excerpts from

Three Years
on the
Nowhere Road





A bus from the Twilight Zone

Much of that cold November trip west is a blank now, after half a century, but a few incidents still stand out. Somewhere in northern California, in the small hours of the morning, I had been standing by an empty highway for what seemed like half of my life without seeing a single vehicle when, like an apparation, an old yellow school bus appeared from the darkness. Its interior lights were on and, through the windows, it glowed with a weird greenish light like an illuminated aquarium in a dark room. I had the disquieting thought that I was looking at the Yellow Submarine in reverse, that instead of floating through the ocean, the ocean was floating through it, and the impression was heightened by the sight of round indistinct faces like jellyfish peering out at me. I stepped back from the pavement to let it pass, not expecting it would stop, but stop it did and the door unfolded before me. The driver nodded but said nothing, so I climbed aboard with my seabag and found myself a seat. My fellow passengers numbered about half a dozen, all of them elderly. No one said a word, though one or two glanced my way. I felt I had stepped into another dimension, or some remote corner of the astral plane. There was no talking at all. Everyone seemed oddly detached, even a little zombie-like, though not in an unfriendly way, and I was certainly grateful for the ride, but to this day I can still clearly recollect the sense I had of entering an alternate reality as we rode together in silence through that cold California night.



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