We were at Crater Lake in Oregon a few weeks ago. Its gorgeous, cobalt blue water consists of melted glaciers and rain; it laps at steep walls of rock. What’s really cool is that the Klamath Indian legends of the formation of Crater Lake are geologically accurate. Rather than describing the eruption that created the lake almost 8,000 years ago as an explosion (as Western geologists did initially), the Klamath story of the fight between the god of the underworld, Llao, and the sky god, Skell, describes the eruption then collapse of the volcano and the basin it made.

Anyway. What I really want to tell you is that we arrived at the Visitor’s Center at about the same time as a pack of middle-aged bikers roared up on their Harleys. There were about 15 guys. They parked their hogs and strolled up to various lookout points behind the Center, toting cans of Coors.

After my family and I listened to a ranger talk and bought some souvenirs we moseyed to our car, headed toward our lodging for the night a few miles away. In the parking lot one of the bikers stood next to his Harley. He was about 50, sporting black leather chaps and vest over jeans and a ripped t-shirt that stretched across his beer belly. He’d tied a red bandana over his grizzled gray hair.

Dude, I thought. You are rockin’ those chaps.

As my husband raced my boys to the car I noticed the cherry red cell phone the biker guy was holding in one of his meaty paws. The red case struck me, it was so sparkly and pretty, like a My Little Pony version of a cell phone — and I slowed my pace so I could observe more closely. With the chaps and all, I guess I would have pegged him as a black leather cell case type — or maybe a Jolly Roger dripping blood from the eye sockets or something.

I got closer and heard a distinctive female voice.

“From the Crater Lake Visitor’s Center, proceed north on North Entrance Road toward Oregon Route 138 — ”

Holy crap, he was getting directions from Siri. On his shiny red cell phone.

Just then Biker Guy looked over and our eyes met. We nodded at each other, and he gave me a thumb’s up, just one American tourist to another, on the road.


About Kate

Things are weird in the wide world -- and like everyone else, most days I'm used to it. But to shake things up for myself, I like to notice and write about stuff that strikes me as both beautiful and strange, fascinating and repulsive, sweet and sour -- like how the steamy, stinky air that comes up from the BART vents at 16th Street Mission reminds me of being twenty-two, apparently immortal, and in love.

6 responses »

  1. love the visuals and details in this little piece. So happy you’re writing like this everyday – a bright spot in my morning!

  2. jewlee says:

    I love waking up to your writing! Thanks for being so dedicated.

  3. Shirley Holley says:

    Thanks Kate, love your daily blog

  4. Kate says:

    Thanks for reading, dear friends!

  5. Clay says:

    I guess the moral to your story could be one can’t/shouldn’t judge a Harley rider by his/her cover… and those My Little Pony pink phones are darling when Siri speaks.
    Loved this blog Kate.

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