So I was stuck in Pendleton, OR (Home of the “Round Up”, the world’s fourth largest rodeo) over the 4th of July. It’s about 200 miles east of Portland up in the high desert. There’s a short in the wiring of my truck somewhere that won’t let me get more than 30 miles from anywhere. Of course, this short happens about an hour and a half out from Pendleton. I was helping my friend Karin move there. She and I moved to Portland together way back in 95. I stayed, but she’s lived all over since then.
I’ve spent a fair amount of time talking to tow truck drivers in the last week. Nice people who tend to be over 50 in that part of Oregon. Thankfully, I was stuck there for one of the hottest days of the season so far (108F). I stayed with my friend Karin whom I was helping move out there when my truck woes began.
One of the cool things about staying there was getting to tour the facility where she works. Karin rehabilitates wildlife. We walked around the acre compound and I was in close proximity to: 1 Golden Eagle, 2 Bald Eagles, about 20 hawks of various species, a couple Kestrels and Ospreys, 8 owls of varying sizes and colors, 3 vultures, and 2 Bobcats. It made getting stuck there totally worth it. There is something mystical about being in the presence of wild things, standing there staring at things up close that I’d never get to see from a half mile away if I was lucky. Things that spend their lives hanging in the wind somewhere over the Columbia River basin waiting for some tasty flesh to rend with their claws and beak.
It made me yearn for wings and a warm wind.