought that has pounded the Pacific NW this year. No snowpack over the winter made for an exceedingly dry summer. No rain fell after May. By the time we got out there, we expected Multnomah Falls to be more like Multnomah Wind Tunnel.

This year's photo made it hard to hide the dry brown that was everywhere... plus the haze from all the fires in Central WA and OR added a dull grey-brown-ness to everything.

At the end of the day, it isn't the fires or the season that make the difference. This year is different because we left a chunk of our family out in Portland. Aurora joined a coastal explorers club at Reed... and I realized I wanna join too! There is so much to see and do, I just want to drop what we're doing here at home and move out there. I could list a millions differences between this year and last, but the biggest difference is knowing that Aurora gets to explore a whole new part of the world (to us)... and if we're lucky we get to hear all about it. 

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