My driver was waiting for me at the appointed location.  I had my bag packed.  On my back was my daypack filled with my entertainment and work items.

Together we climbed into his van.  Now, we were ready for the long 2 hour drive in from the Oregon Coast to the bustling metropolis of Portland.   We climbed the steep road to intersect with the highway over 75 feet above us.

Then, with some good road planning we slipped into the highway without missing a beat.  Just off to the left on the steep cut away we were treated to a remarkable display.  An elk cow was grazing only 37 yards from the asphalt.

She was oblivious to the traffic.  Her head was down and she was actively grazing.   The elk’s distinctive white rump was shining in the sun.

Oddly, however, she was alone.  On the meadow where she was feeding there were no other animals within sight.  She didn’t seem to mind her solitude nor show any concern with the humans who were racing by in their vehicles.

The highway wound through the evergreen forests.  The ground cover that stretched deep into the shadows toying with the human mind that this could very well be the home of talking animals, trolls vying for freedom and maybe monsters of legend that guarded the recesses of the woods for adventures that could only be lived by the brave hearts of magical stories.

Clear cuts scattered themselves in the woods.  New conservation reforestation projects followed those business enterprises as well as helped the woods heal from natural disasters from windstorms and forest fires caused by electrical storms.  The vast tree decked mountains played games with the sun that sparkled through the many gaps of boughs and trunks.

A multitude  of birds fluttered about the trees and bushes.  Larger animals stayed far away from the human presence on the travel route.  There was a huge rabbit that perched up on a dirt mound and strained his ears and eyes to see what was making all of the noise that alerted His ears to twitch.

Small bridges easily took our vehicle over the babbling brooks that followed the contours of the mountains.  When they went under our highway, they offered a quick glance at their pristine means of bring delicious water to support the wildlife.

The forests soothe my mind.  It relaxes my spirit.  Oregon is a favorite place for many reasons.

photo credit: google  image