After slamming into last Friday night like a runaway shopping cart to a curb, the rest of the weekend was smooth as liquid nacho cheese. You know, the kind that you pump out of a dispenser! Really though, it was a mighty fine couple of days spent in outer Hillsboro and the Columbia Gorge. Stephanie and I attended our first lesbian wedding Saturday evening, which was a festive event with a view of Mt. Hood. The ceremony was officiated by former Oregon governor Barbara Roberts and the resident musician was Dan Balmer, a local jazz guitarist I’ve seen perform. (My parents are huge jazz buffs). We ended up sitting next to a woman named Susan who spends quite a bit of time in Japan. My expertise on Tokyo is limited, but I started asking her questions anyway and soon discovered she is friends with the owner of Kimi Ryokan, an awesome guest house where I stayed in 2010. As the function progressed, I stumbled along with a couple of line dances to unfamiliar songs. Stephanie was looking fly as heck in her bowtie and received many compliments throughout the night.
The next morning I persisted with the idea we needed to do some swimming in the gorge. Specifically, Rooster Rock – aka Cock Rock. As in penis. Because it’s a clothing optional beach. I’ve always chosen to keep my private parts covered, but it’s a nice stretch of sand that’s easy to access and the water isn’t freezing. The last time Stephanie and I attempted to settle in, back on Memorial Day, the river had consumed the beachfront and so we hiked around the uplands until our encounter with the sprawling naked Burt Reynolds centerfold. This time, we were able to lay out on a blanket, eat snacks and keep a running commentary. Then Stephanie did actually remove her pants and “Porky Pigged” it for awhile. I kept cracking up as she ran in slow motion through the waves with her pale white cheeks hanging out.
Once we’d submerged ourselves in the Oregon-Washington border liquid several times, soft serve ice cream was in order. Up the freeway in Cascade Locks is a little diner called East Wind Drive-In specializing in American standards like corndogs n’ things. There’s often a line down the block, but we managed to snag our cones within minutes, eat them while sitting on a nearby stump, and then make our way to Thunder Island Brewing for a beer. Its location is kind of strange, below the town and partially surrounded by campsites. But it also has an awesome view of the river. As we were sitting at our picnic table, a woman tripped and fell behind us. There was an unsettling crack that was not the sound of glass breaking, although cider was flying. Stephanie told me I shouldn’t look, but I did anyway and saw what appeared to be a broken bone protruding inside the woman’s pant leg. Fellow customers were yelling “Call 9-1-1!” until the woman’s husband approached and said, “She has a prosthesis!” Oh. The poor woman was mortified she’d fallen, but we were all just relieved there wasn’t a horrific accident on our hands. Some people down the way retrieved her a new cider and with that, Stephanie and I gulped the last of our drinks and headed back to the city!