I rappelled down to a secret cove near a cape named after an explorer from a country that enslaved and practiced genocide against the indigenous peoples of the New World. Just wade ashore and declare it for the crown in the name of God.
I’m not sure we’ve really got away from that in the 500 + years since.
Change the name of the damn cape!
We changed the names of all the US military bases and cemeteries named after racist Confederate generals and traitors. We changed the faces of the Indian killers and slaveholders on our units of currency.
Wait! We didn’t do any of that….just changed a few creek names from Squaw. We changed a few high school and college mascots. I guess that’s a start.
I met a woman on the trail. She was coming up. We stopped and talked. She’d lost her job in tech in Ohio. She’d bought an RV and hit the road. A year now. She’s seen the Pacific Northwest Coast and was never going back to the Midwest.
I met a couple on the trail new to the area, refugees from California smoke and taxes. They love Oregon. But do they know it? They don’t want to pay taxes. Is that a reason to live your life and embrace a community? Is that what the golden years are about? Bitching about taxes when you already have it made?
I keep meeting people who seek another American dream, the one that really isn’t American at all. Thoreau dabbled in it. Henry Miller, too. Kesey for sure. I wish I knew a woman writer who espoused it as powerfully. Maybe one did. Enlighten me.
I saw a dead alder wrapped in orange tape emblazoned with the poison symbol. The tape read: “Killer Tree.”
Actually it wasn’t a killer tree. It was full of life in its deadness. It was hosting all kind of life. When it fell and returned to earth, it would create more life.
There is no such thing as a killer tree, although there are killers of trees and killers of life and killers of watersheds. They don’t strap this tape at the entrances to clearcuts.
At the cove, I sat on a bleached driftlog the size of a school bus.
Gray waves broke against the rocks. I felt intermittent spray.
Two seals bobbed in the surf a football throw away.
I whipped out my peanut butter sandwich. I ate and watched the seals and sea stacks.
In my former life, I would have outed this place. Not anymore.
Mystery over journalism I say. In life and love.