Spitting Distance from Canada

T-12 hrs: First $50 tank of gas in 20 years. Road trip scheduled.

T-5 hrs: Shower, coffee, pack maps, coffee, power down computer, travel mug of coffee.even-i-as-a-non-coffee-drinker-find-this-funny-the-world-of-coffee-explained-by-owlsvia

T-4 hrs: Portland traffic sucks.

T-3 hrs, 50 min: Washington strip of Interstate 5 more scenic than Oregon. Kinda miss the nuclear power plant cooling tower, though.

T- 2 hrs, 2 min: Bizarre place names popping up: Skokomish, Humptulips, Cloquallum, Tshletshy. Like an alcoholic narrating Dr. Seuss.

T-2 hrs: Olympic National Forest Ranger Station outside Quilcene has clean bathrooms. Fuck, legs are stiff.Dungeness4 7-26-16

T-1 hr, 57 min: Lobby in any forest ranger station: A. Historical black and white photos of men standing on things they just chopped down; B. Taxidermy exhibit from 1958 featuring rodents, things that eat rodents, and rodents; C. Exhausted folding map that looks like 55-year-old trucker kept it tucked in his crack across three states; C. Entire building stuffy and warm and smells of manila envelopes.

1354245655Smoking-Weed-in-carT-1 hrs, 40 min: Stuck behind hippie beater car on the 101 with strange smoke trailing behind.

T-1 hr, 32 min: Highway 101 is waaay prettier the farther north you–Holy crap, madrones!

T-1 hr, 22 min: Ten miles of purring and grinning like idiot as huge Arbutus menziesii roll by.56d0a25a84431.image

T-1 hr, 17 min: Second handmade “Women for Trump” sign nailed to tree in ten miles. Lock doors.

T-1 hr, 15 min: Hood Canal in Puget Sound is weird pale tropical blue, like toilet bowl cleaner mixed with milk.

T-55 min: See majestic peaks of the Olympic Mountains across Port Angeles Harbor, suppress urge to cry. Don’t think about Colorado, don’t think about Colorado, don’t think about Colorado….

(monster pano shot)

T-49 min: $25 entrance fee for Olympic National Forest?! [Insert stream of expletives]

T-19 min: Straight to Straight of Juan de Fuca, instead. Same weird blue color with more oceany hues farther out.

(monster pano #2)


T-0: Ediz Hook, farthest north I’ve ever been on the west coast.

T+1 min: Fuck, legs are stiff.

T+5 min: So, that’s Canada.

T+5 min, 17 sec: Wonder if I can see any Canadians through binocu…Nope.

T+5 min, 21 sec: Beach empty. Jellyfish?…Nope. Orcas?…Nuh-uh. Pelicans?…Not a chance. Wait a minute–Arizonans!

T+3 hrs: People from Tuscon are really friendly. Woulda thought the desert heat affected their brains.

T+3 hrs, 4 min: Harbor seal plays in surf, very close. We name him Sammy.Dungeness1 7-26-16

T+3 hrs, 15 min: Face feels little warm, gonna check it out in the rear view mir–SHIT!

T+3 hrs, 15 min, 13 sec: Hope this sunscreen behind the seat’s still good.

(monster pano #3)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAT+3 hrs, 32 min: Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge

T+3 hrs, 34 min: Trail down to Dungeness Spit hot as hell, burnt face throbbing in time with elevated heart rate, water bottle seems very small.

T+4 hrs, 2 min: Beach strewn with driftwood, seaweed, and tourists. Mostly driftwood.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

T+4 hrs, 19 min: Saw this once in Better Homes and Hovels, the Castaway Edition.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAT+4 hrs, 31 min: Pebble with my initial on it, must be mine.

T+4 hrs, 31 min, 19 sec: Feeling woozy, losing will to go on.

T+7 hrs: Nonstop NPR on drive home to distract from first degree burns. Democratic National Convention speeches mark first time moved to happy tears during an election year. Experience pride in country.

T+7 hrs, 55 min: Portland traffic closes around vehicle, national pride dwindles, replaced with intense need for something with cheese on it and an Advil, which is still American. The drugs, not the cheese.

T+9 hrs, 7 min: Home. Fuck, legs are stiff.

T+18 hrs: Still shocky morning after, like a minor car wreck on the tenth day of the flu. Coffee. Face now Pantone 187. Resolve not to re-enter society for 72 hours. Self-treat with cheese and You Tube.

T+18 hrs, 35 min: Lower Washington beaches look interesting on map….

July 26, 2016

19 thoughts on “Spitting Distance from Canada

    • You lucky, lucky thing. In truth, I got a little frustrated with the 101 along the canal. It’s twisty and turny and completely devoid of any good turnouts for pausing and pulling out cameras.

      Otherwise, this entire post would probably have been about those giant madrones. (drool)

      • Yeah, those twists and turns can get frustrating, especially if you’re stuck behind a big truck or RV that just putts along.
        If you like madrones (and who doesn’t), you might head towards Port Townsend the next time you head up that way, there’s some nice sections on that road. And try southern Oregon too – Ashland maybe.

  1. Not one word about “Twilight.” Maybe they have forgot about it up there. On my last journey to that neck of the woods, it was everywhere.
    Made me go outside and sit under our madrone. Had to kick out the doe that likes to sleep there. I told her to go get another tree. She told me to fuck off. Absolutely delightful blog. –Curt

  2. You skipped Cape Flattery! Bad mistake – go back! And not much further on to Neah Bay, the Makah reservation museum is one of very few that’s worth visiting. Also, $25 is totally worth it, but the place to go is apparently the Hoh Rain Forest. I will go there as soon as my lunatic has earned his special jacket and gets entry privileges, because walking without a dog is just no fun.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog, and for the chuckle here… 🙂

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