Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Enlightened Northwest


Of all the places we've visited, I like the Northwest (Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana) the best. The landscape is lush with greenery, mountains, valleys, lakes, and rivers. The climate is mild year-round though it probably rains a bit more than I would like. By comparison, the Southwest (New Mexico, Nevada, Utah) has the beautiful terrain but lacks the greenery (at least in areas that aren't human irrigated). The Midwest (Michigan, Ohio, Iowa) has water and greens but lacks the interesting terrain. Plus it gets really friggin' cold in the winter!

Another great thing about the Northwest is the kind of people it attracts. At least when viewed from afar, people somehow seem enlightened. On our way from Eugene to Cape Lookout (Oregon), we stopped at a rest area to eat lunch. Halfway through, we saw a bicyclist with about 75 pounds of gear strapped to the front and back wheels of his bike. He came over to us and said that he had not talked to anyone in a couple days and asked if he could share our picnic table to eat lunch. We offered him some of our tuna and wine and he did the same with his food. His name was H.W. (yes, initials only) and he was biking from Seattle to Portland to meet up with his friends to go on a sustainability tour of the northwest where they would learn about sustainable food and housing development practices. It was really inspiring to meet a young college aged guy like this who was doing his small part to make the world a better place.

Another interesting person we met was Sarah, a teacher in the Boise tango scene. Over pizzas and wine, she was telling us about how she studied dance at the University of Oregon in Eugene and then ended up falling in love with mountain climbing. Her mountain climbing experience led her to become a frontline forest fire fighter, a job which required her to stay in the forest for an extended amount of time and make sure that any fires are contained. Mountain climbing also led her on a trip to Mendoza, Argentina where she was first introduced to Argentine Tango and the rest of the story you can all fill in. So now she lives in Boise making a living as a Yoga teacher (did i mention that?) and teaching Tango as well.

Sarah, I think, epitomizes the Bohemian spirit that I admire in my tango friends. She works at her crafts with intensity, whether it be mountain climbing, yoga, tango, or other dances. Though she realizes that she is taking the road less traveled (and probably the road less financially stable), she continues down it since her passion for her endeavours trumps the comforts of a more conventional lifestyle.

1 comment:

Kenton Gould said...

Had a great time playing my oboe with all of you in Eugene. I'm so glad it was with you that I played my first-ever tango music. It was also my first time to dance tango to live musicians and it truly is a different and wonderful feel. It flexes in time more, of course.

Thank you Avik for the excellent dance lesson you gave all of us. And for letting me close to your bandoneon. It has a wonderful wheeze, breathing like a living thing.

You guys are touring monsters! I hope I can join you all again sometime.