Chinese Garden & Crystal Springs Garden

April 23, 2002

It was a cool morning when 39 Obsidians and guests left the Valley River parking lot. We traveled I-5, stopping for our morning coffee and goodies near Tualatin (a little warmer now). The Chinese Garden is spectacular. It is the largest authentic Suzhou-style garden ever created outside China. It was created to nurture and inspire residents of a busy city. Our tour guides led us along serpentine walkways, across a bridge and through open colonnades amidst a marvelously arranged landscape of rock groupings, delicate trees and shrubs, lattice screens and pavilions. All materials were imported from China and put together in Portland, stone by stone. The vegetation was acquired and donated by Oregon nurseries whenever possible. The special pendant presented me will always be special. I thank you, Obsidian bus riders (new and ever faithful returning riders); you are very special friends.

We shared a lovely Chinese lunch at The House of Louie. Then we boarded the bus for a beautiful sunny drive past older Portland homes. The Crystal Springs Gardens are between Reed College and the Eastmoreland Golf Course. It was a splendid sight, walking amidst the rhododendrons and azaleas and companion vegetation past three waterfalls and a lake. The terrain varied so everyone could find their own trails. I especially enjoyed the birds, squirrel and ducks. Thank goodness Ray knows his way around Portland, or John Goddard (our driver) and I agreed we might still be trying to find our way home.

The return trip, home by 6:00 p.m., was uneventful. Riders were: Leone Berg, Marian Borchardt, Ingrid Carmichael, Nicole Chase, Mary Lee Cheadle, Cathy Christian, Elinor Delapper, Bette Hack, Dora Harris, Evelyn Hite, Margaret Huston, Jean Jensen, Rosetta Jones, Ben Kirk, LeRoy Klemm, Helen Knowlton, Gloria Layden, Mavis Mate, Jan McLaughlin, John & Lenore McManigal, Mary Millman, Helen Meyers, Frances Newsom, Barbara & Don Payne, Hazel Peck, Margaret & William Prentice, Pat Richardson, Edna Robertson, June Smith, Nan Smith, Janet Speelman, Sheila Ward, Cristy White, Vera Woolley and Liz Reanier and Ray Jensen (leaders).

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