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In which we laugh and laugh and laugh. And love. And drink.

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Location: Portland, Oregon

Otium cum Dignitatae

Monday, April 26, 2010

A Journey of Self-Discovery and Shit

The center of Oregon is this weird wonderland. In the very center of it, there's this multi-hued, throbbing heart of pure geological and paleontological weirdness. And it's fun to wander north from it, watching it slowly, slowly fading back into just plain old land forms.

But it is also home to towns like Friend, and also the town of Post, which is said to be the exact geographic center of Oregon. I've never been to either. So what are we doing talking about this?

Well, it's Spring again, or at least pretty close. So that means it's time for the lady of the house and I to head out east. This is, as we have explored before, a beautiful time to be in the desert.

As we've also noted before, actually very little of Oregon looks like the Willamette Valley. Hell, almost none of it does. But you get so used to depictions of it being more or less culled from around here: when you see a montage about "Oregon," what you get is shots of Mount Hood, the view east from the rose garden in Washington Park, Bonneville Dam, Haystack Rock...Probably Crater Lake, but anyway...

But in the center of it all, where not really all that many people go (except for Facebook, which has already started building its new center in Prineville), there it all comes together in this serious riot of colors, with a reminder of the giants in the earth that once were here.

There's that thing that sometimes happens in the best of all pursuits: someone actually hits the perfect note, someone actually cooks the perfect meal, you have the exact amount of the right chemicals going on where you see exactly, once and for all, where you stand in the universe and what it all means.
And the funny part is what happens afterwards, as you back away from it, as you inevitably will have to. Like I say, heading north out of the Painted Hills, you can see remnants of the geological mystery that made it all possible, fading fading back away slowly.

By the time you get to Condon, it just looks like the high plains again.

So anyways, we're either gonna go over Hwy. 26, over the top of Hood (my least favorite way of getting to Central OR, by the by), or over to The Dalles, down through Dufur, Maupin, Tygh Valley, etc.

Spend the night at The Riverhouse in Bend, maybe go over to Tumalo Reservoir, maybe go to drink Mirror Pond within walking distance of the actual Mirror Pond! Oh, magical place, yo.


Thence over to Prineville, over the Ochocos to Mitchell, where I suspect we'll get lunch and visit with Henry the Bear. After that, the Painted Hills.

Then we go up to the John Day Fossil Beds, and possibly over to the Clarno Unit, where basically Oregon's version of Arches National Monument is.


And spend the night at the Hotel Condon. Probably eating Painted Hills beef, just like you would in any decent restaurant in Portland, just fresher is all.

Maybe go to the only other location of Powell's Books there is in Oregon outside of the Portland metropolitan area. (If it's still there. Michael Powell was apparently wandering around Central Oregon ten or more years ago and decided that Condon was just charming enough that it needed a good bookstore. Go figure.)

So, four hundred-sixty miles, does Google Maps say. That's according to its route, which I think maybe will not be my route, exactly.

Coming back to what looks like a busy as hell month, which is good. More to come, from de road.

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11 Comments:

Blogger 函松 said...

Nice Post~!!!. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

10:38 PM  
Blogger 上宇軒興 said...

Thx ur share........................................

11:01 PM  
Blogger George Popham said...

My envy at your trip is palliated by my having just bought Deb and I tickets to New Mexico for four days and thereafter two more tickets to "the Orygun there" for two weeks. That's June 28 - July 12. I've left the week of the 5th (Cinco De Julio) through the 12th more or less free for ramblin' about, so adjust your and Bee's calendars accordingly. BTW, somehow I'd missed your post about the 'meager amount of swag.' Nice one. Whenever Portland's murderous cops gun someone down I always think of that mentally ill woman in the doorway of the Big Pink office bldg downtown. She had a toy gun so they put 23 bullets in her as I recall. I like to do the exercise of saying the word Bang! out loud 23 times to illustrate to myself just how trigger happy that is.

3:12 PM  
Blogger 妍慧 said...

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1:17 AM  
Blogger 許冠廷 said...

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4:33 PM  
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1:20 AM  
Blogger 建霖 said...

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12:28 AM  
Blogger 怡茂恒臻 said...

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12:09 PM  
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1:36 AM  

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