Family Hike in a Scottish Garden

Monday, November 05, 2018

Today we all went on a crisp, November hike around the property of The Garden of Elk Rock at the Bishop's Close.  It's a beautiful, peaceful spot, and just right for an hour-long hike.  We get to look across the Willamette River to the city in which we live, and the views of Elk Rock Island and Mt. Hood are lovely.  There are several benches to rest along the way, and a little pond with water lilies, goldfish, and salamanders.

I used to escape here at times in my life when I needed to think, needed to find a place where I was unlikely to run into anyone else.  Not many people know about this place, and it's so beautiful.  Willamette Week published an article about The Garden of Elk Rock awhile back, likening it to the beauty of the Japanese Garden.  It's free and open to the public from 8-5PM daily.

The beauty of this nearly 100-year old garden is unmatched, and to have been given accessibility by the Kerr family's donation to the Episcopal Bishop of Oregon in the late 1950s is nothing short of a gift.

Never having been to Scotland, I like to imagine when I come here that I'm the owner of this Scottish manor, with my own private gardener, and that I come from old money.

Walking along the cliffs with magnificent views, it is easy to recognize the beauty of where we live here in the Pacific Northwest, a place full of so much natural beauty.

Looking out across the Willamette River from the Elk Rock Cliffs, you can see Mt. Hood in the distance.

An old wooden bench surrounded by licorice ferns--a quiet place to sit and be still.

The purple-coated sisters look down a path with an old, iron railing.  The afternoon sun is closer to setting in the west now than it was rising in the east hours before.  The days get dark now around 5PM.

Adam, standing on the edge of the cliff, looking down at Elk Rock Island.  Oregon Grape grows between us.

It's the purple-coated sisters again!  They insist their coats are actually very different, because I don't think the littlest sister wants to admit that she wanted a winter coat just like her big sister's.

Juniper, at 10 years old, has great appreciation for this big, old cedar tree.  She asked, "How old do you think this tree is, Mommy?"

While the littlest sister, Amelia, at 7 years old, admires a big magnolia leaf.  The wonders of the natural world can bring joy no matter what your age or walk of life.  We hope you'll visit this garden sometime.  It's a special place to be.  x o, Karli


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