The Adventure Continues - On the designated day they set out.
The message was clear in Chinuk WaWa, and translated here:
The meeting place is at the Alsea pass, just at the foot of the Techmanwe – a well known landmark in the Willamette Valley – then and now.
The meeting was a bust – no one was there. The Gorman’s arrived in the middle of the morning but at noon nothing was happening. They waited and waited, and in the end waited too long to make the journey back during daylight.
Not adverse to staying overnight or sleeping under the stars they settled to overnight, wait the next day til just past noon, and leave if nothing happened again, reasoning that perhaps there was a miscalculation as to which 7 days passing referred to.
Overnight they were disturbed by a commotion at the other end of the clearing and when they rose to investigate it looked like there was a small native encampment, what seemed like several tribes congregating and sharing stories around the fire in the common tongue that Eliza and Hannah also understood – they heard stories and legends, and bargaining and exchanges being discussed. When the Gormans drew closer and called out “Klayhowya” there was no response or reaction from the people around the fire. They called again, and again no reaction – in consternation , they looked at each other and whispered to one another what is going on? / how come they can’t hear us? but when they looked back there was nothing but moonlight meadow stirring in the wind
Even more consternated, they walked further, but there was nothing there, so they returned to their own camp site.
In the morning, they again examined the place they had seen the native encampment, but there was nothing there – no large area trampled and cleared as one would expect from a camp the size they had seen last night. There was, however, one odd thing right where the camp fire would have been – a fresh garland of wildflowers, less than a day old, and quite a peculiar pattern of flowers.
Again, they waited until well past noon, and again nothing happened. They waited as long as they dared, and reluctantly had to leave to make the 5 hour trek home to reach town by nightfall.
The trip had been a bust – the promised treasure was missing and it was a mystery what had happened. All they had to show for their journey was a vision and an outrageously varied garland of wildflowers.
From the descriptions they noted, we’ve re-assembled the garland above. Is there a message there?
NOTE – No flowers were harmed or picked for this recreation. Please observe local rules and regulations if you do go out and do some wild-flower spotting – some of these species are endangered and protected, so you might be subject to fines and prosecution if you are caught disturbing them!
The Resources Which Inspired Our Overnight Adventure
iNaturalist (from their website)
Connect with Nature!
One of the world’s most popular nature apps, iNaturalist helps you identify the plants and animals around you. Get connected with a community of over a million scientists and naturalists who can help you learn more about nature! What’s more, by recording and sharing your observations, you’ll create research quality data for scientists working to better understand and protect nature. iNaturalist is a joint initiative by the California Academy of Sciences and the National Geographic Society.
Download the app and start tracking the flowers you spot in your natural areas about you – you’ll be surprised where Oregon Wild Flowers might show in your neighborhood – they’re all around!