25 May 2007

Notes from beneath the Bridge of the Gods

From my journal a few weeks back on a trip up to the Columbia River Gorge.

It's 08:00 here in Cascade Locks, OR. There are clouds over the Columbia River. And here I sit with three really bad cups of coffee and two 3/4 oz blocks of Tillamook Cheddar cheese. There was no toast so here I sit with the cheese delicately gripped between my index finger and thumb, pinky in the air. Nothing like the refinement and epicurean panache of a farm girl! Give her a cheese and she'll make a smile. (lame).

My big city ways have rubbed off on me, though. I realized I may have become a bit of a coffee snob when I stood at the four air pumpers of coffee trying to discern which would be the best choice for the morning of solitary soul searching. I of course dismissed the decaf outright. That left three. I read the placard description of the first. A mild sweet blend, perfect for breakfast. Same for the second pot. And the third pot. It was then I realized while I pondered the air pots trying imagining my pleased pallet there is a minimum wage hotel employee around the corner making two more pots of coffee out of the pre-packaged hotel coffee. How gourmet!! I laughed to myself and pumped three of the smallish cups full of caffeine for the road.

From my vantage point I can observe the ravens flitting about on the limbs of a tree down by the river. One cocky fellow is strutting down the trailroad tracks like some raven hobo. Where are you going little Mr. Raven and why do you take the train? To see America, country girl! comes the reply.

And now a smoker joins me on my terrace. Him in his pajama bottoms with cancer stick aglow. Nothing like a fine breath of death on the morning breeze. The joys of the bourgeois hotel experience. A man .. in PAJAMAS! But I do not know him. I am somewhat offended in my senses. He might at least of had the dignity to slyly slip on a pair of Levis or maybe some of those baggy, rag-tag jeans they wear these days. No one would have known the sleepy truth.

The sleepy truth. It sounds like a hot southern setting. The truth lays low and quiet in the southern heat, too lazy to be roused until some do-gooder pokes around a little too much and rouses that sleepy truth. Boy is it grumpy because it's hot! Now woken and grumpy the sleepy truth rages! Like a fiery dragon's breath ... it burns down the town like a napalm drop in the Vietnamese foliage. Well, pajama boy better watch out if he's got that kind of sleepy truth in his pants. Better wear underwear ... maybe a good zinc or cortisone cream, too. I don't know. Good. Pajama boy left. Perhaps he sensed my indignant cheese nibbling nature.

Well, I should go in and be up with the day. I depart here from beneath the Bridge of the Gods a veritable God myself ... or so I say ...

Punchbowl Falls, Eagle Creek, Columbia River Gorge, Oregon April 2007