Thursday, July 20, 2006

The Cove Chronicles - Day 8: Pirates of La Grande

At last...a day in La Grande where I didn't have to DO anything.

So I decided to throw a bike in the back of our truck and catch a ride into La Grande with Mom and Dad. As I mentioned before, although I claim Northeast Oregon as my home now (well...okay, Muroran's my home, but...you get the idea), I'm not that familiar with the area. So I figured that since I had the time, and Mom and Dad had stuff to do at the office today anyway, I should try and get to know La Grande a bit more.

But before I went off exploring, the folks and I headed over to the local bowling alley for the weekly Kiwanis meeting. Mom and Dad had asked me if I would be willing to talk about life in Japan at a Kiwanis meeting while I was home, and I agreed. So that's what I did. It was a fun meeting, and the other Kiwanis members had some really good questions about Japan. Hopefully, I was able to give them some new insights into all things Japanese.

After that, we hurried over to the local movie theater, got the bike out of the truck, and I waved to Mom and Dad as they drove out to the office. Then I ran over and bought a ticket to go see "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest". There was a LOT going on in that film. Maybe a bit too much. But Johnny Depp was as awesome as ever as Captain Jack Sparrow.

Two hours later, entertained and ready to explore, I headed out into the hot afternoon streets of La Grande, slapped on my bike helmet, hopped of the bike, and started pedaling.

And stopped about five minutes later in front of a CD shop that I'd never seen before.

I headed in to see what they had, especially since I was looking for a few new CDs that had come out recently. I was pleasantly surprised with what was available. An eclectic collection of music and DVDs that included a lot of minor artists and films. Plus, the guy that ran the store said that it was possible to negotiate some cheaper prices on stuff.

Great news.

But with great news sometimes comes sad news, and this was one of those times.

"So why the discounts?"

"We're going out of business."

Figures. I find an awesome CD and DVD shop in La Grande, and the place is going to close down. Sheesh.

Oh well, I found some CDs and some DVDs that looked interesting, and made my purchase. Then it was back on the bike and out to Dad's office.

Except that it was freaking hot.

So I made a stop at a big behemoth of a store (Hint: It starts with a "W" and ends with an "almart".) and tried to call Mom and Dad.

I got the message "Our hours of operation are..." Wait a sec, how long was I in that shop? I looked at my watch. 5:30? I'd been in there for an hour and a half!

Figures.

I didn't have Dad's cell phone number, so it looked like instead of having another mile or so to go, I was going to have to bike all the way out to Cove, 15 miles away and uphill. Not so good. So I headed into said behemoth store and goofed off for a bit, looking at a few more DVDs that had caught my eye.

Let's face it...I was stalling. Wait a while longer and then I can call home and have Mom and Dad come and get me.

Then I heard a couple of familiar voices on the other side of the CD display case I was looking at.

Mom and Dad?

Again, figures.

They were the ones that raised me. They should know me the best.

"Dustin, we figured you'd be here. We also saw the bike outside." Yeesh.

So I was saved from melting away into oblivion while pedaling in the scorching heat outside for 15 miles, uphill.

Instead, we all hopped in the truck, stopped by New York Ritchie's for some pizza, and headed on home.

The best part of the day was the fact that I sunburned racing stripes onto my scalp through the air vents (?) in Dad's bike helmet. The danger and tragedy of a buzzcut. Heh.

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