Well, that was Oregon. The next part of my trip takes me to California, but I thought I’d post a few odd pics looking back at my time in Oregon.

I’m often struck as to just how vast America is. I think you would be stretched to find locations in the UK where there are trees for as far as the eye can see. I guess there are a few places like that in Wales and Scotland.

Takilma Oregon (pictured above), near the tree houses the area was very… let’s say, colorful. I’d like to do a photo-journal of small town like that, but all to often we’re passing through towns like that on a schedule to some other place.

On the way back to Portland from the tree houses I saw a place just off the highway called London, so I figured, being an Englishman I had to go check it out. It turned out to be an ‘unincorporated town.’ In other words it was so small it wasn’t considered a town anymore. It was about as far removed from London England as you could hope to get.

Surrounded by mile upon mile of Christmas trees London had a church, a gas station, and a convenience store/cafe along with a handful of houses. If there was anything more to it than that then we missed it.

Missy and I took it fairly easy back from the tree houses, taking our time meandering back to Portland. On the way we decided to stop in at the city of Eugene.

Melisa McDanielOne of the other tree campers, who had also returned home that day, was the manager at a restaurant there called Ambrosia, and she invited us to swing by for their wine tasting evening. I’d never been to a wine tasting evening before so we figured ‘why not.’

Tom Kelly, from a local wine importer called Small Vinyards, used the kind of terms you would only expect a wine taster to use. He described one wine as having the taste of a “muddy riverbed” which surely isn’t very complimentary.

I was curious as to how he even knew what a muddy riverbed even tasted like as he didn’t look like the kind of guy who would have strayed far from a store selling Gucci, let alone swam in a river with a muddy bed. Nonetheless the night was very entertaining, and it’s fair to say that thanks to the fact Missy was driving back to Oregon, I was pretty merry by the time we said goodbye.

The thing about coming out to America is that for me it’s not so much about the places I see, but the people I hang out with, the friends I have here. That’s what I look forward to. Just being able to kick back and have good conversations and a few laughs in good company is as enjoyable to me as seeing some cool place like the Redwood state park or the beaches.

I got to hang out not only with Missy but also Danielle and Jared (pictured above) who one evening took me to a soccer game. As shameful as this is to admit for an Englishman, that game in Portland was the first ever soccer (the rest of the world correctly call it football) game I have been to. I really must get to a Liverpool game in England. There is no excuse for not going to one.

Of course I also got to hang out with fellow ‘Xangan’ Christine, otherwise known as ‘CrazyWomanWriter.’ She introduced me to her boyfriend, Gavin White. Actually I was looking forward to meeting Gavin because he had an interesting job… he’s a politician! He’s the chairman of the Multnomah County Democrats, and some have said a ‘coming man’ in the world of politics. A charming guy in his late twenties he came across as a thoroughly ‘good bloke’ with honest and heartfelt convictions and aims.

We all met up for Sushi at my favorite Portland Sushi place on N.E 23rd street. Gavin arrived fashionably late and was then subjected to a political grilling by me which was fun if only for the fact that he carefully considered every word of every answer and managed to skillfully not answer any questions he didn’t want to while making it sound like he had indeed answered them.

Somewhere in the course of conversation the subject of our pasts came up. I quizzed Gavin about his past and asked whether he was fearful of someone in the press digging up something torrid from his past should he ever make it to the kind of political position that causes reporters to go fishing for such tales.

He considered his response then spoke about how as a teenager he remembered the scandal that surrounded the revelations that President Clinton had smoked (but not entailed) Marijuana.

“I remember how caught up on the whole inhaling detail the press was back then, and with that I decided to avoid things that might cause similar distractions in my future.” He said.

Right there I was impressed. Throughout the conversation at the sushi place and the coffee house we moved on to, his answers were always interesting or funny, whatever fitted best. But this answer was, in my opinion, something that reflected the true character of the guy. Christine had spoken highly of him before we met, and now I understood why.

I hope Gavin goes a long way. All the way to the whitehouse would be good, not just because he promised to make me ‘Secretary of Rock,’ but also because of the possibility of having golf cart races around the grounds of camp David or the Whitehouse.

On my last day Missy and I headed to Saturday Market. Saturday market is actually there on a Sunday too, but such details would do little to ruffle the feathers of a true Portlander. The market is a cultural must if you ever visit Portland on a weekend. It’s full of little stalls with artsy people selling handmade things from hemp bags to wooden pens, and duck tape wallets to tie die t-shirts.

After that we headed to the airport for lunch (more sushi) then said our farewells. Next stop California.

London, Oregon
Ambrosia Restaurant
Small Vineyards,
CrazyWomanWriter aka Christine
Gavin’s blog
Wiki: Gavin White
Portland Saturday Market
Duck Tape Wallets