From Turtle on the Trail, Day 12

September 2nd, 2015

Amy rolls up in her cart, "Good luck on your hike!"
The walk to the town is uphill and difficult and I fall behind on the hike. I delve into being aware of how much my feet are yelling at me. It was fine while carrying the pack because they number all out and then I could massage them at night.

Now the edges ring and the balls of my feet throb. A singing pain between my front two toes harmonizes with the baritone of the pinky on my other foot.  It is a relief when we reach the town and even though I've been alone for most of the last couple hours, I still wish to be away from the others.

I lay down in front of a picnic table in Logger Park. I can already tell this is a place I should be wary of. Like the downtown of a city, or the front of a farmhouse with a broken window. I put my feet up on the seat of the bench and Dana is eating her lunch watching the passersby on the street. The kids are playing kickball and I struggle between the relief of never having to do that again with the urge to find a red ball and start a game with everyone.

Dana shares some of her lunch with me. It's from her father's restaurant. It's awesome. I consider how the walk went today. So many people walked with us today. Barry poofed away on his inhuman pace, PC easily keeping up because, also superhero. Emmalyn drifted back and forth for a while then ultimately pushed way up ahead into the misty shores of road time.

Cars drove by with waves and swishes, and I come upon Grace and Maria who had waited for me.  My pace dictated by the disturbances of my feet, had made me grumpy. They totally gave me enough space, and it was sweet.

I worked my way through some Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson. And eventually met up with Grace and Maria at the town's edge. It is a small mountain town that felt like there was an energy bubbling up from it. The air was good here, and I felt like I could call a place like this my home.

We passed by two old men chatting next to a truck. "What are y'all doing?" one of the gentlemen asked.

"Hiking along the proposed LNG pipeline, " one of us answers.

"For or against?"

"Uhm, we oppose the project." I definately didn't tactfully say.

"Well don't say that too loudly 'round here, " The man said.

Afternoon Day 12

I take off my socks and change into my gym shorts. Standing next to me, my pants laugh waves of sweat and pine smell before I grab them and shove them into the washer.

A hunter walks in and asks me a question about the washers. I guess I'm so relaxed that he mistakes me, for the moment, for a local. I nervously point to the large sign in front of the washer describing machine specific instructions involving pushing down a corner, all written on a cyan and magenta background.

I've never gotten dryers to dry the first go. I talk with the hunter about what he does. It turns out that he fights fires in Greece. He has about a two week window every year where he comes to Oregon to hunt elk.

We talk about the implications of the game that could be found with a forest split by an easement. He really sweems to disagree with the export, and use of eminent domain.

A religious discussion ensues. It is censored, probably doubly so. I feel a little rushed, gathering my clothes out of the dryer under the watchful eye of the gentleman who wants to close up the mat. It is four oclock, and I feel fortunate I was able to do my laundry in time.


   Josh Eng

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