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Tuesday, July 26, 2011


An amazing thing occurred as we were leaving Seattle. The sun came out. Eyes widened, jaws dropped, and rain jackets were stashed away.

Locals call this phenomenon a “sun break”. We called it “God getting it right”.

We drove on regretting we had no time for a nearby cherry festival. I might have entered the cherry pit spit. Their current record holders are Leslie Strake (32 feet, nine inches) and the men’s champ, Mike Stephens (42 feet, 2 inches).

In Southern Washington we stopped to see the trees surrounding Mount St.Helens. Locals swore the famous volcano was right in front of us but grey clouds obscured whatever was there.

Forty miles south we stopped in Portland, Oregon, to have lunch with another former Miamian. The beer at Deschutes Brewery was great but the rain outside was not. We headed south once more.

Leaving seems to do the trick as the sun came out once more. We set up camp in Oregon Dunes State Park. As usual, a ranger stopped by to remind us to keep our edibles in the van, “We’ve got crows here that’ll take your food apart!”. “Crows?, we asked, “That’s it? No bears? She told us that bears occasionally wandered through but birds were the biggest threat. Images of Hitchcock’s “The Birds” suddenly entered through my head. It was filmed south of here in Bodega Bay.

We decided to forget about bears and birds so we could enjoy the dunes. As the clouds covered the sun again we climbed the one between us and the ocean. At its peak we witnessed another magnificent cloudset.

As you can see, there were no bears on the beach.

That thing Francesca is dragging up top is a small brown dog.

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