Whales

Well, kind of …

Blanco, Eight Ball and other assorted Gray whales from the Central Oregon Coast.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Perseids Gave Their All

The annual August meteor shower provided quite a show. And it’s not too late to join the fun.

Every August, in the wee early hours of the twelfth morning, the Perseid meteor shower delights. We went out last night around 2am, when the Earth was turning directly into the trail of comet exhaust that creates the shower.

The moon was a non-factor, setting before 1am. The weather was clear and with only two fires in the region, smoke was minimal.

The following was our list of essential meteor gazing gear:

Lawn chairs.

Blankets.

Pillows.

Munchies.

Ipod.

Our final count was 72 per hour.

Although the shower peaked last night, it continues on tonight. This year’s ideal conditions mean that a second evening of viewing is worthwhile, even if the rate drops off.

Note: Meteor showers are often referred to with an hourly rate. This gives the false impression that there is a steady pace to the streaking stars. But, in reality, they come in bunches, with lulls between which can be disheartening. Give yourself enough time to see the best the show has to offer.

Scablands Part Two – Amber Lake

An abandoned railway turned trail offers entry into the lands scoured by the great floods of Glacial Lake Missoula.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oregon Coast – Depoe Bay to Seal Rock

 

Some scenes from the coast.

 

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465 Extracted Words – The Tease – July 2016

July 2016

I write flash fiction, non-fiction, essays and novels. This month’s Tease is from a short story involving whitewater and passion.

 

He sprays the cleaner on the channels between the runners, digs out the grime with the screwdriver, shaving little black curls of gunk off the metal, sprays and digs some more, wipes it down and then sprays the silicone. It dries and he pulls the slider back and forth. “I give it an A plus. Smooth. Smooth as that eddy below Whitebird.”

He thinks back farther, to another time. One of the best. It was the second summer after he dropped out of college. He was working for a rafting company out of Riggins where the Little Salmon gives itself to the Lower Salmon. He had parlayed a few whitewater classes at EWU into a summer job and caught the fever. With just twenty credits remaining for his business degree, he never returned. Instead, he matriculated in the unforgiving rapids of the Snake, Deschutes, Lochsa and Salmon. He hoped to open his own outfit once he gleaned enough experience, an argument that never eased the furrows in his father’s corporate banker forehead.

So he was on his own and never felt freer. He didn’t have to justify his actions to anyone. In his mind, it had been a clear choice. He gave up his future in the political, hoop-jumping world of business administration for a level, albeit frothing, playing field. The river didn’t care where you went to school, who your parents were. If you could perform, you were a guide; if you didn’t, you dug shit holes and humped gear until you learned enough to try again. Ironically, this appreciation of fairness was something he learned from his father, implored repeatedly, on the dusty baseball diamonds of Kennewick, or under the truck in the garage or fishing the sparkling waters of the Hanford Reach.

And so he spent his summers learning, guiding and learning ever more. Then she arrived, stepping off the Rathdrum Fields Christian Assembly bus dressed in Tevas, a modest swimsuit and convex, chromotose lenses that reflected every terraced outcrop in the corrugated canyon walls. He tried for three days to get her attention, over meals, stowing gear, even wandering near one of the fellowship’s sunset prayer gatherings. On the final day, all hope sunk when he was assigned to the Mess raft, a fourteen-foot leviathan brimful with gear. Dutch ovens, tents, tarps, ammo boxes, aluminum trunks and dry bags filled the spaces between the thwarts. The guide’s perch was a bench made of stacked coolers, the unusual height required special oars. It was a slow, boring ride, deliberate and safe, down the most prudent passages in the river. Clients never rode on the Mess. No one ever asked, until her.

 

 

 

Flowing to the Sea – Heeding Haiku With Chèvrefeuille July 6th 2016

Flowing to the Sea

 

 

Magma flows to the sea like it did ten million years ago. Glacial icefalls flow to the sea, like they did ten thousand years ago. We flow to the sea, like we did ten hundred days ago. We learn, we live, we remember, we cherish, we return.

beneath the long sun

we rejoin the warm sea sand

seashell memories

 

 

 

View original prompt here.

 

Scablands? Says Who?

An abandoned railway turned trail offers entry into the lands scoured by the great floods of Glacial Lake Missoula.