It's raining outside. There was bolts of lightening all across the sky tonight. Haven't seen that type of activity here in a long time. It's strange how quickly the season shifted. It actually followed the changing of the equinox. & just like that, it's now:
dewy grass in the rising sun shine
geese flying south
my cat coming in from outside more often & cuddling with me,
the real & present actuality of impending rain storms
puzzles all of a sudden sound like a wonderful hobby
you notice that there is in fact fallen colored leaves on the ground
do i really have the proper footwear?
my birthday is so soon I can taste the pizza
fall is the season i was born into. i always have a connection with it. its a jolt to the skeleton, it rattles your bones. it abruptly lets you know it has arrived by sending that certain chill through your skin. you don't even know how it happened to change so quickly, right under your nose. you wonder, was summer this abrupt? you can never remember how other seasons begin. fall displays a spectacular show for us. i love all the seasons. thank the universe we have constant change.
you have a gut. you are weak and boring. you hang out with people younger than you because you can't find friends your own age who condone your bullshit slacker behavior, so you find people who make you feel like it's okay.
you shape yourself to be something you're not, in order to get something you don't deserve.
i wouldn't even flinch if something bad happened to you. cause i actually, truly, really, literally...
i'm sitting here. at my antique desk, wearing a tshirt with an old school locomotive on it. listening to some latin music on Rdio. supposed to be working on some photos. but haven't been in the mood quite yet. just wanting to read. but reading puts me to sleep. what a cycle.
i have so many things. stuff is just everywhere. its not garbage and ugly stuff. its things. audra said the other day, that she could just sit and go through and look at every little thing. i wonder if someday someone will go through my things and admire them and appreciate them the way i do. i haven't gone through and appreciated everything lately. my art pieces all have meaning. they aren't just bought because i like them. they are gifts from others i've had framed. they are paintings someone has done for me. pictures that remind me of places i've left traces of my soul. i decided this about my art pieces i'd have about a year ago. except, i'll never forget my one painting that i loved so much.
i'll explain it.
it was yellow based, as if it were the early evening, bright sun and golden light. it was a view through moroccan arches in a street scape. a woman and a child were walking away down a path, just past two of the arches. she was wearing red & turquoise and had black hair. she was carrying a basket and had a thick dark purple ribbon around her waist. it was so simple. it was perfect in my eyes. however, i threw it away in utah. because someone i was living with didn't appreciate it or understand why i loved it so much. i regret my choice to give into someone else's lack of understanding. never again. i will search the world for another painting like it, that will strike me in that way.
whenever i see moroccan or indian arches, i just get this unexplainable nostalgic feeling.
i found this painting that i love. its similar to the one i used to have
"she is the intuition, she is the far-seer, she is the deep listener, she is loyal heart. she encourages humans to remain multilingual; fluent in the languages of dreams, passion, and poetry. she whispers from night dreams, she leaves behind on the terrain of a woman's soul a coarse hair and muddy footprints.
she is ideas, feelings, urges, and memory. she has been lost and half forgotten for a long, long time. she is the source, the light, the night, the dark, and the daybreak. she is the smell of good mud and the back leg of a fox. the birds which tell us secrets belong to her. she is the voice that says "this way, this way"
she is the one who thunders after injustice. she is the one who turns like a great wheel. she is the maker of cycles. she is the one we leave home for. she is the one we come home to. she is the mucky root of all women. she is the things that keep us going when we think we're done for. she is the incubator of raw little ideas and deals. she is the mind which thinks us, we are the thoughts that she thinks." - clarissa pinkola estés
i want to float in dark cool waters just like that.
i want to bask in the sun just like that.
i want to drift in clear bright blue waters just like that.
i want to melt onto cool soft sheets with the fan swirling just like that.
i want to drape myself over the edge just like that
I went to San Francisco again this past weekend. I hadn't been since January when I had a Gatsby style weekend with my girl friend Erin. Dang we had fun. If I could do that weekend over again, I would do two things differently: 1. I would have worn sequin tops. 2. Put more flowers on the deck.
I'll have to let her know about my revisions and see if she's down to do it all over again. We even got Cafe XO breakfast delivered to us in bed by PostMates.
But this most recent weekend was of course a whole other arena of fun. Since, World Cup is on. I strolled into town at some point, after staying the night in Sacramento with Jackie. Jackie and I went and got some Mexican food and had blackberry margaritas. And by that I mean it was practically just tequila with a giant blackberry floating in it. WHOA, whew that was strong. Then we went to get a glass of wine. We sat outside and I probably cussed too loudly and other people probably noticed. I have bad habits. Whatever. It was a lovely evening out with my girl! Oh yeah, but San Francisco.
