Oct 5 - Cape Lookout, OR

Oct 5 – Cape Lookout, OR

Tillamook, OR

I showed up in Tillamook without a good idea for a place to stay.  A woman at the cheese factory directed me to a pizza joint in town, where she told me that her cousin’s uncle might have a spare room.  He wasn’t in.  I crossed the street and chatted for a while with a family that ran a burger/sushi joint.  The sushi chef was called Justin; he had learned to roll sushi by watching Youtube.  He directed me to a campground his grandmother owned near a local fishing hole, and sent me off with a note scrawled onto the back of his business card (he also sold cars at the local Ford dealership): ”Grandma, I told Jordan he could camp.  He’s got a cool story.  Justin.”

The sky was clear, the stars were out, and the night was cold.  I was awoken before dawn by the sound of trucks right outside my tent.  Several fishermen had set up along the riverside.  I went over and chatted for a while with DJ, the first black man I had seen since leaving Canada.  His eyes darted between me and the two lines he had in the water.  Mid-conversation, he lunged for his rod, but the reeled in line revealed a 6 inch sea trout, not the salmon he had been hoping for.  He unhooked it and threw it into the fire.  Moments later, he caught a second and then a third; these ended up in the fire as well.

I watched the fishes flounder briefly beside the flames, thinking to myself what a revelation it must have been for each to die in this way, to have discovered the very existence of fire at the instant before death.  It was beautiful, in a way, to see these individuals transcend their species’ boundaries, like Icarus briefly tasting the stratosphere.  It seemed poetic, holy even.

DJ watched the water intensely.