Hello and Happy Friday!

Hope everyone is well and that you had a safe and fun Memorial Day weekend. It was an interesting one here due to this:

Good news: Nobody died, and very few people were seriously injured (remarkable given that bridge handles 70,000 vehicle trips a day).

Bad news: There’s no interstate highway connection between Northern WA and British Columbia for some time (a temporary span is estimated to be in place by mid-June). This in large part severs the major transportation, commerce, and tourism conduit for BC and WA. Not great news during peak tourism time for either WA or BC. (Heading to Vancouver? Take Amtrak.)

Worse news: There are at least three other bridges of the same design on Interstate 5 between the OR and BC borders. (I drove over all 3 of them en route home from OR on Monday.) According to the American Society of Civil Engineers recent report card, 759 bridges in WA state have worse sufficiency scores than the bridge that collapsed.

I was on I-5 at the time of the bridge collapse. Fortunately we were about 90 miles South of Seattle–this bridge is about 60 miles North. It’s still unreal to me that something so many take for granted each day as part of a daily commute, an interstate long haul, or holiday trip could be destroyed so quickly.

Otherwise, Memorial Day weekend was excellent. As I mentioned, central OR is a very different place than Western OR/WA. This is looking due S/SW from Pilot Butte in central Bend. Pilot Butte is an extinct volcano (as are most of the hills you see in the distance here), in effect a cinder cone. It sits at about 4,100ft above sea level.


This is driving down into Warm Springs, home of the Warm Springs Indian reservation. It’s a beautiful location with the rugged rock formations capping the surrounding hills and the Warm Springs river running through it.


You climb out the other side and very quickly pass between open range land into forest land as you start climbing the East side of Mount Hood. 


(Clearly, I didn’t take this photo from the car. I managed to capture it en route to Palm Springs a couple of weeks ago. Wish we’d been sitting a row ahead so the engine nacelle wouldn’t have taken up so much of the photo.)

We returned to rainy skies and a lawn that was easily 8″ tall.  I couldn’t mow it until the rains stopped, which they did yesterday (briefly). I nearly filled the yard waste container mowing it, and probably took a couple of years of life off the poor electric lawn mower. It’s done good things for the veggies, though:


As you might imagine, I’m eating salad at least 2x/day this week trying to keep ahead of the growth (and the arugula trying to bolt). Supposed to be 70 and sunny this weekend, so hopefully I can do a bit of yard work (as well as getting the convertible out of the garage).

Hope everyone has a great weekend!



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