Howdy folks, & thanks for all your good wishes. I’m percolating along, tho admittedly at a bit less than 100%. Without going into too many gory details, a review of my symptoms (in combination with the fact that this condition is very prevalent locally) leads me to think I have a fairly mild case of West Nile Virus. Apparently it’s pretty unlikely (tho not impossible) that a mild case such as this will develop into the scary severe sort. Interestingly, the vast majority of folks who are infected with the virus get no symptoms at all, with the sort of mild symptoms I have being the next most common result. I do feel quite a bit better today.
With Eberle’s okay, I thought I’d talk a little today about one possible future she & I are giving serious consideration—actually, it’s an idea we’ve been tossing around for a few years, but it seems quite possible that we may be moving from the “idea” to the “implementation” stage. The pictures you’re seeing in this blog definitely aren’t from Indian Valley—no, they’re from a little fishing town called Garibaldi, OR (& of course, you can enlarge them by clicking).
We first came across Garibaldi on our honeymoon; we’d left Portland & headed west, with our ultimate destination being a condo in Lincoln City, one of the Oregon Coast’s big tourist towns. As we were winding our way south on US Highway 101 in the mid morning, we felt the urgent need of coffee, & we pulled over into one of those ubiquitous Shell convenience stores/gas stations. We’d veered away from the open Pacific at this point, but I can remember the fog rising up from the big harbor with its fleet of boats. To the eastern side of 101 a small village rose on a gentle slope toward forested hills.
This didn’t feel like a resort town—it had the feeling of a “real place” in a way that resort towns seldom do. I presume this is largely because it is on Tillamook Bay, & not on the open ocean; in some ways, it reminded me of Cascade, ID—a working class town in the midst of a resort area. (It’s a bit smaller than Cascade, actually—about the size of Council, ID in terms of population, tho Garibaldi seems to have more services than Council).
We headed south, & had a lovely honeymoon in Lincoln City, but both Eberle & I filed Garibaldi away in our memories. When we returned to the coast for vacations in 07 & 08 (we skipped 06 due to commitments with The Grub Stake score), we took day trips to Garibaldi from our rental just a bit north in Manzanita; & we both continued to like the feel of the place very much….
We’re now talking pretty seriously about buying a house there. Now for local readers: don’t panic—if we do, it’ll be a “second home” for the foreseeable future; we don’t intend a permanent move away from Indian Valley any time real soon—we both love our house & our surroundings. But Indian Valley has certain very specific drawbacks for someone with a lung condition. Although this hasn’t been the case too much this summer, the way Indian Valley is situated relative to surrounding areas make it an ideal collector for smoke from wildfires during the summer—because its low-lying, we routinely get significant amounts of smoke even from fairly distant fires on the Snake River, for instance; this in addition to the very real threat of local wildfires (there was one exactly one mile from our house the weekend we spent in McCall). In addition, while I’m aware that coastal winters are rainy, the winters here tend to be gloomy as well, as Indian Valley is very prone to inversions—i.e., the warm air stays high & the chilly damp air—often accompanied with frozen fog—lies low. The frozen fog—or pogonip, to use its Native name—is beautiful to look at, but I can tell you there’s a reason the Native Americans believed it to be injurious to the lungs.
& there are general maintenance issues with a 10-acre parcel, with a relatively big driveway (snow shoveling) & even bigger lawn (mowing, etc). In addition, there’s a pretty significant difference in oxygen between Indian Valley (3,000 feet) & Garibaldi (22 feet above sea level).
As folks who’ve followed this blog for some time know, I’ve felt drawn by the ocean since I was very young, & there’s something about the sea that has always filled me with a sort of serenity. When I lived in San Francisco I loved going to Ocean Beach. For a few years I used to bike out there thru Golden Gate Park on Sundays.
Being on the north side of 50, I think I know pretty well that wherever you live, there are good points & bad points. But we’re both excited thinking about this, & we wanted to share a bit of this dream with you folks.
I’ve written this in a pretty leisurely fashion this morning—in between playing the banjo & a few light household chores—point is, I actually think I might be on the mend, as I’m feeling the best I’ve felt since Thursday. Hope you’ve enjoyed the Garibaldi pix; I’m looking forward to catching up on your blogs in the next couple of days.. We’ll keep you posted as things develop regarding the Oregon coast!