Cloud portal to the coast

Thundershowers on either side of Interstate 20 west of Cisco, Texas, May 2012

Last Friday, May 11, 2012, I drove to Abilene for commencement at Cisco College where I instruct.  West of Cisco, on Interstate 20, I saw this cloud portal — at least that is what I call it.  I sped between the two thundershowers.  A few drops fell on my car.  The first couple of weeks in May is a time of showers and cool temperatures in west Texas.  That is not always true, for this time last year, I was busy writing about wildfires in my area.

I have a friend at Cisco College that teaches English and he traveled to the Oregon coast last year, staying near Seal Rock and Newport, soaking in cool temperatures and consuming seafood and local white wines.  He talks about moving to Oregon, selling his ranch and settling in the cooler climes.  I think about the higher altitudes of northern New Mexico around Truchas and Taos that have sharp winters and cool nights during the summer.

We both will probably stay put: he in Santa Anna, me in Mingus, for there are mild winters and days in May where thundershowers bring out the Cut-leaf Daisy, Fire Whorls, Queen Anne’s Lace, Purple Dandelions in brilliant colors while horses and cattle graze in lush Spring fields of gramma and bluestem.  I should like, however, to go to the Newport and Depoe Bay area of Oregon where my friend says, ‘There is a resident pod of whales for ten months out of the year about the coast.  You can see them surface and dive, surface and dive.’

I want to see that scene some day.  The cloud portal in the photograph above opens to the west, towards the Pacific, towards the whale.  And away from home.


Notes, corrections and additions:

Depoe Bay was added as an additional site my friend visited.  It is a central location for beautiful scenery and whales.  The boating outing in ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ was filmed in the area.


Filed under Adventure, Rain, Taos, Weather, Wildfire

14 responses to “Cloud portal to the coast

  1. My folks were from Oregon and Washington and I was raised in Kansas, vacationing there whenever I could.
    This summer I’m determined to see those whales! I’ve been to Newport but I was thinking about going to see them in Washington…and another thing I want to see and never have are northern lights.
    I’ll be in New Mexico soon and the best thing about being there are the stars at high altitude. I’ll be at 7300 feet, far higher than the places I go in Oregon and Washington.

    • Also Depoe Bay near Newport is quite a site where the whales I think are also located — can’t imagine them kind of hanging around for ten months, but they do. Oh, good on going to New Mexico and the high country. Wish I was there now. I hope you can get up to Depoe Bay, Seal Rock and Newport.

  2. Hello Jack!

    You have a poet’s heart!

    When I was just in my teens, my parents and family left the the farm in the Victoria area in Texas and moved to the Seattle area. I consider Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana as my “stomping grounds.” I lived more years in Washington State than I care to number. :^)

    If it weren’t for becoming a widow, I would probably still be there.

    But I moved to Arkansas. Here, I succumbed to an illness I had never had before even though my large family never stayed put in any one place longer than 7 years: Homesickness.

    Oh, how I would love to spend the warm days, cool nights and the lovely sights of the snow-capped mountains while listening to a babbling brook. Your post today took me there. Thank you.

    As far as I know, surgery is still scheduled for Thursday. I’ll let you know if something changes/ And will let you know asap afterwards how the surgery went.

    Nurture that poet’s heart. It will serve you well in days to come.

    • Thank you, Iona. I hope your surgery goes well and you recuperate quickly. When you are down I know you must think of those mountains and brooks. Good luck on your surgery. My thoughts are with you.

  3. I can only imagine how spectacular that sky was in person, Jack. I hope you get to Oregon this summer to see those whales…it’s certainly a different world than the ones we live in.

  4. There is something fascinating in thunder clouds. It’s a very fine photo of dark grey, threatening, thunder clouds with the light far away.
    The photo makes you wish to drive through this portal no matter how far away to the west and see the whales. The photo opens up for a story.
    Grethe ´)

  5. Rubia

    What a dramatic photograph Jack! I see the rolling Pacific in your clouds…and, if you tilt your head just right and look closely, a whale is swimming across the portal.

  6. John Caraway

    Very cool picture!

  7. It’s the time of year for road-trip fantasies. Mine isn’t to the west, but to the north again, to the prairies. We’ll see. I do have an aging aunt in Kansas City I need to go visit – and sooner rather than later would be good.

    When I moved from Salt Lake City to Texas, I loved the towering thunderstorm clouds. After life in that valley, with the mountains all around, there was too much sky in Texas. The clouds made me feel more secure. 😉

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