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Showing posts from September, 2020

Miracle on Black Mountain Road

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  Just after my mother passed away, I convinced my dad to join us on a hike at  Smith Rock State Park . The volcano-induced spires could be seen from any vantage point in his neighborhood, and yet the closest he’d come to visiting the natural attraction was a late winter drive-by that I also encouraged shortly before my mother’s fateful cancer diagnosis.   The weather was perfect (I mean, just look at that brilliant blue sky!) as we gingerly made our way down “The Chute” to the river basin and crossed a wooden bridge to the most popular trails. We followed the Crooked River to the left and stopped to look up at the rock climbers. Some clung for life to minuscule crevices at improbable angles, while others dangled helplessly from safety ropes until rescued. We kept my rambunctious nephew in line and turned around at the “Snoopy Rock” since we didn’t want to push Dad’s physical capacity. He loved that trip and went back after we left, with plans to keep hiking through the summer and into

Summer, We Hardly Knew Ya

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If you happen to follow folks from California on social media, then you know our Labor Day weekend hasn’t gone as anyone intended due to a massive, killer heatwave and series of wildfires punctuating this holiday with exclamation points for all the wrong reasons.    My official start began Friday morning with an early beach run at low tide as the sun turned up to make it safe for solo runners like me. Just me and the piping plovers and seagulls for the first mile. And just 75 degrees at 7 a.m., which is warm for here but still way doable for morning exercisers.   A day later, temps soared and forests roared, generating evacuations, energy “flex alerts” and poor air quality warnings every hour.  We also woke to find our fridge wasn’t working, which just seemed so on theme for this year given I splurged at Trader Joe’s the day prior. Of course, the refrigeration replacement part won’t arrive until the middle of next week. But we do have a functioning air conditioner, and for that I am hi