Thomas Doty – Storyteller

Siskiyou Pass

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Maybe This Year ... Maybe Five Years Down the Road

For five years I've searched for the Takelma medicine rock called Rock Old Woman. For centuries, natives traveling through Sexton Mountain Pass stopped to thank her for their health. Now I fear she was smashed to gravel and buried under the southbound lanes of Interstate 5.

For five years I've walked the old time trails through shady woods of ferns and creeks, and I've walked the car-body-littered road beds of Pacific Highway and Route 99, and the graveled shoulder of the freeway. For five years I've seen her ghost in every flat-topped, mossy rock along the way.

Five is the good luck number for the Takelmas. Maybe this year I'll find her. Maybe five years down the road.