Fascinating courtly intrigue and bloody power games set on a generation ship full of secrets―Medusa Uploaded is an imaginative, intense mystery about family dramas and ancient technologies whose influence reverberates across the stars. Disturbing, exciting, and frankly kind of mind-blowing.” ―Annalee Newitz, author of Autonomous

Sunday, December 13, 2020

So That's What "Burly" Means: Pandemic Road Trip Part 10

I think Saturday November 10 may have been the day the networks were officially willing to declare Joe Biden the winner of the general election. They had been cautious about that for good reason, considering that the news thrilled 81 million people and plunged up to 74 million into despair. Though I have to admit, I suspect a good number of those people simply shrugged and decided to get on with their lives -- maybe more like 36 million are sure the world is coming to an end. 

Personally I hadn't waited until Saturday to declare Biden the winner; I knew it by the 4th, and I was ready to get on with my vacation. I had seen many new things so far, but few of them compared with the burls.

The burls hadn't made it into my email notes, though they definitely took up space on the memory card in my camera. I did my best to type in the subject field with a road-shaky finger:

Entering Humptulips

Quinault Rainforest

Town called Forks

Cape Flattery

Olympic National Park

Lake Crescent

Inspecting my credit card statement, it looks like we got our morning coffee at a place called Coffee Man in Aberdeen. The card statement and the Google Maps report agree that we also visited a Rite Aid, and that was a pretty common stop for us on our journey. Michael really seems to like that store. For one thing, it sells the peach wine.

As we drove through town I spotted something that needed to be photographed, some well-placed windows in a house that serve as a greenhouse.

If I had south-facing windows like this in such a cool climate, I would do the same thing with them, cultivate an indoor garden. Of course, more Halloween tableaus beckoned from the side of the road.

And this one . . .

And a round house.

Quite a few houses were painted this particular shade of blue:

Michael managed to find a garage sale.

My brother loves to fish, specifically in rivers, and even more specifically in rivers with clear water (as opposed to muddier rivers like you would find in the South), so he knew where one could find fish hatcheries in the area, and we visited one. I managed to get a salmon action shot.

Of course, I had to photograph the big, green gizmo.

And the pretty leaves in the parking lot.

I think we saw the burls mostly in Quinault Rainforest, early in the day. Michael parked at the trailhead and ushered us out so he could show us the weird concentration of them along that particular trail. As Ernie and I stepped out of the car however, Michael got a phone call. He had received many of them from family members on the trip, some of whom wanted to talk about the election and some who needed to talk about his drum business. While he discussed, Ernie and I wandered into the land of burls.

The trail led down to a beach where we found a really impressive piece of driftwood, a veritable giant that had been thoroughly polished by waves and rocks.

The sand on the beach was dark and silty. A few days earlier, we combed a beach that's famous for its sea glass (Glass Beach, in fact), and not for the first time it occurred to me that it really isn't the water that fascinates me with beaches; it's what the water does. If I lived near the beach I would be a dedicated beach comber. 

Michael joined us on the path and insisted that I photograph this little waterfall.

But this burly character was by far my favorite:

There was some interesting lichen growing on the trees too. Or was it fungus?

As we traveled farther into Olympic National Park, we saw some more fallen giants.

In the next town I photographed a faux totem pole.

It was good to see that Sasquatch has sensible attitudes about masking up.

We drove past Crescent Lake as the sun was beginning to go down, so I managed to capture the light on the water.

Here's one of the streams that feeds the lake.

We stayed overnight in Port Angeles, and had Chinese take-out at Tendy's Garden. Watching CNN that night, I listened to my favorite commentators talking about their feelings concerning Joe Biden's win and Trump's defeat. One man wept openly because he felt grateful that he would no longer have to explain to his children why white people are calling them horrible names. It wasn't that he thought white people wouldn't do that ever again; it's just that now there won't be a president in the White House endorsing that B.S. It made me so proud that voters rose to the occasion. It also made me realize -- we didn't just dodge a bullet here in the U.S. We dodged a freakin' asteroid.

Meanwhile, my fellow roadtrippers and I had reached the top of the West Coast. Next, we would make a mad dash through six states . . .

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