Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Woke up this Saturday morning to catch the first rays of the rising sun glinting off the ice high up on the south face of Mt. Rainier. The clouds that graced the sky the day before were gone, leaving behind pale blue skies. This would not normally be the case at this time of year in the rainy Pacific Northwest but this is an unusually dry year. Good for my short time while visiting, bad for those how count on the drenching rain and snow.

I met Cappy at the airport where we greeted Kowloon upon his arrival to Oregon. For the next two and a half days we had a blast doing a variety of things in the Portland area. We spent time at Wallmart buying a DVD player and inexpensive surround sound speaker system, which we hooked up to Cappy's TV and then watched the Chronicles of Riddick late into the night. Attended the Holiday Ale Festival in downtown Portland. Had some really good dinners at a variety of restaurants, including McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurant for Cappy's 53rd birthday. We ended the long weekend with a trip into the Cascade mountains were we hiked to Bagby Hot Spring and soaked for several hours deep within the towering forest. Both Cappy and Kowloon are battling cancer. It was at the hot spring that I got to see Kowloon's scars from this fight, a large Mercedes-Benz like symbol carved across his chest and stomach.

But like all good things, our short time together was up and we each had to return to our respective destinations.

A new day dawning
World full of hope and promise
Night for someone else

Distant destination
Drive the dark road to its end
Night's long sleep awaits

Dingy apartment
Promise cast aside like litter
Story of his life

Full of opinions
Spoken with such confidence
Sourced in ignorance

Mind tightly focused
Unswerving commitment
His self destruction

Bemoans the loss
Fiction of what could have been
Life he never had

I sipped on the bottle of tequila at the hot spring. I was thankful that Kowloon happened to bring along a small flashlight because the sun had long set when we departed. Having to navigate the mile long trail through a pitch black forest without it would have made for very slow traveling. We drove down the road to a clearing alongside the rushing Clackamas River, where I popped the Ipswich, England Van Halen concert into the car's CD player and cranked it up. I'll never get tired if hearing this excellent show. Out came the cigars and tequila for a traditional "party on the pass". The music's end highlighted the beauty of the location, standing in the darkness, out there in the damp forest with the sounds of rapids in the background. We got back in the car, driving the winding logging road to the first restaurant we came to where we had another excellent meal. The acoustics in their concrete walled bathroom tucked away in the basement were phenomenal! I wish I had a CD player to blast Van Halen in that echo chamber! No VH on the restaurant jukebox, but I found other suitable music to serenade us while we ate. Back to Portland and our trip was essentially over.

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