Camp Site on the Way to Oregon

It was 1924—I had just turned nine. Father, working for a timber company in northwest Oregon, had asked mother (living at Porterville, California) to bring the family and spend the summer with him. Mother bought a 1919 Model T ford, and Jack (age 14) built at his school workshop a wooden cabinet which bolted to the back of the car to hold dishes, cookware and food. Flat suit cases were set on the running boards with braces. Blankets and pillows were piled on the back seat for Bob, Cliff, David and me to sit on. Mother and Jeane occupied the front seat, along with driver and mechanic Jack. Off we went on a venture of more than a thousand miles to Astoria, Oregon.

We rumbled along at some 20 miles per hour when roads were fair, but less on narrow often unpaved and mountainous roads. Mother in early evening would pick a suitable place to pull off and set up camp. The boys would make a fireplace, fetch water, and lay out sleeping blankets. Mother would prepare a delicious meal.

One day, as we got into the northern California mountains, we could see massive, glorious Mt. Shasta ahead. Mother spotted a place to make camp among evergreen trees, near a brook with a large pool, green grass, ferns, and beautiful wild flowers, including Shasta Lilies.

After helping with camp, I strolled down by the pond. In the distance, snows on Mt. Shasta were turning to orange glow. I stooped to smell every wild flower.

Touched bows of fir, spruce and pine—taking in their fresh aroma—knelt by the water’s edge and watched trout swim by—fascinated and enthralled by such glorious unspoiled beauty of God’s nature. I wanted always to remember—pledged never, ever to forget this tremendous, overwhelming feast to my senses. Still to this day I see it as it was on that wondrous, memorable visit with God’s handiwork. A prized Celestial Vision.