I'm currently reading (and enjoying) Cascadia: The Elusive Utopia. I think this little blurb from Amazon describes the book quite well:
Envied by people around the world, Cascadia - which includes British Columbia, Washington and Oregon - is remarkable for its mountains, evergreens, eagles, beaches, and liveable cities. Cascadia is also home to the least institutionally religious people in the continent. Despite their unusual resistance to old ways of doing religion, this book argues that most of the 14 million residents of this rugged land are often deeply spiritual, gaining their sense of the sacred through the land. The contributors, who include leading historians, economists, poets and more from both sides of the border, explain how the Pacific Northwest is nurturing a unique 'spirituality of place', which could become a model for the planet.
I do like the idea of 'spirituality of place'. And last weekend, Hubby and I "got some churchin'" as we checked out Oxbow Regional Park in the Portland area. I think it would be fairly crowded in the summer months, but (since it was mid-February) we pretty much had the place to ourselves.
One of the trails takes you by the Sandy River...
Another trail takes you into a forest...
The book quotes John Mikes as saying: "We don't have the galleries and cathedrals of Europe here. We have wilderness..."
Actually I think these trees are rather cathedralesque:
(Hmm... they also look a bit Dr. Seuss-ish, but that's veering off topic...)