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placid Lake Marie and the Apocalypse Flies

Posted by anne on August 6, 2013 at 9:35 PM


This is Lake Marie.....

I was initially disgusted by the hills necessary to get in and out of the campground, such was my mood after being pressured to move to the right all day by more than usual trucks with trailers....afflicted as I was with this and other symptoms of traffic weariness.  The loud and dangerous-sounding whine/roar of the large machines, their belching particulate which coat my face and lungs, angling further and further over this three and a half inch white line painted on the pavement all day wore on my nerves and made me tense and jumpy.  I had to peel back my hands from the handlebars, concentrating myself to not tensely grip the bike with every muscle from neck to toes.  I felt wiry as if a quarter would bounce off of me.

 I think of the white line as an impermeable barrier between these death machines everyone drives and my soft bodied human powered thing.  My legs with skin and bone, my spine, my face would not hold up if struck by one of these gargantuan metal-and-rubber beasts.  I would become pulp and splatter, especially at the speeds most are driving.  This three and a half inch white line, painted on the asphalt is my barrier against this unthinkable collision.  It is very unnerving when the cars weave into the lane, even after they pass me.  Worse are the oversize RVs and trucks pulling trailers all with drivers unused to the size of the vehicle already.  They sometimes have a hard time controlling their beasts and they gallop sideways into my lane.   I start to get the sensation that the white line is offering me no protection.  As these wander into my space I begin to get bursts of primal fear, the feeling that death may be close at hand.  Some trucks have a large heavy load like gravel, with a small narrow connector and then another wide and heavy container.   The first truckbed pulls at you with the suction of wind and then the next truckbed feels as though it will strike you for sure.  The protection of the white line is meager, indeed.


But, I am putting hope into the humanity around me, trusting it not to crush me, and so far it hasn't Every moment, cycling the highway, I am counting on those drivers around me not to make me into a smear on the roadway.  I am projecting into the universe that although life seems dangerous, I am not afraid, and I trust my traveling companions.


I am satisfying the restless part of myself.  I don't have to figure out how to solve that restless gypsy feet that I've been given by nature, or by being raised by a Vietnam Veteran. :)  All I have to do is plan a week-long bike ride to the next state and I'll have all the adventure, movement, danger and fun I can stand and I'll want to be home in my own bed, with my own routine, my friends...


Also, this ride has shown me that perhaps in order to find perfect stillness inside, I need intense movement on the outside.  That is, the more I rode, the more centered and still I felt.  The further I disconnected from the people and routines of my regular life, the more centered I felt.   Also, this was one of the most difficult parts of the ride:  really changing my habits and patterns and dividing myself from the known....stepping out into the unknown--even though I was pretty sure it was going to be mindblowingly transformationally excellent, I also felt attachment to the known.  Maybe it was something like a seed feels before it sprouts into a plant and is annihilated itself from the earth--completely transformed into something else.


This day was particularly harrowing, partly because of the previous two days.  I started out in Curtain, where my friend Kim returned me from a five day Portland-Lake Oswego getaway that I'll mention in a moment (and during which the Portland Rising event below took place)...and rode halfway to Reedsport stopping just before Elkton, where a sudden tree protected space on the far side of the road from the Umpqua gave me the cover necessary to camp surreptitiously until dawn.  I had a couple of strange moments: one where a cayenne capsule on an empty stomach gave me the most unpleasant symptoms (of super low blood pressure,  burning abdominal pain, the desire to collapse to the ground, rivulets of cold sweat pouring from every part of my body at once, etc).  Then, certainly the furtive prayers I was murmuring did something, as the RV camper, Ray, DID unlock the bathroom in his RV park for me to use as I was passing into Elkton.   He really saved the day, probably.  A cafe with a skillfully and lovingly made eggs Benedict, some rest and onward from Elkton to Reedsport.  What really made the day harrowing were all the trailers pulled by trucks with 'GOT SAND' and other sand related slogans stickered all over their backsides edged me out of the way over and over until I croaked admonishments with my dry carbon-crusted throat at their inconsiderate use of the WHOLE ROAD.  Sigh.

After pulling into the Umpqua River Lighthouse State Park and paying my fee, I began to set up my camp in the spacious (and empty of travelers) hiker biker campground just below some RVs.  A whole gaggle of  children below 7 on miniature bikes was sweet to see and would have been heartwarming if not for a 3-4 year old boy scream-singing a rhythm with 10 beats OVER AND OVER.  And then again, with emphasis, and then again, and again with no sign of tiring.  For a few hours.  It was incredible.  Pretty soon I was about ready to pull out my hair, already tense from the road and I stood on the path and parrotted the rhythm he kept repeating at a scream-sing tone as he was singing it.  It was uncomfortable, but I did it a second time.  His reply was to repeat the rhythm back to me again.  And again.  and AGAIN.  Wow.  Where are his parents?  Why do they think this is okay?  Is this okay?  I took a shower and marched up and down the hill getting situated.  It started getting dusky and I made this dinner:



Oh Lake Marie is right through a beautiful forest, down a steep slope and around the corner.  It is surrounded by picnic tables (a great place for a picnic!!)  It is picturesque and tranquil.  In the morning, mist swirled about a foot above the mirror still lake.  

The first thing I hear in the morning, in the woods above this lake is an amplified child's singing.  She is singing the Star Spangled Banner.  I immediately understand what is happening and am determined to skp the three days of peaceful unwinding and writing at this lake, pack it up and get on the road as soon as possible.  I cannot believe that I have converged with what turns out to be Sandfest 2013.  Soon after the singing child finished her song, a masculine voice took the mike and began speaking in carnival or evangelistic tones.  Engines were started and I swear, in several minutes, I could smell the fuel burning from across the lake, for on the other side of this placid lake are sand dunes, buzzing with the Apocalypse Flies of ATVs of all sorts



Since we live in America a large segment of the population feel it is their god-given right to burn gas as much as they want without thought to any consequences whatsoever.  The North Pole is a lake, I hear, and there is a big event, basically a celebration of fossil fuel burning machines and how fun they are!  Woo hoo!  Look at us!  We're burning off the POLAR ICE CAPS.


Horrified, disgusted, revulsed:  I contacted a friend from nearby and was swooped up just after the 30 minute trek across the wide green bridge and taken to a foggy picturesque town called Myrtle Point for a rest stop.  






beautiful cape arago nearby




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