Thursday, October 28, 2010

In Search Of A Mountain

For days we drove around looking for it.

"Why can't we see it," my aunt said.

Well, it wasn't as if Mt. Hood was just a rise on a hillside. We should be able to see something that rises 11,239 feet toward the sky. Yet the tallest point in Oregon remained hidden.

When our little family drove to our new home in Oregon, we came down the Columbia Gorge. I yelled for my husband to stop the car. The kids and I dashed out at a viewpoint standing in awe at the beautiful mountain that reigned over the famous river below. I'd never seen a snow capped mountain as such. We drove through the mountains, but none were as lovely as this sight that greeted us for the first time.

How a mountain can hide even on sunny days is beyond me. Every day of the visit of my aunt and uncle, we went out to see the mountain. Not once did it show it's snowy cap.

"I remember seeing it years ago and just want to see again," Aunt Kathrine said.

We didn't have mountains in Ohio. I'd driven through the Blue Ridge Mountains, but still did not know the beauty of a mountain until I saw Mt. Hood.

Sometimes the mountain is hidden by a haze that lies somewhere between it and Portland. Try as you might see it, the mountain is magically gone.

Why does this have anything to do with Neff Road? Last week I decided to read some of the old letters and post cards I have in a basket. They date as far back as 1907. I came across one of Mt. Hood. In the bottom corner it is noted: Mt. Hood from Lost Lake. The card is dated June 26, 1950, and was sent to my Grandma Johnson. It reads:

We were going to drive up this mountain but the road was closed because of so much rain. We are having a wonderful time. - Love, Rena Beane

Rena was my Aunt Kate's mother. I wonder if she was with her parents on that trip in 1950. This card with a one cent stamp makes me think of that once young woman standing here in Oregon, all the way from Ohio, looking up at a mountain that has awed us both.

Sometimes we find surprises in the oddest places. Mine was on a postcard written sixty years ago.

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