Columbia River Gorge Excursion

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  1. #1

    Columbia River Gorge Excursion

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    We went camping into the gorge for summer penance. The cruel sun, the choking dust, the lashing wind, and the smoke which reddens all. I lost myself in paroxysms of self-abnegation.

    Did I mention freight trains loud enough to wake Kerouac?

    I met there a man from Upper New York who told me a railroad crossed his property. So no paroxysms. He asked me what he had to see in The Gorge before he left Oregon. I naturally told him, "open your eyes man to the most glorious impoundment in all damnation," but he drove off in his 14k lb Mercedes to climb up to Angel's Rest. He was older than me but still wiry.

    He already saw the dam.

    I met on the shore a windsurfing Frenchman who couldn't turn. He zipped across to the far shore and fell down and then zipped back for more. "Mon dieu," he said, and "Beau Geste," I said back, quoting the mighty Legionnaire, but the wind snatched him away faster than it did my words.

    Then we rode the back of the historic US30 snake to the Vista Crown Point House where suddenly in the old rock-work and cool marble everything became perfectly calm.

    So, along with a spare Thursday crowd, we cell pic'd the river below. (But we kept our vows and didn't selfie.) And bought cheap postcards.

    And now we're safe here back home.
    Last edited by ppsage; September 2nd, 2017 at 12:47 AM. Reason: Selfie
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. Steven Wright

  2. #2
    It's beautiful where you live.

    I kind of like the mystery of wondering who 'we' might entail. Hopefully someone pleasant and opinionated, who smells of vigor.

    Good on you for not selfie-ing. The requisite self-control is likely generational.
    It all starts with a name and flows from there. A ridiculous moniker springs to mind and it launches like a multi-lubed slippery-sloop down chutes made of buttery-floops. Down, down, down. We watch, spellbound. Rapturous. Glockenspiel. We do our due diligence with penitence and penicillin. Do what’s due, then dew drops on your moon-pops.

  3. #3
    A very nice snapshot of time and perspective. Written with honesty and clarity that strikes home.
    God hates a coward Revelation 21:8

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  4. #4
    I like the voice.

    I don't know your intended readership for this piece, neither do I know whether this is a stand-alone or part of a series, so I'm not sure which parts are wastes of space and which are relevant. As it stands, it skates over two different ideas (people and place), and leaves me (as a non-local) somewhat lost as to the point.

    I gather that word count is important, and therefore every word should count, to misquote garza.
    "I don't know ... I'm making it up as I go ..." - Dr I Jones

    Nature abhors perfection - cats abhor a vacuum!

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  5. #5
    Originally designed this as a social media post, but, we got back on Thursday, I put it here on Friday, and, on Saturday, some dopes started a fire (apparently with firecrackers) behind that second ridge on the right which fire as of now has pretty much all the upland on that side ablaze and some spotting all the way across the river. (This is the Eagle Creek Fire in Oregon, look it up on the inciweb website.) So I didn't think my friends who live up there (mostly evacuated) needed to see this at the moment. I guess it's gonna be just this for now. -------------- I sorta like the idea that 'we' is a variable from me 'n my tent-mate to all us recreants in the locale and if I ever emend this I might look at making that more explicit somehow. --------------- Thanx
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. Steven Wright

  6. #6
    WF Veteran H.Brown's Avatar
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    I enjoyed reading this. Sounds like a lovely place to go with a wide variety of people. I like the small snap shots of life you reveal through out the piece. It reads like a travel blog post to me, it made me want to visit.
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  7. #7
    I only know of the river through Lonnie Donegan, memories of my youth, but your photo doesn't look anything like this:-

    In the misty crystal glitter
    Of the wild and windward spray
    Men have fought the pounding waters
    And met a watery grave
    Why, she tore their boats to splinters
    But she gave men dreams to dream
    Of the day the Coulee Dam
    Would cross that wild and wasted stream

    You call that penance? You should try camping in England; blistering sun? You'll be lucky if it is a nice gentle drizzle and you miss the real wind and rain. I have been on a camp site in Cornwall when there was a storm that flattened every single tent; high summer, or low maybe

    I will take it that this is the description of pp sage having a good time on holiday and be pleased for you in your saturnine lugubriosity.
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  8. #8
    There's not very much river left of the Columbia in the US. Little stretches between dams. I guess you could kill yourself at the bar, on a small boat. I came close, a time or two. Thanks to on-line reservation systems, I have looked at camping in the UK. Seemed like a lot of them were lawn parking lots with a water block. Festival style. Thanks.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. Steven Wright

  9. #9
    Most Americans don't appreciate how crowded this island is. The Mercator projection not only puts us in the middle of the world map (our natural place of course ), but also makes us look a lot bigger than we really are (something else we are practiced at). It isn't regular of course, but England is around 400 miles long by 150miles wide, and last time I looked there were around 65 million of us. There are not many unpopulated bits, the Peak District, the Lake District and Dartmoor are all I can think of; there is Norfolk of course, but apart from the Broads, which get crowded it is notvery attractive.

    Story of the Norfolk yokle who was told the world is round and responded "Flat where we live", nice place if you like sky.
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  10. #10
    you always strike me as a very narrative writer and to read such a short piece makes for lot of information packed into it....yeah your writing for me belongs in magazines or supplements were i would go to get an insight to a particular topic.
    The only one who can heal you is you.


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