While my out-of-state family was here we tried to share bits and pieces of our community with them. There wasn't enough time to do all of the things we wanted to do together. We already have a list for next time. One evening my sweetheart decided to take my cousin and I to a nearby state park on the banks of the Willamette River. This river meanders through western Oregon, heading north until it empties into the Columbia River that flows into the Pacific Ocean.
We live on a main street that runs through our town from the south, ending on the north at the river. At the end of our street is a beautiful state park that provides a relaxing place for picnics, walks along trails through beautiful trees and a boat ramp that is used by many boaters. One evening after work my sweetheart wanted to check out the boat ramp for future launches on the river. My cousin and I decided to tag along. And we were glad we did. It was a beautiful day and the temperature was perfect!The banks of the river near the ramp have been stabilized with very big tires. Some of them provide a viewing spot that was perfect for our inspection.From our vantage point we could see the vintage-style ferry downriver a bit. Many years ago ferries transported travellers all along the river. Bridges have replaced nearly all of the old ferries. This is one of two ferries that still operate on the river.Just across from where we stood it appeared that all was still and quiet on the river. But sometimes appearances are deceiving. The river was buzzing with activity. Ski boats and skiers.And jet skis.Upriver the water reflected the sun in the west. It wouldn't be long until sunset.On the way back to the car we paused for a few minutes to enjoy the beauty along the river a bit longer. Delicate little wildflowers were in bloom.A trail along the riverbank, through the big trees, captured our imaginations. Daylight would soon slip away. Time didn't allow us to explore along the trail.High overhead blue sky and fascinating cloud formations showed through the trees. A reminder that we were surrounded by beauty. Down by the riverside.A few days later we returned to this spot with my sweetheart's little fishing boat for a 'cruise' on the river. What an adventure we had! But that's another story. For another day.