Nestled through the lush western part of Oregon, beautiful grape like bushes emerge. As ample as vines during wine season in France. Big ripe bushells, longing to be picked, plucked and eaten.
Nestled, halfway between Intestate 5 and Highway 101, lay a quaint, yet accessible 13 site campground. Perched, atop a flat meadow, looking down on the quiet Alsea River. Just 50 miles from it's north fork headwaters it winds, beckoning highway 34 to follow. Playing hide-and-seek along the way, the river dodges the highway, retreating into an every once again draw, grabbing a fresh breath, before returning to flirt with it's traveling mate through to the coast.
Two and a half hours from our trailhead, we should reach our first destination before dark. Well out of the city, it will give us a nice jump start, for our first full day, following.
This site, provides a great backdrop to begin this adventure. A common river for drift boats, and fly fishing, our silent captain will be pleased.
The meadow is framed by age old alder trees. Long and slender they stand, dancing, ballarinas on the stage, a simple quiet audience.
I hear the Trueb brothers. They are playing their guitars. Seldom too they add their vocals, sweet though they may be. The captain, is already at sea, and has been since mile one. This knowledge makes me smile, and I know this is right. This time, this place, this adventure.
My brother sees the Captain, and hearing the brothers, finally finds a place to rest. His body cries, unnoticed as he finally feels the freedom. He has let go.
Officer Hillson is always at home. This ride did not satisfy. His soul beckons more. He's wondering why we stopped and what took us so damn long.
They are pleased, them all. Each one, getting used to their own skin once again as their masks, their costumes, slowly flake away in the breeze that makes the alders dance.
I look at them. Sit back. I smile.