Sometimes when the weather says, "100% chance rain," you still wake up to a day like this. In Oregon, November can be a little touch and go when it comes to your sanity. There's the nice days, but then there's also entire weekends where the sound of rain pelting the bricks outside never stops, and suddenly it's 4 o'clock and you never even changed out of your pajamas. A network of coffee stains works its way down your front. It's not pretty.

Anyway, my point is that when you wake up expecting flooding gutters and actually see sun, you better go for it. We drove out to Beacon Rock, a giant outcropping on the Washington side of the Columbia River. Highway 14 through Camas was awash with autumn clarity. The maple trees sprinkled yellow leaves down onto the black road. The sun catching ripples on the inlet waters dazzled our eyes. It was quite a thing to see at a time when I needed beauty in my life very badly.