Friday, July 29, 2011

There And Back Again a story of two shuffling people

Once we were able to get through Washington we were nearing our new home state. The Oregon border was marked by a river. We crossed the epic bridge and into our new habitat.  The Eastern part of Oregon looks nothing like you would imagine. It is grassy with rolling hills. It is dry with trains, power lines, windmills, river, barges, power generating dams, massive roads and craggily rock surfaces. Our entrance was a bit intimidating. There was an Army related area to our right with thousands of grass roof covered bunker type things. It looked like a scene out of District 9. I kept expecting a Prawn to pop out of one. I have to admit it freaked us out a little bit to think what might be stored in each.

Soon on the right we were slapped with another strange site. Cultivated tree farms lined the highway in perfect rows. The trees were trimmed so that their slender trunks made uniform rows with strict shade patterns. It was almost as if they were part of the army base standing in attention ready to give their lives for the cause. Dusty trucks drove in-between the unnatural forest and different generations of trees made up the angular clumps. I was a bit wary of all this for it was a stark contrast to the lush green rugged landscape I had come so far to see.

We started to move along the river feeling impressed as we had in several other states by the mobility and transport of massive amount of resources across huge expanses of land. It really hit me at that point the cost of leaving a computer running, a T.V. on while not watching it or just waking out of the room with water running or a light carelessly on. How much that simple little waste cost and how much energy it took to get that energy to me. I felt again this cross country move had changed me completely once by helping me understand the diversity of this country and the need of diversity of opinion and a second time by showing me what it takes to power my comfortable lifestyle. I commented to Roger that we all need to take a step back and rethink our values. Who do we really value? What do we really value? Do we value our countries infrastructure being sound or do we value tax cuts? Do we value someone on Wall Street or do we value the road man bringing us what we need to sit comfortably in our living rooms with a cold drink and a warm meal as we watch television and complain about the state of things?

This eastern landscape made me feel like a spec of dust but I was soon to be made to feel the size of a microbe. In order to enter the Portland area you have to get around a huge expanse of mountains. We were not sure if this would mean a massive tunnel or if we would go up and over. We soon learned it meant following a narrow highway along the river through the mountain pass. I have always found the Hudson Vally to be breath taking but this river area was that times a billion. As if someone had turned the page in a picture book we entered sheer lush green cliffs. The river flourished with pelicans and other aquatic birds. Incredible cascading waterfalls rocketed down the sides of the cliffs and monstrous rocks loomed above us. The conversation simplified to "WOW! Lookout there" and "Oh my gosh look over here!" Traffic slowed. A dramatic tanker truck accident blocked the opposite direction of the road. It looked as if the driver made it out ok and that no one was hurt I was grateful to see. People did not seem angry in the least and this left a lasting impression on me. People were having a highway block party pulling out their lawn chairs and some even had grins on their face. Curiosity was there more then frustration. This would normally be a occurrence that would have taken priority in our thoughts but there were so many other things to see that soon after the traffic picked up our brains were bombarded by wondrous sites again. Soon were were in site of Mount Hood. This mountain is just unreal when first spotted in the haze. I think I will need to climb part of it to really grasp it's reality. I was mixed with the feeling it was a guardian and a danger looming above the landscape. It phased in and out of view as we moved closer and closer to Portland.

The city of Portland was a surprise for there is not suburban sprawl or chains to line the entrance of the city. It is a wall of trees and bam! a city. The bridge network is a engineering wonder. The city is so easy to get in and out of or even around as we passed it to head to our country town of Forest Grove. We have much exploring to do in the city and I will write about it more when I have spent more time there. We moved on to Beaverton, Hillsboro and then on to Forest Grove. Each little area was connected by a traffic circle with no harsh intersections. The fields were filled with every kind of fruit plant and tree you could think of. There were hops fields as well. Water rocketed over the  plants keeping them vibrant and green. We dropped the tow off at the U-Haul places making a little old man with pure white hair and highly cushioned sneekers crabby that we were several days early. He walked back and forth with Roger and I following him like lost sheep with him grumbling under his breath that he had work to do. We finally found a spot and I started to follow Roger in the MINI. I freaked out a minute during my trial by fire, completely forgetting what peddle did what in the stick shift car I had not driven in some time. We made it though through the easy to drive on country roads.

I need to get some stuff done and will write more later. We are now in New York believe it or not. We had to fly back here for a wedding this weekend. Talk about traveling. We have traveled about 5000 miles over the past two weeks. Hope to see you all back here again in a few days!

1 comment:

  1. You are a great writer! I was visualizing everything as you went along :) Thanks for sharing!