Dear Dog Diary:
Words don’t capture the light – the life - that glows inside small town Oregon. This weekend, hearts and souls burned bright - as we celebrated 100 years of the Historic Columbia River Highway.
There’s more to the story, since our hometown, our Mosier, is still recovering from the June oil train derailment. This weekend, we took our hometown back. We found - and fueled - our Mosier Mojo.
This is our 100-year old ribbon of a highway that meanders through the Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area - one of the most spectacular drives in the United States – and the country's first official scenic highway.
Here, you can drive, bike or walk through 70 miles of remarkable scenery, towering waterfalls, dense forests, historic monuments and awe-inspiring river overlooks.
Here in the Columbia River Gorge, windsurfers, kite boarders, stand up paddle boarders (SUP,) kayakers, bikers, riders, Mount Hood trekkers and other outdoorsy types hang out.
Along the historic highway, you’ll discover off-the-beaten-path towns and meet interesting characters that make tiny towns hometowns. Like ours.
I’m Doodle, a dinky doxie in a dinky dog town. I’m a Gorge surf hound - I SUP (standup paddleboard) and windsurf here. On special occasions, I ride a land board in parades with my dog bro, Dude.
We love small towns and we love life in the Gorge. That’s why we started this blog, Dog Diary – to share the adventure dog lifestyle, and dinky dog town life - with you. It's about the ups and downs - the ride of life - we share, with dog people.
Here in dinky town, Mosier, there is a strong sense of community. Or at least, there used to be - before that oil train derailment scared the living breath right out of our lungs. That’s why we needed our own hometown parade - with our own hometown picnic, just for locals - so we could just be together, and try to heal together.
We celebrated life – celebrated hometown Mosier - celebrated our town's survival from a derailment with fire and explosions. That disaster was six weeks ago in Mosier's front yard, along the Columbia River.
Thankfully no one was killed and no homes were lost. We were so lucky. But we still feel wounded - we were evacuated, life is still not totally normal. We made national news - for all the wrong reasons.
Now, Union Pacific wants to expand trains through Mosier and the Columbia River Gorge. The tracks lie next to the Historic Columbia River Highway, as they have for more than 100 years.
This 100-year celebration was originally going to do a big to-do for the historic anniversary but we decided to reclaim our hometown first.
And just look what happened!!! We were just ourselves- fun, cool, crazy, creative - real. We stood up for our town.
Mosier got its Mojo back as we celebrated 100 highway years.
The Mosier hometown parade had 40+ antique cars, a canoe visit from Lewis & Clark, tractors pulling floats with hay, Mosier family royalty waving to fans, ladies in funny hats with magic wands, fire trucks, horses, a kid goat, kids on colorful bikes and our own DogDiary.org float.
This wasn’t one of those parades where thousands of adoring fans line the streets and you get that parade wave adrenaline rush - this was one of those locals-only parades where you’re as much a participant as spectator.
It wasn’t a “wow, did you see that professional float in the parade" experience - it was above love and togetherness and showing how much soul we still had – still have - even after losing a piece of it in the derailment.
That’s what this parade and picnic were about- reclaiming our dignity, our sense of self as a small and safe community, regaining our footing, our ability to ride the next wave of life – and hopefully, the ride will be up, not down. We needed to regain our vibe. Mosier’s sense of place is normally so intense, you can't help but feel it, live it, cherish it. Laugh with it!
This was not a public showcase of Mosier; it was a secret moment among friends and neighbors.
This was also our chance to welcome first responders back to Mosier on a good day. Fire departments, sheriffs, City, County, State, Feds, Intertribal, 911, health, police, public works, railroad, environmental experts – two dozen agencies from several states came in to help us. They saved our tiny town and our homes and lives and hearts and souls within it.
THANK YOU FIRST RESPONDERS.
THANK YOU MOTHER NATURE AND GOD ABOVE - YOU SENT US THREE DAYS OF NO WIND ON JUNE 3rd – YOU SAVED US FROM THE FIRE.
(Normally, Diary, we’d never dream of asking for non windy days, since we're windsurfers.)
“We’re baaaaack!” (You know that line from a movie?)
We're getting our Mosier Mojo back.
Just a couple of years ago, dinky town Mosier celebrated its own 100th anniversary. There's a lot of living history here. Our own Mosier farmhouse is 110 years old.
My bro Dude is 95+, a rescue dog with two bum legs, two missing eyes, doggie dementia, and scars from surviving the big C. Who knows how many parades he has left?
Who knows how many parades any of us has left?
Who knows how many ups and downs - waves of life- lie ahead?
Now is the time to celebrate life. To celebrate community. To celebrate survivorship. To celebrate the moment. To celebrate each other, whether we are the same breed, or not.
To give back all that we can.
Together, we share the ride of life.
It's a long walk home after the parade is over.
Just remember - we're in it together.
Peace - love - dog kisses - smooth sailing – fun surf - and hometown spirit to you,
Links to find out more:
About Mosier, OR community:
Historic Columbia River Highway on Facebook:
Historic Columbia River Highway websites: