Monday, April 07, 2008

The Whale Chase

I was going to skip the Redwoods and just go straight over to Newport, but couldn't do it in the end. Hiking these forests and standing in their rainy, cathedral-like silence was too important to pass by without a reason better than an unfocused desire to make good time.

A child of wood and sap, alive within the tree.

So much for March going out like a mild-mannered ruminant.

The rough weather was enough to keep the migrating gray whales far off the shore, but during a few calm interludes, there were visible flukes and the occasional triple pattern spouts of the great beasts coming up for air.

The Sea Gypsy
By Richard Hovey

I am fevered with the sunset
I am fretful with the bay
For the wander-thirst is on me
And my soul is in Cathy.

There’s a schooner in the offing,
Wither her topsails shot with fire,
And my heart has gone aboard her
For the Islands of Desire.

I must forth again to-morrow!
With the sunset I must be
Hull down on the rail of rapture
In the wonder of the sea.

Highway 101 at its best

One of the world’s largest sea caves, filled with a hundred or so barking sea lions.

My lighthouse shot, from the north side of the cave.

Uncovered by the storms and violence of this last winter, ghost forests.

2,000 to 4,000 years old, these root systems and trunks belong to a forest, which appears to have been abruptly submerged by the sea several millennia ago.

The same beach last October

Tidal pools

The Newport aquarium

Japanese spider crabs. Supposedly, these live for up to 100 years.

I picked Canary Row for my travel book because I wanted a novel about being somewhere, or about being just in general. My life has been way too much of a process this last year and not enough of an existence. Perhaps this is an unavoidable aspect of starting over again, from the ground up in almost every way.

Heading south into Hood River on the way home. I would like to scale Mt. Hood in the future when I take up mountain climbing again. It is such a gorgeous peak, one that has served as a landmark for many of my travels, whether seen from an airplane window when coming home from Europe or from the windshield of a car while journeying up and down the west coast region.

Overall a good, good trip — exactly what was needed. The interview at the research center seemed to go well, and I can easily see myself settling in Portland for the indefinite future if everything works out. It would be great to live in a location with a multitude of cultural and natural activities right outside my door and even more only minutes or a few hours away.

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