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From Pandemonium to Powell's - Montana to Oregon

Posted June 3, 2009

2 comments posted. Read them now.

Introduction: From Pandemonium to Powell's: the Tour d'Store

Day I: Pandemonium Books and Games - Cambridge MA

Day II: Buffalo and Ann Arbor

Day III: Lansing and Chicago

Days IV and V: Minneapolis and Fargo

Portland, OR
I've been here a few days but I'm underneath about ninety boxes of crap. Why is it that the moving truck didn't crash or spontaneously combust or accidentally back up onto a shipping container and disembark in Australia? Where were the freak lightning storms which were questing for vengeance against my stuff? It's all here. In cardboard.

Fact and Fiction
Missoula, MT

Fact and Fiction is a lovely shop right smack in the middle of Missoula, which I realized is one of the chillest cities in the world. If people were any more laid back they would be on life support. Since the employee working that day was new I didn't bug her with my usual battery of questions, but she was very helpful in directing me to the local gear shop and supermarket so I could load up for a few nights of camping. While in town I wandered around Caras Park, the bank side freakshow on the Clark Fork River. The park was full of people juggling, playing with dogs, drum circling and mostly intoxicated by the sun - I'm sure that they'd stepped out of their down and blubber parkas just a few days before.

The drive through Central Idaho follows the serpentine path of the Clearwater river, in an area that defines the eastern edge of the Pacific salmon bioregion. There are lots of forested trails, dangerous 2-lane roads and no coffee shops. With the right gear this devastating problem is easily solved. Also took a short hike in the Eagle's Something or Other National Forest. I walked for about 40 minutes on the trail, and turned back when the neurotic New Yorker in me imagined that my car would get towed for some reason. In the middle of the Idaho National Forest. Yep. I need meds.

On Day 7 I crossed the Snake River from Idaho into Washington, then jogged down into eastern Oregon to camp at Wallowa Lake State Park near the town of Joseph, which likes to call itself the Switzerland of America, because they love chocolate, cheese, yodeling and neutrality. Or because of the mountains.

Day 8 brought me into Portland after a stunning westward drive on a bluebird day, with the Columbia River shimmering on my right and Mount Hood straight ahead. You feel Nature tugging at your arm in the heat of an 80-degree day and staring volcano ice cream cone.

Thanks for stopping by the All Day Coffee travelblog. Our regular diet of meany-pants snark, mockery and scabrous screeds will return shortly. Once I've unpacked the irony board.

 

 

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