Today is Tuesday (I think) and we are in Eugene, OR visiting old friends from college. I have been on more near disastrous trips with John than anyone else to date. Burt and I will try to keep it that way. John think the most dangerous was our misbegotten trip down Section III of the Chattooga when we all nearly drowned. I happen to prefer our New Zealand mountaineering trip on Mount Aspiring. I impaled myself on my crampon and tripped head first into a crevasse. Those on the outside might think our trip in the Bugaboos where I fell into another crevasse and then John was hit by rockfall and flown out in a helicopter might have been the worst. Harriet wisely abstained from each of these trips. I am now firmly committed to only going on trips that Harriet participates in. Unless, of course, we head for the Grand Teton. She’s the only mountain still getting my goat (or if your a climber, my rat).
We spent a night around Mount St. Helens. No pictures due to clouds. We watched the hilariously dramatically narrated 13 minute film at the visitors center. The next morning we enjoyed a cool moist walk in the forest at Seaquest State Park. The mushrooms were diverse in structure and colors. The first set we saw had creamy white smooth caps on slender stems. They were about 4″ across and 4″ high. Burt bent over to unshroud one cloaked in a wet oak leaf when Elvis barreled through and knocked both mushrooms flat. So much for quietly appreciating our surroundings.
On the road to Eugene we were ambushed by a camerman and news reporter at the Vancouver rest area. They were polling truckers and tourists about a proposal to fund a new bridge over the Columbia with a toll for only truckers and tourists. The report asked a pretty straightforward question and I naturally paused to contemplate my answer. Years with EPA can’t be erased that easily. In the space of my pause the cameraman started to goad me to get a more dramatic response. He started in with, “Isn’t that crazy? Don’t you think that’s unfair?” I had never seen that trick before, but Montana is a whole lot politer. I didn’t react and gave a bland answer about how we all need to pay for the things we use and blah blah blah. Burt was in the bathroom during the encounter. When he came out he got the same treatment and gave an answer that was more along the lines of what they were looking for although not what they expected. He said he was a local at heart and thought it was great that the locals wanted to gouge the travelers. That was fine with him. They continued to film us as we piled in the truck laughing our heads off and drove away. Maybe it will be our big break.