Finally, Stacker Butte in the Sun

After my snow globe adventure the Sunday before, I decide to head back to Stacker Butte for a completely new experience: a view.

All my favorite colors are assembled–robin’s egg blue, 24 carat gold, cotton white. Even after moving to the Northwest from the Rockies for a change of pace and scenery, I’m still drawn to these subtle desert hues.

Here, the hills do not roll, they undulate like the ripples of sand at a creek bottom. The view looking south to Oregon brings on memories of Wyoming.

Me and my shadow admire a righteous view of the Klickitat Rail Trail’s deep and mysterious Swale Canyon.

Strange flowers are dispersed along yon rise.

They are the rare but spreading Wind Tower anemone, standing several hundred feet tall and blooming year round.

The radio towers around me are more graceful and exotic as a reflection.

Way off in the distance, Mt. Adams suns himself like a turtle on a log.

A really big turtle.

I can just spot the bend of the Columbia where she bumps hips with Mosier. Catherine Creek’s on the right.

Light’s gettin’ long, time to go back down. Well, time to think about going back down, anyway.

Some experiences are worth lingering over.

Far off over Portland, a low band of stratus picks up a glint from the setting sun and blazes like a wildfire. My brain has to pause a moment and process the fact that this is not the real thing.

The river wears The Dalles like a shimmering necklace of fire opal. The city’s oranges and reds pulse gently in the deepening gloom like the last embers of a campfire.

In a few months, this prairie will be a technicolor display of penstemon, lupine, and buttercup. And I will be back. And I will bring really hot coffee.

January 31, 2010

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