Tuesday, March 25, 2008


The Enemy and I have made our peace. I have to confess after the accident, riding a bike was a bit intimidating. Once in the saddle it was still intimidating to lean into the turns, ride through sand piles, hop up on curbs, etc. but...after a very nice ride on Sunday and again yesterday we're doing just fine.

In other good news...the street sweepers were out this morning so even as a truce is reached...its getting time to take out the Panasonic.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Pondering through the haze

I can imagine one fate worse than flying across country while having the flu, and that would be sitting next to someone who has the flu. And that is why I can't understand why, when there are many empty seats all round the Southwest waiting area, everyone is sitting next to me - one of them is even attempting to converse! I mean, what is it about a woman visibly shivering while wearing a primalot jacket, who'se face is flushed bright red and who'se left eye is twitching uncontrollably that says "Hey, come sit next to me! Lets chat!"

But wait - Maybe they'll move away as I completely strip for the upcoming fever stage.

Scouting Waterfalls and Mountains

Yesterday after the Enterprise rental guy sold me on the extra insurance, me and the rental car headed East along the Columbia River Gorge. Taking exit 17 off I-84 onto the Historic Columbia Gorge Highway we wound along the Snake River and then between 600-800 ft Basalt clifts overflowing with waterfalls. Unfortunately, I've got a cold/flue so I only saw the few that were within a mile of the road. Latourell Falls was amazing, at 'only' 249 feet you can walk right to the base and feel the tremendous power of falling water.

Winding up the Gorge I saw a few others including, Multnomah Falls. For a great website on Waterfalls of the Pacific Northwest, check out http://www.waterfallsnorthwest.com/index.php. A great site which not only gives waterfall information but also updates on related issues, like access and endangerment.

Another great moment in the Gorge was seeing a field of violets. From the very big, to the very sublime, nature is beautiful.

Also beautiful - the town of Hood River. Not so nice, The Dalles - where I had a reservation and based upon the recommendation in the Guide Book, had planned to take the downtown walking tour. Note - stay in Hood River. Driving to The Dalles is interesting in that you get to see the hillsides change from rain forest to inland desert, but once you get the idea - turn around.

Since I couldn't hike around much, and the sun was out I did decide to see if I could see Mt. Hood. Following the 'advise' in the travel book I ended up out in the middle of no where on a road that turned to snow. Luckily, Mt Hood was worth the trip, that and seeing all the orchards and vineyards.

If I were to visit I'd stay in Hood River, go in the early September, be sure and be in decent shape so I could hike up into the gorges and see the more remote waterfalls. I'm even considering a rafting trip up the river.

(I'll post the photos later for the homesick Northwesterners - you were right! It is beautiful!)