What I Should've Brought

beach life Woke up yesterday to sun-washed rooms and that sweet, pine-sap smell that tells of an Oregon summer. I had big plans to spend the second of the two 88-degree days forecasted this week rambling through the woods to a miraculous beach on the Sandy River. But first! I had like a million things to do. So ... I drove all over town, I sold something old to a stranger and bought something new to replace it, I tamped down work-related fires as best I could, and then, then I got a piece of bad news right around lunch time—and this news was all I could taste as I ate a bowl of boiled eggs and potatoes.

My point? I was distracted—frazzled if you will—when departing on my preordained adventure. And so I forgot everything.

Here's all the stuff I wished I'd had with me as I hiked down a mountain to a river and then back up again.

sandy river

-An ice-cold can of grapefruit Perrier. For sitting on the beach. With hurty feet and hot sand all around.

-Another dog to entertain my dog while I snoozed face down on my towel (instead—I spent the entire time throwing sticks as far as I could across the bright, glassy water).

-The best thick white zinc-oxide sun screen for my pasty, Oregon, sitting-in-front-of-the-computer skin (instead, today, I have sun burn).

-Salty chips to crunch on. Fruit, cheese, and bread to make it a meal. You get hungry wandering through woods—and I have long believed that sitting near a river listening to water rushing over rocks is a best-case scenario for eating a good meal.

-A panama hat to block that slanty late-afternoon sun, which dips at such sneaky angles that my current foam-mesh deal is rendered powerless.

oregon forest

I love these mossy tree trimmings—like pearl necklaces for the ancient creaking pines.



Northwest good luck. You can pick this stuff and pop it in your mouth—it tastes bright and lemony.


oregon trail