Saturday Aug.10th , I think.. seems like used that date already ?

Dear Family & Friends,

So last night around midnight I was awoken by one of the biggest lightening, thunder, and rain storms I have experienced in a long time. All I could think about was what miserable weather to ride a motorcycle in. The rain is one thing but lightning is not good when you are out in the open on a motorcycle. I have experienced that before and it was not fun. Specially when a lightening strike hit the ground literally feet away from me!

Luckily by the time dawn came the weather was beautiful. I decided to get a relatively early start and avoid the high desert heat. At this time Brian is off visiting a friend and Ray has decided to go directly home so I am traveling alone. There are times when I really enjoy that simply because I have no schedule and I don’t have to compromise with anyone. I am strictly on my own schedule and do what I want when I want.

So off I went. For the first half our I was still in the valley and passed through giant corn fields as far as the eye can see. Got me thinking about the amount of work it takes to plant and care for a farm that big and how we just take our food for granted. I think part of societies problems today is we are too divided by culture, religion, race, and socio-economic status. These farmers (and others who work with their hands or do manual labour of any kind) deserve more respect. In a complicated society like we live in everyone plays a part. A good doctor is critical, but on the day you need your garbage hauled away so is a reliable garbage man. I am not saying they deserve the same pay because obviously one takes far more skill and education than the other, but they both deserve respect…. If we respected each other and shared a little more human kindness it would go a long way to healing our country.

By the way I passed an attractive fruit stand and had the sweetest and juiciest peach I have ever eaten, and I posted a photo of it just to show you I do eat healthy once in a while!

From there I headed to the Columbia Gorge. This is a giant gorge formed by the Columbia River over millions of years. I entered at the eastern end of the state where the landscape is fairly dry and arid but the road follows the river all the way to Portland and the longer you ride the greener it gets until you are in an area with water falls and rain forests!

Another observation I noticed while riding down the gorge was the dramatic geological structures and natural beauty. Certainly impressive yet humans have cut major roads and train tracks down the gorge, dammed the river, built power stations, and littered the landscape with power transmission lines and poles. I know from an engineering point of view and logistics it is the right decision but it is sad to scar such a beautiful area with human technology..

In the early afternoon I arrived in Portland. The last 7 miles took over an hour do to traffic caused by two accidents. ( and that was with lane splitting on my motorcycle, for cars it was longer!)  Another thought I will share.. Electric cars are all fine and dandy but what we really need is good public transportation. The traffic wherever there are humans is getting ridiculous!

I really enjoy Portland. It is a good cross-section of cultures and activities.  I went downtown and first did one of my favorite activities, sit in a  coffee shop and drink coffee and read for a while.

Then I went for a walk and passed the centre square of Portland. The Pan African Festival was going on so I thought I would check it out. It feature African food, clothes, art, music, and dance.

They had some beautiful African style clothing and I wanted to buy Bonnie something but after 32 years together I know she rarely wears anything I buy her so I know my taste in clothing is not hers…

The music and dance were infectious. Such good rhythms and the dancers were amazing. The crowds were joining and and it seemed everyone was getting into it and enjoying themselves. I would have liked to join it but my total lack of rhythm and grace prevented me. (good call). It was such a nice event and it showed exactly how America should be, many different people from different backgrounds and cultures coming together sharing and enjoying each other.. Why can’t there be more of that? For a short video of the music and dance click on this link:

So that was my day. I am going out for a nice dinner. Tomorrow  night I will visit with my daughter Hannah and her husband John ( they are out of town until Sunday night). So tomorrow day I will have another day of exploring Portland.

For a few photos go to:

Jason

“Creative Writing uninhibited by grammar or spelling”

Now that is a corn field and represents a lot of hard human labor.. appreciate it.
The future is here. wind generators everywhere.
A great motorcycle road leading down to the Columbia Gorge.
My first view of the Columbia River.
See I ate a piece of fruit, and it wasn’t in a pie!
Stopped for breakfast and was greeted by three of the biggest dogs I have seen in a long time!
Sheer natural beauty.
Entering the rain forest section of the gorge.


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