Journalism, Photography

Postscript: October 2016

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A climber stands atop Monkey Face, looking out over Terrebonne and the Cascades in central Oregon.


October: Winter hasn’t yet claimed the mountains, and stories of summer remain on our lips. We revel in sunny Sundays that each seem like the last one until spring. We joke about — or decry — the impending rains.

I find myself eagerly anticipating blustery midwinter mornings and the promise of the holidays on the horizon. Fall seems less a destination than means of moving from sun to snow, but it’s been a glorious season so far.

I’m reminded of the charm of seeing my breath at the end of nighttime runs. I continue my obsessive forecast monitoring. I shiver at a picnic table outside the bar but don’t go inside because it’s still and brisk out there.

All the while, lyrics from the same song ricochet in my head.

Nights are getting colder now
And the air is getting crisp
I first tasted the universe
On a night like this 

Winter is coming.

***


Travels

Black Butte

Fedor and I traveled to Bend, Oregon, early in the month. My cousin Packy took us mountain biking, which was a blast, and we enjoyed perfect fall weather during our three-day weekend. Fedor and I hiked to the top of Black Butte on the way into town, ascending into a cloud that made the scenery seem a bit eerie.

Crooked River

We hiked around Smith Rock, which I’ve written about in the past, on the way back toward Portland. The Crooked River, pictured, winds around the world-class climbing haven.

Larch Mountain

We hiked Larch Mountain, closer to home, later in the month. Clouds covered the Columbia River Gorge, and snowy Mount Adams loomed in the distance.

Willamette River

After test-riding and researching bikes for much of the summer, I purchased a new (used) road bike early in the month. I took this shot looking out over the Willamette River, with Mount Hood in the distance, during a ride before work.

Willamette River

Floating houses line the Willamette River near Sauvie Island, west of Portland. I put my bike to the test during a 43-mile, meandering loop late in the month.


Reading

Talon said he was “taking in his last moments,” looking over Boise, hearing the sirens, when he saw the woman drop.
“As I saw her falling, I couldn’t breathe,” he said. “I saw her hit the ground at the bottom of the elevator shaft, and I kind of froze. Because I imagined me where she was, except from five stories higher.”
— The Idaho Statesman, on a teen who almost tried to commit suicide by jumping from a Boise parking garage

By the time it crashed, Eastern Air Lines Flight 980 would have been just about ready to land. Beverage carts stowed, seat backs upright, tray tables locked. The 29 people on board would have just heard the engines change pitch and felt the nose dip slightly, seat belts tugging at their stomachs.
— Outside Magazine, on the mystery surrounding a 1985 plane crash in Bolivia

He tried to convince Don for a few hours at the restaurant. He told him about white privilege and repeated the scientific studies about institutionalized racism. He mentioned the great Islamic societies that had developed algebra and predicted a lunar eclipse. He said that now, as he recognized strains of white nationalism spreading into mainstream politics, he felt accountable. “It’s not just that I was wrong. It’s that it caused real damage,” he remembered saying.
— The Washington Post, on a former white nationalist leader

A yellowish light from the parking-lot bathrooms scattered on the frosted windows, diffusing over the deep blues of pre-dawn clouds. I’d pulled the two backseats out of the ’99 Dodge Caravan the night before to make the space I was lying in, next to my skis and the boots as cold as the windows. A shadow blocked the light for a minute; Ben, my buddy from high school, had made his exit to stretch as only a six-foot-two teen can when he’s been folded into the back of a Subaru.
— Powder Magazine, on the anticipation of a new ski season

Kesha is no longer the artist we met in the late aughts: blazing dollar sign in her name in place of the S, gold Trans Am that she said she wanted to have continuous sex in, 24-7 party girl, dredged in oil and breaded like a schnitzel in glitter. Now she is someone in suspended animation, unable to release new music pending contract litigation, touring small clubs to make some money to help fund her lawsuit and to make sure her fans don’t forget her; now she is someone who wants to work and make music, just without the man she says raped her; now Kesha is a cause.
— The New York Times, on singer Kesha

I’m sitting in a hotel room in Columbus, Ohio, waiting for a call from a man who doesn’t trust me, hoping he’ll have answers about a man I don’t trust, which may clear the name of a man no one gives a damn about. To distract myself from this uneasy vigil–and from the phone that never rings, and from the icy rain that never stops pelting the window–I light a cigar and open a 40-year-old newspaper.
— The Los Angeles Times, on a once-great boxer

***

I read Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” and Dan Emmett’s “Within Arm’s Length: A Secret Service Agent’s Definitive Inside Account of Protecting the President” this month. The former needs no explanation, and the latter is an interesting look at the Secret Service, which I knew little about. “Within Arm’s Length” is a bit too long, in my opinion, and can be a bit slow at times. But it’s worth a read and is super cheap on Amazon.

You should watch “The Eternal Beauty of Snowboarding” — or at least this part, where a dude launches straight into a tree.

I recently reported about a Portland surfer who’s recovering after being attacked by a shark off the Oregon coast, a massive explosion and the scene outside Portland’s federal courthouse after the Oregon wildlife refuge occupiers were acquittedThe latter two reports were the product of team efforts on big, fast-moving stories.

***
As always, thanks for reading.

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  1. Pingback: Postscript: November | Jim Ryan - November 29, 2016

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My name is Jim Ryan, and I'm a breaking news reporter for The Oregonian and OregonLive in Portland. I'm an Ohio University graduate from Gaylord, Michigan.

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