Saturday, September 20, 2008


Only reluctantly do I drag myself back to the world that is not Champoeg State Park where these scenes were photographed. The 9,10,11, and 12-year old kids to which I played chaperon were full of surprises, not least being the wide variation in their abilities: on one extreme, a few could barely dress themselves, while on the other extreme, a few could probably have organized the entire outing at least as well as the adults. A few were extremely afraid of yellowjackets, and several have honed selective hearing to a fine art, but they were a really good group of kids.

As this was an educational outing, we heard from every available docent in and near Champoeg. It's fair to say that right now, this very moment, I know more about Robert Newell and oak galls than I have ever known before or will ever know again. I hope my "engaged adult" face was convincing to those kids, because it concealed a powerful boredom lurking underneath. The truth is, I have very limited interest in Robert Newell or the house he built on a hill after the massive floods of 1861; I'm glad it won't be on any test I'll have to take.

The kids were great, the park was lovely, and the break in the rut was very welcome.

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