Wednesday, June 2, 2010

It's quiet . . . too quiet.

I just realized that it's been a while since I last posted. My reader is no doubt suffering some kind of horrible withdrawals. I have been inconsiderate, for which I apologize. Here, for your starved D2 serotonin receptors, I offer the following maundering:

The past couple of weeks have been gray and damp. Rain is good, the desert can use every drop. But this featureless gray overcast -- well, I might as well have stayed in coastal SoCal and watched things mildew under the marine layer, week after week after week. 

I'm not kidding -- you may picture the beach communities of SoCal as sun-drenched paradises, as those are the images the chambers of commerce promote, but I'm here to tell you that stuff got mossy under the constant warm wetness. Weird fungusy shit grew on everything. The railing around our deck, my camping gear, the bikes, the woodworking tools, the freaking fiberglass top of my VW Westfalia camping van ... what wasn't covered, rusted and rotted under the sodden warmth. 

The recent days here remind me of that, except it's not so wet. Yes, it's been gloomy, yes, it's had its moments of rain, but things don't fucking rot here. 

And there have been periods of jaw-gaping beauty, too: times when the view across the desert to Bessie Butte has been filled with rainbows and virga and beams of sunlight. A kind of beauty that SoCal could not muster with its tepid, limp-dick climate.

But like when the marine layer predominated down there, the gray days here feel like they go on and on without end and I get a bit morose. And my cash flow sucks right now, so I've been dealing with my money anxiety. When that beast kicks in, I don't have much left over for creative writing.

But I soldier on, as do we all. 

Could be worse -- could be working for Foxconn

So, our weather forecasters predict more of the same for the next while. 

But I keep in mind that these are the same nimrods who said last Sunday (day before Memorial Day) would be sunny and in the 70's. 

They are not trustworthy. 

Mrs Elliott is flying to Lake Tahoe for a weekend with her friends. The annual "Girl's Week." All the other women live in SoCal and the have been eying the forecoming week's weather with trepidation. Highs in the 60's, lows in the 40's. Scary! Frigid! 

The women are all emailing each other with strategies for dealing with these unexpected lows. Scarves, layering, jackets. Mrs Elliott chills easily but after only two winters here finds their concern amusing. 

While Mrs Elliott is away, I am going to face this ongoing series of Pacific storms directly, like a man: I'm going camping. Son Jim will be joining me for the weekend, and after that I will be looking for quiet, pretty places to camp around John Day. 

I'm told there are lovely sites thereabouts. If I can find beauty and joy camping atop Laguna Mountain in the middle of a winter rainstorm so fierce that rain blowing sideways pushed through heavy cotton canvas tent material, then I reckon I can find lots to love about the high desert in this weather. 

So I'll be offline for a week, starting tomorrow. Maybe some photos when I come back. Ma Nature? You listening? Show me some sugar.


  1. The weather in Oregon will suck until mid-June, when the Portland Rose Festival ends. Trust me, I've been here a long time and I know. Nothing to do but hunker down and wait it out.

  2. If you threatened me with any manner of torture, I would never be able to tell you how I found your blog! But found it I did! I'll be back! It's been fun reading about your 'coming to Bend' adventures.

  3. "But I keep in mind that these are the same nimrods who said last Sunday (day before Memorial Day) would be sunny and in the 70's."

    The Washington state climatologist predicts we will have warm and sunny weather by mid-July. That should give us six whole weeks of "summer." Yippee!


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