Oregon 2005 (16)

21. Energy work

Wednesday Sept. 28, 2005. We’ve been friends for half a century, my brother and I, and with time and change our friendship has only deepened. Over the years, we have continued to introduce each other to whatever new we find that is of value, and it becomes a part of us both, and we therefore relate in yet another new way, on another new level. I have found it particularly satisfying that he – and our sister Margaret – listened with interest to my early explorer’s tales, at a time when no one else would. And in turn, he made and communicated his own explorations and discoveries, including two friends with highly developed psychic abilities.

One of those friends, Don, lives in San Francisco, and so these days, when Paul meets me at the San Francisco airport, it is common for us to proceed to Don’s flat so that the three of us can spend some time hanging out together.

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Oregon 2005 (15)


20. Jefferson and slavery

Wednesday Sept. 28, 2005. Chalk it up to Powell’s in the Portland Airport, which was a great breath of fresh air: When have you ever seen an airport bookstore selling things much different than the usual run of interchangeable thrillers and topical best-sellers? When have you ever seen one selling used books?

I need to buy another book like the government needs to hire (or elect) another incompetent but we both keep doing it. I stopped in just to look around, and walked out with Negro President: Jefferson and the Slave Power by Garry Wills, and unfortunately that purchase will mark a major milestone in my intellectual life. I say “unfortunately” because I don’t like the things it suddenly brought into clear relief. Adding a few simple facts to things I had known and half-known and should have known, it made me realize things I should have realized years ago. By the time I got off the airplane in San Francisco, I was a somewhat different person, intellectually, than I had been before I opened the book.

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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 (13)


16. A Day of Miscalculations

Monday Sept. 26, 2005.

On the final Monday of the trip, I ride with Keli as she drives Karis to catch her bus, then Dave cooks me one final toad-in-the-hole and I am on my way. I am trying to catch the train, you see: That’s what I have in mind, and I am blind to anything else. So I say goodbye to my friends, drive over to I-5 and take it all the way north, past Eugene and Salem to the Portland bypass. I hurry along I-84 eastbound, seeing nothing, skipping several river-oriented attractions, hoping to get to Hood River in time to catch the four-hour excursion train that will go to Mount Hood and back. I don’t have a schedule, but I figure – hope – that if I am there by noon, the train won’t have left. It hasn’t. It won’t. The train runs year-round, just as the brochure had said – but not on Mondays or Tuesdays. This was Monday, and I am slated to take the airplane out of Portland Wednesday morning.

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Oregon 2005 (12)


15. The High Desert Museum – and the surface of the moon


 Sunday Sept. 25, 2005. Dave drives all day, Lost Valley to Crater Lake (the hard way) to Fort Klamath toBend, and I figure he has to be pretty sick of driving by the time we got there. But he remains good-natured about it, says he’s used to it. We have a nice supper, and walk around town a bit, and then to bed – the kids, I gather, delighted because their suite had a kids’ bedroom with bunk beds. Next morning, Dave and the kids make the most of the hotel’s swimming pool while Keli drives the two of us to the nearby High Desert Museum. 

I have enjoyed many museums, but I can’t think of any that I enjoyed more than this one, yet I may have a hard time explaining why.

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Oregon 2005 (11)

klamath.jpg14. Fort Klamath

Saturday Sept. 24, 2005. If we could have found the road we were looking for, we wouldn’t be stopping at this little park in the middle of nowhere. You know how it is. You’re traveling and you have your mind set in one direction, and anything you pass looks less interesting than the thing you think you’re chasing.

 We are on our way to Bend from Crater Lake, and although Bend is to the northeast, we will have to travel southwest down highway 62 in order to pick up 97 for the long trek back north. The map seems to show a small road that will cut off some of the long dogleg, but even though we look carefully, the only road that cuts away seems to be headed in the wrong direction. Okay, we figure that we must have passed it somehow. Next step: Find somebody and ask. The little sign by the small white building says Fort Klamath.

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Oregon 2005 (10)

13. Fast Forward

Saturday Sept. 24, 2005. Saturday morning Dave and Keli and Karis and Ben and I pile into their van and head for Crater Lake. Traveling with Ben is far easier than it used to be, apparently, but partly this is because they are working from long experience. One of them tells me, the secret is to always have one more thing in reserve, and they have a whole bag of tricks ready.

Ben’s game boy keeps him happy for hours at a time. (Because of the noises the game boy makes, they humorously refer to it as the GDGB.) And there is the miniature TV (it plugs into the car’s cigarette lighter) that plays DVDs that both Ben and Karis like to watch. Those are the two main tricks that stick in my mind. I know there are others. Karis, bless her, amuses herself.

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