May 2011

In early May, a road trip: Sebastopol to Ashland, OR, with a stop en route at The Olive Pit (; the next night in Portland; then a pleasant (= partly sunny) week in Seattle, where in addition to enjoying the company of various old friends I cheered as the Mariners beat the Rangers (thanks to decent pitching, a home run by young Smoak, and a couple of clutch hits by superstar Ichiro), quaffed superior libations at Hale’s Ales (, and watched the superb Cave of Forgotten Dreams. Werner Herzog, director of several unique movies, procured permission to do a documentary on the cave at Chauvet (, which at age (approx.) 32,000 is the oldest known repository of human graphic artistry. It is an absolute must-see.

From Seattle south, overnighting first in Rhododendron, OR, then taking a roundabout drive to Crater Lake National Park’s south entrance (the only one open until after Memorial Day), winding through ten-foot snow drifts on either side of the highway to reach an observation point that required climbing a twenty-foot snow-covered hill in order to view the magnificently serene waters that grace the crater. Just outside the park, a bald eagle guarding its nest atop a sturdy tree. Overnighting in Klamath Falls (where the Microtel gave me free passes for the bowling alley next door; in my third game I bowled four strikes in a row, and came within 8 pins of reaching 200), then down to the city of Mt. Shasta for lunch at its co-op. Parked in front: a giant dog (St. Bernard?) sitting in the passenger’s seat of a pickup truck, leaning his elbow out the window just as bold as you please, his massive head substantially bigger than mine own.

Museum of the month: the ever-enjoyable San Antonio Museum of Art (

Movies of the month: Thor (which I enjoyed substantially more than I had expected), African Cats (good clean fun for the whole family), and A Wednesday, a Bollywood thriller with a curious twist at the end, starring the talented Naseeruddin Shah.

On May 24 I flew to Costa Rica (more about which in June). On May 30 Victoria Davis departed this earth. When I met her in 1980 in Albuquerque she was Jeanne Bethel, raising son Gabriel and twin daughters Raya and Heidel ( One of the few Westerners ever to meet Vimalananda (in December 1981, on the round-the-world tour that he & I took together), Jeanne moved with her crew to the Olympia, WA neighborhood a few years later. Diagnosed with breast cancer, she battled bravely for more than a decade until finally succumbing. Though I met her irregularly over the years, it was my good fortune to procure a brief visit with her before departing Washington, about three weeks before her passing; it was satisfying for us both to be able to say goodbye in person. May all be well with her soul!

Last Modified on July 20, 2015
this article May 2011