Hood River is a Chacos town. Everywhere you go people are wearing Chacos. My co-workers down at the shop wear Chacos. Employees at other shops wear Chacos. In-towners and Out-towners alike wear Chacos. The girl walking home from school that looked at my Converse All-Stars and said “Nice shoes” was wearing Chacos.
All-Stars, you ponder. Why wasn’t he in his Chacos? Well, the first few days of working down at the Hook made my feet discover sandal hot-spots they never knew they had. By day three the knuckles on my big toes were cracked and bleeding and I needed to do something. Typically in Hood River, if you’re not in Chacos you’re in a pair of Reefs, which are quite possible the world’s most comfortable flip-flop. Since Reefs ain’t great for active stuff they can’t replace Chacos, but when you’re just mulling about there’s nothing like having a solid thwack-thwack-thwack follow you around.
But it was a day for movin’, not mullin’. I spent today wandering aimlessly through Hood River, figuring out what sort of greatness I have at my disposal. When I leave my front door and walk fifty feet to the right, I can see Mount Adams craning its fat white neck over the Gorge. I walked into downtown and eventually ran into Tom, a guy whose house I checked out when I was out here in March. He was selling fallafels from a cart near the post office. I also ran into Nelson (Nelly-Matata) from the shop, swung by his house, sat in the lawn for a bit and ate sweet corn. A woodpecker plucked bugs from an oak tree.
I got an iced latte from Holstein’s and set it down on a counter while browsing some hemp twine at a hippie shop. I reached for it without looking to take a drink, and accidentally picked up a Buddha statue instead. I decided that drinking the Enlightened One was not the path to Nirvana.
I walked into the local Macintosh store and almost got in a fight with the owner. He was all talkin’ ’bout the clock cycles, how a Mac can run its 800 MHz processor faster than a PC’s 2.5 GHz and such. I started talkin’ smack ’bout that stat, callin’ it a myth and such, and he told me to run benchmarks with Photoshop and kicked me out of the store.
I went to the Full Sail Brewery to take a tour, and while waiting for our guide to show I noticed that they were playing String Cheese Incident over the stereo. I found it funny, as earlier they were playing Round the Wheel over at the Windwing shop, too. Turns out that a couple years ago, Cheese used to play fairly often at the River City Saloon.
Our tour guide was wearing Chacos. Bart at Windwing was wearing them as well.
This town, I can dig it.
After the brewery tour we got free pint glasses and lots of free samples, which made sure I was good and tipsy when I went to the library to get signed up for a card. At the library I perused some books on the Pacific Northwest, and started triangulating the location of Bagby Hot Springs.
Walking home, I saw two young boys who had made up the best game ever. It involved a lawn sprinkler and a set of golf clubs. I also walked by a residential garage that had a sign out front boasting “Picture Gallery”, but when I looked inside it was just two guys with rifles.