The upcoming holiday weekend got me thinking about the last festival I decided to partake in…on my bike! Local festivals are often a wonderful, inexpensive form of entertainment as well as a perfect avenue to meet other folks interested in the same things you are. Sure, sure…festivals can be overdone & commerialized, but if you choose carefully & plan it the way you would enjoy the end result, they can be just the destination to get you off your couch for the day.

For years I had been hearing about the local Woodburn Tulip Festival just a short car ride down the I-5 corridor from Portland. I realized that I had never seen a field of tulips in bloom over my lifetime – how does 42 years go by without that happening (sad, really)? Time does truly slip by so quickly, I decided to jump on my computer one afternoon & do a little Googling. I packed a picnic into my daypack, printed out a quick map, and hit the road stopping several miles out as I found a nice non-towing parking lot to leave my car for a few hours. By noon I was pedaling down the most beautiful country roads, exploring a century old church – and literally tiptoeing through the most amazing display of color, it took my breath away. I spent $5 on a fresh picked bouquet & slipped it into an outer loop on my pack & was on my way after soaking in the day. I was still home in time for dinner.

This holiday weekend will be chock full of celebrating – music (Blues Fest in Portland!), food, history. Why don’t you see what is an hour or less from your own home town, load up the bike or throw your hiking boots into the trunk. Let’s be tourists in our own backyards & radiate grateful thoughts for how lucky we are to encounter beauty just inches outside our front doors, if only we take the time to exlplore.

* images by [ me & my trusty iphone ]
** total cost of roadtrip: $10 ($5 if I’d skipped the flowers)


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