Friday, September 11, 2009


I was on top of Steens Mountain, listening to the wind gusts and looking out over hundreds of square miles of sunny, peaceful Southeast Oregon. I was doing my first CycleOregon.

I heard about the attacks at the first rest stop on that day's ride, which was a short 35 miles. The news was fragmentary, but it was clear that a major disaster had occurred.

I got into camp around 11:30 am, and, an hour later, boarded one of the buses that took riders to the end of the road, overlooking the steep, eastern escarpment. It was grand and exciting.

That night, there was a discussion about terminating the week-long ride, and many east-coasters, I heard, actually did leave the ride (it must have taken them at least 2 days to get from there back to Portland, only to find the nation's airlines still shut down).

I finished the ride and, back home, slept for a couple of days before I had the chance to see ANY of the now-famous videos of planes crashing and burning, and towers collapsing. I was spared the pornography of media-frenzy.

Even today, I associate 9/11 with this place, not Ground Zero.

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