Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Canada (01/29/09)
TITLE: Friends Forever
By Virgil Youngblood
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Two elderly Texas cowboys met in the foyer of a rehabilitation center, one arriving, the other leaving. Surprised by their chance encounter each asked about the others health and family. The conversation ended with a friendly invitation to share a bowl of beans and shoot the breeze, and some directions.
“You know that sign on 281 north, about two miles out?”
“Well, take that dirt road and go about a mile. When you see a goat in a fence corner with his head sticking out, turn down that lane. The house is at the end of it.”
“A goat with his head through the fence?”
“ You said you’d be out about noon didn’t yuh? He’s always there that time of day.”
It is easy to imagine these retired cowpunchers sitting in the shade on a porch reminiscing. Perhaps in their younger days they had trailed Longhorns northward or their fathers had.
Today a modern trail, US 281, begins in Brownsville, Texas about two miles from the Mexico border and ends almost 1,900 miles later at the Canadian border in North Dakota at the International Peace Garden.
Devoted to world peace, the 2,339 acre International Peace Garden lies across the United States and Canadian borders, part in North Dakota and part in Manitoba. A cairn, constructed of rocks gathered by children of both countries, is flanked by The Stars and Stripes and the Maple Leaf flags. This simple boundary marker, between the longest unfortified borders between countries, bears a plaque that reads:
TO GOD IN HIS GLORY
we two nations
dedicate this garden
and pledge ourselves
that as long as men
shall live, we will
not take up arms
against one another.
Each June 150,000 flowers are planted in an amazing array of designs and colors. An eighteen foot diameter floral clock will have between 2,000 and 5,000 flowers depending upon the current year planting scheme. A United States and Canadian flags display is the only flower pattern that is repeated each year. Best viewed between mid-July and August, the intoxicating perfume of the flowers and their color schemes must be experienced to be fully appreciated.
The sound of the Bell Tower, the views of the Peace Tower, the seven Peace Poles inscribed “May Peace Prevail” in twenty-eight different languages, the Chapel, the reflecting pools, the musical stream of water in the Cascade Pool on the 49th parallel, the Sunken Garden, and so much more rate this as a must see destination any time of the year.
When those cowboy friends are rehabilitated, they need to grab their hats, wave goodbye to the goat, and head north on US 281 to the International Peace Garden. They would enjoy the trip. So would you. But they will probably never go unless a caring son, daughter, or grandchild offers to drive the stagecoach.
Do you know someone in your family like that? Take them and create a legacy of wonderful memories of a special trip to Canada.
http://www.peacegarden.com/ Source of data about International Peace Garden
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