Monday, April 09, 2007

Slacking and Basking


To me, this photo perfectly depicts what living in Portland is all about—slacking and basking like an iguana on a sunny Friday afternoon instead of working. B and I passed this dude and the disembodied feet of his companion as we trekked 1,500 feet up to Angel’s Rest, which overlooks the mighty Columbia River.

Angel's Rest

It was gorgeous up there, but so windy! I could barely hold the camera steady long enough snap a few photos. Frankly, I was lucky that the wind didn’t snatch the camera from my hands and fling it into an early and watery grave. My hat was not so lucky. Soon after I reached the top, it was whisked off my head and into some brambles growing out of an outcropping about 40 vertical feet below me.

There was no way I could retrieve it. Unintentional littering. At least the hat was 100% cotton and will biodegrade in one to five months,* rather than the 30 to 40 years it would take if it had been made of nylon or the 800 years it would take if the wind had somehow managed to extract a sanitary napkin from my person and loft it over the cliff.**

The basking dude was still there as we made our way back down to sea level. He hadn’t moved a micron and neither had the disembodied feet. A bit creepy, but a bit glorious, too. Slacking I can do, but basking is not my forte. I think the guy may have been a professional.

I actually had a great weekend—it didn’t hurt that it started at noon on Friday. Nor was it marred by the fact that I spent all of Saturday morning inhaling overpowering Yankee Candle Company-like fumes and battling the smoke alarm as I attempted to remove the contents of about half a bottle of Palmolive dish detergent from every possible surface inside the oven, including the broiler pan (a saga I’d rather not go into right now, but it was a right kerfuffle).

Saturday afternoon my friend P came over. We had planned to go for a walk, but as soon as a few raindrops started to fall (about a half block after we left my house) P suggested we detour and take refuge in a nearby brewpub. In fact, we settled for Cha, Cha, Cha, which was about 20 steps closer. It should be called Cheap, Cheap, Cheap. The food is really fresh and tasty, too. Score! I don’t know how they can charge so little for it, especially given the neighborhood. The rent has to be fairly spendy.

By the time we finished eating, the rain had stopped, so we ended up taking a walk of respectable length.

I went on yet another hike on Sunday morning. This time in Forest Park with three friends, a Rottweiler, and a Corgi. The Corgi insisted on being in the lead at all times and set a fairly brisk pace for the entire 5 miles, despite the fact that his legs are only 3 inches long. Go figure.

Trillium, Ferns, and Violets

Forest Park is such a treasure, and I’m so glad Portlanders appreciate it and use it. We started at what I had thought was a little-used trailhead, but there were swarms of hikers, trail runners, and cyclists there, happily worshiping nature. The great thing is, though, that there are so many trails and hiking options that soon we had the ferny, trillium-lined trail to ourselves. The bigleaf maples are in flower and impart the forest with this otherworldly glow-in-the-dark light. They’re lovely, but I have to admit that I find the their drooping flower clusters somewhat ghastly. What do they remind me of?

*This seems optimistic.
**My source here is Wikipedia, so if you were planning to cite any of this in your doctoral dissertation, don't do it.

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