After the planning, the waiting, the prepping, and the packing, driving out to the Oregon coast from Portland is a dreamy transition. Then, Pacific City's wide empty beaches are all ours.
I thought the biggest drama of a trip would be the fact that I haven't taken an overnight trip in 19 months. But that part was easy. The drama came from all directions.
On the road to eastside Oregon, re-learning our social skills.
I'm at a restaurant a thousand miles from home, seated closely around a table with ten beloved family-in-law members. We are eating, drinking, chatting, unmasked, and I'm thinking, how the hell did I get here? Alarm bells clang in my head.
Eastsider? Westsider? These terms are new to me, but it makes sense. The Oregon Cascades Mountains create a great divide running along the length of the state with two different climates, economies, lifestyles, and politics - all the things that make a life.
How French cooking and famous art take on the same significance for me during my three weeks traveling in France.
The Coast Starlight train trip from Oakland to Santa Barbara is a beautiful nine hours long. I had frequently traveled up and down the U.S. west coast, but the train was just never as cheap or quick or convenient as flying or driving. But when all you have is time...
Hiking the Columbia Gorge is always a thrill, and finding a big rock to climb lets me to take the long view.
The Columbia River spills into the Pacific in Astoria, a confluence of legendary currents, tides, waves and winds, plus frequent fog and rain. I mean, who wouldn't want to visit the place known as The Graveyard of the Pacific?
Islands are wonderfully limiting. You're set apart, the surrounding water cutting you off from much of the world, leaving you access only to what's immediately available.