Road trip

Sabitri and I will take off in a couple of hours to collect her twin sister from college. A mini road trip from my desert mountain hide-away through towns and valleys, to cities and ocean bays. We’ll have an ice chest for water and cheese, a dry box for Wheat Thins and chips and my coffee.

I love these runs. Something in me responds to the road, something I share with those I am closest with, even if it’s different now than it used to be: my cars are so much more reliable, and if they do break, there’s my cell phone Link to make a call for help. One has to make an effort now to get lost, with that same Link and its maps and GPS and evenly cadenced voice saying “in one quarter mile turn left at the fork…”

That said, there’s still freshness to moving through time and place as we speed past a woman with a wide-brim hat walking an absurdly tiny dog wearing fluorescent pink ribbons; by a man fighting to keep upright an overloaded yellow wheelbarrow with a single wobbly wheel; as we cross then recross the Santiam, swollen from a week’s worth of rain, crashing through rough canyons of grey rock to the Willamette in its lush wide valley, then along the Columbia that carves sweeping curves into a continent on its way, on our way, to the Pacific.

It’s never, “when will we get there?” with my girls. We go to go, to be going, to be seeing something we may have seen before, but with fresh eyes. Moments of Zen. I’ve given them this, and they give this back to me.

And now, it’s time to throw a few things in a bag and hit the road.

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About Erik Dolson

Erik Dolson is a writer living in Oregon

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