I write from a dingy hotel room in Grants Pass, Oregon. I woke up early yesterday in Middletown, Connecticut, after having given an all-day workshop for Wesleyan University faculty the day before. Flew home yesterday, packed, and then left campus this morning for a lovely six-hour drive through the rain. Tomorrow I’ll begin a writers residency with the Spring Creek Project at the Andrews Experimental Forest. This is a two-week residency, and from here I go directly up to the North Cascades Institute in Washington for a month-long residency there.
Only problem is that I don’t have any shirts. Well, that’s not technically correct. I stopped at the Eddie Bauer outlet in Reading, California and bought three flannel shirts to hold me over until the other shirts can be shipped to Oregon.
What a world we live in! A hundred years ago, three new flannel shirts could get a fellow through the winter. Now I’m hoping to make it until Monday. And I’m not all that worried that a dozen fresh shirts can be delivered to a remote outpost in the Willamette National Forest near Blue River, Oregon. No, they don’t have cell-phone coverage there, but surely FedEx or one of those outfits can reunite me with my clothing.
A couple years ago I read the journals of the Corps of Discovery Expedition better known as the Lewis and Clark Expedition. When those fellows needed a new shirt they would shoot a deer, tan the hide, and then sew themselves a new shirt.
A shame they didn’t have FedEx back then!
Journal of Natural Hist. Ed.
Natural History Institute
Center for Humans & Nature