First Time West

The Syncro idled roughly in the arrival area of Portland International Airport late Monday night.  Glancing in the rear view mirror, I watched the lone police officer maker her rounds, motioning to stagnent drivers to continue their laps. I was already on my third and had little interest in making it a forth.

"Brrootherrr!!!" a deep voice echoed.

Sticking my head out of the window with hopes of spotting the origins of the thunder,  I spotted a red headed man wearing a leather jacket running out of a revolving door.  If the local Oregonians weren't thrown off guard by the mohawk,  the boogie board dragging behind him put them over the edge.

"Uncle TTT!" I screamed back in an equally obnoxious but unthreatening tone.  Pulling the emergency break.  I opened the door and ran over to meet my college roommate, Tucker.

A few months after my 18th birthday, I told an admittance officer from a small college in Maine that I would love to attend their college having never stept foot in the state.  I had no idea what I was getting myself into.  That fall, I made the 3000 mile trip across the country excited to see a new place and meet new people.  I had never seen a lacrosse stick, heard Dispatch or watched a Red Sox game.  I thought about leaving my school for a more wordly place often but my connection with Maine and a handful of close friends kept me there.  I'm very glad that I did stick it out, because without that isolation and boredom, I probably never would have taken up photography or started this blog.

Despite having a relatively well traveld student body,  few of my peers had ever been west of a handful of posh ski resorts in Colorado.   Most people talk positively about their homes, but my experiences in New England compounded  my appreciation for the west coast and the Pacific Northwest in specific.  After six years of constant sales pitch resembling the late Billy Mays,  Tucker finally bought a ticket west and headed west for a 10 day safari.

Flying into Portland and then out of San Francisco 10 days later,  we planned to head down the coast.  Call it a best of trip.  It sounds easy enough, but the task of showing some one very close to you a place you love so well is a surprising daunting task.  I rushed to show him places that I thought were interesting.  We headed east of the Cascades,  spent a few days in portland and then meandered our way down the Oregon Coast to Northern California.

Wet campfire wood.

Tucker enjoying the signature Northwest rainwater by way of this barrel.  My guess is that it was in the mid 40s.

The green room.

Spring in Portland.



 Things I took for granted,  like Multnomah Falls or the size of the fur trees that ubiquitously dot the country side stunned Tucker.  I once heard that, "In the east, man is god,  but in the west,  nature is god."  Now I'm not a religious person,  but this mantra speaks to me as I'm sure it does to a lot of people that have experienced both Coasts.  By the time I bid farewell to Tucker,  I could tell that he was starting to agree.

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First Time West (Facebook).