post (blank) from the Oregon coast

Blank, because it’s been raining all day and there was no opportunity to take photographs. (Well, hardier souls might — indeed, would — have.) So imagine instead seven swans flying low across the Chehalis River, trees soft with lichen as we approached the Columbia River, the drive across the Willamette Valley south of Portland, orchards of hazelnuts and walnuts and apples, then vineyards. Imagine the geese (a recurring image this fall) in tangled skeins above the fields, turning, untangling, forming loose vees, then rearranging themselves, so many we wondered how anyone could count them. And when I asked, Do you think there are hard and fast rules about who can fly with a particular skein, John answered, This is something I don’t think we’ll ever know.

We turned south on Highway 101 by Lincoln City and drove to Coos Bay where we’re settled for the night. Everywhere rain, and mist over the headlands, and the trees wind-shaped and beautiful. We had lunch in Newport and hoped to walk a bit, explore the old part of the town, and we hoped to walk some of the wild beaches strung out along the coast. But the rain was wild. The wind too.

We picniced in our hotel room. Chianti salami, an asiago from Wisconsin with olive oil and rosemary, lovely crackers, hummus, cherry tomatoes, Covey Run chardonnary from the Columbia Valley and shiraz from Australia.

And thinking of tomorrow, we are planning to drive as far as northern California. Maybe Mendocino, which I remember so fondly from a trip in my early twenties. I found a Youtube of Kate McGarrigle singing her exquisite song, “Talk to me of Mendocino”, which brought back the sweetness and sadness of those years.

Talk to me of Mendocino
Closing my eyes I hear the sea
Must I wait, must I follow
Won’t you say come with me.

So maybe Mendicino — and if we get that far, I’ll send a postcard.

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