Highlights of My Thousand Miles to Nowhere, Somewhere and Back…
— Stumbling on/into Klindt’s, the oldest bookstore in Oregon, in The Dalles and finding a set of Lawrence Durell’s Alexandria Quartet for $12 just as R.E.M. is playing “The Great Beyond.”
— Doing “drive-by shootings”– photographs from the car while moving. Hold up the camera, point, and click. Vistas, clouds, rain off in the distance, the sunlight on the top of an old silo, a way-too-huge flag on the twin towers of a cement factory that rises up out of nowhere.
— A crow that I can pretend is Edgar Allan Poe’s raven, perched on the top of sign on Route 30, outside Haines, Oregon, announcing that I’m at the 45th parallel, the midpoint between the North Pole and the equator
— The way the leaves moved in the slightest breeze on the quaking aspen outside my window at the Sandman Inn in LaGrande, Oregon.
— At the same Sandman, overhearing a shard of conversation between army guys-on-tour and a couple who live near Antelope, Oregon where (as the husband says) “that Rajneesh guy used to live.”
— Eas-as-pie wireless in the Sandman; picking up wireless from hotels blocks away in downtown Boise before the genius light bulb goes on in my head and I think, aha! close the drapes!
— The Idaho Black History Museum in the Julia Davis Park across from the Rose Garden where I talk with the director (her sister is in the Lion King on Broadway) while I buy my son a $5 Juneteenth T-shirt for his birthday.
— The “Homage to the Pedestrian” art installation in The Grove in downtown Boise. Every time a person walks by, bells, whistles, clapping and light drumming start. I could never figure out if it was canned/pre-recorded or if the actual act of an individual walking by generated a unique set of rhythms each and every time.
— Getting that hour back as I return into Pacific Daylight Time just north of Huntington, Oregon.
— The sign at Exit 383 at Weatherby, Oregon “Panning for Gold, Next Exit.” Panning for gold translates into a pack of RVs and campers and tents alongside the highway and a bunch of humans with picks and shovels digging into the soil that made up two very tiny hills of dirt that look like they were leftover from some outhouse construction project.
— Randi Rhodes and her big, wonderful, sassy, obnoxious politically savvy mouth when I’m finally on I-5, close Albany, Oregon, and can pick up KTTH, 990 AM, The Truth once again.
— Cleaning out the car, starting laundry, realizing I have days and days stretching out in front of me where basically I don’t have to drive much again.
The public domain print postcard photograph above is of the largest pile of potatoes in the world, warehouse view of J.R. Simplot Dehydrating Co., in Caldwell. Caldwell, Idaho and was taken between 1930 and 1945.