In early May, a road trip: Sebastopol to Ashland, OR, with a stop en route at The Olive Pit (http://www.olivepit.com/); 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 (http://halesbrewery.com/), 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 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chauvet_Cave), 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 (http://www.samuseum.org/)
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 (http://www.paradisestudiosart.com/). 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!