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Off Highway 42 in Oregon

November 20th, 2001

In Oregon
The Wild Wimmins writing group proved to consist of actual writers (published, in other words) and, I suspect, without a bunch of strangers in the audience, into mixing at least some bad girl intellectual commotion into the local calm here just off Highway 5 in the Oregon woods. I kept my mouth shut, asked a few questions about writing habits, histories and the like, didn't mention the journal, shot some pictures. Don't know if they knew of my own mud pie habit here on the web. Hard for me, you know. Keeping my mouth shut.

Straightforward trip up Highway 5. I left Oakland early, a large cup of coffee in the cup holder, a stack of CD's on the seat after maybe four hours sleep. Comfortable truck, no traffic as such, sun shining, no fog, no snow, just a straight shot into Roseburg at about eighty miles an hour, keeping up with traffic, you understand, everyone moving just as fast on the road around me. My Toyota won't go eighty miles an hour, except maybe downhill after a long head start, and then it would drop a load of motor parts and die. It was kinda fun and makes me think of buying another car again, sometime in the spring. (Or have we heard this before?)

It's been raining in Oregon, but the air is warm. We've been playing old demo tapes,Off Highway 42 in Oregon records, videos and CD's. Watched Shine on video, a movie I haven't seen in some time, a good way to spend a day and an evening, a stir fry for lunch, splitting a bottle of Champagne, walking later along the shores of a local river, three fisherman dressed in rubber shilouetted in the distance. Lots of rain around here, but a decent way to live if you can survive without bright city lights and a billion people. It does rain, though. Rain, rain, rain. Maybe not the best thing for a loner like me with a tendancy toward low level depression. And photography. And a journal. They'd find out about the journal. Eventually.

I've thought of that, of course. Where to go when it's time to go? Where to go when it's time to retire? Someplace like this, only where the sun is shining? Somewhere farther north in California? Buy a piece of land, put up a prefab house when I'm ready? Cottage in a box, $19.95? All I need is a warm corner, an Internet connection and a way to get to places where I can shoot pictures. If I still want to shoot pictures.

Be nice to have people around I could talk with from time to time, but that's hard enough to find in the city, particularly as you get older. How would that work in a woods with what, a pick up truck, Wuss III and a bunch of fundamentalist drill a liberal "why weren't you in church on Sunday" neighbors? At least I wouldn't have to worry about rugs. He, whoever Wuss III might be, could poop and pee in the (unattended) garden. Fight with racoons. Court the ladies.

So, it is Tuesday morning, feeling better, on the road, in Oregon.

Both photographs were taken headed for the coast along Highway 42 in Oregon.