The Discovery channel with out cable
It's Tuesday, September 14th and I'm in Seaside, Oregon.
I should preface this and all of my emails, that bike touring brings out my inner geek. There is something about being out on the road that causes me to get really interested in science and history.
We were crossing over the Columbia River, from Washington into Oregon, and chatting with the captain of the ferry. It had mercifully stopped raining for the 15 minutes it took us to cross for you see the ferry was just an uncovered platform boat that shuttled back and forth. The captain was a big bear of a man that had a forest of greyish white hair covering every visible inch of his body (the visible body mass was increased by his shirt being unbuttoned to his belly). When we reached the other side there was a small inlet with a side stream into the mainland and a handful of fishermen wading at the mouth. The captain just shook his head and said, "don't know why they are fishing, the salmon are spawning and they are terrible to eat at this time."
It didn't really sink in to me what that meant "salmon are spawning" until we disembarked and went about 100 yards up that little stream. There we found a truly remarkable site. There were the salmon. And they certainly were trying to swim up stream. Visions of pbs documentaries flashed through my head but this time there weren't hundreds of salmon swimming in a rushing stream. These salmon were huge. I'm talking 2 1/2 to 3 feet long. And they were trying to get up stream in 2 inches of water in some places. I walked up and down the stream looking at the extremely difficult road ahead for these salmon and wanted to tell them, "listen, you most likely aren't going to make it...I've seen the carcasses of those who have gone before you and I say - give up on this silly dream and go back and have some fun in the ocean."
But they kept going anyway.
The biking in southern washington was great, mostly because they have blackberry bushes every ten feet and it's blackberry season. I keep stopping (most of the time when I'm going up hill I feel compelled to stop for a snack, it's funny how that works) and stuffing my face with them.
It's still raining. We look in the newspaper at the weather forecast for pure enjoyment now. Our theory is just like the eskimos have 11 different words for snow, The people of the pacific northwest can say rain in a plethora of ways. From yesterday's newspaper for example...Monday "Periods of rain", Tuesday "late day shower", Wednesday "showers", Thursday "Rain likely", Friday"Maybe a shower", Saturday "Possible Showers", Sunday "Rain Possible". I didn't make that up.
I hope everyone is doing well.