Woke up at 4:45 to the soft tap of rain on my tent. The perfect balance between a warm sleeping bag and cold air made me want to lay for hours. But, kept that discipline of waking up in the 5 o’clock hour.
The drizzling stopped when I got out. The idea of spending the morning typing, and going into town to buy steak, and walking for hours, and starting another fire at night before sleeping another night here at Oregon’s Beachside state park sounded ideal. But the rain changed everything. Camping in rain sucks. Done it too many times.
Thus, I figured I’d make the Columbia River today, and find a motel in Astoria before heading north into Washington, where Olympic National Park would be my furthest north and west point of this journey. Olympic national park is at the top of the Olympic Peninsula which is that part of Washington west of the Puget Sound. Apparently it rains so much there it’s like a cold jungle in northern mountains. It’d be one heckuva unique part of America to see.
So, after making coffee, and taking a little walk along the beach, I was off.
The road was nice. It started raining heavily. The rain’s pitter-patter sounded through my cracked windows which made blowing my heater a nice balance with that cold, moist air. The coffee went down nicely.
Stopped at a Columbia outlet store to buy pants. It feels good to have a 36” waist. My fat ass has had a larger waste for many more years.
Stopped at Cannon Beach. This is an iconic rocky spot of the Oregon coast. It’s where they filmed the ORV race scene from Goonies. I’d have loved to stay in this nice-looking town, but, it’s a resort town that was stuffed with tourists on this Memorial Day weekend. The hotel prices were astronomical. The traffic was awful. Finding a parking spot was aggravating to the point where I just left.
Less than a hour later I was at Astoria. Saw the Columbia through the pouring rain, though, you could barely see Washington on the other side. To those who don’t know, yes, this river is the border between Oregon and Washington. It’s also the river that was the terminus of Lewis and Clark’s famed journey back in 1805. Those men knew they could find the mountain country where the Missouri River begins, and figured the river flowing west on the other side of the mountains from the Missouri would be Columbia country, which would lead them to what became Astoria. They were right, and made history.
It was still pouring. No camping. Found a cheap motel, and took a walk in the rain. Astoria seemed gross. Trashy. Pride and Black Lives Matter flags were everywhere on businesses front windows, which I only took as evidence of cultural blackmail, that is, businesses not having them could face backlash… after all the Left are nothing but Bolsheviks.
Then, lo, I heard a homeless man screaming for five minutes straight. “F*ck this f*cking world. F*ck…” The twenty-something year-old white man was laying down in a concrete corridor. His skin and clothes were filthy. Everything he owned was in a shopping cart and dripping with cold rain, which included some pink-stained sweatshirt and half-eaten pizza crusts. It was obvious he’d consumed lots of drugs in his recent life. He was a tragic sight.
Most would walk by. I figured why not see what was on his mind. So, I said in a stern voice, “Hey. What’s up? Why are you screaming? Seriously, what’s wrong?”
“I got hit by a car,” he responded.
“Did you got a hospital?”
“Uh, yeah, man, but they didn’t do anything and told me to go.”
He said this as he was putting his shoes on, with no visible damage to his body. Of course his words seemed preposterous. Of course his screaming in agony seemed to be the result of some form of drug withdrawal. His whole presence spoke of this.
I’m not saying this to denigrate him as some useless eater. I realize this suffering man is someone’s son or brother or cousin. Of course one life suffering like this is a tragedy. At the same time, what could I do?
Give him money? I was tempted to, and am not opposed to giving money to such individuals, and have on this trip, and will again. But, something held me back, and I said to him, again with a stern voice…
“Look, the condition of your life as it is now is not just the result of a car hitting you. You know you screwed up royally well before this. Frankly, you seem like you’re addicted to drugs, and I’m not saying that out of hatred. You know it’s true. You need to recognize you’ve fallen pretty far, and, frankly, your only hope is Jesus Christ and the possibility of miraculous transformation out of where you are now. But you’ve got to get your mind out of the gutter no matter how impossible it seems or painful it is. And you know what I’m saying is true!”
He was looking right in my eyes as I said this (paraphrased). Whether it registered I don’t know. That was the best I could give him.
I just wonder how many like him there are in Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles and elsewhere. I wonder how degrading it is must be to get used to this desecration of humanity all around you. I mean, how is it not dehumanizing for everyone to accept such wretchedness and, frankly, enable it? Frankly, I believe there’s a darker agenda promoting this. After all, how much are these big cities subsidizing this? I bet the numbers are staggering.
This makes me want to go to Portland or Seattle to witness it firsthand. Why? Dunno. Maybe I’m just curious to see how far these cities have fallen. Maybe… something else.
After that, I walked the wet streets to The Flavel house, George Flavel being a man who made a fortune in Astoria by guiding ships through the Columbia River’s notorious sandbar at its mouth at the Pacific Ocean. Apparently, the Columbia dumps an obscene amount of sand from its drainage here, and makes the sandbar one of the most dangerous on earth. Thus, a high demand for Captain Flavel’s expertise.
Anyway, his Victorian house was quite luxurious. Yet, the spacious rooms with every detail taken into consideration for aesthetics and ambiance made me a little envious. It would be nice to have such space, comfort and beauty. It would.
After that, the rain started getting worse, so I made it back to my hotel. Typed for several hours while watching Die Hard and Die Hard 2, two movies which I’ve not seen since the 90’s. They were still watchable.
Fell asleep at like 10. Slept wonderfully.