Saturday, September 24, 2005

To the Coast with P.

Since J. was expecting us on Thursday evening, I had to give P. a whirlwind tour of the northern section of the Oregon Coast. We left Portland on Wednesday evening and drove to Seaside, arriving just before 8pm. We checked in to one of the cottages at The Tides. It was crisp and clear out, and the scent of salt was strong on the breeze. After a week at the PDC down in LA, P. had an aversion to restaurant food, so we walked to a little grocery and bought bread and deli meat, made sandwiches, sat and talked until about 11pm. It is interesting, how people change over so many years, and yet they don't. He's a father now, he's been married and divorced, but he's still addicted to gaming, just shifting from Genesis to Ultima to World of Warcraft. "Come play," he says, "I'll even give you a level 60 character." Heh. Addict. Thursday morning we went for a walk along the beach. The tide was very low and the birds were feasting on dungeness crab. once again, the weather was perfect--blue sky and very little mist or wind. When we got back to the cottage we sipped coffee and then made sandwiches to take with us for lunch. He was impressed by how 'cheap' sliced roast beef was, and helped himself to multiple slices, something that is a no-no in Denmark, where it is apparently much more expensive.

I took him from Seaside to where the largest Sitka spruce in the Continental US is. It is quite huge, even if it is not nearly so large as the Sequioias and Redwoods I saw this summer, but impressive none the less. Afterwards, I took him to Cannon Beach and the Ecola State Park for a view of Indian Beach and and of Cannon Beach from Ecola Point. I was reminded again of the difference in the the acuity of senses between myself and others. There is so much I noticed that P. did not. I love the way the forest smells at Ecola and I asked him if he liked it. He had no idea what I was talking about. I took him to a spot that smelled especially strong of pine and cedar and humus and wildflowers and told him to close his eyes and breathe in, and he could not smell it. I had to point out the caterpillars he was going to step on, and the surfers in the water, and the sound of the trees creaking, and the way the trunks of some of the trees had gone silver. He marvelled that I noticed such things, and said he'd always wondered how I could paint pictures with words but now he understood.

Afterwards we drove the Pacific Coast Highway north through Astoria up to Aberdeen, WA and turned inland. The view of Mt Rainier as we entered the Olympia area was astonishing. P. was amazed by the size of it, and the fact that it had even more snow on it than Mt Hood did. I drove up through Seattle so Peter could seet he city, then turned back on 405 to Bellvue. P. misplaced the paper with J.'s address, so we mooched wifi off some slob with an unsecured network so P. could check his email, and armed with the street number, but without a mapquest map, we went in search of J.'s house. Bellevue's streets and numbering system actually makes sense, so I found my way pretty easily. It is funny, he called my cell when we were just a minute away.

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