Aug 242012

I instinctively scanned each license plate in the parking area without even thinking about it.

My native instincts were correct as always…the lot to the viewpoint and trails was infested…with Californians.

I’m not prejudiced, but…


Growing up in Oregon we always believed we should be able to trap and release them as we did with other pests and vermin.

We wanted to protect a way of life and ways of living that meant little to our wealthy, brash southern neighbor.

Now there are more of them then there are of us, because we sold our souls for thirty pieces of California silver.

As we got on the trail, there they were.

A buffoon drinking from a massive beer bottle as his kids ran screaming up and down the path.

Upteen obvious tourists with cameras running to take a picture of something they couldn’t truly see and then rushing away thinking they had accomplished something.

“Baby, this sign says this is lava. Don’t you need a volcano to have lava”? “Har, har, har”.

I wanted to tell him there were two volcanos…one about twenty five miles from where he was standing and another one standing next to him.

Farther up the trail two young people were discussing how to “conquer” the river in a kayak…I told them that we may or may not be able to recover their bodies.

They were interlopers, foreigners, and they were robbing me in broad daylight of all I hold precious.

I hate their chatter…I cannot hear the voice of God in the waters, the greeting of the birds from tree to tree above their blather.

I had come to hear Him and to smell the the incense of God as He warms the Douglas fir with the sun to release their fragrance.

I had come to worship in my holy place and the barbarians had sacked the temple.

The beer swilling buffoon tossed his bottle into the underbrush, gathered his herd and moved to the next place to desecrate.

We pressed on up the trail and sitting at my favorite viewpoint were two more of them.

They were elderly and silent…a walker stood vigil next to the bench, she held a rosary.

After a few minutes the old man spoke…”We want our ashes laid here to rest for this is the hand of God”.

I nodded in approval…he understood.

My earthly remains will also await His coming from this spot.

I asked him where he was from.


The river roared with the laughter of God, the birds and trees sang together and incense flooded the temple.

God has His people everywhere.

Even California.

Make your own application.

  15 Responses to “TGIF”

  1. Beautiful! So glad you are writing again here AND for that divine encounter you could write about.

  2. Ouch!
    Ok, I promise, if I die while visiting Portland, I’ll have my body dragged back across the border! πŸ˜‰

    All kidding aside, great piece of writing!
    Glad you have your freedom back.

  3. Maybe the obnoxious people weren’t from CA, just like it turned out that the cool people were from there.

  4. I have had similar experiences in my place where I wish for my ashes to be left: Yosemite.

    I cannot tell how many times I have set up my camera and waiting for the lighting to change, only to have a carload of tourists stop, pile out and be raucous. Mostly, I have said nothing while they do their thing. Rarely, one of them will approach and ask me what I’m waiting for, and I engage them in a deliberatly slow and hushed converation about light. I sometimes get a chance to discuss the Creator slow loving care of His creation, I’m only here to capture it on film, if possible. Sure, they may sulk away, but sometimes…you never know.

    Also had sevearal times where I wanted to throttle someone for spooking away the wildlife that I so cautiously approached, while they just lumbered up to my position. And when they apologize, its hard to say, “thats OK.”

  5. Truly, written by an Oregonian. πŸ™‚

  6. this is too funny – thot i’d just be lurking (God willing, i will) BUT,

    at the request of my educated daughter i have spent the summer on a rewrite of a book – here is a quote from the first page:
    “She noted the license plate on the car and wondered if those people would be her new neighbors; and, if so, how would that change her comfortable, quiet little street called Totem Place?
    β€œThey ought to be able to buy it cheap,” she murmured to herself and then sighed, β€œoh, dear.” She’d heard about Californians.”
    i’m sorry, but these kinds of coincidences keep coming up when i am writing and they’re getting spooky 😯

    back to lurking – you all stay in my prayers – God keep

  7. Hey all….I can’t log in to post a prayer thread, but Nonnie’s grandson who was just born is in NICU. He was born yesterday and is now having trouble with blood sugars and his heart rate. Please pray….his name is Bennet.

  8. Praying for Bennet.

  9. Can any good thing come from California? I toted a few plastic bottles off Annie’s Creek trail while on vacation. I murmured and groused and complained and the praise of the creek and the singing of the wind through the pines were almost drown out by me. I like when I can “stifle it” (in the words of Archie Bunker) long enough to hear the constant song of God.
    I like it even better when God’s goodness shouts down my grumbling. It’s good and humbling, His silencing my grumbling. Hey, I’m like Dr. Seuss over here!

  10. Rob,

    I appointed you an honorary Oregonian on your last trip. πŸ™‚
    Thank you for helping keep Oregon green up at Annie’s.

  11. Ahh…come on Michael, if it were not for the Qtips coming from California and the recreational types, Oregon would have no economy to speak of. Back in the late sixties Laguna Beach lost all of their Hippies to Oregon. I believe it was those same hippies who beat the “Don’t Californicate Oregon” drums. Even though your not a hippie, Nice drumming dude! LOL…

  12. davidseurfer51,

    Those Qtips destroyed our economy and our way of life.
    They destroyed the logging industry because they thought they learned how to manage a forest from Orange County.
    I’m a native…and I still think we should have closed the border when we could have. πŸ˜‰

  13. Michael,

    While I always believe you about what you say…

    Said like a true ‘Once an Oregonian always an Oregonian’ dude. The Qtips that I mention are the countless white haired retirees from CA, they don’t manage anything they are retired. Our hunters, hikers, campers, snow skiers and fishermen like Oregon as one big playground and do bring their dollars with them to spend in Oregon. Certainly that must help the bottom line of Oregon?

    Forest? What’s that? LOL…us Orange County flat landers only know cars, smog, long lines and concrete. I made it up to mount Shasta once and the clean air made me light headed. Medford Oregon I will visit one of these days because I hear it is a nice place. You make mention of your environment in some of your post and it sounds great.

    I , a Californian, will retire to an island somewhere, I love hot weather and the ocean. Never have lived more then ten minutes from the sea. My back yard while growing up was the ocean. My son and I love to surf and such. Although we find the desert a peaceful place to visit now and then.

    Down here it is a long drive for us to get to our local crowded mountains. And I understand that our mountains are nothing in comparison to yours. My son has family on his wife’s side who live in Oregon. His mother in laws sister is a logging truck driver. So my son has visited Oregon and loved it.

    I have a very good friend, Mike Nichols, who lived up in Oregon for about ten years, He eventually came back to CA and now lives in the Palm desert. i guess the clean air of Oregon was too much for him.

  14. davidsurfer51,

    In the good old days the sign on the border said “Welcome to Oregon, thanks for visiting”. In other words, we expect you to go home soon. πŸ™‚
    They came…they stayed…and they imported everything they claimed to have left there for.
    Too late to fix now…

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