Caveat: Tree #4

I’m thinking of just posting a picture of a tree every day. I think living up in Prince of Wales Island, Alaska, I won’t run out of different trees.

Today, the tree is a cherry tree in Juli and Keith’s front yard.

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Yes, we have arrived back at their house, west of Portland.

We drove down from central Idaho. Here are two more pictures from stops along the road.

Snake River Valley at dawn.

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Some mountains fighting with a snowcloud.

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This is our last major stop before returning to Alaska. I’ll make one side trip next weekend, up to Seattle, hopefully. We’ll do some shopping and things that we can’t do easily up in Craig. Then next Friday (Jan 18), we take the ferry northward.

[daily log: walking, 1km; driving, 700km]

Caveat: Chocolate Avenue

I took a walk this afternoon. This time I went west. I found the big chocolate factory. There is a street behind the factory called Chocolate Avenue (sign at right in picture – the big white building is the chocolate factory).

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Now I understand why Arthur likes to visit his brother in Montrose.

Some other pictures.

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Call this daily tree #2.

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Tomorrow, Arthur and I drive northwest. It looks like we’re not going to meet Arthur’s friends in Reno, so we’ll be heading straight for Portland. Our holiday adventure is coming to a close. We’ll have a bit over a week in Portland and then we return to Alaska.

[daily log: walking, 9km]

Caveat: Hello Snow

We drove the rest of the way to Montrose, Colorado, today. It was a bit of a monotonous drive, but the temperatures outside were quite cold. And there was quite a bit of snow scattered around.

I took some pictures from before departure from the motel.

This is the crescent moon and venus (upper right), from my predawn walk.

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Here are some mountains out to the west, at sunrise.

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We took a wrong turn and ended up on the planet Mars.

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Finally, we arrived at my uncle Alan’s house.

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I took a long walk. Arthur didn’t want to come, because it was too cold. I love the cold.

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[daily log: walking, 5km; driving, 600km]

Caveat: The Thing About Trees

Here’s the thing about trees: they are always trying to escape the groping gravity of the earth.

Look at them. They strain and push up toward the sky, in their slow-motion way. You can see, easily, how they are trying to escape. The leaves have no other purpose but to reach for the sky.

Sometimes, the trees even need to be tied down. You see how people have applied ropes or wooden structures to the trees, to keep them from flying away when unobserved.

You see, the  trees know when we are watching, too. They know that if they succeed in escaping, they have to be careful not to get caught – no one will trust a tree, anymore, if people see one running off into the sky.

So the trees wait until no one is looking. Trees, as might be expected, are amazingly patient.

In the depth of the night, when no one is around to see or hear, a tree will succeed in escaping. The branches will finally reach and thrust with sufficient force to pull the roots free of the grasping, jealous earth, and they will rise rapidly into space, finally finding their freedom. All that is left is a small upturned mound of earth, puckered like a small wound, where the roots pulled out.

A strong wind can help, but if the weather is too stormy, the trees can be injured and then they will fall back to the brutish earth, broken and shattered.

Sometimes, after a storm, you can see the evidence of this – broken trees thrown over, as if by wind. What is not so clear to us watchers is that some of that violence is self-inflicted by the trees upon themselves, in their desperate efforts to escape the unkind earth.

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[UDATE: This is tree # -1]