Thursday, September 03, 2009

Things to Do in Oregon

I've been checking all sorts of things out, to see what my Baltimore friend and I might be able to do, even in September, in Oregon.

The Eugene Celebration is this weekend, so that's out, since she is coming the weekend after. The Corvallis Fall Festival is in late late September, so that's out.

But, the Mt. Angel Ocktoberfest starts the 17th. The Mt. Angel Abbey used to take in a few feral cats from St. Vince, as I called a retired three star Army Colonel, whom I used to trap with, and who trapped Electra, a cat I have had here, as mine, since 1999. He retired from trapping cats when his son had a stroke. I wonder how Vince is these days. He was quite old when I ran around with him. I had a great deal of respect for that man.

Anyhow, he took me up to the Abbey with him once. I think we were delivering cat food to the monks there or something.

The Sisters Folk Festival runs the 11th, 12th and 13th. From the website, it looks like a lot of fun, but probably very crowded.

I went to Cave Junction once, and went through the Oregon caves and liked that, I remember, but that is a long ways away. I went up the Rogue River once on the jet boats from Gold Beach, when I was a kid. That was fun but a long ways to go. A couple times, I went down the Rogue in a cheap raft, too. People drown on that river. Glad I didn't.

There is Crater Lake and the rim road and Wizard Island and the boat cruises on the lake and lots of hiking there.

There is Silver Creek Falls State Park, with all those pretty waterfalls and trails. There are the Oregon Gardens, in Silverton, nearby.

There is the Cascades Lake Highway, that goes by all those gorgeous lakes I haven't seen since a kid. There's Waldo Lake, Crane Prairie Reservoir, Summit Lake, Crescent Lake, a million of them.

There is the Big Lake and Hoodoo area, great for swimming and boating and hiking. I hear the Big Lake campground on the west side of the lake has been virtually taken over, however, by very loud people and their offroad vehicles of various sorts.

There is Highway 58 that goes out to West Fir and Oakridge, past Dexter. North of Dexter is the Falls Creek area, with lots of remote beautiful small campgrounds and the Fall Creek Reservoir.

There are a couple of Lakes up there, near Oakridge, but they are constantly influxed with dangerous algae, so I stay away from them. Beyond Oakridge, and on, there are numerous other beautiful spots before the highway connects to the southbound highway, is it 95 or 98, that goes on to Klamath Falls, and hits Crater Lake at the backside. If you head back from Crater Lake towards Roseburg, one can stop in at other lakes, like Diamond Lake and all sorts of beautiful roadside campgrounds along the way. I haven't been to Crater Lake since I was a kid and I've never been to Diamond Lake.

Of course, one can head up Highway 20, stop in for a swim at Foster Reservoir, cut up from there to Green Peter and beyond, on the gravel roads, along the river, where there are numerous spots to swim and camp, along the road. The area, however, has been taken over a lot of the time by campers intent on loud alcohol parties interlaced with drug activity, which is why I never go up there alone.

If you cut through Scio on up to HIghway 22 out of Salem one can always go to campgrounds along the Upper Santiam or camp out at Detroit Reservoir. Cougar Reservoir and Blue Lake, just out of Eugene, on opposite sides of road, 126 is it? are supposed to have some great places to camp.

All along the coast are campgrounds. I grew up on the coast, and was kind of happy to get away from the constant fog, rain or wind that living on the coast brings with it. As a kid, I used to stand on the end of the jetty at Bandon and let waves break over me, with my brothers. We dammed creeks carving their way through the sand to the ocean. We would often be in the ocean, fully clothed, to our waist, or searching tidepools for treasures and sticking fingers into the middle of a sea anenome to feel their soft sticky feelers close.

I don't like driving the coast highway now, getting stuck behind lines of tourist RV's going 35 mph.

The ocean memories live in me like they're part of my skin or my bones. The cries of gulls and fog bouys mix into the salt tinged air stinging my cheek in gentle slaps and pushes of cold wind. The fine damp sand comes to rest comfortably between my toes and heavily peppers my rolled up jeans. My feet work into the flat dark gray wet sand until water oozes in at the edges, near where the waves have petered out and the shallow foamy salt water has won our game of tag forcing my wet shoes off. They now hang, over my shoulder, tied together at the laces.

Memories. We'll go there for sure.

Newport. Walport. Depoe Bay. Florence. Lincoln City. Yachats. Moe's! Oregon Coast Aquarium. Hatfield Marine Science Center. Sea Lion Caves!

There's Portland. Can't forget Portland. Mt. Hood. The Gorge. Multnomah Falls. OMSI. I hate the zoo. Never did like seeing wild animals in cages. Guess it reminds me of mental institutes, where they cage people, then say how wonderful the caged people's lives are. It's too much bullshit for me.

Oregon is so beautiful. Of all the places in this world where I might have been born, how come I got so lucky as to have been born in Oregon?


  1. by the by, i am not some "sophisticated" city person - i lived in the burbs for the longest time before moving to the city - which i hate hate hate. i can't wait to see some open space. A sideline - when my son, who has lived here most of his life being only sixteen - went to visit the relatives in connecticut recently - he couldn't stand the quiet - and the nothingness out there. He said the big excitement in Litchfield was the old jail which was now a museum.....
    but he was in heaven when he spent a day in new york city! my god i've raised a monster....

  2. YOu are not sophisticated and cultured? Oh my. And I've reading up on culture and practising sophistication techniques (got the book "Sophistication for Dummies"). It's so boring I'm glad you're not sophisticated. I'm going to chuck that book.

    My brother sounds like your son. He not only lives on the edge of Portland, but would love nothing more than to sell his house and move into a condo in downtown Portland. If he could be in New York, I'm sure he would. He is totally uncomfortable with dirt, stray cats, hair out of place on head. It's like we did not originate from the same planet.

  3. and what are you going to do with your copy of "Cul-toor for doomies"?