Just a coupla nice Midwestern gals, Ohio.
She comes up to me at a gathering, with dimples and glasses too big for her face. We laugh in an octagonal room full of squares.
We bond over our FlexTrek Whipsnakes! then sneak off to get high and make fun of hiking culture. Before I have to give a presentation on navigational tools, we eat edibles. Dead brain. I freeze up. It’s a big audience. I say “Take the road after the bridge, there’s a brewery and a pub along the way.” Silence.
When I get back from England I visit her in Bend. We get high and listen to “I’ve Had the Time of My Life” over and over. We go to a pub. There are a table of thru-hikers we sorta know. I ask some guy I just met if he needs a roommate but I’m about to start a hike. There’s a story reading contest for outdoorsy people. I read a piece that has poop in it and win.
We pick our way carefully across the Salt Flat. She tells me she’s met Obama, photographed Biden, and photographed for the New York Times. What!
When I visit her in Ohio, there’s a photo of her with our great former president.
She shows me Dottie, the faded pink mobile home she hauls behind her truck. She’s in art school now in the South and lives in Dottie on some old woman’s property. In college she lived in a teepee.
She meets the man I’ve fallen in love with. We circle the pond and climb a tree fort. Frost on the grass. This is short lived.
When will I see you again?