Posts from July, 2006
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The other day I realized it had been about a decade since I saw the Kennedy brothers at Arlington National Cemetery, located just across the Potomac from DC. Spent a sunny sunday afternoon wandering around the Cemetery, the Netherlands Carillon and Iwo Jima.
last day in portland, oregon. it’s a gorgeous place… i will miss it wildly. which got me thinking…
i’ve been trying to move to get out of DC pretty steadily since 1998. i tried very hard to move to Oregon early in my failed marriage (she would have none of it) when I worked for a company out of Eugene. closer to the end of my tenure there, i was a week away from relocating when it turned out that a position I was jonesing for — in Eugene — wasn’t actually available.
not that oregon has a monopoly on my desires to get out of DC. i almost pulled the trigger twice on Vermont, once while working for Bernie Sanders — Vermont’s Representative in the U.S. Congress — and once shortly after my divorce.
being on vacation outside of the political, type-“A” rat-race that is DC has reminded me how much i still want to get out of here before I start firebombing politicians.
Picking up from the last thread … some days are just to perfect for film (or digital media, I should say). The sky was absolutely blue, and nary a cloud in the sky.
While that sounds good on paper, I have a real problem with it photographically… because there is absolutely no white for the camera to “white balance” on. As a result, all the colors just look kinda odd. I’m sure that a real photographer has the skills to compensate, but I’m not there yet.
These pictures were taken from Coldwater Ridge, a visitor center off Mount St. Helens. The wildflowers just went on and on.
I don’t remember anything more than fleeting before i was a teenager — not world events, not personal experiences … nothing. Well, except for thinking that a volcano erupting in the Pacific Northwest was pretty dern cool.
Obviously, I was a little young to understand or appreciate the tragedy associated with a natural disaster (I had just turned 5 the monthe before the eruption) but I was about 2 classes away from being a Geology majory, so it must have done something for me.
Mount St. Helens is only about 2 hours from Portland, and half of that was on the mountain access road itself. The trip was devistatingly gorgeous, though it was one of those days (that I can never explain) where the photos just don’t do the day or the subject justice.
Spent the day hiking around “Shotgun Recreational Site” outside of Springfield, Oregon (don’t bother Googling “shotgun” and “Oregon” … nothing useful turns up. Fantastically large trees.
The picture here isn’t actually of the park (or “Recreational Site” as it were) but was of sunset on the drive back to Portland.
Ever since I was old enough to spell the word “car” I have wanted to drive the length of the Pacific Coast Highway. Stoked by visions of s-curves and towering cliffs (visualized from 30 years of car commercials, no doubt) I have wanted to rent a convertable and tear down the PCH at impractical speeds.
Turns out my vision of the PCH and the reality of what is now called U.S. Highway 101 didn’t quite match up. Don’t get me wrong, the views were spectacular but the drive itself wasn’t quite worthy of the words “vroom-vroom.” It’s frankly pretty hard to do much of anything when you are trapped behind a seeminly endless supply of 1982 Toyota pickups going 25 miles an hour.
Regardless, the coastline was stunning … as were the state parks that lined the coast almost uninterrupted, and I guess that was the main point. For now, however, I will have to get my driving excitement watching TV.
Watched Portland’s fireworks from the top of Mt. Tabor, a community park that sits several hundred feet above and about 60 blocks away from downtown. After the big fireworks, we can back home and the community had gathered to shoot some off behind a nearby elementary school …
Explored a huge area between Mt. Adams and Mt. St. Helens, called the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. There’s a several thousand acre lava bed (above) that’s stocked with pumice, wild flowers and bear grass. There’s also a series of ice caves (below) which has icicles year round.
Drove the length of the old historic Columbia River highway, and took in half a dozen (or more) of the waterfalls that line the river. Most of them were bigger than any that I had ever seen before, and all of them were VERY photogenic.