Lincoln City, Oregon

Portland to Lincoln City, Oregon today. 

We made a point to go and see the Portland Japanese Gardens before we left.   we arrived at 10:40 and discovered that they had a noon opening time.   After a short discussion about bailing on the idea and pressing on, we decided to explore the Portland neighborhoods around the park are until it was noon.    Probably one of the better decisions we’ve made on this trip

Exploring the areas near the park was rewarding.   Lots of cool houses on very hilly dead-end streets.   Each house with its own unique look to it.   What Colette calls “character”.

Then down into the city before we went back up the hill to the park and the Japanese Gardens.   We passed a Safeway and Colette went in while I parked and waited in a loading zone.   Her mission:   To secure two Chocolate Cookies.   “The secretary will disavow any knowledge of your mission if discovered …  good luck ….”. 

Yum, after a long wait (she said several “pokey butts” were clogging things up inside), she and the cookies arrived and all was well.   The ‘mission’ was on track and we were right with the world.

Up the hill to the Japanese Gardens and a wonderful hour and a half.   Thanks again to Katy for the excellent suggestion.  Colette says she shot the most photos here of any place we’ve been.   

I remembered many of the motifs from earlier Japanese Gardens I’ve been involved with.  Subtle, balanced, organic, beautiful, inviting, .. I run out of words to describe what can really only be seen with your eyes and feelings.

I don’t know why, but lots of Japanese stuff really appeals to me.   Their gardens, their houses, their movies and their literature.  Indeed, I’m reading Haruki Murakami’s “Kafka on the Shore” to Colette aloud in the evenings when time permits.  And I plan to run “The Seven Samurai” and other Japanese movie classics by her when we return to New Zealand.

Once we finished at the gardens, we began our exit from Portland.  I don’t know what it is about this town but getting into it and out of it can, at times, be a real trial.    I won’t go into the gory details but it took us an hour and a half to get cleanly out of the city and on our way.  Jeez!  Clogged freeways, shitty signage, etc., etc.

Our ‘way’ was down the 99W to highway 18 to the Oregon coast where we’re going to begin our long trek down the coast to Los Angeles. 

We arrived in Lincoln City around dark and checked into a nice place with a good price – $42 for the night.   

We went out and I exposed Colette to another bit of Americana; the order-at-the-bar with a salad bar Pizza Parlor.   You know the kind; where the coaches bring the baseball team after a game or a practice.   Where they have electronic games in one corner and sports TVs going on every wall.  And where everything’s been left in the hands of 17 year olds?  Yep, that’s the one.

The Pizza was OK but nothing to write home about.

Then it was back to our room where I discovered that I was dog tired and went to bed early.  

I suspect that 40 days on the road shifting from place to place day after day and seeing new sights and people every moment of the day may be something that eventually wears on one.   On the bright side, I have to say that Colette and I have been pressed together without relief for these same 24/7 40 days and we haven’t had a fight or even a squabble.   I think that says something.   She’s a wonderfully sane lady who comes from a world so different from the one I grew up in.

Tomorrow, we’re up and on down the coast.   We plan to be at my friend, Dave’s, place in Benicia by mid-day on the 23rd and a look at the maps and miles convinces me that we can proceed fairly leisurely and make it fine.   I’m quite looking forward to seeing him again and hanging out at his place.


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