Monday, June 1, 2009

Day 7, June 1, 6 a.m., Okanogan

This little park in which we camp is little more than a strip of shaded grass between a busy state highway and the river, an oasis and refuge of sorts, as it turns out for many besides us. The 50 cent showers call many in through the night as does the space offered to just pull up and sleep in truck, car or tent. The night was not without its drama with all this coming and going and with the road and river sounds. During the night our tents were moved - with us in them and unaware - beneath the highway so that the constant stream of cars passed directly over us. The truck noises were particularly intense with the 3 a.m. garbage truck a symphony of its own with its banging and backing noises thrown in. Add honking geese, early morning wood duck calls, the meadowlark and redwing black bird, the grackle and their songs; couples arguing in their overnight accommodations in the front of their smallest ever made pickup - and you get a sense of the sounds available to the non-sleeper. Good we didn’t stay in a room somewhere and miss all this. And I haven’t even gotten to the smells yet.

Strip of shaded green
Between river and road.
Hot showers, 50 cents.
Refuge, oasis, collecting place
People of the night and the wallet light.
Sounds of the night:
Slamming truck doors
Banging garbage tops
Arguing from parked front seats
Road noises, river song
The geese, the ducks, the grackle calling
A symphony in surround sound
Come unsummoned.

Pat Sewell

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