Sept. 11-13: letting nature run its course in Oregon

IMG_1108I have never been to a streetcar-equipped city that I did not like. My late grandmother lived in Düsseldorf, which has a dense trolley network. San Francisco’s case shouldn’t require explanation. Even Buenos Aires had a–now largely defunct–system in place. And so does Portland, OR.

IMG_1114With this being said, Portland felt different from what I had hoped for. I guess I should have watched a bit of Portlandia to prepare myself for the immersion. Never before have I seen so many guys in skinny jeans and sandals with man buns and oversized horn glasses as on the city’s hipster-contaminated Mississippi Avenue neighborhood. Female residents were a tad more diverse, ranging from shaved-and-tattooed to Amélie Poulain types with skirts and bob cuts. I was semi-desperately looking for someone in khakis or sneakers, maybe even a regular sweater. No luck; Portland is home to the most fabric-softened urban population in the United States. And it keeps growing at rapid pace. A few decades from now, it will be a mega-city packed with millions of latte macchiato-sipping micro-entrepreneurs clad in organic hemp blouses who are too cool for school. I’m glad I was able to savor it before it got that far.

IMG_1116Campgrounds along the coast were all booked up this past weekend. One of the park rangers suggested I call Jerry. He and his partner recently bought the Ride Inn in Vernonia, OR and remodeled it from bottom up. They also own the Mason House a block away, which they are converting into a five-bedroom mansion. Jerry let Harry and me stay on his parking lot for free since we did not actually need a room, and we chatted about their projects and his previous “lives” in South Dakota, Alaska and Georgia.

IMG_1117On our way toward the Oregonian coast, I noticed a fever creeping up on me. I bought some locally made honey (and date candy) on Tillamook’s farmers’ market and then spent the rest of the day sleeping inside la bestia, which I had parked in the shade near Cape Lookout.

IMG_1123Unfortunately the fever persisted throughout the night and the following day, and so Harry and I did not get to do much aside from a quick run on the beach and some fresh seafood (and ibuprofen) for me.

IMG_1126Following a paper tissue-destructive night, I felt a bit more alive this morning, so we left Cape Lookout for Pacific City. I hadn’t checked my e-mails in several days, and Harry was eager to run off-leash.

Sept. 11-13Depending on how the day goes, we’ll continue toward Yachats and Florence, OR.


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