Mission Park/Iris Gardens

Monday, May 27, 2013
Leader: Joe Sanders
Hike: 4.7 miles (Easy)

Whether because of Memorial Day Monday being part of a larger holiday weekend - with people away- or because of threatened rain on the day of our outing, or because my term "children welcomed" knocked back some who would not want to be hiking with young children present, the numbers who had signed on for this unique excursion were minimal. But the experience we shared was large.

We walked on tranquil paved bike paths with occasional big puddles - but no cyclists - as well as a virtually deserted hike trail through the huge Willamette park, with only the sound of wind in the trees. The umbrellas we'd brought were largely unnecessary. The extra dry clothes for back-up protection at event's end, remained in their bags.

We'd planned lunch after moving to the Iris gardens, but succumbed to our hunger while still in the park, the adults eating at a comfortable picnic table and Roberta's 3 high-spirited grandkids cavorting around us.

Later, after driving five miles to Shreiner's Iris gardens, the skies did open, but any who objected to the rain could take shelter under a huge tent erected specifically for this weekend's festivities, sharing space with a traditional jazz band playing somewhat frumpy dixieland and big band-era offerings. Festive! And when the sun did soon enough clearly come out (for the first time, that day) the Iris - augmented by Clematis, Dogwood, Columbine and Lupines- preened and showed off their rainbow colors. For the serious flower photographer like yours truly, this was the photographer's prayer answered: the intimacy of fresh rain drops on the large flower petals, made jewel -like in the bright sun!

But as a "separate reality" to these mature attractions- for those sensitive to it - was the parallel opportunity to experience this day through the eyes and spirit of a six to ten year old: examining slugs 'n' bugs along the hike paths, trade off the carrying of the backpack, ride the funky little ferry at the North End of the Park and .... blow some bubbles, and see where the wind takes them.

Members: Joe Sanders, Roberta Chord, Autumn Estes, Trenton Estes, Chyanne Estes, Becky Lipton, Don Cross.


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