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Archive for October, 2013

The second moon bathed the hills to my west, sweeping by on my way from San Francisco to Fortuna, just south of Eureka, 250 miles north. As I got to the two-lane road north of Willits, the moonlight caught anything white: houses, RV’s, boats, even car covers.

At the open plain around Laytonville the fields and trees were well defined, and further north in the narrow valleys the hanging smoke from modest pockets of civilization hung nearly motionless. The mostly dry riverbed of the Eel River caught my eye often. My glimpses were brief, of course, in the midst of the 400-plus corners the route entailed.

The redwoods stood out everywhere, scraggly spires 60 feet taller than the trees around them. Rather than being limited to the usual tunnel vision of night, the lack of lights in my mirrors opened up my field of vision to the subtleties of gray and shadow. Every ridge was cast in silhouette, with stars slicing through trees slowly.

The first moon appeared only briefly, between Polk St. and Van Ness on Bush St in SF. A weathered woman with unwashed hair and a bright-eyed smirk spotted an approaching three-wheeler with a parking enforcer at the wheel. She spun around and gave the city worker a quick moon, pulling down her terrycloth sweats. At least her butt was clean; the rest of her flesh looked pretty gritty….

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