Oregon 2005 (14)


18. Columbia Gorge

Tuesday Sept. 27, 2005. As it happened, it is a day when I do everything right.col4.jpg

The day before, I had driven past all the river attractions to get to Mount Hood. Awakening at Timberline Lodge, I am tempted to keep going west toward Portland. But I still want to see the river! So I decide to retrace my steps to Hood River. I know I’ve done the right thing when the turn-off I need proves to be less than a mile from the road leading from Timberline. I drive down to Hood River, decide against stopping for lunch, and therefore arrive at Cascade Falls at just quarter to twelve – with the Columbia Gorge scheduled to leave at noon.


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Oregon 2005 (3)

5. Cities

Thursday Sept. 15, 2005. At suppertime I go back to Lewis and Clark and pick up Ari, and she and I go for supper downtown. (We get lost a little, or rather, get carried by traffic and slow reflexes across the river, and have to find our way back without being carried into Washington state.) The last time I had seen her, she was in high school, and here she is a sophomore in college, poised, intelligent and happy. (I can’t remember being poised, intelligent and happy at that age – or, for that matter, since.)

We eat at a nice Indian place she knows and we walk to Powells, for why would anyone visit Portland and not see Powell’s? But I have no real taste for book shopping. For the moment I have had enough of books, and besides, I have been up since 4:30 a.m. eastern time. I do find a Robert Crais I had been waiting for, but I am too tired to do the extensive browsing that once would have been a matter of course.

We have to cut the evening short, not only because it was three hours later for me than the clocks said, but because I am loathe to be driving after dark. Ever since a night a few years ago in Denver when I found myself road-blinded by some construction arc lights and couldn’t see the lanes of the road, I have had a healthy distrust of my ability to drive safely at night, especially in unfamiliar areas. So I get Ari back to the dorm and say goodnight, expecting to see her again the next day, after her classes were over.

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