Drunk driving:

We decided we earned a late morning (7:30), and leisurely packed up for our intended destination of Camper Bay. We sank under loose sand for most of the time, draining our energy, but compared to the mud and the rotting boardwalks of the forest trails, it was delightful: kilometers of the most pristine and virgin beaches, and not a cloud in the sky. We wondered aloud if these beaches and cliffs would one day be pools and condominiums. Along the way, it was decided we would cut our day's hike short and stop at Walbran Creek --we deserved the break, and we were a day ahead anyways.

(We crossed paths with a man running the trail in the opposite direction. He was a few minutes ahead of the world record apparently, and had nothing but runners and a little daypack.)

I checked the tide charts a few kilometers before Walbran, and we had a decision to make:we could take a route back through the forest to safely cross the creek via cable car, or we could try to beat the high tide and wade across while it was still possible.

How could we pass up the more direct and adventurous route? The hike was a breeze compared to the day before, and we were boundless. So we trekked onward through the sand, with snakes and ferrets by our feet; a deer in the distance; sea lions barking along the shore; tunnels and channels and caves and holes built by millions of years of ocean on rock. We arrived behind schedule--two hours before high tide. By then, the creek had swelled up below our chest, a heavy current that would take us out into the Pacific if we lost our footing.

And on the other side, bathed in sunshine, sandy beaches and logs and shade awaiting. We unclipped our gaiters, pulled the straps on our packs tight, and tip toed through the frigid water, soaked, smiles, warm. Only once I almost tripped. We were the first to arrive.

Walbran was paradise. I have never been somewhere so beautiful and flawless. We found a spot nested between large driftwood and dried cedar. The sand was warm and dry and comforting. To the heat, to the sun, to the crash of the waves and the hiss as it retreated, to the smell of salt and last night's fires, it was all perfect. We arrived around 3, and for the first time this trip, we had the luxury of time. So we rested.

We hung up our clothes, our packs, pitched the tent and sat with our backs against the logs and closed our eyes for a little while. Eventually, others trickled in, and the silence died. But we were warm, rested, comfortable and happy. I cannot think of a single moment or place I would rather be than at Walbran that day.

West Coast Trail
Cribs Creek
Some mornings I would tip-toe down the steps and take a deep breath and maybe close my eyes for a moment, and

When my nostrils prickled
And my father's signals
Felt as foreign and far as to us and the stars

When (through cracked eyelids)
I could see sun. breath. a stretch.

When every whisper from man or creature
Echoed over dirty ridges, like the Rockies, along the side of the road

When the air clenched my throat and ran its salty fingers through my eyes (still closed), then

Then I would open them again and sigh.
I was never tired in these mornings
Everything made a little sense in these mornings. But

Some mornings I would slip on the steps
Some mornings chilled the bone

Cold and anger not distant strangers but lovers,
Lovers that made breakfast together, snuck kisses around corners, rushed home to each other. Those kind of lovers.

Then a thorn in my head
Coaxing to a fall down a hole where I was three years ago

Day strains
Knees ache
Sometimes the waters break
And smiles and hellos are left unattended, sitting at a bus stop with nowhere to go

But then it was night,

A blanket to return to
Silencer of cars
Stretcher of shadows
Speaker of the secrets that i would love to know

A break of wave stretching to every crevice and hole and all that is left of daylight and its complications cower on their poles
In headlights and taillights
In the refrigerator

I had survived another spin on this satellite
And I would walk up the steps that I had tip-toed and slipped on
Cooking up something good:


' "But,' says one, 'you do not mean that the students should go to work with their hands instead of their heads?' I do not mean exactly that, but I mean something which he might think a good deal like that; I mean that they should not play life, or study it merely, while the community supports them at this expensive game, but earnestly live it from beginning to end...to study chemistry, and not learn how his bread is made, or mechanics, and not learn how it is earned; to discover new satellites to Neptune, and not detect the motes in his eyes, or to what vagabond he is a satellite himself; or to be devoured by the monsters that swarm all around him, while contemplating the monsters in a drop of vinegar. Which would have advanced the most at the end of a month--the boy who had made his own jack-knife from the ore which he had dug and smelted, reading as much as would be necessary for this, or the boy who had attended the lectures in metallurgy at the Institution in the meanwhile, and had received a Rodgers penknife from his father? Which would be most likely to cut his finger?...The consequence is that while he is reading Adam Smith, Ricardo and Say, he runs his father in debt irretrievably.'

East Coast wins fall. Just maybe.


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Eating my stir fry:




I would paint for you a portrait of North America, as a beautiful woman, when she was young and untamed, untrammelled upon and unshamed.

Her discipline was natural, her modesty overwhelming. And in the morning she would wash the burning face of the sun with her loving mist and comb his auburn hair with balsam fur: and he would smile upon her, and the day would begin and she would spread her apron for all to gather round her and she would feed the deer and the birds and share her loving heart with all creation.

And with breakfast done, she would take her waterjar across her shoulders and off to the fields she would go; the seeds of corn and squash to sow, and she would raise her head to watch the forests weave their silent singing o’er the wind; and she would tickle the streams with magic fingers and feel the water’s flow and know the humor of their coursing. And up, up into the afternoon she would saunter, the sweat upon her brow, and past the jagged rocks, and past the balsam boughs , and in the shade of cedar she would stop to rest perchance to pray.

Could she forget the warmth of sun against her eyes at night, and sight has fallen slowly into sleep and keep: and awake! and shake! and clear! and down and deep she wonders with the deer, and suppertime is drawing near; and dear it is the broth of sky she drinks and sweet the taste of buttered sun before he sinks (beyond the horizon),…..and twilight winks his way into her watchful heart, and start the song. For in the evening she would sing oh so sweetly that entire earth would turn on its side the better to hear her:and moon would place his palm against his cheek and weep with deep emotion for he was an old fellow with white hair, and she made him forget the distance of eons and eons and neutrons and protons. And of course this happened a long time ago before the age of tempered steel and ruffled lace, and outer space. But one can still hear her singing in the high countries of the heart and in the vast canyons of constant memory where the life of a single being is not forgotten nor forsworn and somewhere a child is born, and nowhere is the blanket torn between thee and me and shining sea and God knows

earth calls
rain falls
corn grows

loloma, loloma, loloma kwak kwai

'A day in the life of North America'-Robbie Basho