In the summer I seek out shade.
In the winter, I get in touch with my inner flower.
If the winter sun should happen to poke a finger through
's perpetual cloud
ceiling, and if the wind is not blowing at gale-like velocities, I'll throw the
kayak on the truck - well O.K. - I'll strenuously leverage it onto the ladder
rack (all the while making old man sounds) and head for a nearby river or lake. Portland
This is how
looked two weeks ago. The fickle sun had stopped diddling the clouds by the
time I got to the lake, but I had been taking steps to make friends with the
rain, even if my camera had not... Smith
& Bybee Lakes
...and so I launched my kayak anyway and enjoyed the spectacle of cat-like clouds stalking the Willamette valley, looking for some dry place to lie down.
Sunday, the Sun wasn't teasing anymore. It grabbed the cloud ceiling firmly in two hands and yanked (like a housekeeper yanking the sheets off a hotel mattress) to uncover a radiant blue sky that went all the way up.
But this time, Metro's canoe launch at the East end of Smith Lake didn't come anywhere near to reaching the water, so I drove on to Kelly Point Park and launched into the Columbia Slough from their dirt and gravel boat ramp.
A man in a canoe exiting the slough reported that the tide influenced water had stopped retreating. Anticipating minimum resistance from the
Willamette, I chose to head up-river.
...until, sun-tears leaking down my cheek, the river relented and turned a bit and the sun stepped a few more degrees off towards the horizon, and a tiny breeze shattered the river-mirror into amorphous infinite pyramids that scattered the sun's binary stare. I regained my vision.
Once the sun set behind the West Hills, the wind - the real wind - escaped from wherever it had been confined for the day and raced down river to tease me about not wearing my dry suit. The wind's henchmen, the rolling waves, pushed me around to see if they could get me to cry.
Presumably, this architectural feature was implemented on purpose.
Dark shadows cast from the West Hills chased the last of the day's light up these towers and scared it back into space.
Empty piers with their piling teeth collaborated with tugboat wakes to hamper my progress. I appreciated the wind's inclination not to chase me into darkness.
Without cloud cover, the last of the day's heat radiates out into space inspiring me to apply a wind-proof layer to my ill chosen Spring ensemble. Keeping a wary eye out for tugboats (one is visible to the left of the pilings on its way upriver), I also utilize this brief pause to rig my boat with its running light.
Lights blink on against the fading pastel colored sky. The scene seemed vaguely Hopperesque to me and I expected to see Dean, Monroe, Bogart or Presley leaning on the railing.
From these outposts, we launch our grains and goods across the Pacific. The scale of our man-made creations is overwhelming when inched up to in a 14 foot plastic boat, but standing mutely beyond the
taking on grain at the Port of Portland in . Portland
If the dust that was blowing over the side of this ship wasn't some kind of wholesome grain...then I'm probably going to get cancer.
Editor's Note: Alert viewer Bernadette gleaned the following information from Kenny Macdonald, Marine Media Relations Manager.
"Thanks for your interest in the Port of Portland. What a lucky day for Scott to see the bulk carrier "Portland" at the Port of Portland! You can track its progress here:
What we are looking at is the 57,000 ton ship at the Port of Portland’s Terminal 5, berth 501 loading at Columbia Grain Inc. for export. At the end of November, year to date totals for Columbia Grain was 2.26 million metric tons of product; mostly wheat, but also barley, corn or soybeans.
Indeed, many of the barges you see going up and down the river are loaded with grain bound for one of seven, deep-water grain terminals on the Columbia or Willamette rivers, including this one at the Port of Portland. The export of agricultural goods, especially wheat, are a big part of our state’s economy. Check out this page about T-5 and our recently-released wheat video!
I finally reached the kayak launch at
park and staved off the presentation of my Darwin Award for yet another day. Kelly Point