Monday July 27th
Today marks two weeks out for the gypsy tour. I’m at the Olympia VW dealership for some Roy diagnostics on intersection stalling. The oddness started when we got to Oregon lower elevations; something I have been trying to ignore it for several days. Losing sleep last night was a good “deal with it” indicator. Other than Roy’s hiccups, all is well. I cried last Wednesday evening when I found out Javier passed, with tears thinking to try and well up only a few other times, some nerves, some beauty.
“She said she usually cried at least once each day not because she was sad, but because the world was so beautiful and life was so short.” “Story People”, Brian Andreas.
I’ve had other Roy operational jitters — little weird things such as the windshield wipers “not working” — even though I had been using them earlier same day. Day later, I figured out its something with the ignition switch – tap it just a bit to the left and wipers (and defroster) power up. Eventually, I’ll get the ignition starter replaced. For now, this just adds to the difficulty in stealing Roy – even if I was there handing you the keys. And, though not a mechanical, I’ve got to get a mousetrap because in my little Roy house there is no room for a little mouse!
(Roy update VW shop: was / is change in elevation! How’s that for Cynthia diagnostics? 2-3 hoses that connect sensors need to be replaced, and that’s it! Buy a mousetrap and back to Rainer.)
I haven’t posted a blog since Wednesday because I’ve generally been without internet or cell, let my computer run down, and, have spent quite a bit of time behind the wheel chasing off Oregon heat and dry. My route Eugene to Portland was parallel east through the Willamette and Mt Hood National Forests, and Mt Hood Wilderness Area. In the company of Mt Washington El. 7794,Three Fingered Jack 7841, Mt Jefferson 10,495, Bracket Mt. 4985, Round Mt. 4669, AND Mt Hood 11,239 (the highest point in Oregon); the McKenzie, Santiam, Clackamas, and Salmon Rivers – I am peaceful, joyful, happy. Two decades ago when first learning the Buddha teaching “that the purpose of life was to be happy”, I railed against and resented. Now I know it to be truth, for all beings.
There was amazing Liz the Owl Magic Wednesday afternoon as I was heading generally northward though the Willamette Forest. With the sun coming up over Roy’s roof, Liz’s shadow from her wrought iron sculpture (about 2 feet wide) mounted above the windshield, flew back and forth across my dash, reminding me that am not making this trip alone. Liz is my co-pilot, my angel. In the past year I’ve woken up to two angels, one each shoulder, female, with me, all the time. I see these angels as spirits from years ago possibly trying to enter as children. I had always thought I would have at least one girl, with the name Elizabeth – Beth or Liz for short.
“There is a place, where angels sing, on rays of light, on rays of light. And love pours forth, and love pores forth.” Peter Kater and Snatum Kaur, “Song of the Universe” CD, song by same name.
I am done with summer heat. Growing up in Texas, summer the season for protection — air conditioned house to air conditioned car to swimming pool or lake. Being so fair, I spent a lot of time under umbrellas, wrapped in towels, slathered in sunscreen. Reno in the mid-80s only had a few days, maybe a week, of high 90s temps. Building 530 Chicken Court 25 years ago we did not need air conditioning by following super thermal building practices. I at least need a swap / evaporative cooler to keep living in Reno, or, need to move.
Thursday was Mt. Hood National Park — east and slightly south of Portland. I stayed in the sweetest forest service campground the night before – Creek Campground – a wonderland of mossy trees and ferny forest. How to describe the light? Filtered, subtle, subdued – does not seem enough. Hued in magic light, the mossy and ferny greens and browns were beyond vibrant.
Thursday was a long hike around Lake Timothy on the eastern side of Hood, through (again) mossy ferny forest with enough lake blue to remind me of Tahoe, and, amazing views of Mt. Hood. The picture doesn’t do it justice. Mt. Hood was quite spectacular and appeared much grander. An otherwise easy 13 miles got Cheryl Strayed “Wild” un-fun towards the end with my favorite boots no longer “fave”. What did she do with that first pair? After one accidently fell over a cliff, didn’t she threw the other?
P.S. After carrying leftover lunch around the lake (and not eating), I got back to Roy and “put an egg on it. My current solution to “most things”.
I made it to Portland Friday.only 535 miles from Reno via CA I-139N, or about 1200 miles per my meandering route. “Following the gypsy love” has certainly not been straightforward or with much of a plan.
“The world is not going to come to you. The sooner you realize this, the more time you’ll have to pack. Some of the best living, the most valuable living, happens on the side roads. Uncommon Life.” Curly Girl Design, “Time to Pack”.
I love Portland, having spent a week or so there last September. Given Portland’s vibrant and colorful urban life, amazing gardens and Hoyt Arboretum, it’s on my list of possible places to live. September 2014 it was a paradise “greenhouse” garden city (“Ah, the entire city is a greenhouse.”) July 2015 Portland was too hot and too sunny for me, with evidence of the longer term drought in brown lawns off water. I did my urban biz and got the sprouts outta there!