Sunday, May 30, 2010

To Portland on Sauvie Island

Shannon and I drove up in five days, car packed to the brim. We had only one blowout on Route 66, ironically close to the last place I had a blowout when I was moving across the country. It was Shannon's birthday too, so while the car was being rocked with semi-trucks passing us mere feet away on the highway and grit was blowing in our faces, I jacked up the car and sang happy birthday to her while she laughed. We stayed the night in Kingman, Arizona, the one place I had said I didn't want to stop. Funny things happen when you put aversions on. We ended up replacing all four tires due to wear and that our route would take us right through the Mojave Desert. We decided to cut across to Highway 1 and drive up the coast. On Highway 58 we stopped to pee in oil country and saw the pollution that is in my last post. Strange that this was one of the most beautiful hilly roads we had seen, fantastical and reminiscent of parts of the British Isles. Single trees and small cow herds stood on what seemed impossibly steep hills around the incredibly winding road. We stayed a rainy night near Hearst Castle in a little touristy town that seemed to scream for a Hitchcock twist. We spent a day in Oakland with some friends and had a great time seeing the neighborhoods and visiting. The last night on the road we were rained out. I woke up in a puddle and so we packed up and drove out of the campsite at a record 5:27am.

It seemed that we arrived in Portland in somewhat of a state of shock, grumpy from the road, broke and not ready for the bustle of the city. We took turns comforting each other and spazzing, probably for the first week, but our stay on Sauvie Island has been good. Our hosts are graciously sharing a smorgasbord of food and it has been wonderful reconnecting with friends. Shannon and I have planted, mowed, mulched, cooked, baked and helped out with the chickens and turkeys here, which has been a nice transition into the city. We watch the ships roll down the Colombia River and the ospreys catch fish. Next week we will be moving into a beautiful apartment above my friend's Waldorf school and I have already started work, so things are settling in only a week's time. The only thing that still remains strange to me is all this driving on highways, but once we move into the city proper I'll be back on my feet and out of the vehicle. Such a small city Portland is in the grand scheme of things, but it still seems overwhelming. The return to the country is inevitable, but I still look forward to this time here. And next week I get to fly to Brooklyn and see my best friend. It'll be my first time in New York or anywhere on the east coast. It seems laughable imagining me walking through the Big City with amazement and apprehension, not at me being there, but that it exists at all. From mountain trailer to NYC and from the desert to the Pacific Rainforest. I look forward to the next bend in the road!

Pictured on top is Mount St. Helens, Mount Hood in the middle and the old pump house with a passing ship on the Colombia.

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