In Ashland, we stayed with Dave S, another Opcode coworker, and his family. After dinner we went out to hear some music at the Wild Goose, a dive bar where Dave has played.
On Tuesday, August 15, I worked at Connor’s house (one of my Avid coworkers), and then introduced Dave S and Connor to each other at dinner.
I went into town and paid to have people at the Ashland 76 station replace the headlight on the Outback. Dave’s daughter Sabrina happened to walk into the gas station just then, so I drove her back to the juice bar where she works and had coconut and orange juice. She is leaving for junior year abroad in Alicante this week. Afterwards I rode around with Dave S in the woods on a jeep. He had just gotten a pair of logging boots with spikes.
Wednesday we drove to Ray’s cousin Meg’s goat farm in Eugene. Ray slept, and Meg and I walked around her neighborhood. One of her neighbors had just harvested large amounts of wood on their property in order to raise money so that one of them could buy out another’s share of their parents’ estate. It all smelled like sap.
Thursday was another productive work day for me. Thursday night we ate with Ray’s other cousins. The food was better than in Ashland, but still not definitively out of the Olive Garden class. After dinner we visited Colin and Natacia. Natacia has a setup for playing video games with friends around the world. She was watching her twitch friends play some game — she is looking forward to meeting them in person at a convention in Long Beach this October, for twitchers. She assumes they think she’s a gay guy, and will be surprised at the convention. She also said that YouTube had told its users that any monetized video had to be accessible to five year olds, and a bunch of them had moved to twitch. (Their community guidelines don’t mention five-year-olds — I figured she was interjecting editorial interpretations.)
Friday, August 18, we drove to Bend. We had hoped to go on highway 242 on the side of Mt. Washington, but it was closed due to a fire that was casting smoke over the whole area. We went to the Sunriver resort, south of Bend, where Ray’s college friend Steve has a house, and where several of their friends had rented additional houses for 40 or so people who would go see the eclipse somewhere (Sunriver wasn’t quite in the path). Our Bend friend Rick was working as a bartender in Sunriver, and he was extremely generous, probably overly so. We were joined by one of Steve’s kids. We stayed at Steve’s house that night, seeing another scion in the evening, and yet another in the morning. (We saw the fourth and fifth in Seattle a few days later.)
Saturday, August 19, after getting over my mild hangover, we pressed on eastward. We stopped near the tiny town of John Day, where we visited Rick’s friend who is in county jail for six months. He said that one of the guys in with him he knew from K-12, another was a Swede doing four months for assault at a Rainbow Gathering (circumstances unclear) and that he knew ALL of the guards before. The whole strip of highway 26 around John Day was awash in eclipse merchandise, though not particularly crowded. We drove up highway 7, a very pretty stretch of road, to Baker City, so we could check out where the path crossed Interstate 84. Interstate 84 was quite an ugly area, especially Cement Plant Road, and I hope somebody got some punk eclipse pictures from the ruins of the industrial facilities there. There were rolling treeless hills, with no apparent way to get to the top of any of them. We crossed it off the list of possibilities, and as it was starting to get late, proceeded to Boise to join the family reunion underway.