Tuesday, September 09, 2008



We ate turkey sandwiches on the sandy lake shore as frigid water rolled in tiny waves up around our ankles. We floated along on a klunky paddle boat and circled a sunken tree trunk spied in the depths through the crystal melted snow. The kids splashed while the grownups sunned. The beer was kept cold by ice in the cooler.


Slowly, the stars dimmed behind the unfolding sheet of clouds. They blew in from the north along this thin river valley. Creeping along on the breeze, they edged ever closer to the arc light moon.

But at once, all at once, their progress was halted. A burst, a gust, a gale from the southern desert ran headlong into the clouds, and the wind that drove them. The curtain retracted and the stars reappeared, the constellations returning for an encore.


Billions upon billions of years, strata upon strata of stone, layered, settled or spread, each atop the other. The crust of the earth, ever thickening, always buildings, until what? Some force at once, or incremental over time, cuts deep down through the occult foundations of the planet itself.

The irresistible advance of erosion exposes for all to see the dark rocky underbelly of the ground. A gorge is formed, with rivers, cliffs and rubble. Eventually, a Bridge is built to span the chasm. A dare devil attempts an infamous jump. And someone decides that this mystical wound in the Earth would make a good location for a golf course.


The night is cool, but not cold. Nearby, sits the tent where I will "camp out" for the first time with my daughter. The pit is, I don't know, maybe iron, a heavy bowl resting upon charging horses, like some long-lost Mongolian throne.

Paper first and small broken twigs. Then, sticks and small branch sections. Then, the small logs and eventually, a big one.

The smoke rises, twisting with the breeze. Sparks pop and embers glow. The girl roasts a marshmallow on the Aspen branch that I sharpened for her. I sip scotch from a tequila glass.

My hair smells of smoke and my face reflects the radiating heat. The night is still, and the girl sits on my lap in the glow of the fire, softly singing me songs. A perfect night, really; impossible to imagine better.


  1. Lucky Red7:53 AM

    Nice shots of the sky...and the fire sounds perfect... makes me a bit home sick... for Nebraka... or was it Kansas? Wait. Iowa...Or was I in France? I know there were endless skies and cows...damn that was Tuscany...

  2. A perfect night without strippers?
    Dude, I think you need to get back to Portland pronto.

  3. Why would you want to come back to Portland, vacation sounds fun and looks beautiful. A campfire with the girl? I couldn't imagine anything better with my kiddos.

    Downtown Portland sucks right now anyhow, there's construction on practically every damn street, not to mention the wierdos are out in droves the last coupla days...

  4. Hotel Royal Chihpan Spa

  5. other9:20 PM

    Tomorrow is garbage pick-up, but I never get the cans out before sunset. This evening was a real treat. A most pleasant evening, neighbors out walking just after dark, a beautiful moon rising, brilliant stars. Of course inog is in some exotic place having someone massage dew captured from a thousand rose petals into his toe cuticles.


Be compelling.

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