I met up with Zach and we drank while watching the game. Afterward we went to Sutro Bath ruins. It is SUCH a weird place. jeeeeesus. It's really so strange. He let me take his photo there.
I went to dinner with Meg & Adrienne and we had a lovely meal. Then we went back to her place and drank a little bit and enjoyed ourselves. I love them.
then Meg & I went "home" and crashed early. Giggled for a bit in the dark, of course. As we girls do. About how we are grandmas, going to bed early on a Saturday. How we've done that pretty much every single time. And how we don't care because we like sleep WAY more than anything else the night may have to offer in the city. She's a great friend.
Woke up, went and got myself from of my favorite breakfast from Cafe XO. I don't even know why I like it so much. It just tastes good. It reminds me of Kate and Tim. We were the best team ever. I miss them. I watched the Mexico v Holland game. Mexico lost, of course. All the teams I root for lose. So strange. Then I sat on the back deck with Meg and got a really weird tan line. I watched her eat her salad that had flowers in it. I had to take a photo when it was on the counter before she ate it.
Then I went and hung out with Zach again! He's sorta the best. He laughs at my bad jokes. We went and watched Costa Rica v Greece at this cool food park thing. He told me what it was called, and I don't remember. Its basically a bunch of food carts surrounding TVs and seating. He snagged us some prime seats inside a big gazebo and we watched the game unfold. Naturally, the team I was rooting for lost. Blah blah... But it was so fun anyway. Then we had time to kill, so we watched the Lego movie. HAHA. It was so ridiculous. We watched the entire thing. Ordered pizza. Headed out to go support our friend Connor who is in the hospital trying to combat a pretty nasty case of pneumonia. The worst. I worry about him. He'll be okay. Sad.
Then it was time for me to hit the ol' dusty trail.... Headed back up the hill to my safe perch. Overlooking everything and viewing it all from a safe distance. I love it up here but I would rather be in San Francisco right now. Probably because I had so much fun, I just wanna keep having more fun. I guess Zach just gets it.
My fat cat Anouk is waiting for me to go to bed. I'm almost done.
I want to know where to find wild blueberries? How do I not know? I love blueberries. I just inhaled probably way too many just now. I couldn't stop. I'll add that to my list of things to do.
I used to get inspired by the internet so well, years ago. I had folders of folders of strange photos and odd words. I still have many of them. I used to type in words on google and scan through the images. People would ask me where I found these things, I didn't actually know. I just browsed enough. But my system of browsing has become overrun and old news. Strange how your strange skills and hobbies seem to fade as years pass.
oh well, what can you do? make lists.
go to bed early. listen to some music that includes a banjo. curl up in a pile of blankets. think about seaweed and rice. think about some good books. ponder the movie "homeward bound". what happened to all my chapsticks? remember roux. look at the strange things you've collected in life. decide on breakfast. turn on that salt lamp. its okay to eat pasta. you have too many suitcases and bags. listen for the coyotes at night. be done.
"A true soul mate is probably the most important person you'll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then leave. A soul mate's purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit and show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in, and make you so desperate and out of control that you have to transform your life." - Elizabeth Gilbert.
Day 4! I awoke to snow falling gently on the mountain at the Cornucopia Lodge. Kaitlin, again, made an amazing meal for breakfast... these things called ebelskivers. They were so good. I definatly overstuffed myself. But hey, when does anyone ever get to eat homemade ebelskivers on an isolated mountain made by a great chef? Yeah, see...
So we ate, I packed and got my things ready but we decided to play around in the snow and get some more photos before I left. So we did.... all on my phone tho. haha I didn't want to bring my Nikon outside while it was snowing. So yeah. Just imagine that perfect kind of quiet that snow brings, plus more because you're on an isolated mountain. It was good.
But, it was time to go to my next destination... La Grande. So off I went! I headed back the way I came from and drove by the Oregon Trail ruts again, so I stopped because the weather had been so nice, it had been raining and the clouds were big and fluffy.
Also decided this was another good opportunity to take a photo of another cool product made in Oregon - ShwoodShop Eyewear - These frames are the "Belmont" in Zebrawood. Most of their frames are made from sustainable wood and have Zeiss lenses in them... they are awesome. & hey, I would freakin know! Im an optician! These sunglasses are awesome. I actually really think people should own a pair of their own. They are very VERY cool.
