In my last blog post I talked about the major Tulip festivals ongoing here in Washington and Oregon this month. Besides the major ones, I also made a general reference to all the other bulb farms and garden nurseries with their beautiful seasonal displays. I had the pleasure of visiting one of these bulb farms in my region over the weekend. This was my first visit to the DeGoede Bulb Farm and Gardens. Boy, was I in for a treat that I had not expected, and in more ways than one! The farm is located just west of Mossyrock, Washington on State Rte 12. And when I say just west of Mossyrock, I mean just west…before you get to Mossyrock Lake. Just head east from Interstate 5.
The DeGoede Bulb Farm Gardens has a beautiful, floral garden display adjacent to its nursery. Just follow the signs inside the nursery. I was surprised at just how large it was! All the visitors that entered the gardens marveled at how beautiful it was. It is also landscaped with a concrete walkway that is accessible by handicapped persons. Of course, the prominent flower of display for this time of the season is the tulip. There is also a small windmill display for a traditional Dutch tulip garden theme.
After my visit through the floral gardens, I inquired of one of the workers if the tulip fields across the highway were open for public viewing. I was told yes, but that they were a bit muddy and that I could hike up to the cross as well if I wanted to. I did not know what she meant by “hike up to the cross.” I asked for driving directions to the tulip fields and then made my way down a narrow, gravel road that eventually came to a small chapel. This was the second part of my journey that day that I had not expected in the least bit. The chapel, called Our Lady of Guadalupe Chapel, was built in a traditional Mexican architecture style. There’s also a beautiful shrine attached to the building, and adjacent to it is a trail through the woods that leads up a steep hill a quarter of a mile. At the top of the hill is a huge, towering cross. Along the switchback trail, which is well maintained, are picture displays of the 14 Stations of the Cross. I decided to make the pilgrimage up the hill and through the woods, even though I was not in the best of condition to make an arduous hike up such a steep trail. But, there are wooden benches to rest or to reflect at each station along the way. At the summit, one is rewarded with a sweeping view of the area, along with the towering cross. I must admit that I have never encountered a religious display in such a beautiful, natural setting as this! I’m sure that I’ll make this pilgrimage of sorts on another day…another journey.