Wednesday, August 10, 2011

57: It's Not Just a Condiment

Don't hate me, people, but I've been spending the week in Oregon. I'm in Portland now but I was in Astoria for the past few days. Astoria is this wonderful little town on a hill overlooking the Columbia River where it meets the Pacific. The morning temperature was 57 degrees while I was there, fully 50 degrees less than the high in Austin lately. I slept in a tent on my hosts' back deck, facing the river, wrapped in heavy blankets, wool hat on my head and wool socks on my feet. Yes, this was bliss. It's a little warmer in Portland, but not much: 62, not likely to go beyond 71, and quite possibly some rain will fall. I wish you all a trip to cooler climes soon. Until you get that chance, here are some pics of my trip to distract you:

My tent, back deck, Astoria, Oregon. 

A room with a view doesn't begin to capture it. 

While I love traveling to new and strange places, I also love returning to certain places over and over. Astoria is one of those places, for all sorts of reasons. One of the biggest reasons? The Blue Scorcher Bakery, which serves cardamom rolls so incredible that I get weepy thinking about them. Now I have to wait another whole year before I can have another BSCR. Damn. 

Poached eggs, tempeh "bacon," fresh toast, savory spread and fresh fruit. I spend hours and hours at the Blue Scorcher every day I'm in Astoria-- it's a hub.

My friend Shannon lives in Astoria. We met because I spotted her knitting at a Farmers Market booth in 2006. On my annual Astoria trips we sit at the corner table at the Scorcher and catch up and it is always, always, always the best time. Shannon made this lace shawl.

Can you spot the errant googly eye in this drawer of loose buttons at the Deja Vu Thrift Store?

Ever wonder where menorahs come from? Well, duh, they come from the Menorah Tree.
Spotted this enormous golf club outside of a church.  So, yeah, it's God's golf club. Is God swinging for Rick Perry? Please God, NO!!!

Homemade veggie burger: Blue Scorcher Bakery.

Please notice a) the circumference of this massive log, on display for tourists and b) the conveniently placed ashtray right beside it.

The flowers and trees up in Oregon are just incredible. Probably because, you know, it actually rains up here.

Looking downhill at the Columbia River. 

My meditation spot in my hosts' garden.

We stopped at a cherry stand on the drive back to Portland. See these baskets of cherries-- $25 at Whole Foods, right? Roadside they are, like, $5. 

more pretty flowers.

I LOVE PORTLAND. Currently there's a little guerilla art project going on where people are going around and fastening little plastic horses to the real, life-size iron horse rings that punctuate the curbs here. HILARIOUS.

The house I will live in when I move to Portland.

No words.

Flier from a recent SlutWalk or SlutMarch or whatever it was. A protest for a good cause with a catchy name. Please note the marginalia left by passers-by.

Thistle do just fine!

Heart made of wine bottles. 

Rose of Sharon abounds here. 

People just love repurposing stuff, crap and junk here, putting it together artfully for little yard installations. This is in the Sunnyside neighborhood.


This picture does absolutely nothing to capture the size and majesty of the tree in it.

I think the note on the windshield is from a stranger  beseeching the owner of this car to sell it. I also think the vase & flowers are part of the plea/ploy. Really you see stuff like this all over Portland. It sets my Whimsy-o-Meter all a'flurry.

Another little horse.

Lavender bush at my hosts' house in Portland. Not only is lavender my favorite scent, but this bush holds a lot of meaning for me. I've been visiting it since 2006-- I have cried into it, meditated facing it, inhaled deeply from it, brought clippings from it back to Austin, and always look forward to seeing it again. 


Anonymous said...

yay for being in oregon! thanks for the story with pictures. i took my time, savoring every word and image, distracted from the heat for a full five minutes. :)

Karen said...

There's always a googly eye in the button box... maybe we found a match to the one in my button box!

Alisa said...

Hey Spike! I wish I had known you were going to Portland becuase Suzanne and I were just there! We were there Aug 6-13th and I freakin' loved it!! It was just like Austin, only cooler. And I also saw one of those toy horses tied up and thought it was hilarious (and took a picture). didn't know it was an ongoing art thing-that's cool. We hiked in the Columbia River Gorge and near Mt Hood as well. Can't wait to go back! See ya!