Highly Recommended!

(060318) From the film The Rider. Brady Jandreau as Brady Blackburn. Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

If you haven’t yet seen “The Rider,” do not pass Go!  Even if you have to do a bit of traveling to make it happen.

Yesterday, we did just that.  To Portland and back for a matinee!  We left Oysterville about noon, got to the Laurelhurst Theater in plenty of time for pizza and lemonade before the 4:30 start time, and were home by a few minutes past nine.  It wasn’t even fully dark yet!

Best of all – well not quite best because the movie was fabulous! – was the trip itself.  We went and returned on State Route 4, following the editorial suggestion in last week’s Observer:

View Along SR$

EDITOR’S NOTE: For residents of south Pacific County, traveling between the coast and Interstate 5 usually entails using highways 30 and 26 in Oregon. Both those routes, along with the Clatsop County portion of U.S. Highway 101, are responsible for many more traffic fatalities than Pacific County’s State Route 4 to Longview or the county’s segment of U.S. 101. The density of fatal accidents between Astoria and Rainier on Highway 30 closely resembles that on the interstate, which has far heavier traffic. Highway 26 is almost as bad, as is U.S. 101, according to statistics compiled by ITO World, a company that specializes in analyzing transportation statistics and trends.

I’ve probably made fifty trips to Portland and back in the last several years – sometimes in the middle of the night, sometimes in the fog, many times in the rain and wind, and, once, following the ambulance –every trip on Highway 30 on the Oregon side of the river.  I am always nervous on that route – ever since my mother warned me about it just before I drove my worldly possessions up here in 1978, “Be careful on the highway between Longview and Astoria,” she said.  “The school librarian and her daughter were killed in an accident there just recently.”  Her words have stuck in my mind, all these years.

Posted on the Door of the Laurelhurst Theater

So, yesterday we traveled on the Washington side of the river.  I had forgotten how beautiful that drive is!  Well worth every extra minute (there were only nine of them) that it took!  We ‘waved’ at Bob Pyle as we passed Grays River and gave a nod to Kerrie McNally when we saw the ‘Miller’s Crossing’ sign.  And, of course a shout-out to Andrew Emlen and all the members of the Willapa Hills and the Skamokawa Swamp Opera!  And to the many parties of the past at Eric and Carolyn Feasey’s old place.

But…about the movie.  Stunning!  I can’t get over the fact that these were real people, not actors, and further, that main character Brady Blackburn is the real-life son of Tim Blackburn who plays his father and, mostly, that Lily Blackburn, his sister with Asperger’s is also his real-life sister. Their actual last name is Jandreau and the action is set on the Pine Ridge Reservation where the family, of Lakota descent, actually live.  See it if you can!  It’s worth the drive to Portland on Highway 4, believe me!

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