Oregon Journey, 2005.
ten years ago, there was an epic road trip to Portland
by Reviewer Rob
Editor’s Note: In early Fall, 2005, I went on an exploratory expedition to the Northwest, driving from San Diego to Portland along the 101 from LA to SF and then up the 5 through Medford and into PDX, stopping finally at the doorstep of Powell’s Books bookstore. This little story is reposted from 9-11-2005 in the Reviewermag Livejournal account, which was, in the days before we had a dedicated website, our way of managing content online. Reviewer has been in print since 1996, and a domain was purchased as early as 2000 or so, but has been webmastering its own site only since 2009.
[Backposted from the same date in Reviewer Rob’s Sporadic Journal.]
I’m still in Portland. I can get back in time to catch the swell if I leave on Tuesday.
I have been meeting with people despite my hellacious head cold, which I think I caught in Medford. Or maybe in Marin, on the north side of the Golden Gate bridge. I had been checking out the Presidio and area around the Golden Gate and said what the hell and drove across it. On the other side there was a lookout point with a statue of a solitary sailor in the middle of it and lots of Japanese tourists acting all excited to be there. There was a fierce cold wind blowing. I mean, it was like you’d expect to feel on a ship in the arctic. This was still the first week in September and I was suddenly very aware of not being in Southern California any more. I put on a sweatshirt and it was still cold. On the water directly in front of the observation deck, down slightly to the right, there was a large rock sticking out of the water, a small shoreless island shaped like half a football jutting vertically out of the water. Plumes of the wind could be seen making small waves in the bay as blasts of air came over the Marin headland and struck the water at what must have been a sharp angle since the ripple pattern fanned out in all directions from a large central location near the rock. I went into a Sausalito dockside restaurant for a large plate of some excellent blackened catfish, beans, rice, salad and a pint of beer. The salad was better than any I’ve ever tasted. I ate every single morsel of this dish as well as the basket of bread while reading the local paper and was full. There was a TV over the bar and the weather man was at the chart. The sound was off but the unmistakable schematic of the Jet Stream could be seen making a high arc up by Alaska, curving down the Canadian Coast, and then going slightly out to sea before making a hard left and entering California right at the mouth of the San Francisco Bay. I know the Jet Stream is a high-altitude phenomenon, but it’s no wonder I imagined I could smell icebergs in that wind.
Berkeley was cold too, didn’t stop there for long. Drove up into the central valley and on for a couple of hundred miles before stopping to sleep.
I went to Medford, Oregon, the next day, and stopped in at a Starbucks to log on where there was a customer coughing. Maybe he’s the one who had something that I didn’t yet have any antibodies for… Or maybe it was the strippers at that one titty bar Medford has. They, like many Oregon erotic dancers, get up close and personal with their marks.
Since it’s a novelty for this California dude to be in a bar where nude girls dance I eagerly went in to this one place of live, erotic entertainment. The girls on stage were rubbing faces, clothed asses and crotches on customer’s faces, bare legs on faces… I was thinking like, “OK, how do I know that last guy on the other side of the stage you were rubbing your twat into his face on didn’t have fuckin pink eye?!”
But the girls were hot, so, I tipped well and drank my beer. I even bought a lap dance from a bright young lady who spent a few minutes before hitting me up for going private to tell me how nice Medford is, how it reminds her of her hometown in Minnesota, and about all the money she’s made over the last couple of years first buying a condo in Sacramento for 90K with her boyfriend and how they sold it a year later for over 100K in profit. Now she lives in Yreka and is a dental assistant. She was short, small breasted and 22, with braces on her teeth and a killer little rockin ass and figure…
Lap dance: $15.
Here I am now with a huge head cold in Portland, with all these new bugs swirling around me, money in my pocket and time on my hands. The people here are friendly and I’ve met a few I’d like to spend some time with before I make my drive back.
I’ll let you know though if I come down with a case of the Portland Whooping Cough or conjunctivitis.
Oh, by the way, almost forgot, one of the things I like to do in every town I stop in is buy the local Thomas Guide. The only complaint I have about it is that they don’t yet have GPS coordinates on the pages. Other than that the things are invaluable and a great street finding resource even if you have a really good onboard or pocket computer. They come with a CD and every year they update with new streets and the pages correspond year after year so places are easy to find in each edition.
In the Thomas Guide for San Francisco the map for North Beach is on page 666.
Coincidence, you say?