Thursday, April 20, 2006

Hard Headed Woman Finds Pacific Wonderland

I hit my head in the shower the day before Easter. And no, I was not liquored up on wine. I was perfectly sober, just dense enough to assume that the bath mat placed over the side of the tub was for Gramma.

I was fine at first, then started to feel nauseated, so I got a ride to the emergency room. A CT scan, three hours and many hundreds of dollars later, I was cheerfully informed that I had a minor concussion and sent about my merry way. What a thing to have happen in the middle of my little dream trip. Damn. C'est la life.

After a day in bed watching Lord of the Rings over and over again in between naps and another dreamily driving to Eureka after an interview, I arose and tried to pull it together Tuesday to make the trip north. I drank my coffee, took my vitamins, stretched and so forth but I could not clear my head. It felt like someone had poured several pounds of sand in it.

Just a few minutes out of town, I found Clam Beach. I shushed the voices in my head urging me to press on, get going, get to Portland before nightfall and stopped the car. I grabbed my Coleman chair, walked to the beach, planted it, and planted my ass, then watched the Pacific lap the land until I felt better. Now I was ready to go, ready to see more. Initially I passed the Trees of Mystery, but my inner brat threw a fit and I turned around. How, she insisted, can you resist a massive statue set of Paul Bunyan and the Blue Ox, especially when such time was taken to make sure the latter is hung in the correct anatomic proportions? Soooo glad I did. For nature fans and those who love roadside cheese, this place is the purest union of both. Nothing makes you feel the sweet flush of insignificance like a cluster of gigantimous redwoods that have grown together to create a 'Cathedral Tree', and nothing drives that feeling home than a soppy, lofty poem and piped in hymns from the fifties.
I took the 101 to 199 through the place where I crossed over the border into Oregon. In Oregon, by the way, you are not permitted to pump your own gas. A guy comes out, takes your card and does it for you, no charge. How sweet is that? Just don't make the mistake of forgetting, 'cause the same guy will jump your shit, as though you'd gone behind the bar and grabbed your own tequila. Anyhoo, the 199 is a stellar drive. The last time I saw a river this color I was on a log-shaped boat-on-a-track headed for the 'Spelunker's Cave' at Six Flags.

I'm in Portland now, where much to the chagrin of my Texas people, is cool and partly cloudy. I've got my game back now, post head trauma, and can't wait to check out Powell's Books and all the streets after which Matt Groenig named the Simpsons crew.



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