From Turtle on the Trail, Day 9

August 30th, 2015: Day 9

I bring my speaker to the parking lot and listen to some Welcome to Nightvale while I smoke a hand rolled cigarette. Staring at the bottle caps embedded in the wooden posts, Sandy pulls up. She is going to hike with us today. I try to make small talk, but I am still in the process of waking up.

Spending days doing hours and hours of walking has made me appreciate having a slow waking process.  Whether behind or ahead of others, I think I'd like to know I'm going as fast as I need to. A density of people are gathering by the campsite center and Sandy walks off to do her meet and greets.

The community hike was over with the shutter clicking sounds of photographers and words spoken to the opposition of the pipeline. To think that this gorgeous trail that thousands of people have walked through this summer might be interrupted by the slash of an easement.

The deadly trees, in addition to their orange flagging have green spray painted markings on them. I stare at the squiggle of the route on the GPS. Emmalyn makes rustling noises as she glides with ease through the forest. 

It's not really necessary to watch the blue arrow on the tiny animated map over lap the yellow line of the pipeline route.  There is blue flagging tape, tied to branches on either side of us, marking out the approximate boundaries of the easement. Sometimes, in the center of the boundaries, we spy a stake, or a tree with yellow flagging, and white and blue striped tape tied around large trees in the way. I take pictures of them with the GPS, because it can do that.

The evening turns the color of the pale cow into a warm orange creature, scoffing as it daintily steps around the cattle guard blocking the road. It stares at us as we wait for the van to come. Tonight we have new marchers, but they are also friends from past campaigns also willing to see as much of the actual pipeline route that logistics allow.


   Josh Eng

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