Last Friday my wife and I left the PDX zone and carved our way up the Columbia River Gorge. This is our humble travel blog.
Why is this called the “BBB Edition?” The clever reader will find three “B” words carefully hidden within this post that will illuminate. See if you can find them all.
We drove from Portland to Spokane taking a route that paralleled the mighty Columbia River. If you’ve never been this way you’ve missed out on some amazing and breathtaking views. It’s an incredible drive. The Columbia Gorge was carved a few years ago, maybe more, leaving geological formations that have to be seen to be believed.
Meanwhile, somewhere along the trip, there’s a nice stretch of highway that was level and straight. So I put on the cruise control. We were in no particular hurry so I set a leisurely pace. Everyone was passing us, even the RVs and the pickup trucks hauling horse trailers.
We then had a couple Cruise Control Events that boggled my mind more than the Gorge itself.
One is called the Go and Stop. In this scenario you see a car in your rear view mirror. Gradually they gain on you. Eventually they ride your bumper with about six inches clearance. Finally they reach a decision point and make their signature move.
They pass and cut me off. Again, with six inches of clearance.
And then, somehow, the unthinkable. They slow down.
I’m forced to turn off the cruise control and wonder why my Ford Pinto didn’t come equipped with rocket launchers.
Stephen Hawking himself would be unable to explain this behavior.
The second event involved a car merging on the highway in the middle of nowhere. Again my cruise control was set and I was minding my own business. I became aware that someone was merging. I became aware it was a sheriff’s patrol car.
We were two cars converging on the same spot. Closer and closer he moved towards me. I could feel his hot and sticky breath on my neck. With amazing grace he matched our speed. This must be what docking in outer space is like.
Closer. Closer. Our cars were about to kiss.
Finally, I screamed out in anger and frustration. I hit the brake and he slid smoothly in front. The moment was lost. I had to admit it was a bit anti-climactic.
Bonus: During this trip I came up with my latest invention. It’s a holographic projector for your car that creates a three dimensional image of a vehicle exactly two car lengths in front. This causes other drivers to stay the fuck out of your personal space. I anticipate this invention will make me several trillion dollars.
This post was written on an iPad. I hope you appreciate my sacrifice.
Sauvie Island by Canoe
A Year Ago
Have you ever wanted something? Which do you think is preferable? Achieving it or remaining an interminable infinite loop of denial?
One year ago we moved to the big city of Portland, Oregon. Soon after we stunned by the sheer number of outside things to do. Tucked away here and there amidst the urban sprawl were remarkable natural areas to explore. I no longer remember how but somehow we became fixated on the idea of getting a canoe.
Owning a canoe became a frequent topic of discussion during the next year. We imagined the places we would go. We envisioned it as easy and inexpensive way to enjoy our new home. Need something to do? Just throw the canoe on the car and hit one of the many interesting places: rivers, lakes, sloughs and more. Viola.
I’d been in a canoe one before, but that was at church camp like 30 summers ago. I didn’t recall any bad memories so it must have been easy and fun. Right?
Continue reading →
Last weekend my wife and I decided to go exploring from Portland to Hood River, Oregon. Our new hometown of Portland, of course, you probably know well from the documentary series Portlandia. We moved here to do our part to help keep Portland “weird.” I took that as a personal invitation.
The city of Hood River is located about 60 miles east of Portland, 30 miles north of Mount Hood, and up the mighty Columbia River, upriver of the Bonneville Dam. It’s well known for it’s apples and pears.
Most of the journey cuts through the geologic and massively impressive Columbia River Gorge. Multnomah Falls is a well known landmark visible from the highway along the way.
After visiting Hood River, we departed on a 35-mile scene drive north of town named the “Fruit Loop” that wound its way through “orchards, forests, farmlands, delicious fruits, wineries, fields of fragrant lavender, and adorable alpacas.”
Of course my travel slog photography includes practically none of that scenic stuff. Below please enjoy other things that happened to catch my eye instead.