excerpts from

Three Years
on the
Nowhere Road





I am picked up, then dumped

After being dropped off in the middle of nowhere by the bus, I was eventually picked up by a long low-slung Cadillac driven by a well- dressed black man and his teen-age son who moved to the back seat as I came up to the car, and indicated that I should sit in front. It was a luxury ride all the way, or so it seemed after the austerity of the school bus, with spacious comfortable upholstry and a sweeping illuminated dashboard like in a night-cruising starship. There was no talking, just listening, and all we listened to the whole time I was with them was a single country and western artist with a voice like warm silk, Charlie Pride. After so many hours shivering by the cold roadside, this ride was pure bliss. –Sadly, I got a little too comfortable and very unwisely decided to get even more comfortable by slipping my aching feet out of my boots. Instantly the driver yelled, “Good God, what is that terrible smell!!?” I sputtered an apology and shoved my feet back into the boots, but the damage was done. The father wrenched the car over to the side of road and said, “Sorry, buddy, but your ride’s over. Now, out!

And that was that. As I watched their tailights vanish into the night, I pulled off my boots again, stripped off my socks and tossed them under the nearest bush. Then I rubbed my feet with some frosty grass till they were too cold to bear, and began searching through my seabag. Fortunately I had a second pair of socks. I pulled them on, followed by my boots, and stepped over to the roadside. I was in forested country now, somewhere in Oregon. On either side of the road it was pitch-black. Overhead, framed by the pointed tips of conifers, a long strip of starry sky followed the highway northward. The air was cold and clean and smelled of Christmas. There wasn’t a vehicle in sight in either direction.



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