John & Anne Wiley

2011/09/21

Pain & Gain

Today I’m sitting in our living room looking at the magnificent Santa Barbara “front range” mountains, and the towering thunderstorm safely beyond them in the Northeast. It’s painful to look at good flying weather when there’s no chance we’ll take Tripp and go exploring. A lesser level of pain for me right now is the physical discomfort from dental surgery this morning. Though there is considerable pain involved in the expense because that translates to many joyful hours of flying that the dental surgery could have paid for.

A big gain from this surgery, beyond long-term prospects for dental health, is that I now have some time to post the last batch of pix from our Smiley Adventure. First of these last is this one of the dunes as we approached Florence, OR.

5280 Slanted Cordouroy Dunes

5280 Slanted Cordouroy Dunes

I’m intrigued by the pattern of dune grasses that are angled from the shore. Guess it has something to do with prevailing winds and waves. Toward the right it seems to morph into a crosshatch pattern with indications of the angled pattern and one parallel to the beach.

After we turned at Gold Beach to follow the Rogue River to Grants Pass, there were several calm sandy beaches where rafters were bedding down in the evening light.

5502 Rogue River Raft Rest

5502 Rogue River Raft Rest

There’s something romantic about this scene for me imagining fireside stories, that distant stare when the group falls into silent reverie, and later dreaming under the stars like countless generations before. In places the river was uniquely transcendent art from this perspective.

5542 Rogue Artist

5542 Rogue Artist

As we began the landing approach, this little lake had me wondering what kinds of vehicles go there (motorcycles?), and whether visitors just zoom by or perhaps most go on foot to camp or fish.

5577 Airport Neighbor

5577 Airport Neighbor

The next day on our way back out to the Southwest hoping for less coastal low cloud, we got more river views that I’m enjoying again today. Like this one that at first glance looks wild.

5617 Nature of Tame

5617 Nature of Tame

After imagining Tom Sawyer exploring that wild island, perhaps you notice the mowed lawn at the left. Then your mind may begin to wonder what all this looks like after periods of unusually long and heavy rain. Like a tooth you had been taking for granted, such a scene could turn suddenly painful. But as we again glance down at a river such thoughts inevitably return to all we’ve gained from forces of nature and fate over the eons.

5638 Reflecting

5638 Reflecting

In the deep pools I reflect on the surges of water that carved them out, and the flood of photos that represent a tiny slice of the glories we see on a flying adventure. Just as the depths would be obscured by raging water, serene clarity emerges as I sit enjoying these photos. I feel more here, and at the same time am more prone to drift back into sweet memories or forward into dreams of another adventure.

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