Hey Duncan! Greetings from Hood River, Oregon. I started drawing this in a coffee shop, but left when it was invaded by a skater kids. Now I’m parked on a patch of gravel near an I-84 on-ramp, and it’s way more peaceful.
I just moved. Now I’m at a nearby county park overlooking the Columbia River Gorge. When I finished writing that last paragraph I realized that I could probably do even better than a gravel patch near an interstate. I’m sitting at an oak-shaded picnic table overlooking a beautiful river … near an interstate.
Today I woke up near the east fork of the Hood River, hiked up to a place called Lookout Mountain, and then hiked another trail out to the tricky-to-spell Tamanawas Falls. It was a pretty good day.
The night before last I camped up on a Forest Service road near treeline on Mount Hood. When I woke up there yesterday I met two vegans, one of whom explained the outcome of the Vietnam War as a result of our adversaries’ ability to subsist on rice alone. He also explained that you can eat moldy rice. I am skeptical.
Hey Aimee! You can see here (above, in the squiggly letter “E” in the word “maybe”) where my dog Skillet jumped off the picnic table. It’s getting late in the afternoon, and these days the sun sets early. At the outset of my travels this year I could look forward to early morning sunrises and lingering sunsets that hung in the sky until eleven p.m., but now the sun is going down without much fanfare and the equinox is almost here.
I’m camped on the banks of the Hood River in Oregon, and across the river to my west is a forested ridge that’s going to be hiding the sun in maybe half an hour. When I hold my hand at arm’s length I can fit two fingers between the ridgeline and the sun. Somewhere along the way I learned that each finger is worth fifteen minutes of daylight.
I have a couple friends who have done work processing employee injury claims, and I’m guessing that somewhere along the way they learned to value fingers not in minutes, but in multi-thousand dollar increments.
Hey Aimee, it’s Mike again. I’m writing this with the pen held between my teeth. You see, Bigfoot ripped both my arms off. He only let me live because I promised to plug his new T.V. sitcom, Sheriff Bigfoot, premiering this fall on CBS. Here are some clips.
I’ve never seen the sitcom, so I had to imagine what it might look like. Halfway through drawing the third clip I realized that the “avenge my death” line is also in the first season Bigfoot episode of The Simpsons, but I was in too deep to back out. Anyway, Bigfoot is gone now, and I’m going to seek medical attention. Thanks for your time!
Mike: Tamara, where are we?
Tamara: Where are we?
Tamara: Uh, we’re in Dolores Park in San Francisco.
Mike: What’s it like here?
Tamara: There are less hipsters and people selling pot brownies than usual. I think because of [the nearby music festival] Outsidelands.
Mike: Here comes Flink … that’s a question.
Tamara: That’s a question?
Flink: [Suggesting an interview question] Dear diary, what’s your fucking deal?
Tamara: Did Mike ask you really probing questions? Like “where are we”?
Flink: He asked “is everything okay”, which I answered somewhat peevishly.
Mike: I’m sorry, these are hard to do and the pace of the interview is really slow.
Flink: I doooooon’t knooooooow — No, don’t write that for God’s sake.
Mike: Tamara, we saw a goat and a camera crew earlier. Can you describe some cinematography that you thought was especially moving?
Flink: Man, some of these guys are really good at throwing frisbees.
Tamara: That’s a really bad segue. I watched this short documentary in China [wherein a guy wanted to explode a really big rock for the sake of art and the final explosion shot was really cool. He had to find the right rock and bribe local officials.]
Flink: I can safely say I would watch the fuck out of that.
Tamara: When we walked in, we didn’t realize it was 45 minutes long, and the story leading up to it got kind of boring. But the explosion was good … Now I want to watch this documentary about the goat.
Hello, Portland! It’s about 6:30 pm at the Stumptown Coffee on Division St. in Southeast Portland. The Dolores Park interview is from August 12th. Today I went for a hike in the Mount Hood Wilderness with Tamara; she flew up here from San Francisco for the weekend.
I went to school here in Portland, at Reed College, and lived in Southeast Portland for four years after I graduated. In a lot of ways, Portland still feels like home. The summer after my sophomore year I spent a lot of time in the Mount Hood Widerness, and it was nice to revisit an old trail that I still sort of remembered. We hiked up to Burnt Lake from the south trailhead.
Portland is a nice city. And I’ve tried to settle in my home state of Iowa as an adult, but it’s never quite worked out right for me. So I think I’ll spend some more time traveling this month, then settle here in Portland, again. The trick to living here is not to be bothered by skinny guys with ridiculous mustaches. For years and years I wished Civil War-era facial hair would make a comeback — be careful what you wish for, I guess.