Friday, September 28, 2018

Return to Joseph

The town of Joseph OR...
Joseph OR... nestled among the Wallowa mountains...
When we last visited the Wallowas of Oregon a few years ago, the entire area was shrouded in the smoke from wildfires.

What we saw was enough to convince us to try again to see it this year. Joseph is the cute-as-a-button town that capitalizes on its western history with dramatic bronze sculptures that line the main street.

"Attitude Adjustment"
The most photographed sculpture in Joseph...

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Getting anxious

A surfer rides down the line at Jordan River.
A senior surfer rides the line...
As another dry, hot summer draws to a close, I'm getting anxious for the waves of winter to arrive so I can get back out there on my board...

Riding the line...
Catching water...


Monday, September 24, 2018

Magnificent Multnomah Falls

One of Oregon's top things to see...
Oregon's iconic Multnomah Falls near the Columbia River Gorge are ethereal in their beauty. They are just one of the many falls in the area that attract thousands of tourists every year.

The lingering damage from last year's massive wild fires in Oregon has made it a challenge to park and see them, as detailed in my Trip Advisor review.

Regardless, we count ourselves lucky that we were able to see them again on this year's road trip.

Fans gather on the bridge...
Fans and tourists get close to the action...

Friday, September 21, 2018

Meditative Mayne Island...

Mayne Island's Japanese Gardens...
A moment of Zen on Mayne Island...
A scene from Mayne Island's Japanese Gardens...

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Pie and coffee

Where pies go to die...
“They’ve got a cherry pie there that’ll kill ya.” -- FBI Agent Dale Cooper
As we did last year, we stopped in at North Bend's Twede's Cafe for breakfast and another sampling of their damn fine cherry pie and coffee...

The Double-R Diner of Twin Peaks...
a.k.a. the Double-R Diner

Monday, September 17, 2018

Snoqualmie Falls

Snoqualmie Falls in Washington state...
The falls of Twin Peaks
We recently returned from our annual summer road trip. This year we went to South Dakota passing through six states along the way.

Our first stop was Snoqualmie Falls near North Bend in Washington State. If you are a fan of the quirky series Twin Peaks, you'll recognize them from the opening credits.

The view from the bottom...
Snoqualmie Falls from the bottom...


Friday, September 14, 2018

Sand sculpture

Highlights from the Parksville Sand Sculpture competition...
Highlights from the Parksville Sand Sculpture competition...
Parksville's Sand Sculpture event came to an end last month. The theme was Wild Things. We hadn't been to see it in a few years, but it didn't disappoint.


Wednesday, September 12, 2018

The Girl Who Watched the Sun Go Down...

The end of a glorious day...
The end of a fine day...
GLORIOUS:
1. having a striking beauty or splendor that evokes feelings of delighted admiration;

Monday, September 10, 2018

Oak Bay

Oak Bay and Willows Beach...
Really? Florida?
The city of Oak Bay is one of the 13(!) cities and towns that make up greater Victoria. With it's splendid waterfront, marina and high-end real estate it has frequently stood in for American locations in Hollywood movies and TV series.

Most recently, it stood in for Gracepoint, California. (Don't bother trying to find it on Google Maps... it's fictitious.) It has even stood in for Florida(!) during the late-80s when the original Lloyd Bridges series Sea Hunt was briefly re-made with Ron Ely.

Friday, September 7, 2018

The Lady in Red

Waiting to enter stage right...
Waiting in the wings...
Ha! If you've read this blog for awhile, you were probably expecting this lady.

Nope. This lady was one of Barkerville's acting troupe who walked around in historical character for the benefit of visiting tourists.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Creepy crawlies


Victoria's Bug Zoo is a popular tourist attraction filled with all sorts of six- and eight-legged critters to see in plexiglass containers.

If you're brave enough you can even handle some of the critters such as scorpions.

One interesting fact: As a general rule, the larger the pincers on a scorpion the less deadly the venom in their tail. So if you ever find a scorpion with big claws in your sleeping bag -- don't freak out and scream like a little girl relax!

Monday, September 3, 2018

Not so SMART goals...

Process versus outcome...
Fly and enjoy the view...
Zen philosopher Alan Watts once observed that the downside of goals is that they encourage a mindset of perpetually focusing on some future event at the expense of fully experiencing the present.

In the West, we're constantly bombarded with the message that we must set goals, preferably goals that can be measured in concrete terms, e.g. SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-sensitive).

Thus our lives become defined by numbers or things, e.g., the income or possessions we must have or own to achieve a certain status, the weight we need to lose to be healthy, the number of 10K races we must run to be fit, the degrees we must have to be considered usefully intelligent...

And, of course, as soon as you achieve that goal, you're expected to set new ones. Our happiness is perpetually defined by future accomplishments or possessions, some of which may be impossible because of  circumstances beyond our control.

Eastern philosophy emphasizes happiness through mindfulness... being fully engaged in this moment (the process) without consideration for the outcome.

Meditation is the most obvious way to develop this skill. But anything that causes you to 'lose your mind and come to your senses' is effective. Listening or playing music, creating art, a random walk through a forest or along the beach,playing with your child or dog... anything at all where you are caught up in the moment.

Somewhere between the two philosophies is probably a happy medium that we should strive for. The point is that you have to consciously decide to engage in mindfulness because we here in the West tend to give too much time and energy over to our left-brained / goal-oriented selves.