Travel Photography Pacific Northwest
Clayoquot Sound, B.C.
Six Northwestern springtimes deposited six seasons of Pacific Northwest pollen on my white truck, turning it chartreuese.
I was using the truck so infrequently that I neglected it's upkeep, and mosses and lichens were beginning to set along the rim of the windows, hornets were making their nests in the doors, and a few plants were beginning to grow in the roof rack and the rear-view mirrors.
In anticipation of a long road trip with Jane and our four-year-old son, I finally got to it, coaxing pine cones and acorns from the cracks, and scrubbing hard with soap. To celebrate the progress, I set two lawn chairs, a lantern and a small library of books in the back, and with my son, I sat in there with the rear door open, pretending road trip in the driveway while it rained.
Polishing the truck off makes me realize, my true love in travel has always been the road. By road, I don’t just mean cars. So of much of travel, for me, is walking along the side of the road, sometimes wishing I could move just a bit faster.
This summer, I dabbled in that Pacific Northwest conversation about transportation by picking up the old longboard skateboard that Jane bought me eight years ago. For years, while walking alone down a really long road, I would look at its curves and it would make me kind of sad. It made me miss human-powered speed. All at once those roads would dig up a deep craving from childhood, of biking down hills, and skis and sleds.
The longboard was always a novelty in the garage. But I found myself thinking about it more and more as a possible mode of transportation, a slow movement for travel, and the long winter had hit me hard with that deep craving of summer's freedom, of speed and movement.
By the end of summer, I was just starting to get comfortable with the so-called foot brake, where you drag the sole of your shoe along the pavement to control your speed, when suddenly, my longboard wheels hit something on the road. I lost my balance and I was just a lump of flesh in the air. I hit the ground hard on my chest.