Topless to the Clearcut

I slowed my car down on Fort Clatsop Road, nearly coming to a halt. A woman with long blonde hair, straight as a waterfall, had stopped her blue Schwinn bicycle in front of a gate to a gravel logging road. She released the handlebars and peeled off her black hoodie. She was now topless. She secured the hoodie around her waist and started riding the bicycle around the gate. I passed within 20 yards and noticed a lean jutting profile, a reed of an upper body, no pert or perky anything. I put her age at anywhere from 18 to 55.

A thousand stories instantly mushroomed in my mind. Where does one go with this kind of material?

There was no time for a photograph but I wanted one as proof. No one would believe me. I barely believed it. A woman on the Oregon Coast was riding a bicycle topless into a clearcut on a Sunday morning in late October, mushroom season. It was easily one of the most arresting images of Oregon Coast life I have ever seen. And there was absolutely no metaphor in it. It was a true story and nothing else. I never make anything up about clearcuts.

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