Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Wagontire, Oregon

On our way to Likely, CA in the morning we'll stop at Wagontire, OR. We've been there once before. There are two people in town, husband and wife.
At their cafe they serve coffee and 'pop'. I'll have the pop, Irene will have the coffee. These people are looking for buyers for their town.
They want to move on but they stay because they are, afterall, responsible for the whole town, which includes a Bagdad Cafe-style motel and an 'international' airport across 395 where a plane from France once made an emergency landing.
(btw: their 'RV Park' with full hook-ups means a spot in the parking lot and a long extension cord running through the rusted screen near their front door.)

A likely story

Tomorrow we're headed here, Likely, CA. It's a long drive through triple digit temps. For the next several days we'll have no internet, no TV, no cell phones. We'll be on the edge.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Remains of the day

Today in the Malheur National Forest we found a deer skeleton. Some of the vertebrae were still connected. While we looked around for the skull, Irene found a man's shirt. Now she's convinced the bones stored in the bin of our rig are that of a hapless human. We're both excited though about the sculpture that might come of this.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The middle of no place in the land of nowhere

We'll be in touch.

Who do they think they're kidding?

I think the Witness Protection Program has given up on these two. They surfaced a few days ago on the Skagit River in Washington calling themselves, Chicago and Sunny Days. But we'd recognize them anywhere. They better keep moving if they know what's good for them.

Friday, July 17, 2009

And that's the way it is....

Life on the road

I am feeling less and less connection to any one particular place. Life on the road means where ever you are quickly becomes home. Last night on the Skagit River with friends. Today, it's a little hideaway in the Cascades in central Washington. We're headed east into triple digit temps. Will see friends tomorrow night, then heading south toward Carson City, NV. This rare internet connection is a treat!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


There is no sure thing when you're on the road. Mostly I've been "unplugged". I've grabbed a quick opportunity here in Freeland on Whidbey Island in my friend's study overlooking Puget Sound to plug back in. There is a serenity and even predictability about this waterway. A schedule of activity that lulls me into some kind of island inertia. Maybe today we'll go into the forest to let Annie Bones run the trails, maybe we'll check out a book store, maybe though we'll just watch the cargo ships and the cruise lines taking passengers to Alaska or watch the sea planes circling with the birds. Then, maybe we'll all just watch the bunnies of Bush Point as they spread out across the open meadows doing what bunnies do....will be back in touch when the connection is possible.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Book tour

Two nights ago I had the pleasure of reading from the anthology, Sisters Singing, in Portland, Oregon. Annie Bloom's is a fantastic independent book store and the place was packed. On to Seattle!

Irene's adventure

Irene had to rush through Columbia River Gorge. Not the best way to see one of the most beautiful spots on the planet but Irene knows how to sqeeze every moment out of every day.

Happy Birthday, Annie Bones

Yesterday, Annie Bones turned four. Now we're going to stop counting. The years are going by too fast.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Internet woes

I'm just plodding through the stages. Maybe tomorrow morning I'll have better luck or I will have reached the 'acceptance' plateau.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Baby salon?

Sign on shop said, 'Infinity Spa and Salon'. I read, 'Infant Spa and Salon'.

A little light

Quiet in camp today, cloudy. I'm practicing for tomorrow's book reading at Annie Blooms. Feeling a little homesick, though we've been gone less than two weeks.

Stating the obvious

The name on this building, "Unrepentant Purple."


Must be on the inside.

Twilight Zone

I'm beginning to see beneath the sun and the glittering manicured lawns. There is something wrong in this Stepford-like RV park: I was joshing with a man about his washing his big RV, then we met while walking our dogs. The sun was shinning. The sky blue. He was a friendly man, the kind you meet along the way, a fellow traveler. "Cute dog," he said looking at Annie B. "Thanks, yours too," I said. "These bastards in Washington," he said suddenly. "The Pelosis, the Obamas, the bastards."

I was sitting outside reading a book, kicked back, Annie B lying in the shade of the picnic table when an RV pulled up next to us, parked and an exuberant couple got out. "Howdy!" the man said. They came over, plunked themselves down, made themselves at home. "Where you from?" and all that. The very moment they heard my traveling companion was a woman, they asked to be moved several 'streets' away.

I was taking a walk, came upon a man and woman and their two dogs. They are work-campers, travel the country working at RV parks in exchange for free rent. Nice people, interesting, 'dog-people'. Want to build for Habitat for Humanity. Their little dog, wearing a bandanna nipped at Annie, the way dogs do to arrange their pecking order. Suddenly the nice man took off his hat and began beating the dog. Beating and beating.

I'm telling you, it must be the air, or the water. I'm scared. (we're also out of here, right after tomorrow night's book reading in Portland.)

Saturday, July 4, 2009

July 4th

When we first got to this RV park we were happy to note no fireworks were allowed. Annie Bones is terrified of them and we thought a quiet 4th would be perfect.

I find myself remembering the wild parties my parents hosted in the 50s where the grown-ups all got drunk and the kids stayed up deep into the night and suffered burns from errant rockets and black eyes from sparklers gone array. Dangerous debacles where we finally did go to bed covered in watermelon juice and blistered feet from walking on the 'snakes' that littered the backstep.

This evening I'm listening for an explosion, laughter, crying injured kids. But here the grown ups sit in dignified circles on lawn chairs and speak in whispers like this celebrating is grim business. Next to us a man is working on his sewer system and across the way a woman is reading a paperback. There are no kids.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Around the bend

Yesterday at Chinook Bend RV Park on the Chinook River in Oregon I watched a man remove the wheel from his red rusty truck. I watched him pour a Tupperwear container of oil onto the grass next to his beat up trailer.
"Big job, huh?" I asked.
"Yep," he said. "Almost too big." Then still covered in grease, he picked up one of his many fishing poles and headed for the river.
This morning, walking Annie B. in the fog shrouded meadow I watched a mortuary van ease down the dirt road. I rounded the bend and they were parked in front of the man's trailer.
"Did someone die?" I asked quietly.
"Yep," replied the driver who was drinking coffee and wearing a white shirt and tie.
"The man in the trailer?" I asked.
"Yep. You fish?" he asked me.
"Nope," I replied.
"You cook?" he asked.
"You eat the salmon?"
"If someone cooks it," I replied. Then I said, "What are you waiting for?"
"The deputy, got to have a deputy," the driver said. I took a last look at the beat up trailer, the pile of fishing poles and the rusty red truck. I looked at the oil stain in the grass.
"Well, have a good one," I said.
"You too," the driver said.