“Every Sunset gives us one day less to live, but every Sunrise gives us one day more to hope”
~ Ritu Ghatourey ~
“Freedom on Both Ends of the Leash”, our Book, is now available autographed through us for $24.99 [$19.99 + $5 S&H, Continental 48 States] by clicking the above photo links. [PayPal accepting all cards]. It is also available through Amazon in paperback or as a Kindle download. All other electronic formats are also available.
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None of this is going to sound right except for the ones spoiled as we are seeking the geographical vastness and a human solitude on demand. From Palouse Country to the bowels of Portland and on. We were doing just fine on Highway 14, Washington, till a wrong turn put us on Highway 84, Oregon. I so much missed the Desert roads throughout the moments following.
I always believe in some form of luck when in situations as such while a city of this certain stature approaches us. I went as far as thinking Portland will be empty. It is after all Labor Day weekend, acting this one time since past lessons going against the grain, meaning moving especially on a Holiday weekend. This was the planning however since getting together with our Editor on Sunday. It will be brief, meaning the stay in this urban environment as Monday morning we are headed towards the Olympic Peninsula. A paradise ahead of us.
Most of the traffic was going the other way but camping supposed to be on that bank of the river, the one across from us I kept staring at, not this one. We took the first exit showing a State Park about 50 miles or so from town. This was a large one for that matter and even so, my first question from past experiences was "is this all by reservations?". Most where, but some showed a sign up "available for one night". That was Thursday. I didn’t even want to think about Friday and Saturday.
The reserved spaces were empty but the date, dates, were not wrong. They marked their occupancy throughout the Holiday. We enjoyed the Park for a couple hours, read a bit as a nap came up and I woke up in the midst of a stage so foreign I wondered for the first few seconds as to where were we? The smells not so faint of others grilled dinners, a few dogs, maybe wanting such dinner, were non stop barking and children scolded by their parents were singing the blues in high pitched voices. I missed Valley of the Gods throughout those moments of such present reality.
I looked around me as already the mature beings were stumbling a bit with adult beverages in hand trying to avoid getting tangled up in their lighted streamers hanging from their RV awnings. The grills were smoking turning them into what I thought being steam locomotives going nowhere too close to each other with no room to maneuver. Little panels open on their sides showed televisions with the evening news on unless all of this was some reality show unknown to me. Spirit is by then dumbfounded as he points in multitude of directions with his ears up wondering, no doubt. I think he missed Snowy Range Pass.
And more, and more show up as now tents are erected everywhere. The parents are louder than the children as darkness taking place they cannot see their set up and the flashlight beams as on a stage having a sale are mostly pointed to the skies instead of on their tasks. Could this had been real? Did these people really leave the comfort of their home and their wide screen television to endure the delicate balance of this space trying to not step on each other? Could this had been only a rehearsal for an upcoming reality show called "stampede"? Am I being too harsh and not understanding that everyone has their own level of comfort? Am I being disrespectful? I am trying to not be and understand?
Portland welcomes us, or more so unwelcome us. I am on guard. I cannot see the hidden beauty of the city only maybe for a glimpse by the river with its floating homes and bridges of the different eras which I really like. I notice the homeless on every corner of every street. I watch them lifting the lid of the garbage cans and rummaging through them. Their homes are on their back some with trash bags thrown over their shoulder, some with backpacks and a couple lucky ones are riding a bicycle instead. It saddens me. It is the terminal of their own journey as I cannot see their next destination. Why Portland I ask someone.
It is a port and heroin is easily available from the ships that transport it from China, from the Orient. How can they afford it? There are many rich people in this City and I am also told that is the source of their wealth. Social Services is also very kind to them with checks in hand ready to be distributed. All this is puzzling me as the lid tightens up. There is a certain autonomy however. No glances are exchanged with anyone. I don’t feel any seeds for violence. Everyone is minding their own business. The faces are stern, no one is looking at each other, there are no smiles, no waving. That is the good part as I do the same and Spirit most likely only because he is a Pit keeps everyone away. No one knows how sweet he is, yet protective. This is all the other side of the coin for us. This makes me appreciate the life we live.
We turn the page. A new chapter has started since Dee, our Editor of our Book "Freedom on Both Ends of the Leash" has landed and we spend one night at the Hilton Gardens by the Airport . Imagine that. A short drive as we are now driving and we set up on the Olympic Peninsula. The tempo has not much changed as we are looking into the quality of the time spend together versus the quantity of the many destinations present. Neah Bay is one of them including the purchase of some smoked salmon through a Native I stumbled on years ago. He was still there! A hike to Cape Flattery… More the next time. We are busy chatting and solving the world’s problems!
Ara and Spirit