excerpts from

Three Years
on the
Nowhere Road

Job interview

My one and only job interview took place the next day at a little makeshift shake mill on the outskirts of Forks—owned and operated, as I later learned, by a family of rough-hewn mountaineers from West Virginia. It was one of the shiftiest-looking operations I had ever seen, consisting of buzz saws, hydraulic splitters, and conveyors all housed in a sprawling ramshackle building that was nothing but a jumble of tin roofs without walls. Everything was open to the weather. It was out in the woods in a clearing of mud, trucks, cats, endloaders and whatnot, bustling with activity, the deafening shriek of saws, and everywhere the clean, sweet fragrance of wind-blown rain and newly-cut cedar. My interview was the shortest I would ever have, consisting of a single question: had I brought my gloves? I said I had just hit town and hadn't had a chance to pick up a pair. It wasn't a good start. He looked me over for a moment, apparently judged me fit and strong enough, and told me to be there at sunrise the next morning. With gloves. He didn't even ask my name.

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