Odorama, with a wink and a nod to John Waters, Smell-O-Vision……
Riding motorcycles is an assault to the senses in many ways, fumes, noise, scary semis, unexpected potholes, road kill. But then there are moments…………….even riding down Interstate 5, one of the more boring roads around, when your sense of smell is sparkled alive for a moment and you are transported; maybe back to another time in your life, maybe to another place you have been and loved, maybe just out of the element of the road warrior mode and into a wondrous corner of your mind that flashed alive again and reminds you of yourself…and others….and life.
I 5, ragged, rough and trafficked. In late September the rains have already begun but it is clear and crisp and the air is fecund with the pungent odor of earth, smelling much like the first harbinger of spring rather than summer’s last gasp, the summer that never was in the Northwest. Odd. Nice.
The jagged Oregon coast, a moonscape that whiffs of salt and fish and water, more water than any moonscape deserves.
Northern California in late summer, is there a more perfect place on earth? I think not. I know so. The grasses are dry and dusty and the air alternates between eucalyptus, sage, dill, bay laurel ……nature’s spice rack on display for your senses.
The far back roads of the mountains, no one for mile….I mean MILES, and then the occasional gated craggy road into nowhere with a rusty collection of near-ancient pickups all with pit bulls in the beds. Suddenly the overwhelming aroma of cut marijuana, drying on the sunny slopes as it is bagged and tagged and headed farther into the hills for market and distribution. Amazing. Not once, not twice, but three times in 25 miles. The locals that know say they harvested early this year to avoid the feds.
Following tractors with lugs full of grape must, fresh from the press, ready to be turned into fodder for the next harvest. The bouquet is heady even now.
I end the day on the beach with our dear friend, Bruce, from the olden days of Salt Lake City! He lives overlooking the rugged Oregon South Coast and has a very private, amazing beach below his property. So the final aroma of the day was the late summer sun-warmed air washed clean with the salt spray of the Pacific. Perfection.