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I spent a lovely Birthday just outside Portland at the Sandy River Delta, along the Columbia River. The banks are muddy and tidal, with lots of small willowy shrubs pocking about. I began the day with a long ride from near downtown, up through Alberta and other pleasant neighborhoods. Then I met the Columbia River and proceeded along Marine drive. A steady pace on the paved path up on the bank, past the airport and the blue lake parks. Through Troutdale and under I-84 to arrive at the delta. Then a quick jaunt on the dirt trails (my first time using my cross-bike off trail since arriving in Portland earlier in February) to arrive down by the water. There I lounged and ate and watched the clouds as the winds built up.

With a full belly I unwound my kites; carefully to avoid getting lines tangled in the brush. While the clouds shifted and turned and the winds kicked up rain spray in my face – high above the kites danced and soared. Thanks Jenn for the little para-sail. On the Columbia River’s opposite bank, to the north, by Washugal the clouds grow ever larger, rear up, and send down pannus sheets of rain which shimmer rainbows and capture rays of sun. A rainbow emerges then goes dark.

But the winds halt, the kites fall down. The clouds still fill the north but retreat and no longer loom. Mary joins me and we watch the shifting whites above with still warmth of an early spring around us. The ground turns gold. The sun dips bellow the trees. The clouds go pink. Birthday in nature with love.

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