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September 27, 2011 / annakpf11

Scotty Odyssey—Willamette Valley

We abandon the coast and drive inland, through forested hills splashed with autumn color. Leaf tips tinted papaya, mango and tamarind.

“Smile, this is a friendly place,” proclaims a paper-plate placard as we enter an out-of-the-way mobile home and RV park about ten miles west of Eugene. Green lawn leads to the water’s edge and a wide-open view across the expansive Fern Ridge Lake Reservoir to low hills on the opposite shore. We stop here for the night.

The weather is pleasantly warm, in fact the hottest it’s been since Yosemite. We’ve been on the road about two weeks now, and it’s time for laundry (again) and a major reorganization of supplies in the Ford and the Scotty. Dave unpacks and re-packs the extra clothes, tools, food, fire and barbeque supplies stored in the truck bed while I clean and reorganize the dishes, clothes and foodstuffs we keep in the trailer. Later, I find a shady spot on the grass behind the trailer for some yoga. Afterward, I head across the road for a hot shower. All the talk of salmon fishing in the coastal river towns has given us a taste for the rose-fleshed fish, so for dinner we poach a little tail and serve it with garlic pasta and a simple green salad.

In the morning, we walk Basil along the shoreline. Six geese fly overhead, calling to each other with the wild, harsh sounds they make. “Like rusty gears that need oil,” Dave says.

Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Excerpted from “Wild Geese,” by Mary Oliver


In Eugene, we make three necessary stops: Home Depot, for a charger for Dave’s elecric drill, St. Vincent de Paul for a saucepan to replace the one I burned up, and—yes, you guessed it—a guitar store. Dave spends two hours looking at guitars and talking with the owner of the store before trading the guitar he brought with him on the Scotty Odyssey, a Bakersfield Telecaster electric, for an acoustic 1947 Martin that “sounds amazing.” He is beaming, light as air.

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