I sent off my book proposal last week, and the next day Cosimo and I hopped a flight to Northwest City. We spent a day in Other Northwest City and a couple of days at my aunt and uncle's house on the Oregon coast, where my brother and his girlfriend met up with us. Then we all headed back to the family homestead.
This is how we do, in the PNW:
- We go on hours-long hikes in the wildlife preserve near my parents' house. (It preserves cougars and bears. We make a lot of noise.)
- We encounter slugs. I had forgotten about slugs of this size and in these quantities.
- We see women in high heels riding bicycles home from bars. Also, we see bicyclists yelling at motorists stopped in traffic about their crimes against the environment.
- We wonder whether driving a car with Marine Corps paraphernalia (bumper sticker, medallion, DoD tags) means we'll get yelled at, too.
- We walk for miles on virtually deserted beaches.
- We drive in and out of tsunami hazard zones.
- We spend three hours and hundreds of dollars at Powell's City of Books. We have everything shipped back east. We feel depressed about how ill-read we are, and how little reading time we have.
- We eat lots of seafood.
- We drive through tiny towns where hand-lettered signs advertise firewood, live bait, and espresso.
- When we're not staring at the sea, we're staring at the mountains.
- We miss the west.