I continued to my destination... La Grande. It was waiting for me. This is the view to my left when I first got there, and then to my right it was all blue with white fluffy clouds and it was sorta raining somehow which didn't make sense to me but I liked it because it was total magic and whimsy.
I met up with three really wonderful gals, Alice Trindle, who is the executive director of the Eastern Oregon Visitors Association as well as an incredibly welcoming and friendly person, I liked her a lot and I actually want to go back and tour more with her because she's so dang nice! Haha!; Anita Metlin who is apart of North East Oregon Cycle, she is incredibly passionate about bike tourism and the economic development it can (& will & does) bring to her home zone; & last but not least, Kristen Dollarhide who is the Executive Director at the Union County Chamber of Commerce as well as one of the funnest people I've ever hung out with maybe ever, we became fast friends. We all had lunch, and discussed the bicycle scene in Oregon. I really have no idea about bicycling, but what they told me made it sound quite amazing (&fun). Oregon is one of the most bike-friendly places on earth and home to an endless network of highways and backroads. Oregon is also the only state with official Scenic Bikeways. (they were also the first to pass a Bicycle Bill in 1971!) You can visit RideOregonRide.com to check out all the information you might need to plan and state your own cycling adventure! I really want to help Anita build on the North East Oregon cycling scene guys! I am in love with that area and I loved driving through that entire zone in my car... just imagine on a bike. OMG.
After lunch and talking we said goodbye to Anita and the rest of us headed over the the most adorable museum ever. The Union County Museum - it is filled to the brim with amazing artifacts, information and memories. I loved looking at everything, the history is SO rich in Eastern Oregon.
I got zero photos of the things I just went over because I was so engulfed in what was going on I totally forgot about my camera. Just go see for yourself, duh.
After the cute amazing museum, Kristen and I headed over the Ladd Marshes. The Ladd Marshes are incredible. I saw so many different types of birds and the weather was just... yeah. More than 200 species of birds, 40 species of mammals and 10 species of reptiles and amphibians live permanently or visit during migrations. Its truly beautiful! These photos here are of a bird... I can't remember the name of it. I don't know how we managed to see these birds, but alas there they were. Super cool and pretty big. (you can probably zoom in and see them better if you want) and then they started walking, so I had to get out of the car and take another photo cause they were doing some weird dip thing with their necks and flapping their wings, I couldn't react fast enough because I was too busy watching with my own eyes haha. The field was pretty big too so it was hard to find them again after they walked for a while haha.
Then we made a quick pit stop... At Hot Lake Springs. This place was SO awesome and also just so bizarre to me for some reason. I can't even put it into words. Its just so old and the history here is apparent just by standing there. You don't even need to know the actual history, you just stand in that space and know its got stories. Theres a bath house outside right over and next to the hot springs and right by the lake, thats the first thing you want to look at even tho there's a giant building in front of you, mostly because of the steam constantly rising from the hot springs. But go to the website and read the history timeline, it's totally cool. We took a tour inside quickly, and OH myyyy... Its so weird you guys!!! I loved it!!! Super old everything and medical equipment left there from long long long ago, you get an eerie feeling being inside the building but you can't stop because you HAVE to see more. I took no photos of the inside, because you need to go see for yourself. These are some photos from around the property -
and, I wanted to get the whole building of Hot Lake, but I wanted to keep it as old school as possible, with out the influence of anything new. So I just shot halfway up the building and beyond instead. Giving it a certain appeal. The building is huge, but like I said, I didn't really want any new items being in the photo - like cars or new hand railings or anything. It's all very well put together considering how old it is tho, I just felt that I didn't want to feature the bottom portion haha. I loved it tho, you can actually rent a room and stay over night! *if you're daring... I personally am too big of a wimp to do it!!! Kristen said "what if we had booked you to stay here overnight?" I said "I would have slept outside." hahahaha.
After our quick tour, we went to see some more of the Ladd Marshes (Hot Lake is located within the Marshes) before the storm came in - we went just in time!
