That's a Lotta Coffee!

We saw this tanker on our drive to Gatlinburg last Friday. The back of the tanker says, "Best Coffee on the Interstate." I had no idea that's how they shipped the coffee. I thought they brewed it onsite at the truck stop.

Gimme a Sign

While speaking at Camp Kuratli and visiting with my brother and sister-in-law, the lovely Robin and I stayed in one of the quaint and cozy quarters at the camp. I got a kick out of the decoration that greeted us (and everyone) on the front porch. As a dyed-in-the-wool introvert, I think I should get one for myself:

It's straightforward. It's clear. It's uncompromising. It's almost poetry.

Whaddya think?

Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area

On our recent trip to Oregon, my brother Don and his wife Arvilla took the time to share some of the local splendor with me and the lovely Robin. The first stop of the day was Vista House, an observatory that stands over 700 feet above the Columbia on Crown Point and was built by Samuel Lancaster as a memorial to the pioneers. Here, he said, the view "both up and down the Columbia could be viewed in silent communion with the infinite."

The Columbia River is the second largest in North America, starting in northern Idaho and southeastern British Columbia, and traveling over 1,200 miles to the Pacific Ocean. The panoramic view of the Columbia River Gorge from Crown Point is utterly breathtaking.

Our next stop, Latourell Falls, was similarly inspiring, plunging 249 ft. over a rocky cliff. The area is replete with such waterfalls, with names such as Horsetail Falls, Ponytail Falls, Triple Falls, Fairy Falls, and Punch Bowl Falls.

Not far from Latourell Falls was Bridal Veil Falls, accessible by a half-mile or so walk from the road and parking lot.

By then my tumbly was getting rumbly, so we shared lunch in the Multnomah Falls Lodge, built in 1925 of every type of rock found in the gorge.

After lunch we walked around the restaurant to the spectacular Multnomah Falls, a 611-foot-tall cascade of water. According to Native American lore, Multnomah Falls was created to win the heart of a young princess who wanted a hidden place to bathe. Several hundred feet up from the road is Benson Bridge, which spans the falls at the first tier's misty base. The bridge is named for Simon Benson, a prominent Portland businessman who owned the falls in the early part of the 1900s. Before his death, Benson gave Multnomah Falls to the City of Portland, which later transferred ownership to the USDA Forest Service.

What fabulous sights! And good company, to boot. Thanks, Don and Arvilla.

Camp Kuratli at Trestle Glen

It was a joy last weekend to speak to a group of 120 or so men at Camp Kuratli at Trestle Glen near Portland, Oregon. Only 23 miles southeast of Portland, The Salvation Army’s scenic Camp Kuratli at Trestle Glen comprises 170 beautiful acres of wooded slopes, creeks and green meadows.

Being Oregon, of course, it rained every day while we were there, but the rain only enhanced the beauty of the setting.

On Saturday afternoon, the rain stopped and the sun came out for awhile, and I was able to take a hike through a part of the property.

And what a blessing when, on Sunday morning, the men in attendance responded quickly and passionately to the call to consecration in Preston Hall, the circular chapel occupying a central place on the camp's grounds.

Thank God for his awesome power displayed in nature, and in the hearts and lives of the men of The Salvation Army's Cascades Division.

Powell's Books

I had the thrill today, thanks to Don and Arvilla, of visiting Powell's Books in Portland, one of the most famous bookstores in the world.

The lovely Robin and I, with Don, Arvilla, Elissa, and Dad, wandered the labyrinthine aisles of this store for about ninety minutes.

I love Powell's practice of shelving all editions--new, used, hardcover, paper, etc.--together. And the extensive selection of all genres is thrilling!

I bought a Franklin Library edition of Faulkner's The Reivers, and Robin bought a book entitled Miles the Crocodile for our grandson.

I could have spent the day there, of course. And the family fortune as well.

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Northward Bound

The lovely Robin and I left this morning with Dad, Don, and Arvilla to begin our journey north to Oregon. We stopped for lunch at the northernmost In-n-Out along our route.

And of course passed the majestic Mount Shasta en route:

Tonight we should arrive at Camp Kuratli around 8:30 or so.

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Dad's 90th Birthday

Today the lovely Robin and I gathered with as many Hostetlers as we could squeeze around the table for my dad's 90th birthday dinner (he turned 90 on April 26)! Here in Larry and Dovie's Elk Grove, CA, home we shared a wonderful meal and toasted our patriarch's longevity, perspicacity, and viscosity.

This is the first time in about six or seven years that all three brothers and Dad have been together. And it was the first time Robin and I met Noah, our niece Bailey's three-year-old (almost four-year-old) son. He's adorable!

Tomorrow we leave with Dad, Don, and Arvilla for a ten-hour drive north to Portland, OR, stopping on the way (we hope) for a visit with my former Sunday School teacher (brave soul) Norm Murdoch and his wife, Grace.

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