Monday, July 27, 2009

Nelson, British Columbia

I drove for hours through eastern Washington state's flat grassland, up to the border of Canada, through foothills of pine and the occasional cabin, and finally arrived at the small mountain/ski town of Nelson. All of a sudden there are parks by the river,dread locked, tattooed kids sipping lattes skateboarding by, vegan restaurants, and all sorts of architecture old and new....






Friends Paula and Ray decided to leave the US about three years ago, and after finally winning Canadian citizenship, they picked Nelson as their new home. Here's Paula making me dinner in her new outdoor summer kitchen....Once winter comes, she will be back to cooking inside, ..and baking at the local ski resort most mornings in exchange for free lift tickets for skiing in the afternoons...




























Northwest bits and pieces...

Small town Ashland Oregon is home to one of the best theatre venues in the United States. Three stages, including this Shakespearian theatre have ongoing productions all year long. Theatre is still hard for us in Argentina due to not knowing Spanish well enough, so we got a good dose of it on this vacation.



















Besides three days of Ashland plays, we find a bizarre little store front theatre in Cottage Grove and got to sit on old sofas and watch the "Hungry Crow Sideshow."













Maupin, Oregon is about as small as Mapleton, but in the summer, tourists come to run the rapids in big rubber boats, fish, ... swap stories and check out girls in the local bar...











Maupin is in the eastern part of Oregon, with the only green right along the river....Dave is getting some fishing tips from friend Bob Guard














Bob bought a piece of property in Maupin with some old rental cabins some years ago, and has turned it into a great little community of friends.

These guys are not the friends i was talking about (although i am sure Bob would rent one of his cabins to them). These guys live at the Seattle zoo, in a huge compound with creeks and trees... this group hung out at the people window for a long time... and so did I.















And one guy put his foot up to the window for me... yep, this is a gorilla foot... just imagine what you could do if your big toe was like this! Although shoes could be a problem ....










Northwest bits and pieces 2......

The new owners of our house in Oregon were kind enough to allow us and some of our goofy friends to camp out on the property once again for the annual 4th of July party...here's a view of the fireworks through the big ole willow tree...they went on for hours... how can such a small town put on such a big show?




Green Oregon art...this great piece was spotted in a Portland shopping mall.











The Columbia River that is the northern border of Oregon has long been a wind surfer's hot spot....now they have a new sport...kite surfing... In the center of this pic is one guy who has his kite up and flying and is skimming along underneath on a small board, sometimes airborne.











Kite surfers assembling their gear with the more traditional wind surfers out in the water ...




Thursday, July 9, 2009

back in the US of A......

(dave's words in regular type, and mine in italics)








We touched down in hip hip Eugene Oregon after 36 hours of travel time... the last 6 hours of which we concluded that it was better not to speak to one another ...thereby avoiding becoming ugly americans in foreign airports due to brain misinterpretation and synapse deterioration... we were back in the land of lawns and wall mart for 6 weeks, with a rental car and Argentine eyes.






one, of a bunch, of owner decorated, with post hippie left over paint, houses in a neighborhood that is predominantly greying hippies with lots of dogs, lots of colors, lots of tie dye and the pervading incense of patchouli and marijuana. also, predominantly vegan and macro eateries.






After a long sleep, we went to a friday night art walk in one of the older hip neighborhoods of Eugene... so many plants and lawns and flowers and trees...whats with this city where houses take up a third or less of their property with all the rest done up in plants (and weird metal dinasours)?



























And wood, wood everywere, where was the concrete and stucco?

this is a restaurant fifteen miles from the beach, high in the coast range, where logging once was king. someone started collecting the antique logging gear and had a sort of outdoor museum of the gigantic equipment and then built this restaurant gift shop to go along with it all. the ridge beam is probably four and a half foot doug fir, eighty feet long. just love this type of construction.

lots of cars, but also lots of bikes, organic food, micro breweries
















Enough! we are ready for new vistas in eastern oregon! (see dave's movie below )





video

Portland Oregon and beyond...

Ah! this big city of Portland Oregon feels more like Buenos Aires! highrises with public parks to break up the concrete... lots of varied colors of people on the sidewalks ... lots of forms of public transport... and some really great art... my favorite piece in Portland is this relatively new giagantic statue named Portlandia... reaching down to the citizens on the sidewalk below her building...







this ain't that big, maybe six times life size, but the fact that it is on a regular scale, two lane business street so that one is not aware of it till it's right above you is great. this is the same material/technique as the statue of liberty, i.e., annealed copper sheeting hammered into the various molds necessary and brazed together.














Now, i bet you can immediately tell that this funky sidewalk art installation on the left is in Eugene, Oregon, not Portland, Oregon...(Maybe like Rosario is to Buenos Aires?)










Eastern Oregon is big vistas, lots of grazing land, grain fields, a slower way of life ... internet and cell phone reception hard to find...like the pampas of Argentina?











But a few places defy catagorizing, are just their own thing ... The Embers bar in Portland is one of the oldest in Oregon... over the years i have had some wild late night times there...now that i am yawning by 8:30, I was pleased to see the place alive and kicking in the late afternoon, still with the goldfish swimming in the plexiglas bar, still bizarre stage shows planned for most nights of the week...