Amazing. Amazing!! I loved this fun weather we got, it made the experience more fun to me. But, that was the end of the touring. Now it was time for Kristen and I to go get a bite to eat and relax for a while. She is so funny and so much fun to talk to. She is so full of energy and positivity I'm really glad I'm able to call her my friend now. We had a really fun night together in sweet little La Grande! But, my trip was winding down! While I was in La Grande I was staying at this house called "The Washington House" - all to myself! I wish I had had more time to spend there; it was so cute and the furnishings were so nice. But every time it was time for me to head back to where I was staying, I was always way too tired to even take photos or take advantage of the awesome space I had! Oh well, next time right? That wraps up day #4... almost done guys! *sad face* haha
Ah so yes, I woke up in my enormous room and I didn't actually want to get out of bed at all because it was so huge and comfortable. I hate how that happens.. haha. But I got up took a shower and packed my things up. I went down to meet Barbara (owner of the Geiser Grand) for breakfast in the bar area. I got the most delicious Eggs Benedict I've EVER had in my life. She makes a bit different than the rest of the world, I swear she makes it with magic. Who knows for sure. All I know is, I've never been the same since. YUM. Here, I even took a photo of it:
After I ate, I wanted more.
But I went onward with my day - Tim came back to the Hotel to take me out to the Oregon Trail Interpretation Center. So I loaded up all my things and followed Tim out to the Oregon Trail. We stopped just before the Interpretation Center and walked out away from the road a bit. I was standing on an area with no plants growing - a trail. It was the actual ruts of the Oregon trail. It was CRAZY knowing that so many people followed this trail in hopes of a new better life. So incredible.
We headed up the hill to the Interpretation Center and took the tour. It was so big and there was SO much information. I wish I had had time to read every single plaque and look at all the details. Its truly a facsinating journey that these people made. I really hope everyone gets to visit the Interpretation Center if they are in the area, it's so amazing to learn about the Oregon Trail. I liked walking on the Oregon Trail ruts in my Danner boots, considering they were made in Oregon. haha.
After my tour, I had to head off toward to the town of Halfway. I was told to take a detour over the hills so I could drive through the "ghost town" Sparta. So away I went...
The town was high up there. At first I didn't even know I was in the town. It's all on a dirt road, and eventually you're like... oh... it was back there... Because you drive past it pretty quick. Haha. It was a really fun drive.
It eventually spit me out in the town of Halfway. A super cute town that I really really liked.
I was headed to my next stop - The Wallowa Llamas. Basically, I had no idea this was even something you could do... but you can go on a backpacking trip and rent llamas to carry your gear. Its a really awesome adventure. I met Raz at his house and he showed me a slideshow of previous trips he had taken with a group of people and the llamas. It was BEAUTIFUL! Then we walked out to see the llamas. They are such weird creatures. They are related to camels and live to be about 17 to 22 years old. They are also useful being places with sheep because llamas safe guard the sheep from coyotes. Llamas simply have an intimidating nature - they just walk up to a coyote and scare it away. They also bond with sheep well. How cool right? Raz took a photo of me trying to get the llamas to come hang out with me... the llamas looked at me like I was crazy... haha. I took one of him as well, but the llamas know him and like him so they went up and smelled him. Funny animals.
After I was done visiting I headed to town to meet up with Tammy, she wanted to show me around to some cute places in Halfway but I was on a time crunch, so she settled with showing me Babettes house and B&B. For those who don't know, Babette was the first woman to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition in 1964. She lives in Halfway and also has a new B&B on top of a hill overlooking Halfway called Ravens Wing. We drove up there and it was amazing! I love all the quirky details and decor. It was truly amazing up there.
She also has a gypsy caravan outside you can rent to stay in as well - its awesome.
After visiting with Tammi and Babette I headed up to meet with Kaitlin who lives at the Cornucopia Lodge with her father. We had to leave my car at the bottom of the mountain and take her truck halfway up the mountain, then we transferred vehicles to a snow crawler thing. It took a while to get up there, but we made it and we had enough light so we decided to drive over the snow to the ghost town of Cornucopia. An old town founded on gold, abandoded in the 1940s/1950s. She doesn't get many visitors up there so she was really excited that I was down to explore and even wander into some of the old houses. We both kept saying how weird and cool it was. Just being where people used to live... who just up and left... totally eerie. But, typically Cornucopia Lodge is a summer destination. With hikes, horse back adventures and much more. There are small family cabins on the mountain you can rent, or stay in one of the rooms in the Lodge. Its perfectly isolated and beyond beautiful.
We headed back to the Lodge and I unpacked and got into my cozy warm pjs because it was cold up there when the sun went down! Kaitlin made us a delicious meal - she's an incredible cook - and we went to bed early. Funny enough... I forgot to take a photo of the actual Lodge! I took one with my phone tho. Oh well, you can see it on their website!
I'll write about day 4 SOON I promise! Stay with me here guys! :)