Monday, March 24, 2008


I was in a waiting room, a lounge done all in white with sun streaming in through tall windows along the far wall. I was sitting at a table, or perhaps a bar, and the room was comfortably full of other people. Two older men were near me at the bar.

I opened my backpack and pulled out some nice Canadian Scotch. I took out a small beer mug shaped shot glass, and poured a drink. I offered it to the men. We talked about fine Scotches, they suggested maybe it was actually Laphroiag, and I thought about this. I suggested that it might be that, or it might be some other kind. None of us took more than a sip.

My father entered the room, which turned out to be in an airport. He was here to pick me up. We left the room and ended up at a theme park in Oregon. I tried to enter the park, but I got waylaid. I ended up an hour south of the park at a friend's wedding site. The wedding ceremony and reception were going to happen up near the theme park, but some pre-ceremony events were going to occur here.

I ran into a lot of friends, and we hung out and the pre-event events took place. I wandered around, and it started to grow dark. In the twilight the venue appeared to be dark green grassy hills with a built in amphitheater and a deep brown, modern wooden building. The sky was a dark blue-gray. We discussed the need to go up to the ceremony venue, and I futzed with my dress.

My dress was a black, 80s-inspired affair that either didn't fit me (it being too big in the hips) or that was ill-designed with epaulets... who puts epaulets on a dress? There was some fabric-decoration on the shoulders in either a electric blue, or hot pink (depending on each time I looked in the mirror at it).

I had been lending the dress to some other woman earlier in the evening, and I think it fit her better, but it was too late to get a new dress for the ceremony and reception, so I just arranged it as well as I could. A few of us piled into a car.

It took a few tries to get to the venue. First the road was blocked, then maybe something else happened. But eventually we got there. It was light out again, but late in the afternoon. The wedding party disappeared, and I was at the theme park, finally able to enter it this time. My dad, his wife and I got onto a transportation device that was also a fun ride. It was taking us to a cabin where we would be staying for a while. The park was located in the mountains, and the transportation ride was a train of little white cars that zipped people up and down hills, with many optional stops along the way. Sometimes the cars operated individually along the tracks and sometimes they hooked up and sped along like a train. Each car moved along the tracks without regard for other cars on the tracks - none of the cars got in the way of each other, despite differing speeds, and optional stops on the single track.

On the crest of a hill however, my car stopped and I got out and stood on the grassy mountainside. I looked out over a valley towards a large range of mountains and saw one in the middle of my view that started steaming. A plume of thick gray smoke started pouring out of it, first in a thin stream then thicker and thicker until it was easily a mile wide billowing up and them flowing back down. It was a volcano and it was erupting violently. I turned around to other people climbing out of their little white cars and yelled that it was a volcano. It was a bit difficult to say, as I kept almost saying earthquake. But I got their attention and they looked up to see it and started reacting with a mix of fear, panic and calm amazement.

I watched the eruption and saw people being blown off the far mountains in the violence of the eruption, tumbling down the closer hillsides or flying through the air in a mix of smoke and rocks. My father's car had gone on towards the cabin so I figured he would be safe there, his wife's car had gone back towards the park's entrance, and I figured she could escape safely. I hopped into a car to go towards the entrance. But when I reached the entrance I realized that I should probably go to the cabin. I found my father's wife and sent her in a car towards the cabin, and then started making my own way. There were no more cars, so I would have to hike miles to get there. I started walking up some stairs towards the exit of the train station to start my hike. Up the first flight of white stairs, I encountered two people in a tandem boxcar racing bicycle device. One was a woman who was able bodied, but the man in the car couldn't walk, and so they were traveling this way, also trying to escape to safety.

They were in my way to go up a steep ramp to the exit, and they were struggling to get up it. I pushed their vehicle to help them up onto the flat surface above. I chatted with them, and they determined that the man could escape on his own via one route, while the woman and I would travel faster together by foot. We headed out.

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