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Thursday, November 27th, 2008
8:29p - Training Day 14 or so: Roseburg, Oregon
Visiting my dad in Roseburg kicks ass. We get to lounge around the house, talk about photography, make puns, and play Wii and board games. A good way to spend a holiday. But this time I was ambitious, and brought my bike along, making use of the super bike rack that The La got for the Accord.

And so it was that on the second or third day of lounging around I decided to break with tradition and go for a ride. Then, a couple days later, I went on an even longer ride which lasted well into the evening. Instead of doing my usual minute-by-minute recount of events, I'm just going to describe the photographs I took, and whatever other details they bring to mind.

Click to view a whole bunch of large photos!Collapse )

Just after finding this, I rode down the hill on a two-lane road into the forest east of the highway, and began listening to an old vinyl production of "Murder In The Cathedral", by T. S. Eliot. I was expecting some kind of lighthearted comedic mystery in lilting prose, but that was because I hadn't done any research whatsoever. "Murder In The Cathedral" is not a mystery, not comedic, and definitely NOT lighthearted. But what it does have is some deliciously creepy, brooding, atmospheric verse about poor devout farmers and the haunted gothic countryside they inhabit. The sections of the play are framed by a chorus of three women, speaking in rounds, lamenting their fate and the fate of the archbishop, and a plague of foreboding omens. They moan for a while about "living, and partly living", a phrase which rang like a bell in my brain. I've heard it somewhere before...

Hearing this, and seeing the hillsides roll around me in the gathering dusk, spotted with animals and broken-down stables and mist, was clearly the highlight of the ride. Once I went down a huge hill and spilled out into a small valley that was lit by the barest yellow light along the fringe of the oak trees to the west, and everything was dead quiet except for rushing wind and the occasional very distant "moo". I played some piano music and wished there was some way to bring all my friends here, and stack them up in sidecars along the bike, so I could share this perfect moment with everyone. But it was just me.

Perhaps some other time, friends.

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