One Foot in Front of the Other in Maupin, Oregon

The Deschutes River near Maupin, Oregon. Image courtesy of Brainside Out.

We headed into brush land, through the scrub and brambles of long, hot seasons, not knowing where the overgrown road would take us. The land spoke of sunbaked rattlesnakes and coyotes. No one walked here. The sun threw shades of gold and blue across the still and quiet landscape – Pip, me and God would witness it together and alone.

One foot in front of the other, who knows what would be around the next bend? Bakeoven Creek runs through this valley floor, but we pointed ourselves upward, and let the creek, and nearby Deschutes River, flow on without us.

Someone once told me, “Everything you need in life is downstream.” I think that means I’m supposed to stop fighting the current; drop the weighty oars and let the river take me where I’m supposed to be. Today though, I fight the current, and stride up and up, to parts as yet unknown.

Pip is a great sport. He’s just happy to be romping amongst new smells. My dog doesn’t know that I’m just brave enough and stupid enough to get us into trouble. What if there was a coyote around the next bend? Tricksy coyote, waiting patiently for trouble to stumble onto his path, has found the perfect prey: two wanderers needing space and time, needing to move to find peace.

One foot in front of the other, we will rest later. For now, we stay on the move: Salem, Portland, Maupin and Bend. Then we’ll move on to Idaho, Montana, and Washington. We’ll rest later. What we’re looking for, only the river knows, downstream somewhere I suppose. Somewhere as yet unknown.

Kyla Merwin Cheney