We never went to Disneyland. We never left the state, Oregon, except once to visit Yosemiteanother time, Yellowstone. Our vacations were more expeditions. Weekends, summers, we would fill the back of our Ramcharger with picks, shovels, trowels, paintbrushes, fly rods and tackle boxes, a canvas tent, and balled-up, twined-up sleeping bags that looked like pupae.
The air was hot and dry and smelled of sage. Our lips cracked and bled. We uprooted petrified logs, hunks of obsidian, quartz, agate, opal, jasper, nests of thundereggs and mudballs. We chipped away at the fossil beds outside of John Day and stacked in our truck squares of volcanic ash with bones and leaves imprinted on them. With these we decorated our house, jeweling every windowsill and bookshelf, every dresser and hutch. Once, we unearthed a deer skull encased in pink crystals and later set it in the center of our dining-room table like a sugared ham.
I used to complain. When my friends went to Florida and California and Mexico, and when I unrolled my sleeping bag in the sand and lay my scabbed, muddied body down on it, I wondered aloud why we couldn't be more normal, why we couldn't climb on airplanes and fly to faraway places and return with T-shirts advertising the name of some themed restaurant. My father would respond only by looking at me with hooded eyes.
I have still never been to Disneyland.