There was a cook out at Syncline, a winery on the Washington side of the Gorge across from Hood River this past Sunday. The Silver Fox got me a +1 and we joined some friends for a foursome out.
I got to drive!
Turns out, not only had the owner of the winery managed perfect weather: clear, blue skies, no wind – which is a feat in the Gorge, and 55 degrees all afternoon; he’d also just been elected Winemaker of the Year by some winemaker’s association. So this was a good get for me.
The beauty on the way out as the deciduous tree leaves showed off their roadside golds and reds against the evergreen background of the pines and firs ahead was breathtaking, to be sure.
But on the way back, the sun was setting – at about 4:30, go figure – and the highway through the Gorge was dark, but the sunset! From edge to edge, the dusk blackened hillsides framed the beauty of the pink sunset!
Someone in the car wondered if the color was due to the California fires. We all decided it was not, and just waited for the next curve in the road to get a fresh view of Mother Nature just showing off.
Poor Sallory, she had gone over to the beach house, which has provided my text threads with her and The Fox with many a gorgeous sunset…it really is beautiful to look out at the sunset over the bluff the cottage sits on. But not this time.
I was busy being the DD, so I couldn’t get a picture, but you can trust me.
Now, here’s the deal. Our little foursome had a great conversation both out the Gorge and back in. The Silver Fox took a little disco nap on the way back, but it didn’t stop the rest of us.
After a few minutes of being lost in the sunset, I wondered aloud whether anyone thought old what’s-his-name that wrote The National Anthem/America the Beautiful had actually ever been west before writing it.
Of course, this devolved into several minutes of trivial arguments about who wrote the damn song.
John Philip Sousa?
No…that’s not right.
No, no…that’s who it was, I know it!
I had to google it when I got home. Suffice it to say, I was under immense pressure as the owner of the youngest – and, most preserved, I should point out – brain to know the answer.
All that on top of driving! Something I rarely do…outside the bedroom.
Turns out, well…who had Francis Scott Key?
Bully! Partial credit for you!
It turns out, FSK’s poem became the lyrics for the music composed by John Stafford Smith.
Yeah, we weren’t in any danger of winning any Jeopardy prizes.
My point was, though, I’m throwing my typically and randomly insane question out to the car…wouldn’t you think that if Francis Scott Key had ever been to the west coast we would have gotten a better shout out? Yes, I am complaining about the west, specifically the Pacific Northwest, only getting a 50% stake in
From sea to shining sea!
I’m not dissing purple mountains majesty or amber waves of grain, but c’mon! If you’ve ever been here, you’ll know that we deserve better.
Again, you can trust me.
No matter, though. When the west coast breaks off and liberates Red America – I mean, abandons it to its own devices – we can join British Columbia and write a Cascadia national anthem that will do our west coast beauty justice.
But if Cali comes along, we’re gonna have to deal with Fresno feeling left out…that poor place will go from being the armpit of California to being the sphincter of Cascadia.
Can’t win ’em all!