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Scenes from the front line of life in Portland, Oregon, USA.

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Jason Holliston
 
Monday, July 25, 2005  
Saturday on the Oregon Coast

On Saturday, the finance and I drove down to Seaside, Oregon for the day to spend time with her father's side of the family. This makes two family reunions in two successive weekends, which I'm not complaining about, but it lessens the chance of me remembering names and faces. Especially what side of the family they're on. I can foresee a lot more embarrassing mistakes coming over the next few years until I have it down pat.

It was a fun day, and not without some excitement. Only about 3 or so miles east of coast on highway 26, a Jeep Cherokee had their axle break in two. Pretty scary situation, at least for them. Those are the kind of mechanical problems that can kill, even at relatively low speeds. Luckily for all involved, no one was hurt. We stopped the car, threw on the hazards, and offered assistance, which was declined (a bit harshly, but having your wheel hit the back end of your ride right after you go into a ditch can rattle anyone's respects for manners). We were in no danger at any point, seeing the entire drama unfold from a reasonable distance behind.

The reunion was held at a "membership only" RV park, which was my first experience with any such thing. I found out that there's a whole network of these parks all over the country, mainly populated by the retired. I have to say I'm impressed. The park has a daily regime of activities for the young and the old, from hula hoop competitions to DJ's brought in to play the Beach Boys to dancing AARP card carriers. We saw personal DirectTV satellite dishes set up, eliminating one more thing one used to leave behind when they went on the road. The whole complex was gated in, accessible by a keycode: can't let the riff-raff in. A pretty cool setup, all around. It makes me look forward to retirement a bit more. Do they have this sort of culture in other countries? Do legions of retired Germans travel around Europe like this, forming impromptu networks of cribbage players?

If you're interested, here's where we were, courtesy of Google Maps. You can't see it from space, but there's some great pork ribs smoking away down there.

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