Walkabout: Days 1-3

October 22, 2016 ~ Saturday

5:30p ~ Morning Pages ~ Hillsboro, OR

Yes, I know it is a little late for morning pages, but I stayed overnight with Brenna last night, and Sally was up early this morning, and I kept company with her.

I am officially on Walkabout, and I decided to keep a new journal of morning pages so that my journey is recorded in one place. I will chronicle my days and nights here.

I departed Spokane on Thursday afternoon, with my first stop in Walla Walla to see Pop before I hit the road. He made shrimp bisque and paella for dinner! Then we watched Whiskey Foxtrot Tango, a movie about a journalist who ended up in Afghanistan. It was pretty funny, and we had a nice evening. He is worried about me, but supportive nonetheless.

Day 2 I drove to Hillsboro, just outside of Portland to visit Brenna. She moved there in August, and I wanted to wish her well. She made dinner for us – Surf & Turf – with steelhead, steaks, asparagus, quinoa and brussels sprouts. I picked up a bottle of Pinot Noir for us to share.

I know one of the points of this trip is a departure from alcohol, but it seemed right, since she had really splurged on dinner, offered me a place to stay, and I had contributed nothing. She is rooming with family friends, Sally and her son, Matthew, who were very kind. It was nice to see her, and the couch was very comfortable.

En route to Portland, I stopped at Beacon Rock, very near the Bridge of the Gods. Tom Brown had texted me that is was a beautiful, quick hike along the Columbia River Gorge, if I had the chance to take it, and if it was not too windy/rainy. It rained most of the way, but cleared up about thirty minutes from the hike, so I decided to give it a go, take in the sight and stretch our legs.

It was just more than a half mile up a walkway of switch backs to the top of the 848′ basalt rock that was once a small volcano. I felt a bit weak-legged about halfway up, due to the height and narrow path, and I was happy that the guard rails lined the entire route. The views of the Gorge were indeed beautiful, and I got a couple of cute shots of Justice.

As we made our decent, I made notice of the rock face, and I ran my hands along it. It was deeply carved, like the wise, pronounced wrinkles in the face of a great-grandfather, and I thought of the sacred observer. What stories could this wise, old rock share with us? How has the river changed over all of these years? How have we people changed?

Day 3 took me west to the Oregon Coast. I had several ideas recommended by friends, and I just wanted to allow the day to unfold. I started at Cannon Beach, arriving about 11:30a. I was told to check out Haystack Rock, which was majestic against the shoreline.

I took my shoes off and walked into the water, adoring the feel of the sand beneath my feet. A wave caught Justice in the water too, which made me laugh. She barked at the dogs chasing tennis balls, and I thought how wonderful that I could share this with her. It also dawned on me that she would get to accompany me to Myrtle Beach this year! I am so tickled at that realization!

I had lunch at Mo’s Seafood, as I was told by three friends that I would enjoy the best clam chowder evah. lol I also ordered the oyster shooter, as hey, I am on the Oregon Coast and these were fresh from the Yoquina Bay. I wondered which chowder would be served, the red or the white, and I was delighted with a New England chowder that was steaming with clams, chewy but far from rubbery. I squeezed the lemon into my shooter and used the plastic wrapper from a pack of saltines to reserve it to flavor a bottle of water later. I scooped the shredded cabbage garnish into the shot glass with what remained of the cocktail sauce and viola! Hearty and oh so yummy lunch for ten dollars.

I tried to find a hike nearby that Mary loves, but it turned out to be in a fee park, and I didn’t want to pay the five bucks to get in, seeing that I had already bought lunch. The idea is to minimize cost (I figure $10/day is reasonable) and take advantage of the free gems to be found. There was a small park nearby, so Justice and I took a short stroll. There was beach access, and I sat on a large piece of driftwood to contemplate my next move. It was already nearly 1:30p, and I had wanted to reach Depoe Bay and Beverly Beach, which were about two hours away.

This is when I found out that Victoria’s mother, Hazel, had passed away. 😦 I had offered to collect something from the coast for her and overnight it, as she had so badly wanted to take a dying trip here before her time was up.

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