ljrYesterday was my dad’s birthday. We had such a nice, quiet day remembering him. First we took a drive to Cascade Locks and had dinner at Charburger. I remember stopping there with him when we’d go for rides in his big, orange Pontiac GTO when I was a kid. At the time, I was one of those wait in line lunch counter places where you grab a tray and tell them what you wanted. Back then, the place was all over priced burgers and fries and cluttered with Wild West memorabilia, but the view. The view has always been amazing. River, Bridge of the Gods, trees, mountains. What more could you want? It’s a little nicer inside now (new owners, remodel), but the atmosphere is still similar and the important part, the view, is still incredible.

Driving back on the old highway past Multnomah Falls and Crown Point, my mom and I talked about him, remembering silly things like the Tweetie Bird necklace he bought me in the gift shop there when I was 8. My memory of that outing comes in snippets now. Change for the binoculars, him lifting me up to sit on the stone wall, so I could look out over the Columbia River. We took that drive 100’s of times throughout my youth, but that trip stands out, because of the necklace. It was just a cheap tourist trinket made in China, but I was so proud that my daddy bought it for me.

Now, as an adult, I pass through that way a lot. The Gorge is one of my favorite places in the world. It’s my go to close to home getaway when I need to get away, but doing it in remembrance of someone was special and much nicer than visiting some tombstone. I’d rather remember how he lived…

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