I had an appointment in Salem the other day so I needed to make my way from the Coast over and back in a short afternoon because I had to cover a live event on the Coast that evening at the Event Center.

Road Rage

It’s a beautiful drive eastward towards Corvallis on Highway 34; The Alsea Highway, and when I left there was light mist falling and the hills and forests were dotted with low gray wisps of clouds rolling with light winds and the occasional flash of the sun. It was a great time to sight-see and daydream in the solitude of the quiet of the hills.

However as I settled into a smooth scenic drive, the sky suddenly darkened and within seconds I was peering through a solid sheet of pelting rain so hard my windshield wipers were screaming for mercy. It was all I could do to see the road and I was in a narrow spot with no place to turn off and wait so it out so it was onward!

I survived and was whisking through Corvallis towards I-5 and Salem when I heard the loud sound of musical horn and ducked to the side of the road to get out of the way as a snack-wagon on wheels heading for the lunch crowd blasted past. I got back into the flow of traffic but not all was calm, a few moments later it was another staccato blast of hail, sleet and rain. Like a giant wet fist, it hit hard. I held on because as fast as it came, it went and I was almost blinded by light coming from the sun hitting the wet pavement and some fields of brilliant yellow and white daffodils.

So by now I’m ready for I-5! Just two straight lanes, all going the same way! But I was wrong. I tried to ease onto 1-5 but suddenly realized I’d have to have my foot on the gas hard to keep up and not get run over. It was hold your breath and hold on! However, despite the semis blowing past in sheets of water and the hot SUV’s trying to set a land speed record, I managed to stay safely within the cocoon of the moving mass of machinery until I got off in Salem.

As I sat there, stopped at last, to the best of my ability I tried think of the ride as just the way it is when you have to go somewhere, but kept thinking I was just lucky to have seen all that action without any mishaps because the next time someone tells me they had a wild ride I will have lots of empathy and a visual of what one is! Then I’ll tell them mine and we’ll be able to compare whose ride was the wildest!

Rick Schultze

A few years ago at a writers conference held in the central Oregon coast town of Yachats, where I live, I listened to the late Ken Kesey, a frequent visitor to the area, tell a writer that this could be a hard place to write. “If you think you can sit there staring at the ocean for inspiration you’re wrong, it’s not out there, it’s in your head!” He was right; it is beautiful here in Lincoln County, the kind of beauty that makes concentrating on anything else tough and since hearing that insight, I’ve written at a desk facing a wall, no windows opening onto a ocean view, although I have one, but it’s worked. I’ve done, and do, different kinds of writing. As a freelance writer I’ve been a observational columnist, a humor columnist, a book and music reviewer for newspapers, magazines, and online. However, as a creative writer, my heart belongs to fiction. In that genre I do short stories, road adventure stories, musical adventure tales, and in current production, are three small novels. So really the purpose of this web site is to give you a glance of some of the things I’ve done, a preview of what’s coming, and hopefully, a view of what it’s like to be a writer living in a small town on the Oregon coast!