Like Words Together Reflections from the deep end of Practice.


Showing off Oregon – Part 2

While I taught yoga on while CK and NR went to a coffee shop, both to get a little work done. After teaching we headed over to pick up SAO. Quick lunch at Red & Black Cafe (where CK and I each ordered the same thing, again -- her a TLT and the Phyto Club for me) then some sweets & coffee from Sweetpea Baking and we were headed out.

The first idea was to go to the Evergreen Aviation Museum to see the Spruce Goose. Kind of a "second date" event for CK and I. Although that was really a fantastic, muddy hike in Forest Park in December 2007. I was hugely nervous on the trip we took there in January 2008, barely saying much. CK thought I was bored and/or irritated.

I'd suggested we nip into Sokol Blosser to check out some wines. It is roughly on the way to McMinnville, so it seemed like we could fit it in. I had spotted on their website that this was a big weekend celebration with tents, bands, and a new wine being introduced.

Inevitably we hit very slow traffic as we approached Dundee. We'd got out of town later than expected so it seemed unlikely that popping into one of the wineries would work. SAO and NR were not hugely into the museum so a spur of the moment decision was made to continue on to Lincoln City for a walk on the beach. The considerably longer drive would give NR a chance to see a lot more.

Just after leaving McMinnville CK spotted a sign for U-Pick strawberries. "Let's pick berries" she called out with great excitement from the backseat.

I looked in the rear-view mirror and calculated that suddenly braking for the sharp right turn would not mean the large pick up behind me would crashing into us. I said something to the effect of, "Oh! Uhh... hold on!" and pulled quickly down a gravel road. Whew!

At Farmer John's Produce & Nursery we were given plastic bags ("We're out of buckets right now") and I lead us out to the rows of strawberries. It was warm and smelled of earth & berries. We were soon all quiet and looking for the bright red of the strawberries peeking through the green leaves. Occasional "yum" noises were made as someone popped a perfect, warm berry into their mouth and ate it.

The self-pick bug took hold of us. I weighed in with 4.1 pounds of berries. CK had over 3 pounds as did NR and SAO. We were all sticky and I kept finding red stains on my pants. Laughing and much refreshed we piled back into the Outback and continued on towards the coast.

Predictably it was chilly and windy when we finally stopped at the Road's End State Park. We all piled out, pulled on jackets and started to walk north with the intent of looking at the tide pools. Along the way I looked for interesting rocks and agates. CK explained that I had an uncanny knack for finding them (I'm sure there are people better at it although I do have pretty good luck). There weren't a lot of rocks on the beach so I only found a couple of interesting things.


The wind was blowing really hard, making all of our ears and heads ache from it. CK and I noted that we should just keep a couple of hats in the car for just this kind of occasion. Since it appeared that the tide was pretty well in, meaning the tide pools wouldn't be a s good, and we were all pretty chilled, we headed back.


I really enjoyed trying to get good pictures of the sand pipers.

The light was great on Sunday making for a lovely drive home after we got back to the car.


I even managed to get a shot inspired by my friend E!


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Showing off Oregon

Today we slept it, which felt wonderful!


Once we all were up and showered we decided upon Vita Cafe (really like the new space) for a big breakfast and then up to the Downtown/PSU Farmer's Market. It meant we got there past noon, much later than either CK and I usually get to the market. We were not very surprised to see that some stalls didn't have as much left.

Musicians were all around the perimeter of the market and the band that was playing in the center was awesome! We quickly picked out some asparagus then looked around for rapini (none to be found, sadly). Since we hadn't found rapini we decided to get some chard. I also grabbed a small bunch of spring red onions - shining red bulbs and stiff green shoots. Some vegan basil, garlic, mint pesto was sampled and purchased for dinner later. I also got some fiddlehead ferns to try out.

CK and I picked out some more starts for the garden. She found a yellow watermelon and a spaghetti squash. We also got two types of lettuce and some red choi. Then vendor at that stall had a broken Italian bush bean (1 out of 6 starts in the tray was damaged) that she gave to us free!

The last two chocolate panini at the Pearl Bakery booth were purchased and then we decided to get a "soda" made from fresh raspberries, lemonade and mineral water. This was very refreshing and tasty. We enjoyed these while heading over to Pearl Bakery to see if we could get a round boule of their multi-grain bread. They didn't have any left so we picked out a cibatta to go with the veggies with dinner later.

Brought the market goodies back to the house and decided to drive up the Gorge a little bit since NR has never seen it. As we drove past falls we made a spur of the moment decision to continue east to Hood River. Once there we went to the Full Sail Brewery and had a late lunch with beer. Then down to the river to watch the windsurfers and kite-boarders.


Back to the house CK and I worked on the yard a bit. I planted seeds for various lettuces and greens as well as the starts from the market. Still need to find homes for 3 more of the bush beans. CK leveled out the area by the compost pile so that she can make mounds for all the winter squash and melons.

Then inside for a late dinner of grilled, baked tofu & tempeh with pesto. Chard sauteed with the red onion and a little minced garlic in olive oil, tossed with balsamic. Seared, steamed asparagus with sea salt. Plus crispy slices of garlic bread. All of it was so delicious.

Made for a long day, but it was a lot of fun showing off our city and state. I really enjoyed being able to go from the Farmer's Market to a delicious dinner later. That CK & I also managed to squeeze in a little garden time ourselves was very cool.



When I got back to the flat after teaching my Sunday yoga class CK had decided we were going to Sauvie Island to explore, maybe pick some berries, and take pictures. The day was warm, sunny and beautiful out. We snacked on the leftover tempeh and I threw together some of the barley, some balasamic vinaigrette CK had made, and fresh veggies so we had a salad. We packed a couple of apples as well as the salad into a bag so we could have a snack lunch later.

Time for a Snack!

We drove around, just enjoying the beauty of the day, and finally decided we'd drive across one end of the island and go to Columbia River beach side. We parked and walked around a pasture for a while, looking at the cows, a couple of snakes, a woolly caterpillar, and lots of birds. It was a lot of fun just to walk along talking. We discussed ideas about working with online writing, which is this wonderful meeting of our technology and creative interests. I really enjoy that CK wants to share this with me too.

Headed back to the little red truck and headed back around the loop we'd selected. We made our way to Columbia Farms where we decided to have our lunch/snack and got an empty half-flat along with directions to the rows of raspberries. After we finished our snack we got to picking berries for about 40 minutes.

I was surprised CK had never done this before. Mom and I would often go to u-pick places and farm stands for produce. She enjoyed that connection back to her childhood in the country as well as the inexpensive aspect. The bees, busy with the flowers and berries still thick on the canes, were a little unnerving to CK, but she gamely picked berries. Each of us stopping to eat a few as we went. Oh, raspberries just picked, still warm from the sun, and the half flat for under $5!

And we're done!

From there we went on to the Pumpkin Patch where we purchased half a dozen different winter squash. We also bought a bag of still warm kettle corn and sat on a bench watching all the birds in the sun flowers, munching and planning a future visit, closer to Halloween. Eventually, half a bag eaten, we made ourselves close up the kettle corn and headed back to Portland.