Subscription postcards: End of the line for Lewis and Clark. Also, kale.

Postcard collage of people walking on a road above a town, with text that says "experiment"

Message on postcard:
Hey Bridget — Greetings from Fort Stevens State Park, located at the mouth of the Columbia River. January is not exactly peak tourist season on the Oregon coast, so it’s peaceful and quiet here and also a little rainy and cloudy and windy, but it’s pretty in its own way.

This is as far west as Lewis and Clark made it. After hitting the coast they said “fuck it” and turned around and went home and got real jobs. Clark made his fortune on the professional lecture circuit, but Lewis had a career flame-out and disappeared from the public eye for a while. He resurfaced a few years later in New Orleans, busking in the French Quarter. He became America’s first underground folk-rock superstar, but died of an opium overdose at age twenty-seven after releasing just three wax cylinder recordings on the Smithsonian Folkways label.

So I reckon I should turn around and head home and figure out what the hell I’m doing with my life.


Postcard collage of dog head in front of badlands with text reading "a question of scale"

Message on postcard:
Hello Sharon! Do you know what makes winter camping on the Oregon coast tolerable? KALE SOUP. It takes a rainy, windy excursion from soggy to spectacular in just one spoonful. Maybe after reading this you will want some kale soup, too. If so, here is my recipe.

  1. A bunch of kale.
  2. Other soup ingredients, e.g. carrots, beans, broth.
  3. Heat

I hope you enjoy it!


Postcard collage of ballerina in front of badlands, with text reading "summer season"

Message on postcard:
Hello Evgenyia! I’m sitting in my van at the mouth of the Columbia River, looking across what is kind of a huge bay thing at some rain-obscured green-gray hills in Washington State. There’s a parking lot next to the beach and there are about two cars here at any given time. Someone will drive up, get out, get back into their car, turn around, and drive away. Then the process repeats itself. I’m listening to the wind and the rain and the surf and enjoying the view through my windshield, staying dry.

Subscription postcards: Horses, pigs, chicken heads

Postcard collage of horses in front of Crater Lake

Message on postcard:
Hello Elizabeth! Did you know that pioneers crossed the country on horses over a hundred years ago? It took months and months for them to cross the country. Today you can fly across the country on a jet in six hours. A horse can gallop at 30 miles per hour, but a jet can fly at six hundred miles per hour. Jets are cool!



Postcard collage of skeletal bird flying in front of Mount Hood

Message on postcard:
Hey Steve — Greetings from Fort Stevens State Park. I’m here at the mouth of the Columbia River, on the Oregon coast. Fort Stevens was originally built to defend against British attack during a dispute called the Pig War. The Wikipedia article on the subject says it was a bloodless dispute, but it was triggered by the shooting of a pig, which I have to imagine was pretty gruesome. I guess they mean human blood when they talk about bloodless conflicts. As I am sure you can understand, I am fine with sending pigs into war to die in lieu of men.


Postcard collage of cellist in front of Ruby Lake National Wildlife Refuge, with text "No Chicken Heads, Feet or Intestines"

Message on postcard:
Hey Erin — Greetings from the Oregon coast. I’m at Fort Stevens State Park, near the wreck of the Peter Iredale. It’s an old steel-hulled boat that ran aground in 1906. Most of the wreck was cut up for scrap, but for some reason the bow was left intact. They say it’s good luck to kiss it at low tide, but so far my luck is unchanged and my mouth tastes like salt water, rust, and barnacles.

The wreck of the Peter Iredale at Fort Stevens State Park

Here is what one hundred and six years of Oregon weather will do to a boat.