Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Everyone Says This Is Nowhere

These trips are powered by many things: a love of baseball, a curiosity about the built environment, and a need to poke a little at what Greil Marcus famously called "the old, weird America." They are also powered by caffeine, alcohol, and gasoline--and of these gasoline is the greatest, particularly on this iteration. We left PGE Park secure in the knowledge that the Padres will not compete for a few years at least and walked through the Pearl District to the car. And we left. We never stay anywhere for long, and usually that's a good thing. But on the flip side, everywhere is worth going for at least a little while.

The road to Bend is long and various, unless you had to walk it, in which case it's just long. National forest gives way to flat, dry Indian reservation, punctuated by sudden chasms so deep we could not see bottom from the bridges across them. Acres of sage and unidentifiable crops (what are we, botanists?) were punctuated by small towns with pet spas, taxidermists, and the usual detritus sprawl. But this is America, and we came this way to get off the Interstate and see what's back here. The Dunes Motel in Bend was... let's say somewhat shopworn. But this isn't the lexical luxury tour, it's an attempt to see all the baseball teams in America and everything in between. In the words of Morphine, "You get what you pay for... and now I'm paying and paying and paying and paying."

The road beckons. On to Boise.

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