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September 2017, vol 13 no 3

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Doris Lynch

Sludgeville

The world is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful.
                                                  e. e. cummings

In the rain forest, slogging through mud requires a certain expertise. Needed skills include balancing on slippery logs, strategic leaping, and quick reads of earth hues and textures from yards away. Equally important: the ability to recognize alternative pathways – ones that won’t destroy plants or trees.

On the trail to Olympic National Park’s Shi Shi Beach, these skills can save you from muddy jeans, or worse: a sprained ankle, wonky knee or the proverbial missing boot. On a trail mired in mud for a half-mile, after repeated jumps and countless on-the-fly judgment calls, weariness settles in, causing you to take risks: choose, for instance, an easily submersible log and land on your butt flinging muck into the air. Eventually, you surrender, find it easier to wallow in the wet goo, dribble globs of viscous mud over your cheeks and red bandana’s rim. To slither/slide through of world’s most adhering elements.

rushing creek
the weight of the trail
disappears into foam


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