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