Tarmac ribbons criss-crossing the landscape, dusty back roads twisting between the cool shadows of ancient pines, and less traveled pathways connecting present to past, all I wander, seeking, seeing, with my keyboard and camera capturing scenes and stories to share with you.

Now in its sixth year, this venue has become an important part of my life, a place where I can express my thoughts and feelings about the things I see and do, hoping the process brings me a bit closer to friends and family who enjoy sharing my sometimes chaotic and often nonlinear observations and ideas. A journal, I suppose, but one with which I find pleasure in thinking others are alongside me on my journey.

Comments, thoughts, or just a friendly chat, use the response box below or email me at patrickgroleau@gmail.com.

September 3, 2018

WANDERABOUTING OREGON

... at two in the morning i picked up adrien and we headed down to the airport in manchester for our southwest air flight to portland, oregon ... the journey was comfortable, and when we arrived the weather was gorgeous, the uber taxi ride was both pleasant and inexpensive, the rental car was way fancier'n the one we'd bargained for, and enterprise added adrien as a second driver for free (is a bit weird, you'll have to ask her why) ... we headed downtown to do a bit of exploring ...
   

 
... ellen had recommend we visit "powell's city of books," so, after some excellent french fries courtesy "the boise fry company," we wandered down to the bookstore ... an hour or so later i had decided that if they offered an apartment inside the store i might just take up residence in portland, oregon ... !!! ... 
   

 
... we would've seen this on the way to crater lake, but since we spent so much time eating french fries and looking at books the last hour of our drive to lemolo lake resort  in the mountains was in pitch-black creepiness ...
   
  
... after a good night's rest, we drove up to crater lake ... at first i was only slightly impressed, but then, as my sense of perspective adjusted to the scale of the place, i was absolutely mesmerized by its grand beauty ...
   
  
... as close as she would get to a 600' drop-off, which, for adrien, is very, very close ...
   

 
... an appropriate spot for prayer and/or meditation ...
   
  
... perched on the precipitous edge of the huge caldera i discovered this to be a place where there was no room in my soul for anything but quiet peace and increased appreciation of the simplicity of being ...
   
  
... that blue—oh, the blue—it's not the sky ...
   
  
... 400,000 years ago volcanic eruptions transformed this landscape ... over time almost all evidence of that cataclysmic time weathered away, and it was only 7,500 years ago, after mount mazama collapsed to form crater lake, that this much more ancient layer was exposed ...
   

 
... now, of course, wind and water and the most humble of living things are slowly erasing the current landscape ...
   
  
... a tour boat passing the "phantom ship" provides a sense of scale ...
   
  
... an ancient eruption covered the land with ash ... as it settled gas vents formed within the layer ... the blanket of ash solidified to rock, the vents filled and in a sense became "fossilized," then, over thousands and thousands of years, weather exposed these strange formations ...
   
  
... not the prettiest of colors, but still fascinating ...
   
  
... although as a photographer i lamented the plain sky, i didn't complain since a week before our visit smoke from forest fires was so thick that none of this scene was visible ...
   
  
... after a night in redmond, followed by a bit of exploring at "the original pancake house," we were off to mt. hood ... viewed from 6,976 feet up the side of mount hood, this is mount jefferson, another of the cascade volcanoes ...
   
  
... a few scenes in the "the shining" were filmed here ...
   
  
... on the side of a volcano we enjoyed watching the skiers, had a little snowball throwing contest, and played with a most fascinating squirrel ...
   

 
... that evening adrien treated me to an scrumptious "captain's plate" at the famous "baldwin saloon" ... the "regulars" were arriving just as we finished our meal ...
   

 
... the decor and artwork by themselves were worth the visit ...
   

 
... on the side of the road, i just had to stop ...
   

 
... in the evening we went down to the dalles dam to enjoy the sunset ...
   

 
... it's a beautiful setting, but i couldn't help but think of celilo falls, which until it was submerged by the impound in 1957 was the oldest continuously inhabited community in north america ... "first people" had lived on this spot for over 15,000 years ... yes, the dam provides electricity, but it is also a clear example that nothing comes without a price ...
   

 
... our next stop was the "bridge of the gods" ... when the european explorers traveled through the columbia river gorge the first people told of a time when the gods had provided a bridge so the those living on either side of the river were no longer isolated from one another ... this story was dismissed as just another myth—until, that is, geologists and paleobotanists proved that about 500 years ago the entire side of the cliff had broken off, slid down, and, indeed, completely blocked the columbia river for many years ...
   
  
... we crossed a footbridge to enjoy the park on thunder island ...
   
  
... from the tip of the island is a magnificent view of the gorge ...
   

 
... on a true wanderabouting whim, after the gorge we stopped at the massive bonneville dam ... i was both thrilled and humbled to take pictures from the same observation landing as had adams, weston, and other of the great photographers i had been so inspired by when i first picked up a camera ...
   

 
... this is a place where the fundamental forces of nature are tamed and focused to our will ...
   
  
... even the guard/docent was fascinated ...
     

 
... we descended beneath the structure to enjoy watching the huge salmon working their way upstream through the fish ladder ...
   

 
... this megastructure generates 5,000,000,000  kWh of of "publicly owned" electricity every year, enough to power a half-million homes ...
   

 
... we watched the cormorants diving for their meals ...
   
  
... and the sea lions, which ranging 200 miles from the ocean are starting to be considered a bit of a nuisance by the salmon fishing industry ... it's so interesting, how animals and plants adapt to a sort of natural law of "supply and demand" ...  
   

 
... a sort of "where's waldo," see if you can spot the salmon ...
   

 
... multnomah falls, with a total drop of 620 feet the "highest waterfall in oregon" (i won't even begin to go into the disagreements as to it's national and continental ranking) ...
   

 ... of course, our trip would not have been complete without a stop at the "last of its kind," the sole remaining blockbuster video rental store ...
   

 
... towards the end of our wanderabout came news of a great tragedy in our family ... this last day became bittersweet, a time spent both enjoying and pondering the mysteries of life ... as we prepared to continue on to the airport, i made an effort to portray the sense of peace and tranquility that this place helped us find ...
   

... this wanderabout ends in great sadness ... i will miss beth, but, as is my way of mourning, i have promised myself to never forget her life ...

I love those who can smile in trouble,
who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection.
'Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm,
and whose conscience approves their conduct,
will pursue their principles unto death.
LEONARDO DA VINCI


An agreeable companion on a journey is as good as a carriage.
PUBILILUS SYRUS - MAXIM 143