Back a hundred years ago or less when rain cascaded down this hillside through the fir trees and over glacier rocks, high above the brown-water river, this magnificent beast was without peer, the king of our forests. He walked alone.

This life-size bronze elk, The Exalted Ruler, steps lightly over the stones and through an artificial waterfall, caught in lamplight and corralled by a hospital parking lot, was made by Rip Caswell of Troutdale, brought to parkers and visitor to the hospital by the Oregon Elks, who have a mission of Charity, Justice, Brotherly Love and Fidelity, amongst other things. It’s quite the brother of the downtown elk, also tying up traffic on Main Street.

Caswell’s work, wildlife and figuratives in wood and metal, seems targeted at the competitive hotel and convention center lobby market. Shiny and clean. He has a gallery in Troutdale. Nice for the Elks to commission from a local artist.

The Oregon Elks have made it their business to provide vision screenings for Oregon children and to prevent eye injuries. They provide vision screening kits and training for staff in both schools and Head Start programs that includes instruction in the latest, scientifically tested screening methods. Elks volunteers across the state also volunteering their time to assist with screenings.

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