Posted by: Jack | September 5, 2007

Monarch Sculpture Garden

As the skies cleared this morning, Anna and I decided we needed an outdoor activity to fill our afternoon. Eventually we decided to bike out to the Monarch Sculpture Garden for a picnic. Our artsy neighbor-friends had been there a number of times and have always insisted that we check it out. We threw a lunch together and took off, biking about eight miles through town and another ten along the Chehalis Western Trail. The latter portion was really nice with smooth pavement and looming trees along the entire stretch. Upon arrival we savored our substantial yet nutritious lunch before taking a self-guided tour.

This sculpture garden is nothing like any art gallery I’ve experienced. The sculptures are scattered about on a private plot of land and everyone is free to roam the grounds. The pieces are sort of categorized into areas…but not really. One especially fun area features a number of bells, chimes, drums and harps, all of which visitors are invited to play with. Personal favorites of mine were the massive bells made from old gas tanks (the kind they fill helium balloons with, not vehicle gas tanks). They chime very loudly for quite some time after only a gentle push.

Being the cynic that I am, I found no shortage of sculptures where I wanted to meet the artist and say, “Just because you can make something, doesn’t make it art.” But for the most part the stuff was interesting and well worth the visit.

During the eighteen-mile return trip, the weather became just about perfect for biking and we slowed our pace allowing us to enjoy some random conversation.  On a slight down-note, upon return I found that I had missed a UPS delivery which I’ve been eagerly awaiting. But it sounds like I should be able to pick the package up tonight so it’s an acceptable setback.

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