i am an unrequited astronomer, pretend patient, gentle adventurer, pedal enthusiast, recovering calligrapher, occasional thespian and unfinished poet living in portland, oregon. contacting me via email is usually a good idea.
i'd take this moment to write about how cool the leonids were, but it SNOWED in portland and i MISSED it! i'm so crushed. especially since i spent the day between wasco & condon in what i call "the world's smallest state park" watching it RAIN instead of SNOW. arrgh!
*deep breath* okay. i feel better now. because the leonids really were lovely. the clouds cleared before we hit the dalles and by the time we swung south, we were among fields and the stars were thick around us. unfortunately, it was also incredibly windy and there was no way we were going to be able to enjoy falling stars with our eyes tightly shut against the blowing dust and while bracing ourselves against the svan. so onward we drove into the night and into the hills, until we reached the best star-watching place ever: there was nothing there but a large flat space, toilets, and a picnic table -- which is all we really needed, after all. we got out all the blankets & pillows and set them up on the table, along with a thermos of french onion soup, and stayed out there until the wind caught up with us several hours later. though the spot was right off the road, we only saw four cars in all that time (two right at the end). then we piled the blankets into the back of the van and slept amazingly comfortably until late morning, and then watched the rain & read & napped (we shoulda brought scrabble!).
i had noticed slush being left by other cars stopping to use the toilets, but i had no idea portland (!) got snow until sven called alex at the burgerville in the dalles. argh! so in order to get some sort of snow fix, we stopped at a park-n-ride at the lewis and clark state recreation area to stomp around, make snow angels and a skeptical snowman named leo. so i had a good time, though it made me very cold & damp, so afterwards, a warm shower and a microwaved meal was very appreciated.
the leonids weren't overwhelmingly spectacular this year, and i suppose a great many people would have not found it worthwhile to drive all that way & back again for what amounted to a couple of handfuls of meteors. but they're always magic to me and being as i haven't seen a meteor shower in a long time, much less one with company, i don't regret a moment. *pauses* i just hope it snows again. :)