Recent in-town walking was nice…

Recent in-town walking was nice in the unusually low temperatures. Especially among some large firs in the neighborhood:

And the occasional parkside train. I wish it were required that tracks had passenger depots at railside parks and that passenger cars be mixed with non-hazardous freight cars:

This cool weather was recent, leading up to the holiday winter storm. But it was actually pretty cool at the beginning of October even, at least at elevation; a friend suddenly texted, picked me up from the tennis courts, and took me to Larch Mountain — the one on the Oregon side:

Looking further back, into August, a moto friend invited me on a ride through national forest. These are the kinds of rides I like, where you start out from your garage instead of hauling bikes to a starting point. We crossed the bridge over the Columbia, went northeast into a tangle of forest service roads for hours, and exited in Packwood. It’s a small town in sort of a bowl within the Cascades, and more specifically within a stretch of Cowlitz River valley. It had been pre-pandemic since I’d been there. We arrived at the downtown campground I remembered as self-serve and instead met and paid a host. The small town’s excellent Italian restaurant had unfortunately closed down according to him. We managed to set up camp right before dark, before walking to the pizza joint. Our stumpy campground served us well. My friend’s lamp lights his beloved dehydrated pineapple:

This looks chaotic, but it well represents a nice weekend of riding, camping and catching up with a longtime friend. Sometimes you get a campsite without a picnic table and just have to use the bike’s rack instead. And the seat. And fender. Perhaps what’s going on with my turn signal is genuine chaos though.

I awoke to perfect, cool weather, could hear my friend snoring in his tent. Looking around, I remembered the location of the cafe whose baked goods I’d been thinking about since the invitation to this ride, then set out down the road:

This moto-camping trip was with the same friend whose communication I find so direct, realistic, reflecting real events and conditions. I wonder if he is just what people mean by “grounded”. Unless that term only applies to the calmness with which he talks. But maybe staying calm lets one think clearer and not conflate or interpolate — not diverge from reality. By contrast, I’ve seen people in an uptight state diverge. I think the divergence can be boiled down to one drawing conclusions and then clinging to them (arguing them) instead anchoring to/using as a compass the actual events on which their conclusions are based. Maybe “projecting” is a form of doing this. I can also remember this particular friend could — no matter how dysfunctional his workplace became — refrain from bringing it home to his family, effortlessly since he did not even think about it outside of work hours. I wonder if this is what people mean by “present”, being present, in the present. I think that ironically, if I broached this subject with this friend, he would just say “Not sure I follow”.

Anyway, I mainly just meant to share photos from the last 6 months


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