Saturday, Nov. 19, 2005 @ 1:34 pm
Cape Lookout Camping
Start from here and work back, or start from then and work up to here?
We drove down the I-5, through the space-station underpasses of Seattle, past repeating units of Casino-RV Sales Centre-MacDonalds-Outlet Mall. Out to the coast on the border of Oregon. The Columbia wide, full of momentum, These waters were in Nelson a while ago.
It rained. It rained constantly, and became the heartbeat to our trip. Love-Hate. Hours spent under the drippy tarp, toque pulled low over the eyebrows, layers of fleece, ice-cold microbrewery Oregon beers and the hiss of the Coleman lantern. The rain let up each night for a while. We’d go out onto the sand and watch the moonlight flash off the cresting waves. Huge waves. How could I have ever thought that the Georgia Straight, the waves of the inner harbour, represent the mood of the entire Pacific?
When we were huddled in the tent in the dark it was as if at sea. We’d hold onto each other, fiercely, as the wind picked up and the ropes and tarps snapped taught. Torrential rain. Costa Rica came through Oregon in the night. And then there were the raccoons. Boredom or hunger? Snooping in the Rubbermaid bins, utensils clatter and I wake up, suit up in raingear, and go to slay the dragons. Glowing eyes from the swamps, they are hardly scared, and I just want to go back into the sleeping quarters of our nylon ship.
In the few hours of daylight we’d make camp-stove pancakes and drive up and down the Scenic Byway. Small town, tourist shops, coffee, ice cream, cheese factory… the sun broke through the rain once and we parked and I scrambled down a cliff to the beach. Cart-wheeled beside a waist-high tangle of kelp dogs. He adjusts his tripod up there on the concrete pull-out; I can see him focusing on me.
Foam gathers on the beach: wobbly drifts of beige bubbles, somehow stabilized like egg whites with a pinch of cream of tarter. I wade into the thigh-high mass of sea foam and it is sensation-less and silent. The foam melts off my pants and small tufts remain on the toes of my rubber boots. A shooting star. Another shooting star. Wish? My mind is blank; I don’t need the help of meteors anymore.
Here we are back in the city. One night we drive through the sprawling suburbia of the new Cloverdale subdivisions. As if to somehow counteract the sickening feelings we listen to the Rheostatics. Discuss. We pay rent too, we support this. The next night we head downtown and there they are on stage, the Rheostatics. His face is so happy, when they play the miniature Korg synthesizer. We leave the club and people are lined up outside. Made-up bare-skinned, cell phones, clicky shoes… we look at each other in our fleeces and jeans and shrug our shoulders.
I tell my roommates that I am planning to move out for January 1st. I want to start this next year off right with my own fridge and hall closet.