excerpts from

Three Years
on the
Nowhere Road

Encounter with a sasquatch?

One morning, while it was still dark, when I was about two miles out from my shelter, walking down the center of a logging road on my way into work at the shake mill, I was astonished when a large conifer just behind me, up on the bank by the road, began shaking of its own accord. There was no wind, and this really sizeable tree, perhaps thirty or forty feet high, was swinging back and forth as though some invisible Hercules or Titan had taken hold of it and was shaking it like a child's rattle.

Then the tree grew still and the tree next to it started to shake in just the same manner. The hair stood right up on the back of my neck and I started to move quickly down the road. After trotting some distance, I looked back and saw that the shaking had stopped. So I stopped and and tried to calm myself down. Suddenly a third tree closer to me started to shake. I nearly jumped out of my skin. I shouted and began banging my lunch pail on the packed gravel road. I shrieked and howled and jumped up and down and shouted threats. Then I stopped, exhausted. The shaking started again. I took off down the road, not running but definitely not waiting around, and again the shaking trees followed me. Otherwise, nothing else was moving or making a sound. I knew it wasn't a bear or a bull elk, as neither beast behaves in such a manner, although only a very powerful bear or elk would have been big enough to shake such large trees. I knew if either animal wanted to intimidate me they would just step into the open and probably charge. I also knew that neither animal would be threatened by me in the first place if I were just out in the middle of the road by myself. They would have no reason to step out and face me. I also knew absolutely that no man, however large and strong, could even begin to shake trees of that size. Short of Paul Bunyan, perhaps, but I was pretty sure he'd been dead for a while. I had no idea what I was dealing with. I was thoroughly rattled. Eventually, whatever it was left me, and I continued on to work without further incident. I never did see what it was.

Only later did I learn that there is only one species of animal on the planet that shakes bushes and trees as a means of intimidation or display, namely primates. And the only primate in North America large enough to shake big trees would be a sasquatch. If such a creature even exists. I don't know if they exist or not, since I've never seen one. I'm not one of those true believers who is emotionally invested in the idea of a big primate roaming the American wilderness. The subject never interested me all that much, as I never really believed it.

But something followed me for a half mile or so, shaking big trees at me. I know that much.

I'm sure there's a perfectly rational explanation, without having to resort to a child's fable. There must be something else out there in the woods that acts like a primate and is big enough to shake large trees. The ghost of Paul Bunyan, for instance. Or maybe aliens. Or Russians--- they're pretty big.

More excerpts from
Three Years on the Nowhere Road
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Off to the wilderness

A bus from the Twilight Zone

I am picked up, then dumped

On a dark, deserted highway,
the kindness of a stranger

My first ride in a logging truck

Forks, logging capitol of the world

To a camp on the Calawah

Job Interview

Up before dawn, a logger’s breakfast

My first day at the mill

A dip in the river

Working deck at the mill,
and almost losing a hand

To a new camp, further downriver

Robert Lee:
the old logger who lived in a box

The Dickey River People

When a barrel stove becomes a cannon

Alone at last

At the outfitters

On Christmas Day, I am flooded out

At the mill, I am promoted to splitter

Encounter with a sasquatch?

A scene out of Dr. Zhivago

I settle in for a solitary winter

Hanshan, the mad hermit poet

Hiking the coastline with a tomcat

A night on a seastack

I join an encampment of friends
on a tributary of the Hoh

Calling at the country estate
of Robert Lee, Esq.

Visiting around the Peninsula
in Robert Lee's 2-gear sedan

A visit to a Makah family on Neah Bay

These opening chapters represent
about 20% of the entire book,
which I hope to release
later this winter.

BJ Omanson
Nov 2021