Wheat, Alfalfa, Grass and Mint in the Grande Ronde Valley
I travel a lot, and am blessed to meet some really great people along the way. Lately I’ve been in the Gorge and have come home in the evening, just as the sun has set behind Mount Emily in the Grande Ronde Valley. This is that time on my trip when I crank up Pandora and roll my windows down; I’m almost home. Driving through this amazing valley in the heart of summer renews my soul.
For 360 degrees the view is just amazing, but what touches me deep inside my soul are the variety of smells that mix and mingle as I make my way from La Grande to Elgin. First there is the fresh cut grass, then a field, or two, or three of alfalfa; did you know that cut alfalfa and uncut alfalfa smell different? Then, the other night I could have sworn that I smelled fresh green beans, but I couldn’t see the field along the way. Then there is the mint. The mint is amazing and conjures up memories of friends no longer with us. Today I noticed a new crop of sunflowers that will surely add to the views within a month or so.
I wish I could convey what it is like to drive this highway this time of year. Today I drove through and noticed that the smells were unremarkable, but I am sure that after baking in the sun all day those smells will be just as strong and sweet smelling tonight as they are on the other evenings when I’ve passed through.
This post does not come close to capturing the sense of those fleeting moments when I have been blessed enough to travel through the Grande Ronde Valley on a few special evenings as each of these fields release their sweet aromas toward Heaven.