We just had to get out of The Shitty.
And, look: I don't mean to insult anyone - this time - but one of Tim's prison coworkers tells us he and his wife refer to The Shitty as "Oklahoma By The Sea."
So... FIELD TRIP! But, since it was raining (what else is new? Let's just assume that's the default position in these here parts. I'll send out a bulletin and alert the news media when there's some sun) where else could we decide to head but... caves. The Oregon Caves, to be exact.
I (well, OK, Tim) dug out my hiking boots from the bay. Then, he shook them out for me. I figured there might be spiders inside - the cobwebs were a good clue. When I didn't put them on, but instead, wore my slip on sneakers for the car ride, he started to ask why, but then figured it out for himself. I hate wearing shoes, so always take them off in the car. Or, as Tim so eloquently put it, "You're too lazy to lace up your shoes more than once today."
So, what does a Royal wear when gracing the caves with Her presence? For some reason, Tim thought this outfit was noteworthy. I really don't get why, especially as I can attest to the fact he was the only one laughing.
The cave tour took about an hour-and-a-half. Half-way through, they pointed out an entryway that was used when the caves were first explored by tourists early in the last century. Since they didn't have the clear path we did, getting to the point we had would have taken them hours. Besides, our helpful Park Ranger said, the best, most beautiful, interesting part of the cave was yet to come!
Well, good, 'cause it hadn't been any of that up until then. Really, why couldn't we have lopped off the uninteresting part of the tour and just started right there? Tim anticipated this excellent question by clamping a hand over my mouth. Geez.
Here. Judge for yourself:
Oh, OK. I'll judge for you: Nice, sure. But for an hour-and-a-half?
Of course, Tim was entranced with the whole thing. I was more entranced by the idiocy of one of our intrepid little band. When the ranger asked, "So, how do you think the first explorers made sure they could find their way out of this maze?" A young man I would guess to be about twenty, answered, "Cookies." I kid you not. He thought they left trails of cookies. Tim had to clamp his hand over my mouth, again.
Tim, of course, knew the answer and called out, "String." Smarty Pants. Later in the tour, the Ranger asked some other, utterly factoidinating question of the group. This time, perhaps so as not to repeat the cookie debacle, no one answered. I hissed to Tim, "I suppose you know the answer to that one, too." The Ranger reminded us to not whisper, as it might disturb the bats.
The final question was posed when we entered one "room". Mr. Ranger-who-has-been-at-this-job-for-over-a-decade-but-still-apparently-knows-so-little-he-has-to-posit-questions-to-Cookie-Man, asked, "So what fruit do you think this room is named for?" Cookie Man answered, "Carrots." Ranger guy retorted (and none too gently, to his credit), "I said, 'fruit.'" (If anyone cares, it looked like bananas. But, really, why would you? It's not like bananas are so exotic you can't see real ones any time you like, so who gives a crap about seeing imitation ones you have to be prompted to know what you're looking at, anyway.)
Obviously, I don't get why everyone oohed and ahhed over this stuff. Especially for an hour-and-a-half. Really. Five minutes would have been enough. For all you nature lovers who disagree, explain this to me: Why is it, if nature is so wonderful, that you always feel the need to anthropomorphize it into decidedly unnatural, more familiar things? For example, the Ranger delighted (and everyone, especially Cookie Man, which should tell you something) loved the formations that looked like a wedding cake, and another, a Freddie Kruger mask.
I don't have to tell you what this one looks like, do I? We're not talkin' Rorschach, here.
Why is something "natural" so much more intriguing when it looks like something man-made? If you want to see a wedding cake, go to a bakery.
And send me some cookies while you're at it, in case I get lost in a cave.
At least I had the consolation of wine tasting afterwards:
We happened upon Foris winery and Minerva was kind enough to profer samples. Apparently, the Wall Street Journal did a story on one of their wines, recently, and they've been innundated with orders. (Hint: They ship.) Try the port and semi-sparkling. Trust me. You know you should.
(And, if you're wondering why my hair looks as wild as the wild river, see my previous post - and, deal with it! I have to. And, why should I suffer alone?)