Monday, June 09, 2008
My Pacific Northwest sojourn
What an incredible three days. The last time I was up in your area, I arrived on foot and left on the Green Tortoise hippie bus (which all of you should try at least once in your lifetime. It's crazy.) I started out in Bellingham, where I spoke at Village Books in the historic Fairhaven area. Bellingham is one of those towns that pays tribute to its past without ever looking like a 'museum town.' It felt very alive and real to me. Then I drove on to Seattle, where the Secret Garden bookstore and Ballard Branch of the Seattle Public Library organized a fantastic reading night --- killer turnout, great questions, and I hope I convinced at least five or six people to try a through-hike on America's greatest long-distance footpath. Then I rolled on to Portland, which was one of the biggest surprises of all. Of course, I stopped by the legendary Powell's book store, which did a Q and A with me this summer. Downtown has an ingenious running trail that weaves across, beneath and around the historic steel bridges and shipyard. After a great reading at the B & N in the Clackamas center, I explored downtown, and had beers at a crazy bar with motorcycles dangling from the rafters and a long-haired band shrieking away on stage. It was like being 19 all over again (but with a depressingly real, not fake, I.D.) P.S. --- Today it was great to see a mention of "Cactus'' in Salon, which put the book on its recommended list of summer reads. The review is up today. Anyhow, it was great to meet all of you. Keep sending those pack-weight/camping horror stories and give me a heads-up if you're coming to one of the upcoming readings.