What I Did Today

The trail to the big tree, Erin’s Rest, on Powell Butte has been cut off by the caretaker with downed trees (to prevent erosion from off-trail hikers). Today I went up with a pair of pruners and found a back way that with some work provides access.
Years ago when we found this place we knew we had found the right spot. We used it as a burial ground for ashes and other offerings. Every year (or more often) we bring things like shells, rocks, coins, flowers.
Google Earth gives a very unsatisfactory view of the the place- the tree there is old, tall and gnarly. Just below the trail is a drainage ditch that is a breeding ground for frogs in spring. Unfortunately it isn’t a very good one- most of the tadpoles die when the ditch dries up just after Portland’s Rose Festival. Every year I grab as many of the live ones I can before they can become bird snacks, raise them up and set them loose.
A new home this year- I’ll put a fish tank on the balcony in back and when they are ready they can just climb out.
The bottom picture is from when Erin was little- about 6. I was a single dad then with her and her little brother, Andrew (he was 1 year old).
I am covered with scratches from blackberry thorns. My pants are trashed. But the way is made for a visit tomorrow. This year will be #15. She’s been dead longer than she lived. You would think that it would stop hurting.
This coming week is Andrew’s birthday- we are flying him home from the Bay Area. I really can’t wait to see him.

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