Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Can’t see the scenery for the trees

The Woods

When I was a little kid, my friends and I would go play in the woods. The “woods” was really just the center of an oversized suburban block. But it was our Adventureland. Big trees, trails, hiding places—for ourselves and for our treasures. We could be free there. With a break for lunch.

Near Mount Hood

Sixty years later, being in the woods just, I don’t know, makes me a little claustrophobic. I’ve become accustomed to broad horizons, huge skies. In a forest I just see trees and small patches of sky. Only a handful of stars. And forget about glorious sunrises and sunsets. Mostly just trees. Hundreds and thousands and millions of trees. Quick, find me a clearing!

Ah, that’s better

Stuff can fall on me in the forest. Leaves and needles, cones, twigs, branches—even entire trees. Out in the open, it stops raining when it stops raining. In the forest water keeps dripping from the trees, usually onto my glasses or down my neck.

See, isn’t that even better?

Today I’m near Reno, with mountains to the west and desert to the east. I want to get to Redmond, Oregon. People usually go to the Pacific Northwest for the forests. I go there despite them. Well, an hour or so driving through the Cascades is nice, but then, you know, that’ll do me for quite a while. Unless I can get beside a good sized lake. Look! Open space! And sky!

I could get to Redmond by continuing up the east side of California and into the plains of central Oregon. There’s less forest that way. Or I could take one of several routes that’s pretty much forest all the way. Can you guess which is more likely?


  1. I am like you about the forests. Right now I am stuck in the forest in N. Alabama and getting tired of it. You can bet I am working on a better schedule of visiting for the near future. I hear the desert calling VERY LOUDLY.

  2. Trees make me crazy, too much stuff in my peripheral vision. Never can tell what might be out there. Have you been to Joseph, Oregon? We were there, it was really pretty. You might like it.

    1. I explored all around Joseph several times when I worked up there. It was really a fantastic area for fun.

    2. I spent a few days around Joseph, too.

  3. I'm in a Forest too and always in the shade ... Need some Desert Sun! Or just some Sun. Walking on an old logging road with my dog, she stopped looked around and left out a few deep barks that in my mind said ... Back Off! Love my Dog!!!

  4. I like old growth Forrest, when walking along beneath the Giants, I can't help feeling I'm among elders.

  5. Glad I’m not the only one who finds dense forests oppressive. Without any distant views for perspective I feel like I’m hopelessly lost in a never ending maze. Maybe I’m biased, but I find many people who grow up and live in places without vistas become psychologically and emotionally stunted. Give me wide open spaces!

  6. I guess every kid in the neighborhood must have played in "The Woods" behind the houses across the street. My friends and I used to hang out there too.