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    Heart Sticker Blog — Heat Sticker Adventure Blog

    A Winter Foot Tour in Cleveland, OH

    A Winter Foot Tour in Cleveland, OH

    While killing time before meeting a friend, my trusty dog Bayr and I were on foot in downtown Cleveland, Ohio.  t was December 27th and the outside temperature was 24 degrees.  The winds from the lake waere light that day, which made the walk bearable.  Cleveland sits directly on Lake Eire.  If there was a wind, it would have been howling and it would have cut through me and the dog.

    The city, overall, had the early, turn-of-century, industrial town feel. Many of the buildings had ornate architectural details and an overpowering sense of city gray.  people were all in classic winter dress for the Midwest--black or gray long overcoats, black shoes, black hat or muffs, and black gloves. The scene all touched a part of my soul that my spirit had forgotten since moving out West. It was a friendly, familiar feeling and a scary one at the same time.

    Bayr and I walked from the Flats to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  e toured the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ monument in the middle of the city and many points in between.  Interestingly enough, we were asked for direction half-dozen times. I guess folks would expect that someone walking with their dog in 24-degree weather was a local and not, as the case was, a tourist out for an adventure. My response was always the same, “Sorry, just visiting.”

    Bayr had a fabulous time being a dog. Not only could he mark new, cold territory, covered with remnants of the salt from the previous snow, but he got to hunt 100's of pigeons lining each open area of the sidewalk. He crouched down into attack mode and slowly made his approach.  He inched closer and closer and then froze, inching forward again, until he sprang into action chasing the whole flock away in every direction.

    We never connected with our friend, one of the dangers of showing up in a city unannounced and bedded down in an airport hotel. We woke early the next morning and glanced outside and saw that 6 inches of new snow had fallen.  Being from the Chicagoland area, I knew this meant we had only one thing to do that morning. Get the heck out of Cleveland and head south as quickly as we could. The snow that had fallen was Lake Effect snow--snow that only falls because its close to the lake. We knew the sooner we distanced ourselves from the lake, the better our travel day was going to be.

    So we headed south and set our sights on West Virginia . . .  ​

    A Job Well Done, Crew

    A Job Well Done, Crew

    As I walked from Knight Arena to downtown Eugene after the Phish show, I was wondering how we ultimately did on giving away the 2500 special edition, tie-dyed, Heart in Oregon stickers. Questions I asked:  Did all of you have a good time?  What kind of reception did you get? Did we hit some form of critical mass on the demand side of supply or did all of you realize you got less than 10 and pocketed them all?  As always, I wish I could have given more to share but is there ever really enough?  

    So, how did we do?

    Dave from Tennessee strolled the path with me for a while. He had moved from Tennessee to Bend a few months ago. All he wants to do, all winter long, is ride his snowboard and figure out how to pay to play. I welcomed him to Western Oregon and suggested being a “lifty” for the season. We discussed the show, Rocky Top and others. As he tore off to grab a burrito, I asked, “Hey! Did you get your sticker tonight?”  “No I did not, what you got?”  As I handed him the Tie-Dyed Heart in Oregon, he responded, “Dude, I saw these and I wanted one so bad…thank you.”  Before Dave could slip away, I offered two more and he responded with, “So I can stoke someone else out?”  “Of course.”

    And many of my questions were answered.

    See you on the mountain, Dave.

    And a job well done, crew.

    Emily from Alaska— Brokedown in Astoria

    Emily from Alaska— Brokedown in Astoria

    “Brokedown in Oregon—have not left yet.”   This is in the top three reasons folks end up living in Oregon. 

    The story of Emily from Alaska is a classic.

    A resident of anchorage, this 22-year-old is headed south to NorCal so she can pick Merlot grapes on her grandmother’s vineyard.  While surfing along the coast, her '89 land cruiser, complete with the high water package, lost all gears except reverse on the beach. She was able to drive backward off the beach and get towed to Astoria, where she waits for a new transmission.  That was three weeks ago. For once, cash is not the problem, it’s finding the right part.  So she waits.

    Her rig is well-suited. It is equipped with a 170 pound St. Bernard for companionship and intimidation, a build-in bed, and a space for her surfboard.  She had been sleeping around parking lots and rest area when we met in St. Stephens’s state park.  There was a simple mix-up; she was assigned a spot that was reserved.  here was a very nice chat between her and the folks who reserved the spot and Emily needed to find a new spot. I offered to share ours. For the rest of the night, we shared stories from the perspective of a 5, 22, and 45-year-old, and professed our love for stickers.

    I asked her about the culture of Alaska. “Tell me that it’s so normal, that you don’t even recognize it.”  After a few hours, she came up with Etratuf boots and Carharts.  The combination of the two is a requirement to living in Alaska, as well as the dozens of coats everyone owns.  She also mentioned that Alaska has a plethora of coffee shops.

    Hmmm, maybe your heart is calling you home to Alaska if you like boots, coats, coffee, big dogs, mountains, backcountry camping and trucks that can go through anything.