Got a rental car and drove down to see B in Eugene. We picked big Pacific blackberries & went to the Oregon fair, where I tried to win her prizes by throwing baseballs at milk jugs but failed at this. Also failed on a rock climbing challenge in which I could have won back my $5 plus $5 more, all I had to do was follow the blue route, but it turned out to be surprisingly difficult and I fell off near the top when I tried to match hands and slipped. So was not feeling like much of a man after this. But it was all silly & rigged anyway.
Next day we drove out into the Oregon woods & went to a hot springs. There was a huge difference between industrial Eugene air and big pine tree mossy forest air, the first time I've actually noticed the difference, thinking all this time that people who complained about noxious city air were just exaggerating. Sometimes all you could smell was blackberries--what a great smell. The hot springs consisted of 5 different pools going down the hillside, each one a little cooler than the previous, so that when you started sweating you just moved on to the next one. When we finally got out I dumped a bucket of cold clear Oregon creek water over my head & suddenly achieved clarity through this act. Everyone, I decided, needs a bucket of freezing Oregon water dumped on them once in a while.
The third day in Oregon we spent driving up the coastline to Seattle. We stopped at a white beach hemmed in on either side by black volcanic cliffs with sea-carved caves, and a lighthouse overlooking it all. It was a place straight out of a painting. I ran out into the cold Pacific surf--too cold for swimming, B was right about this--and turned around before it got above waist-high. Later we also stopped & had clam chowder at Mo's restaurant, with the sun setting behind us on the docks.Posted by Alan at August 14, 2003 01:29 AM