Monday, July 13, 2009

Oregon weekend

Mushroom tree on the Maple Trail

Ah, summer! Take it from a world traveler, Oregon summers are the best in the world. (Caveat: I'm not objective.)

Normally, at this time of year, I go to the Oregon Country Fair to party with the hippies in the sylvan setting of the woods along the Long Tom River. But this year, due to a lack of initiative on my part (imagine that!) I didn't act fast enough to reserve my spot on the security crew and therefore had to miss out on the event. So, instead, I took a few days vacation and enjoyed some other of Oregon's spectacular attributes.

Dragonfly, bane of mosquito larva
On Thursday, my friend and perennial candidate for Multnomah County Sheriff, Andre Danielson, hiked up in Forest Park along the Maple Trail. Mosquitoes were not too troublesome as long as we kept moving. The dragonflies were plentiful and well-fed. We got lucky and the intense summer heat subsided for our hike day.

All along the trail, thimble berries, elderberries, and wild strawberries were ripe and abundant. We hiked about 8 miles, discussing everything from the political situation in Haiti to the death of poor, tormented Michael Jackson. Good time.

Sunny day at the beach
On Friday, Maty worked a half-day, after which I picked her up and we went to Seaside for a couple days. The weather was cool, but sunny. The sea put its spell on me, like it always does. When I look out on the vast ocean, sense the sheer, enormous power of it, its ageless indifference, I'm awestruck.

Seaside Promenade
We stayed right down on the Promenade, which was fun. We walked on the beach and browsed the tourist-trap businesses. Had some Thai food that was passable, but not nearly spicy enough for two fire-eaters like us.

Lewis and Clark River
Next day, we took a drive up to Fort Clatsop, where the Lewis and Clark expedition spent the 1805-1806 winter huddled against the relentless rain of the Pacific Northwest. The US National Park Service has a museum there, and we went through that and on a short hike guided by a US Ranger.

Fort Clatsop replica
In Astoria, a high school was playing host to a Walk for the Cure event. People were raising money to fight cancer. The vibe there was very positive; everyone looked like they were having a good time

Walk for the Cure musicians
Came back to Portland on Sunday. Time to return to the working world for a while. But for anyone in need of some restorative unwinding time, I highly recommend a long weekend in Oregon. Beautiful terrain, good people: the gentle hand of God.



Mari Gold said...

I've found it hard to tear myself away from Portland. Almost anything a person sees/hears/eats at the OCF can be seen/heard/eaten any day in Portland.

Well, except the drum tower. *sigh*

We live in a wonderful place.

kate said...

shhhh! don't tell the world.