"Happy the man, whose wish and care
A few paternal acres bound,
Content to breath his native air
In his own ground."
Alexander Pope

Dick Geib at Cedar Run!


      "Cedar Run" is the summer Oregon residence of my father, Dick Geib, a retired lawyer and widower. It is 20 miles east of Eugene, Oregon, and can be reached on Highway 126 which tracks one of Oregon's most inviting wild rivers, the McKenzie. The river and the highway are inseparable as they run due east for 60 miles into the Willamette National Forest and the Cascades. This is unspoiled countryside, with farms giving way to foothills and forests. The towns along the highway intrude minimally with a general store, a filling station, or a tavern: Walterville, Vida, Nimrod, Blue River, McKenzie Bridge.

      My father's soul hungers for space, silence, and the seductive charms of nature (among which he includes rain and rough weather). Cedar Run gives him all these in full measure. His two-story cedar house sits on a slight rise among 1.5 acres of first-growth cedars, fruit trees, azaleas, and manicured lawn. The front rooms of the house open to a splendid view of the river and the distant hills. The neighbors, the neighbors' pets, and the neighbors' chain saws, lawn mowers, and other instruments of intrusion are blessedly distant. Altogether, it is a setting of considerable beauty.

      Please do not think that my father is anti-social. He anticipates frequent visits to Cedar Run from his family and friends. He envisions grandchildren playing touch football on the ample front lawn. My father is tired of incivility and metropolitan noise and gridlock, yearning instead for bucolic splendor and peace.

      My father enjoys sittings at the river's edge, especially at sunset. Here he can appreciate for the first time the swiftness of the current which makes this particular stretch of the river a favorite for white-water rafters. He is tempted to swim in the river before retiring for the night but knows that he cannot do so safely. Down-stream at the distance of approximately 75 yards, a small wooded island intercepts and divides the main channel; the two tributaries thus created gather speed as they pass on either side of the island and dash down over polished river rock. Up-stream, rainbow trout and steelhead rise provocatively from the river as if to capture the day's last light. Occasionally a "McKenzie River driftboat" is carried by the current into this pastoral, the fisherman casting a favorite lure into the untroubled pools near the shore. He and my father will wave in greeting or perhaps exchange pleasantries. Soon afterwards, the line of hills beyond the far shore changes from blue to black against the horizon. Dusk brings with it a sudden drop in temperature as a cushion of cool night air rises from the river. My father stands, folds his lawn chair, and turns back toward the house with the touch of all outdoors still strong upon him.

Dick proudly stands in front of his new house in August of 1998.

Zipping up his jacket as dusk approaches, Dick walks from his house towards the McKenzie River.

As is his custom, Dick reflects on life with a glass of wine in hand
at the edge of the beautiful McKenzie River as the sun sets behind him.

The resplendent green of Oregon shines forth
in this picture of the McKenzie River from the porch.

Peacefully watching the fish jump from the river to catch flies at dusk,
Dick waits for the sun to set and the day to end.
(View is from the porch of house.)