“The book American Gods wishes it was.” --Despina Durand

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

PANDEMIC ODYSSEY: PART THREE



The next morning, when I asked Mike where we were headed he just said, “North.”



We were in Oregon, farther north than I had ever been. I didn’t know what to expect. Time to just open the mind, and get ready to take in something new, which at first were more misty seaside forests.



Margaret went back to saying “I don’t like that fish,” and “Sally Restowski,” again.



In a thrift store in Gold Beach, I saw a THERE IS NO WAY OF TELLING WHAT YET MAY BECOME PART OF HISTORY poster. I may have been thinking about the election.



We crossed the Rogue River. How does a river go rogue?


Then a sign announced TSUNAMI HAZARD ZONE.



The mist thickened, got foggy. We passed an Arizona Beach--there are no beaches in Arizona, but in Oregon . . .


Then, in the forest, a sign announced: THE SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF OREGON, followed by a TRUMP/PENCE sign.



After we passed a strange boat, like something out of a fantasy novel, it started to rain.




A funky old guy got wet as he stood by his truck on which he had signs saying PRAY . . . TRUMP . . . WE WON.


This was a surrealistic, enchanted forest.




Mike said, “It just gets weirder the further north you go.”


Sure enough, there was a street called Lois Lane.



In rural, Oregon there’s no self-service at gas stations in the daytime. An attendant grabbed the pump out of my hand when I tried to help myself.


“Here we are,” said Emily, “driving along the end of the world.”



A lot of Halloween decorations were still up. Or maybe they just preferred that decor.




Eventually, we reached Newport, “The Friendliest City on the Planet,” where we spent the night.



Got tacos from a Mazatlan that was run by Mexicans. It’s always a good sign when the employees at Mexican place speak Spanish.



It rained all night, and the air was fresh and clean in the morning.


It was looking good for Biden. The Trumpsters were praying for an act of God.



“It’s a slow-motion landslide,” said Em.


It was another day, and this was another Tsunami Hazard zone.



There were a lot of yoga places all the way along the coast.



A thrift mall in Lincoln City had a lot of steampunk stuff. Like cyberpunk before it, the literary subgenre had become a fashion statement/lifestyle. I wondered when and where do people wear this paraphernalia.



We were halfway between the Equator and the North Pole. More of the names were Native. The trees grew mossy. Clouds touched the mountains--we learned that they were called water dogs.



Margaret was talkative today, probably because of the good news about the election. Espresso is another big thing along this coast.



Finally, we were in Washington, and I found a made-in-China Swiss Army knife, complete with a Phillips screwdriver for five bucks.



Trump Patrollers, wet flags hanging limp on their trucks, had gone fishing.



Long Beach (there’s one in Washington) had a lot of Mexican food joints, too. The Global Barrio is expanding along the far edge of Aztlán. A different kind of Montezuma’s revenge.



Went through the tiny town of Cosmopolis, that is just outside Aberdeen, where we stayed, and got tacos from another Mazatlan.



The next morning was foggy. It’s hard to take pictures in the fog.


But CNN finally projected Biden as the winner.



Margaret was transfixed. We couldn’t tear her away from the TV in the motel with their coverage of people dancing in the streets all over America.



Did people dance in the streets when Trump was elected in 2016? I don’t remember.


Margaret’s comment was: “At least I’m not going to have to wake up every morning with a burning rag in my lap.”




After a while, we headed for totem pole territory, and the Quinault Rainforest, where we learned about bear cans. They’re where you store your edibles when camping in bear country.



Also, there was no network connection in the rainforest.


Past Lake Crescent, before sundown we arrived in Port Angeles, and yes, they have Mexican food.


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