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Friday, July 31, 2009
And I wonder, still I wonder, who will stop this heat storm?
After a week of what most of us here in Portland consider unbearable summer weather, this much is certain: heat does not improve the average Oregonian's driving skills. I spent around an hour trying to get from the east side over to my house near Lewis and Clark this afternoon. The freeways were jammed and I was somehow detoured all the way to Washington Park. Ugh. It really felt like mid-August in LA out there.
If they can, most locals escape to the mountain or the coast during weeks like this. Fortunately, a while back a few colleagues and I arranged a hiking trip for this past Wednesday and Thursday. Unfortunately, the weather wasn't much cooler in Douglas County.
But there are plenty of great swimming holes down there. Our friend Pete works in the area as a ranger for the US Forest Service. After spending yesterday attempting and failing to scale Mt. Thielsen (AKA "The Lightning Rod of the Cascades"), we went to a spot along the South Umpqua River dubbed "11 mile. The water temperature was just right and there was plenty of rocks to jump off into a large pool at the base of a small series of rapids.
Before the slog back up I-5 north, we stopped for milkshakes at Ken's Sidewalk Cafe in Canyonville where a guy ahead of us in line had a parrot on his shoulder. The gal working the counter felt like she hadn't put enough cookie dough ice cream in my shake so she tossed in another scoop on top.