So the Oregon trip went mostly really well, with one major fail moment which was not my own. But as a whole? Awesome. A girl could get used to that lifestyle. Seriously used to it.

I drove down to Eugene on Sunday to spend the night with internet friends there, since the whole show thing was so far away. Passing the 45th parallel in a car was a first, and conceptually kind of amazing; I tried to get a photo of the sign, but missed both times. I stopped in a rest stop to make a peanut better sammich and eat fruit rolls and ended up having a hot dog from racecar driver Ed and his partner Nancy going up from an event in Oregon to another event in Washington. It’s some sort of sub-NASCAR circuit and they don’t make a lot of money but they have fun, and it was really just nice meeting them!

I’d never been to the Willamette Valley before, and damn that thing is wide and flat. I expected flat – it’s farming country – but I didn’t know you lost site of the edges. I kept thinking MOUNTAINS I MISS YOU! and eventually they came back, and I got down to Andra’s house and met her partner Sandra and housemate Jana and ended up geeking about her music theory work and we had all sorts of fun. Thanks for dinner and crash space! And brownies! Yum. ^_^

I set out to Redmond in the morning, forgetting to get gas before leaving Eugene because why would I buy gasoline? I just bought gasoline yesterday. How could I need more? It hasn’t even been three weeks! So I stopped at a store on the way which had all the hallmarks of an updated 1920s/1930s general store and gas station, complete with antique coolers with huge wooden doors. I love those.

The mountain passes had these amazing stripes of silver trees – there’d been a forest fire, which is sad, but everything left behind kind of shone and glittered. I tried to take pictures while driving because I didn’t have time to stop, and you can see a little of it in a couple of the shots. It was both sad and gorgeous.

Redmond’s a nice town. I like the new park, and the 1940 late-nouveau city hall, and the amphitheatre is pretty big, really, for a three-teir theatre. Sadly – and this is the big fail – the event I was playing got cancelled after I got there, due to high winds. But I looked around and realised that neither the amphitheatre nor those kids playing in the amphitheatre’s fountain were blowing away, so decided that, well, y’know what? The event can be cancelled; I’m not. So even though most people left before I even started, I played anyway, and made the 8-10 kids and their parents who stayed behind very happy, and all the kids came up with their quarters and pennies, and I gave them stickers, and we all had a good time.

An archeologist named Fred out in Burns gave me crash space for the night, so out into the badlands I went! And I’m so glad I did. I had no idea the Oregon high desert was so… astonishing. I thought the valley was wide? No. This was akin to another planet. I have photos that look like moon photos. I got eyestrain from the hours of focus-on-infinity the trip entails.

The whole trip out to Burns was just hypnotic. The strange low ecosphere hiding out in one metre above the ground? Crazytalk amazing. The deep violet colours with the greens and the yellows? Completely unexpected. I wish I could photograph it. I tried again, even knowing it never works. Stupid cameras. And, pleasantly, not as hot as I’d expected. Then I got there and met up with Fred for the Mexican dinner and conversation and better directions and a little obsidian arrowhead! I have it upstairs. Thanks, Fred! (He made it himself. ^_^ )

The next morning, I went to Glass Butte. I wanted a piece of volcanic glass, and… it was just lying out there waiting for me. Glass Butte DOES NOT LIE. It was everywhere. I got there at the wrong time of day to see the reported glitter effect, but on the other hand, everything kind of glittered out there – even the plants – so I doubt I missed too much. I also saw elk tracks, and a strange little lizard visited for about two seconds too long – I spotted it before it noticed I’d seen it, and then it ran like hell.

I went north the dry way, through the pass at Mt. Hood, looking at ancient river canyons and listening to tribal radio while rolling through Road Runner cartoon-style buttes down side roads and old highways and parts of 99. I’m pretty sure I spotted the pass of Caradhras on Mt. Hood. Someday I want to trace the old 99 route out as much as it survives in Cascadia, and travel it as best it can be travelled, but that’s for a later time.

Then yesterday, I had my final show of this long June/July set, at Juanita Bay, and now I go back into the studio for a big push on Dick Tracy. This man’s needed killin’ too long. It’s time for a reckoning.