The adventure begins with an early departure from Portland on a sparkling day. I don’t know what it is about road trips but I’m always anxious to get going. The sense of freedom, of expectation of something wonderful I’ve never seen before, the anticipation of planned activity (in this case, baseball) is one of the great joys of life.
Had breakfast at Stephanie’s International Cafe in Sandy (I don’t know what makes it international, since the decor is Old West and kitsch – maybe some of the tchotchkes are made in China). In any event, my traditional breakfast of bacon and eggs was excellent. I’ve grown wary of ordering eggs sunny side up because they so often get it wrong, but these were just right. And the bacon (big, thick slices) was also just as ordered.
I was lucky to arrive at Mt. Hood after the morning clouds had cleared and got this view from the southwest.
In keeping with my preference (which won’t always be honored on this trip) I avoided the freeway and followed U.S. 26 all the way to Idaho, taking me through Madras, Prineville, Mt. Vernon, Mitchell, John Day, Prairie City, Vale and other lovely hamlets.
East of Mitchell, I came across something I’ve seen in less concentrated form in the Middle East and elsewhere, but never in this country and nothing quite like this. Bonus points for anyone who can come up with an explanation for this beyond a high school prank.
It was appropriate that the journey begin with a Hawks game in Boise, where my late brother Jack lived. He was my baseball mentor, and his widow Kay joined me for the Hawks game against the Vancouver Canadians. Jack and Kay often attended Hawks games, so it was special for me to be able to have Kay there for the first game on this trip. My other brother Tom flew his plane (which he built!) with his baseball buddy Jerry from Salem to join in the fun.
Since it was my first night out, I felt obliged to get a hot dog. I think it may have been cooked last week and stored in the bun, such that both looked like me – wrinkled! I should have tried something else.
It wasn’t a great game (Boise lost 9-3, and it wasn’t really that close), but it was a splendid evening and a great way to start the trip. Watching the Hawks make several boneheaded base running errors, I was reminded of just how much there is to learn about this game – these guys are just getting started, after all.
One interesting note: there was screen all the way around the field well beyond the bases, protecting everyone in the stands from foul balls. I haven’t seen screen extend that far in any other stadium.
In the running for best outfield wall ad so far “Sit Means Sit” dog training.
The Boise Hawk