John Day /All Is Snowing
This note will be short as the snow is taking the mountains, mouthing down the trees. Darkness is not far behind as all the air is already a silky silver. Thanksgiving did bring turkey. (Long great Story)The mountain passes did spank me with black ice to walk up peppered with God given small gravel that gave me the only purchase. I have been frozen and thawed, and it has been beautiful; a healing to my soul to be lost in trees again hearing a bear woof, witnessing the low flight of golden eagles touch across the fields then circle back to question this intruder.
My old parka just arrived in the mail and another mole skin (journal) arrive for this walk to fill...number nine. Lisa sends gifts from Thermopolis, and a box from BaseCamp so I stand in the snow with all my bundles eating nuts, and a foot long Slim Jim is dangling like a melted cigar from my chapped and cold broken mouth. In the store a pretty lady with a new French manicure catching light, and a perfume that kept nudging me closer asked me if I needed money. I just smiled, melting with the snow on my shoes. She smiled the way they do in movies for just a moment letting me take her in. "I need nothing."
Oregon moves past too quickly. I want to walk slower; to breathe and re-hash a few thousand miles of this trek onto more journal pages but when the trees thin nobody wants me in their field, nobody wants me peering into freezing creeks that run a white line far off into the bluffs touching their land. Here I have been told to get off land 'a friend owns.'( a major first). Here I have have had to pray to churches to flatten a patch of grass under stained glass light just to get through the dirt fields and cites around Ontario. I would write that I have seen hard miles. It is better to write that it makes my heart tired to be unwanted day after day. A very friendly state trooper stops to share the chill in the air,"Yea, there's a land issue here. They still have trouble with irrigation rights, and it doesn't help to have occasional pop shots taken at the cattle. We have an epidemic of barb wire fences. Up ahead...it's best to ask." (comments outside the town of Vale, Oregon.)
"You sure it wouldn't mess up your whole day just throwing you and all your rig in my truck?" He is holding the side door open with his huge smile leaning into the warmth waving out to him, knowing my answer is no and it pleases him to know I won't fall down.
"No, I could never do that. Not this late in the game. Never." I grin at him from under my hat. He's easy to talk to and the sincere warmth of his company is rare.
In all the sharp tongue towns, each of them, there is someone stepping forward to lighten my load, someone like the lady who had just lost her husband to death, "I was driving and just praying for some light, something good, something I could do. God said,'see that man walking, help him." The lady circled back and handed me some money and told me she thought I was and angel. I assured her I was just a man. Half an hour later the lady came back with groceries had purchased back in the city earlier, "Money isn't much good out here," besides Midge said,"I think you are an angel." Slowly Midge drove away, tears smearing the road as I sat on gravel to chew, to write. My bank ATM card had just refused me because the code numbers changed at my bank and I left town with only a little food and a whole lot of road. I was walking slightly worried. Some dark areas I walk through are to acceent the light.