Day 12: Leggett / standish hickey campsite to Fort Bragg

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We conquered the double headed monster no problem. In fact, the legendary hill seemed rather painless because we distracted ourselves by writing this poem. The watering hole is from yesterday’s campsite. Not a soul around, and we made a gourmet campsite dinner: sprouted wheat wraps with garlic hummus, sugar snap peas, radishes, local Mendocino feta, heirloom tomatoes, baby arugala and spinach. For dessert: a banana stuffed with chocolate almonds and marshmallows roasted to soft perfection in the fire.

The Avenue of Giants
 
Come see Bigfoot’s small house in big tree,
or drive your trailer through grandfather redwood’s trunk.
For us, it’s sacred lunch hour, barefoot on wood sorrel carpets.
Light stained green through canopy windows
strikes the girth of a tree hollowed by fire.
We crouch in its chimney altar with yesterday’s scones.
An old man spits through toothless grin
as he pedals fast past us on the avenue of giants,
“headin’ for the hills, girls, ‘cause I’m a hillbilly at heart.”
We pause under the wind chimes at another roadside junk shop
to tear dried mango with our teeth
and muffle our heartbeats with gloved hands.
 
What’s in this candied wind?
Does bubblegum sprout down by Eel River?
Is the wild fennel baking in the sun?
Grinding gears up seven devils, we snatch
passing fistfuls to chew and spit as we roll.

A multi-colored bundle of flashes: a cyclist named Norm,
bedecked in reflective flags and ribbons shouts,
“The true test of intestinal fortitude is doubling back
for your slow friends.”

Atop the double-headed monster,
we lean on the virgin skin of a blushing madrona
and, to signal our arrival,
toss date pits into the Mendocino valley.

 

 

 

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