Yesterday Tofu and I travelled from Ellensburg to our Portland family home, with Jeremiah, Nan and Sam. Road trip
In some ways we completed our great northern road trip at Celilo Falls, which is now buried under tons of water due to the Dalles Dam on the Columbia River. If you are able to read the sign in the second photo, you will get the picture.
Celilo Falls was the hub of trade among First Nations people,from Missouri to the Pacific Coast, and from California to Alaska. On our trip north we saw many native Americans; in fact they seemed to be in the majority. In Canada the preferred phrase is First Nations. There were Nations of people living in these northwest lands for thousands of years before Europeans began migrating into them. The First Nations were overwhelmed by the invasion of these people, who seemed to have little regard for those who already lived there. Using the phrase First Nations to speak of these people is an acknowledgement that they were here first, and they are at least due some respect from those of us whose ancestors took what didn’t belong to them, simply because they could. My encounter with four First Nations young people on the roof of the Watson Lake library has been chewing on me ever since.
Getting off my soapbox, I took some long looks at Mt. Hood, and then proceeded to Hood River, which is where my sister Patty and I were born. I wanted to look again at my Grandparents Yantis’ second home on May Street. Somebody is taking great care of it.
Tofu was more interested in the red rhode in the park across the street. The May street house is two blocks from a staircase that goes from the heights to downtown Hood River.
There is a lot of similarities between the Stairway to Heaven we climbed in Whitehorse, Yukon and this one. I remember my Uncle Butch (18 months older than me) descended these stairs to watch a horror movie,at the theatre downtown. I believe it was Vincent Price in the Pit and the Pendulum! When we left the theatre it was dark, and we must have gotten up those stairs faster than anyone else in recorded history.
Here’s a photo of myGrandparents first House on May street. It’s looking good too. When I was a kid this place was out in the country. Now it’s surrounded by other houses.
There are other tales to tell about my visit to my ancestral home. We could be talking ravens, and a serious miscalculation of the day of the week. Let’s save these stories for another day, and get on to Portland, where Sam is having a pre 10th birthday party for old people.
You may think these people don’t look all that old. But that probably says something about you. Still, I didn’t get any good pictures of the even older people. For example Sam’s Big Grandpa was present and he is 90! Croquet was involved, and Tofu and I-had a great time watching the game while eating hot dogs. We stayed the night and this morning I got to deliver Sam to school. Then I got to spend some quality time with Jeremiah and Nan before heading to Corvallis.
So at last Tofu and I have completed our journey. Even after the car was otherwise empty, Tofu remained inside, just in case I decided to go somewhere. Hours later she is starting to accept that we are going to remain in Corvallis, at least for the night. It is a gross understatement for me to say “It is good to be home.” I have some untold stories, that I may report to you in the coming days. But for now, Goodnight and love from these weary travelers.