An excerpt from Mink River, in which the great Brian Doyle writes a passage from the perspective of a river — and pulls it off.
In southern B.C. I was so busy worrying about bears and cougars that I was caught totally off guard by the little guy pictured below, who (I think) is harmless. I found him near a campsite down by the Similkameen River (pictured above), and after we scared the living daylights out of one another I groaned with dismay as I watched him slither into the bush where I’d left my bike.
A couple of years after I took this photo, I ended up living in a different Pacific Northwest city, and there’s something about this image that captures the region for me: a kelpy ocean bounded by islands and mountains, an population squeezing as much outdoors time in before the big dark descends, the comings and goings of tankers headed around the world. I took this shot and felt ready to mount my bicycle and start the adventure.
We woke early, grabbed our loaded bikes and rolled along our street, downhill toward Lake Union. Our uniform would be familiar to long-term readers of this blog — old shirts, padded pants, sunglasses, sandals and daggy helmets. We left the trail along Lake Union’s western shore and retook the streets, pedalling past H’s shuttered downtown office… Continue reading Cycle Touring Puget Sound: A Bike Break From Reality
Distraction is one of the great perils of white collar work, right up there with poor posture and the development of flabby, underused leg muscles. That’s because if you’re working on a computer in 2019, you’re almost certainly on the internet — and more engaging activities are never more than a click or two away.… Continue reading Exploring the World From Your Desk
Last week, we started a two-part series where I tried to wrap my feeble mind around an evolving fixation on borders. We started with grandiose adventures across the somewhat meaningless boundary between Queensland and New South Wales, followed by the thoroughly underwhelming frontiers in Europe and the more exciting crossing further east. Iran/Armenia, 2014 We… Continue reading Post Cards From The Borders, Part Two
Queensland/New South Wales, 1996 - 2004 When I was small, my family lived in a small city on Queensland’s Wide Bay. At least once a year we would load up and drive south, usually over two days. The destination was Tamworth, where my mum grew up and where my grandmother still lives. For me, the… Continue reading Post Cards From The Borders, Part One