We arrived on the outskirts of Portland & the campsite was great except for the noise of the massive trains that thundered through at odd hours during the night! Our next set of local millennials escorted us to a wonderful collection of places that we would probably never have discovered by ourselves & relieved of the pressure of driving in the city I could enjoy the sights. While they chatted & caught up with all the news I sat back daydreaming about possible tattoos especially whilst in a floatation tank experience treat which had been slipped into the schedule. We ate at some brilliant venues & even was able to give some of the surplus food to a homeless person on our way back to the van which felt like a small but good thing to do. Sadly homelessness seemed to be as bad a problem in the States as in the UK which given the wealth of these nations continues to baffle me. It has provided the motivation to get involved with a local group at home but more of that later. Indeed one of our young hosts seemed only a whisker away from being on the street given that he was effectively living in his car while studying & holding down a job. Scary stuff given he was the same age as one of my kids so I admit to not being able to suppress the mothering instinct of making sure he had some decent nourishment while he was with us.
Feeling Crazy lets not waste it!
Having realised I no longer needed so many tangible things as presents I was delighted when my hubby agreed to sponsor an up and coming singer songwriter to pen a song for me as a Christmas gift. Collaborating with Danny Wright was fun and Drive (4Denise) was born. Needless to say this was top of the playlist compiled for the road trip and formed the inspiration for the newly acquired desire for a tattoo. My daughter was a little aghast as she thought I was going to have one done whilst away but I reassured her that it would take a bit of research to find the right design and artist to achieve it. However this did not stop me from beginning the process with a henna ‘trial run’ curtesy of an artist on site at the festival. On first listen you could be forgiven for thinking the song is just about a road trip but the hidden metaphor is that of someone heading off towards the ‘sunset time’ of their life with all the challenges that can bring & how to deal with it.
Going round the Bend, Oregon?
Bend is a trendy place in more ways than one with its growing desire to replace fourway junctions with rotaries as (who knew) they are statistically are safer than the junctions. Having driven in Europe I negotiated these easily, avoiding any fines & admiring the art on those we encountered to meet my niece, her partner & my ‘dog nephew’ Eddison.
In true Oregon style we packed up the wagons and hit the trail to George, Washington for the Sasquatch Festival. Pre sale booking meant parting with more than a few bucks in advance so I was a tad perplexed to be given a hand written post-it note with a look that sort of said ‘are you at the right campsite’. On parking up it was evident that none of my fellow campers as far as the eye could see was much over 30 & facilities very basic. Armed with ‘no water’ body wash from a previous adventure in Ghana I still was happier than being corralled with the ‘older folk’ near the entrance.
Whilst its true my love of rock, punk & indie rock drew me to listen to bands such as Pup & Hippocampus I was surprised to discover a hitherto hidden taste for country and western courtesy of Margo Price!
Being an honorary Millennial for the trip was proving cathartic. Climbing through Forrest’s sky light to party on the roof it occurred to me that as you age embracing the opportunity to dust out the corners of your firmly held mindset was very empowering………. and possibly why I woke up the idea that I wanted a tattoo!
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