Thursday, September 9, 2010

Home in the Sticks

"Seriously, the biggest pain was getting to fucking Newark. I took two trains, a light rail and had to deal with dudes with M-16s at security," I explained while pulling a blackberry vine out of the thigh of my chinos. "The plane ride was no problem."

"Gotta love New Jersey... The trail starts in a little bit," Tim (my little brother) said between yawns as he pushed the chest high bushes aside. Ever vigilant for the sharp barbs of a blackberry vine he distractedly asked, "What time is it?"
"7:13 AM"

"Damn." Tim sighed, attempting to act annoyed at his early arousal but telegraphing his affection and excitement to share the attention of empty-nested parents.

Craving the starry nights, fresh fruit, company of my family and the feel of the outdoors, I left my office in Manhattan some twelve hours earlier and set off for the northwest for the first time in 10 months.

Waking up with a jolt as the plane made its initial approach to the Portland International Airport, I jammed my face against the window. Looking for familiar fixtures, I quickly made out the hills where I went to high school and the highways where I drove to and from Mt. Hood. With a smile, I grabbed my Alder Springs backpack from under the seat in front of me and eagerly charged by the friendly Continental staff.

The following morning, I woke early. Energized by the morning's light and the excitement of my nostalgic surroundings, I scrambled up the stairs to bother my brother in the method known only to older siblings.

"Rise and Shine it's butt whipping time!" I bellowed as I barged through the door, grabbing his Pendleton blanket and ripping it off in one motion.
"The light's beautiful. Lets go for a walk," I half suggested, half mandated.

Tim found this elk skull while in a field near Mt. Helens. The flowers maybe fake, but the story isn't.

My dad and brother on the Columbia River.

Many of the things I resented as a middle schooler slowly have grown in importance and affection in my memory. As a kid I avoided spending time at our family's second home in the Columbia River Gorge, opting to stay some 40 miles to the west in Portland. Now, as a full fledged young-urban-professional, I yearn for the seclusion and inherent beauty like a trustafarian for a chance to give George Dubayah and Mr. Rumsfeld a piece of their enlightened mind.

"Damn it feels good to be home on the range," I grinned.

"Home on the range? We are not in Montana. This is Washington, we are home in the sticks."

"The Sticks?"

"Yea, it's a Chinook saying for the woods."

"Home in the sticks," I acknowledged.

Here are some more links,
Home in the Sticks (Picasa).


bferry said...

excellent shots - the first one really blew my mind. they make me want to get out of the city as soon as possible.

Foster Huntington said...

i coudnt ask for a better comment. I cant wait to get out again. looks like you had an awesome trip. when you get a chance, head out to the northwest,

Rick said...

Sounds like a morning well spent.
Always a pleasure,

Foster Huntington said...

i couldnt ask for a better morning with better company. thanks for stopping by,

Hallock said...

It's strange how what we avoid as a child becomes so endearing. As a kid, I had no want for travel or the outdoors. Yet, when I sit at work that's where my mind most often drifts.

Anonymous said...

Great to see you back in it all. I was starting to get tired of looking at polaroids of Granola!

I'm kinda the same with the older/younger thing. Although I loved being bush when we lived there, and now I just do my best to get back into it when I can.

Foster Huntington said...

the grass is always greener. Now that i am back in new york, i am having a blast here ha. I am a country boy at heart though. thanks for the kind words,

Greg D said...

Are you really just another obama puppet? Hating on W is so passe'.

Foster Huntington said...

Greg D,
i was more making fun at trustafarians that get on the bush and rumsfeld hate bandwagon.

Cheryl Cochran said...

This makes me miss my old Volvo.

Foster Huntington said...

they are great cars. tim's has 370 thousand miles on it and keeps going.

Foster Huntington said...
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Foster Huntington said...
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david said...

these pic's makes me miss my summers at the chehalis river when life was carefree being 14yrs old and escaping los angeles....thank god you're posting again Foster
some of us have to live vicariously thru you !....

Anonymous said...

you captured your early morning adventure perfectly. i hear the blackberries in WA cannot be beaten. over time, the important things in life make themselves outwardly evident- nothing can replace being back home.

Foster Huntington said...

The blackberries taste amazing but are a huge pain in the ass. they grow everywhere. Thanks for the kind words.

Betsy said...

Love this Foster. Next time you're home come over for a glass of wine--we'd love to see you--even you'd have to make the arduous 40 mile journey west from the gorge. So glad you're posting again!

Foster Huntington said...

thanks betsy,
I had a great time back in area. I love it. Next time i will make sure to stop by,

The Khaki Crusader said...

cool shots foster. summer nostalgia, for sure.


Foster Huntington said...

thanks sean. the KC is looking good,

Anonymous said...

The place looks amazing - through your pictures and the way you describe it as well. Makes me wanna hit the road again.

-Ralph Lam