While I'm here, I'm obsessively trying to explore every corner of Oregon and Washington, every tree, mountain and turn of the Coast. I'd rather be in the woods (or the desert) than any of the Northwest's cities, and I'm even an urban person. I most recently hiked Olympic NP, although magnificent, I was surprised how crowded it was. My peak experience this summer was either hiking up to the timberline at St Helens or losing myself in the Mount Thielsen wilderness, where I didn't see a soul for 22 hours. Currently itching to get back to the desert, as well as a new stretch of the Coast and maybe Mount Rainier.
I grew up in a small blue-collar Ohio town [the ironically named Defiance] in a warm blue-collar family where the men all have good union jobs and can fix anything with their hands. And I ran away from all that, unable to fix anything beyond a poorly written sentence. I did college. I later did grad school. I've spent much of my adulthood living in Chicago as a starving artist and cheating the system. The rest has been here in Oregon or traveling aimlessly around this country of ours, whether at the wheel of a car, by the whims of my thumb at the side of the road, the seat of a bus, a jet plane or a passenger train. Or from the thicket of the hobo jungle, waiting for hours for that split-second chance to leap to an open freight car.