excerpts from

Three Years
on the
Nowhere Road

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

Sometime in April I decided to accept an invitation to join an encampment of several friends about twenty miles south of Forks on a small tributary of the Hoh. After spending the winter alone I was ready for a little company. Also, I had been in my location on the Calawah for over four months, and you didn't want to squat illegally in one place for too long. With warmer weather around the corner and more fishermen on the river, it was only a matter of time before I would be discovered.

But I should have known better than to join a group of six folks camping anywhere on company land. It was too many folks in one place. I had escaped detection on the Calawah through the winter precisely because I was just one person and had taken precautions to avoid detection, such as only keeping a fire in my stove at night or in bad weather when no one was likely to be out, and never being spotted on the road within a mile of my place, and so forth. This new encampment near the Hoh was far more consipicuous and, as I soon discovered, no one was being careful at all. There were two or three vehicles and Mitch and Liz were there with a big plywood trailer. We might as well have had a ferris wheel and some fireworks. Everyone just figured we were going to be discovered and kicked off no matter what we did, so why worry about it. And surely enough, within a few weeks, that’s exactly what happened.

As it came about, we got a visit from the sheriff one morning. He hadn’t come calling to evict us, but rather to warn us that we’d been discovered and to expect a visit from the logging company. The lady proprietor of a little resort on 101 had learned of our presence in her “neighborhood” and started making complaints. She didn’t want us cluttering up the woods. For years she had been carrying on a campaign against Robert Lee whose property was such an eyesore, and now she extended that campaign to us. The sheriff, who was known by all our friends as a thoroughly good fellow, was just being neighborly. He had dropped in on several previous occasions for coffee and to pass the time, and now he was stopping by just to give us a heads-up. He didn't seemed very concerned, so neither were we, but from that day on we each began to pack things up and to look around the area for a new place to camp. We were beginning to think of ourselves as a band of gypsies: never too popular with the locals and always being shoved along to the next place. .

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