Leaving and One Day's Travel
By Mingus O'Bannon
Leaving in fog and Rain. Trailer on hitch. Last few items stowed. A glance back, Rose is sitting on the front porch like a stone lion, seeming to take everything in. Drizzle increases tempo. Thirteen lucky months in this house. Dwarfish white-tails munching grass while standing on our back deck. Battles with trash raiding raccoons. Eagles, hawks, ravens, and common American crows. Early spring and literally thousands of garden slugs. No step safe. A wild avian variety at our feeders including mad Rufous Hummingbirds…impatient and fleeting as youth.
One last walkthrough. Thoughts echo off bare walls. What was this year? This island life? The quiet side of the island with few neighbors. An island is just a place were all the roads are dead ends. It tough for those with distance in their blood. Idillic, yet as the cop who investigated the break in said, "There are methlabs all around you."
Pull the chocks, check the chains and hitch, release the parking brake and roll down the driveway, down a stretch of dirt road and to the main road. Wind-blown rain slaps the flat of the trailer. I listen to the mechanics of things. Listen for trouble. To the tires and creaks of metal on metal. I listen away calamity. My guts are tight the first few hundred miles or so of a trip. The trailer is 51 years old. So I treat her with the matriarchal respect she's earned.
340 miles, errands, and a long ferry crossing the first day to quit the road on the north bank of the Columbia River. Not a bad first day.