east-oregon

24 is your age and you wouldn’t be able to tell by the smooth blush of your cheek, the constellation-kissed skin of your nose. you could be fifteen by the shrug of your blazer around your narrow shoulders, but you’re 24 and you’re too old to be playing the spy.


18 is the number of steps to the basement. 18 is the one-two one-two click of kitten heels on dirty cement and side-step around a white collared, glossy-badged senior agent who doesn’t even see you because you’re 18 steps closer to below ground, 18 steps closer to the invisibility he wears like a cloak, 18 steps closer. 


7 seconds is how long he shakes your hand, swings it back and forth like a play-ground swing. he feeds you lines from your thesis, knew your mind before he knew your face. the projector paints you in the supernatural. you blink against the light when he smiles. 


3 is the number of syllables he drawls into “plausible” like he’s reversing the definition. he’s a half-finished magic trick, and you watch him to try and catch him stutter in his sleight of hand. 


30000 feet is how high you are above the ground and you were always endlessly earthbound, sea-legs, rock of the tide. he closes his eyes, stretches across the seat across the aisle like he owns it, like it’s his own leather couch (and you don’t know if he has a leather couch, but you think he should) and you think you like that, the way he touches things like they’re already familiar. 


295 miles is the length of oregon east to west, sunrise to sunset. he drives with one hand on the wheel and asks you about eschatology. you’re not squeamish about these things, but your stomach does a half-turn low in your abdomen every quarter of a mile. you laugh and the window sends it back to you packaged like an echo. 


1 is the number of possible alien bodies you discover in a cracked casket. it is a marked increase from the number you expected. you push your glasses up higher on your nose and tell him so with the slant of your gaze. 


11 pm is the time it is when you turn him away from your door, bouncing on his heels like a beta wave that’s breaking away from its core. you rub the curtains through your hands, paperback pages between your thumb and forefinger, and lose sight of him across the dark, wet horizon. 


5 is the number on his motel door when you knock out a nervous rhythm against the wood. three, you think, was the number of spots clustered low on the base of your spine and years from now you’ll think - you’ll think something must have changed, a realignment of poles, when he pressed candle-warmed fingers to the skin just above the dip of your hips: the place on your skin you’d deemed its own x-file. and it’s fitting, it’s somehow un-ironic, that this inexplicable spot is the first place he touches you.


200 is the thread count of the motel sheets. they are seedy love-affair sheets, dime-store romance cotton made to be used, abused, tangled and gripped in fists. they are secret-telling sheets, and he lowers his voice against the side of the bed. you rest your cheek on your hand while the moon plays the mathematician against the curve of his jaw, calculating angles on the lines of his cheeks. he tells you stories without endings until the phone rings. 


113 is the number of raindrops that fall per square foot per second during a thunderstorm. but the number feels exponential, raised to a higher degree in the early morning of an oregon graveyard. your logic presses against his hypothetical like trees blown together against wind. twin smiles crack across your faces like lightning. you laugh in tandem and, even for a scientist, the decibels are incalculable. 


12 is the number of impossible tasks hercules overcame to obtain salvation. your mind dwells on myth but functions in rationale; he speaks in legends and twists tales with his tongue. you put down the phone and pick up your weapons. this is the numerology of beginnings. this is step one.

—  nine is the number of minutes you lose when you look at him (episode 1) // j.a.s

There is a large stand of trees along the highway East of Boardman, Oregon. They are being harvested and won’t be there much longer. It is fun to just take a short stop from your drive and enjoy these trees. There is light at the end of the tunnel.  By Earl Blackaby

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MAUD - EAST OREGON by Théo Gosselin

Moving Back to Oregon in Three Days 🌲

I grew up in Oregon, but I’ve lived in five other states since I became an adult. Here are the top 10 things I commonly tell people about growing up in Oregon.

1. Blackberries are a weed in Oregon. You don’t plant them in your garden. You attack them with a machete.

2. The blackberries are delicious. Also, marionberries are a thing that exists.

3. When I was a Boy Scout, there were tips in the scout manual about finding your way if you’re lost in the woods. One of the tips was to find the side of the tree that moss was growing on, because moss always grows on the North side. This trick doesn’t work in Oregon because moss grows around the entire tree.

4. People tend to think it rains all the time in Oregon. It definitely rains a lot, but we get very few rain storms. Most of the time it’s just kind of a slow constant drizzle that soaks into the ground really well.

5. Northwest Oregon is a rainforest. It’s not a tropical rainforest (obviously) but it is technically a rainforest.

6. When people picture Oregon, they usually think of the side of Oregon west of the Cascades. East of the Cascades, Oregon is very different. It is much more rural, dry, and dependent on irrigation. It’s more like “West Idaho” really.

7. I grew up in Oregon City, OR, which is the end of the Oregon Trail. That means, if you ever beat the Oregon Trail computer game (which nobody ever did, because we all died of dysentery or trying to ford the river) you would’ve ended up in my hometown.

8. As a kid, I thought only kids in Oregon played the Oregon Trail game.

9. Autumn in Oregon is beautiful, but I do not recommend jumping into piles of leaves. Every kid tries it and every kid ends up with a wet butt covered with slugs.

10. People from Oregon are called “Oregonians.” Yes, really. No, I didn’t just make that up. Why are you laughing?

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Sea of clouds and sunrise timelapse from Oregon, looking east towards the Cascades, with a couple volcanoes peeking up through the mist. Yes this works for me.

Downpour - Portland, Oregon.  Looking East from the West Hills on a particularly stormy day.

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Cave and Karst Training Promotes Protection of Fragile Resources  

The BLM manages over 1,500 caves and karst (an area of limestone terrain characterized by sinks, ravines, and underground streams) in eleven states across the west.

Last week, ten BLM and three U.S. Forest Service Outdoor Recreation Specialists participated in a full-day training session on Cave & Karst Management, led by two BLM cave specialists. The course included a short classroom session about the Federal Cave Protection Act of 1988 and other Cave/Karst Management laws, regulations, policies and procedures as well as the background and policies specific to preventing the spread of White Nose Syndrome among bat colonies.

For the field portion of the training, the group visited a lava tube east of Bend, Oregon. They looked for evidence that the cave meets the criteria for “Significant Cave status under the Federal Cave Protection Act.“  Prior to leaving the site, the group practiced decontamination procedures designed to prevent any spread of WNS from cave to cave.  

CLICK HERE to view all photos from the training, and to read about the management techniques BLM uses to balance land use activities and the protection of the nation’s fragile cave and karst resources.