Monday, October 6, 2008

Petersen's Rock Garden

This is a place called Petersen's Rock Garden somewhere near Bend, Oregon. It's a picture from the 50's, but the place looks exactly the same in pictures today. This past spring I was delegated the responsibility of figuring out something to do with Randi for a day off we had somehow both wrangled from our jobs-- it was a fierce tossup, but I eventually decided that we should go to Richardson's Rock Ranch in Madras instead. The Rock Ranch was a good choice-- Randi chiseled and licked thundereggs for hours and I took photographs of the ridiculous gift shop and peacocks running all over the place. But Petersen was truly a man of my own heart-- look what we missed!

"Petersen, originally from Denmark, came to the U.S. in 1900 and settled in the Cascade Mountains. He collected rocks from an 85-mile radius. The colorful rocks included Oregon agates, obsidian, petrified wood, malachite and jasper. He began building with them in 1935. At first, it was just a small rockery near his home in Bend, OR. But he kept on building on his four-acre site until his death in 1952. He mortared the rocks together into miniature buildings, monuments, lagoons and bridges. The Gardens also have concrete flags and a replica of the Statue of Liberty acquired from a local sculptor. In front of it rests a bronze plaque which Peterson had emblazoned "Enjoy yourself: it's later than you think.""

Truer words never spoken.

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