Friday, July 22, 2011
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Fort Vancouver was established by the Hudson's Bay Company in 1825 and eventually grew to a community of about 800 inhabitants at its peak in the mid-1840s. This was the Bay Company's administrative headquarters for all of the northwest, from the Pacific Ocean to the Rockies in the east and San Francisco to the south. It was the center of profitable trapping, trading, and agricultural operations. It appears to have been largely self-sufficient, with its own carpenters, gunsmiths, smithy, and trading post, as well as housing and extensive gardens and orchards, some of which have been recreated. An interesting way to start a day that was otherwise spent heading south as far as Eugene. I took Highway 99, through wine country and farmland, rather than I-5, as the scenery is so much better along the smaller road. Tired from yesterday's long drive, I plan to stay in Eugene tonight and make one more stop before arriving home, probably in Reno because of the cheap casino-town hotels. There's also a good wine bar there I discovered on the way north.
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
I had an excellent salad made from local greens, local herbs, and edible flowers. It tasted like my garden. I followed that with mussels, clams, and gooseneck barnacles in broth, garnished with shungiku, and had a salmon main dish with an array of garnishes (including turnips, pesto, and shrimp-stuffed crayfish) that kept offering surprises. Excellent. I was tempted to stay another night, just to enjoy the restaurant again. Today, I spent a little time checking out spots that were recommended for birding near the Inner Harbor at Victoria, but there was nothing to see. All the gulls appear to be Glaucous Gulls and Glaucous-winged Gulls. I write this as I wait to board the ferry bound for Port Angeles, north of Seattle. I plan to make a quick move south, making it to the Portland area again tonight, if I can, but I suspect I'll peter out early.
Sunday, July 17, 2011
Outside the museum, a group of enthusiasts were showing off their cars (a weekly event, it seems, not connected directly with the exhibit). Miss Oregon was present (both in the museum and outside), for no discernible reason--and no one had an explanation for her presence (I enquired). She just dropped in--tiara, "Miss Oregon" sash, pert bottom and all? Who knows?
The cars in the museum were breathtaking examples--in the true sense of the word "breathtaking." The love and care in their design and construction were palpable. Spoked wheels, ostrich leather interiors, ribbed chrome grills designed to gulp air in huge draughts, hand-tooled gas caps, door handles that seemed designed to throw sinuous, sexy shadows on silver doors. Every detail perfect. Names like Alfa Romeo, Bugatti, Ferrari, Hispano-Suiza. Why are cars so boringly designed today?
Grabbed a quick lunch at a sandwich shop called Emanon down the street, recommended by the people at the 3D Center (excellent sandwich--I can second the recommendation), and then headed north to Seattle for a 6:00PM appointment at the Zig Zag Café with Louis, my first college roommate, near the Pike Place Market. Had an excellent dinner at Lecosho over conversation about theater, writing, and art--mussels followed by a squid pasta. Yum.