Art by mail: The importance of being prepared

Collage: A community of mammals in space.

Message on postcard:
Hello Patrick! This postcard is all about the importance of being prepared. I drove probably thirty thousand million billion miles this year, and by the time I set off on this last leg of travel I felt like I had everything down to a fine art: Throw all your stuff in the van and drive until you make it somewhere nice. Pretty simple formula.

But for this last bit of travel across Oregon I decided to build upon the lessons I’d already learned. I invested in a guidebook — by which I mean I threw all my stuff in the van, camped out in Oregon’s Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness my first night out, and then decided to stop in the tiny town of Welches to see what I might be able to learn at their public library.

And I learned two things. One, that they have guidebooks, and two, that they have a copy machine. And so I found the guidebook pages that described my planned destinations, and I xeroxed those pages. Boom.

The Welches library isn’t much bigger than a dentist’s waiting room. But it would be the waiting room for a very large dental practice. Where the patients are librarians and books. And also grungy travelers. And the work they do results in healthy smiles. Does that metaphor work? I think it works.


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