Peacock: n. the national bird of India, related to the pheasant. The male peafowl, or peacock, has long been valued for its brilliant tail feathers. The bright spots on it are known as “eyes”, and inspired the Greek myth that Hera placed the hundred eyes of her slain giant Argus on the tail of her favorite bird.
Picnic: n. a pleasure excursion at which a meal is eaten outdoors
I spent the entire day exploring the spectacular Columbia River Gorge with four friends. We left the gray weather behind in Vancouver and drove 100 miles east to the the Maryhill Museum of Art.
This former mansion of tycoon Sam Hill was built in 1907 on a hilltop overlooking the Gorge near Goldendale, WA. He bought 5300 acres of land there in the hope of establishing a Quaker community, but it never really caught on. His buddies – the avant garde dancer Loie Fuller and Queen Marie of Roumania – convinced him instead to convert the place into a museum.
Fuller was friends with Auguste Rodin, so there is a sizeable collection of Rodin sculptures and sketches. His collection of Indian basketry is impressive, and other exhibits come thru regularly.
I was taken by the gorgeous gilt furnishings from Queen Marie:
But I digress. After museuming we went outside for our picnic with the peacocks.
I couldn’t get over the stunning colors… like jewels. In one direction the tail looks coppery, in another green, in another silver.
Our next stop was the replica Sam Hill built of StoneHenge, to honor local soldiers who died in World War I.
The Gorge isn’t as steep near Maryhill as it is closer to Portland, where the east side of the Columbia boasts some wonderful waterfalls. We stopped and hiked up one, gawked at others from below. So much beauty on all sides!!
I think the Gorge is one of America’s most awesome scenic treasures. It’s 80 miles long and in some places the walls rise 4000 feet!