Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Compass Wish

When I wrote about the expedition to Portland, Oregon, last June for their Rose Festival Week, I commented that if you ever plan to visit this city, it would be helpful to have a compass. That is because for someone like me who is used to using the position of the sun in the sky to know if I am going north, south, east, or west-----there is no help to be found in the frequently overcast skies of that area. Someone in "Make a Wish" foundation must have read my request, because would you believe the next out-of-town travel meeting I went to (which was in the "Quad Cities"), each attendee was given a notebook with a COMPASS attached to it! What a deal!! As an explanation to the photo my son took of me giving the Victory salute on the Oregon coast, it shows what progress can be made with both a compass and a spirit of adventure to "Go west", just as Lewis and Clark had done when President Jefferson told them to find a route to the Pacific from what was, at the time, the edge of the frontier---St. Louis, Missouri. I determined to retrace the path of Lewis and Clark in recognition of the bicentennial of their "Corps of Discovery". I too, started in St. Louis, and though it took me more years than it did them, I finally completed the journey in August of 2007 by making it to Astoria, Oregon, near where they sighted the long-anticipated view of the Pacific Ocean. The photo of me on the Oregon Coast at the end of each blog is an attempt to capture the same emotion in my reaching the Pacific Coast, as that which Lewis and Clark wrote of in their journal when they reached it. They recorded this: "Great joy in camp---we are in view of the ocean." Now THAT'S what I call an EXPEDITION!