Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Surviving my first night. Snapshots from the road.

I awoke in a lush forest, the sound of a river nearby. Packed up and on the road about 9:40.

Except for the new "Tsunami Lanes" leading out of the city, downtown Crescent City looked strangely familiar. I wondered if this is in fact where I stopped for breakfast some 35 years ago, not Eureka as I had long believed?

Drove up the road to the Pelican Bay Maximum Security Prison. The stark facility is bordered by a hundred yards of barren soil, surrounded by perimeters of barbed and electrical wire. No nonsense here.

A short distance beyond,in Ft. Dick, "Mugshots Drive-Through Expresso."

A billboard claims "Elk Valley Casino" "one of the 3 wonders of Del Norte."

Crossing into Oregon, the landscape seems cleaner - manicured (it reminds me of Germany); it's warmer (73°) and the gas is cheaper!

At Pistol River, the wind is whipping off the ocean, sucked into the warm interior. 30-45 mph according to my pocket weather station.

In Gold Beach, I stopped for a cappuccino at "Tsunami Willie's". $3.75. A Christian band setting up for the evening's show.

Nice drivers up here. They ALWAYS obey the 50 mph speed limit, much to my frustration. Many stops for roadwork along the coast.

The logging trucks leave behind a sickening smell of diesel mixed with evergreen sap. Beyond the thin curtain of trees, clearcuts abound. I stop south of Reedsport to capture one such obscenity.



Oregon landscape. At war with nature, south of Reedsport. See the geotag link above for an aerial view of the destruction.



Oregon. Behind the "cosmetic curtain" shielding sensitive motorists from the devastation along U.S. 101, rampant clearcutting mows down our forests, as here along the southern shores of Tankenitch Lake.

[May 2012 update: see this Living on Earth story on Oregon's dirty little secret (and in this, Oregon is hardly alone): Clearcut Chemicals]

On many stretches of the Oregon coast, "exclusive" properties have removed the beach from our view.

In Bandon, the gas station attendant hands me the pump. "The law says I just have to hand it to you. But you can pump it."

"Tsunami Hazard Zones" marked in the low-lying areas.

At "Charl's" coffee shop in Florence, I try a bowl of clam chowder and a strawberry Belgian waffle. A great combination. Washed up in their bathroom. I'm dirty!

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