Thursday, September 2, 2010

What I Did This Weekend, by Michael5000, age 42

I totally forgot to mention it yesterday, but Jennifer cooked up another quiz last weekend, of a kind that I always wanted to make but could never pull off. I think I was semi-competitive in this one, though.

I woke up early on Saturday and loaded the truck with assorted gear and drove west out the Sunset Corridor to highway 47, and then drove north through little Vernonia and then almost plowed into a van that swerved out onto the highway at 15 mph, and then I was part of the Hood to Coast parade for several miles which I decided was kind of cool because they, too, are arbitrary travelers, but then 47 left them behind and goes over that steep and curvy pass and lands in Clatskanie, and I went west for about seven miles towards Astoria and went right past the little road I was looking for but then pulled a U turn and parked the truck and got the bicycle out of the back and did this:


From there, drove back the way I came. Check the ferry if. Good timing, too, coming in just then. Like a black and white picture. "Old school," I say to the other man taking pictures. "It won't be there forever" he says. Across, standing in the, what, the prow, wind in face. It's just a little boat, it plods the samesame two miles 18 times a day, there to here, here to there, but still feels just like all the other boats, wet air and watersmell and oilsmell.

Puget Island. In Washington now. Highway signs with that silly. Little Island, must not be as big as Puget Island I guess, then across the bridge to what, Indian name, seat of tiny little Wahkiakum County. Starts with K or something. Drove this road in the snow in '94 in dad's truck just for the county. East then along the river and I shout "Stella" like I always do and it always startles her, I'm like that. Hungry then, so a sandwich and coffee in Longview like generations of people. No chains then, though. Did it feel different? Maybe the more things change.

And then up the worst road in the world, Longview to Olympia, all scrub and rural junk. Hate to be one of the guys whose job. And the big raving Uncle Sam billboard at Rush Road. Used to stop for gasoline, but don't now because the billboard. Brings a guy down. Just as soon get past it. Not so bad after Olympia though. Then:


What did Michael5000 do after he ran in Parkland?

He debated whether to backtrack southward through Olympia, or to bear northward through the neck of the Key Pennisula.

What made the northern loop more desirable to him?

A dislike of backtracking, a desire to cross the bridge that now stands where "Galloping Gertie" once did, longstanding amusement at the placename "Gig Harbor," and the possibility of driving down a road (Washington 302) he had never driven down before.

Did that highway live up to his hopes?

It had very beautiful stretches along branches of Puget Sound.

Did he stop in the town of Shelton?


What did he purchase there?

Two postcards, a packet of toaster pastries, a package of shredded cheese, a bag of corn chips, and a can of beans.

Did he see anything that offended him in the grocery store?

Yes, a tabloid paper pretending to announce, in lurid headlines, that the President was a Muslim, studiously avoiding any statement of value judgement while yet blatantly intending to horrify.

What action did he consider upon seeing this newspaper?

Informing the manager that being exposed to material of this nature made him disinclined to visit stores from this chain in the future.

Did he take this action?


What did he do instead?

He drove out into the woods and did this:


So yeah, anyway, and then I stayed in a motel in Aberdeen and did three more on the way home.


And it was great, and a lot of fun, but it didn't really leave much time for writing much besides expedition reports. Certainly, I haven't had any time to do any more thinking about Ulysses, so that whole business will just have to wait.

Coming soon: What We Did This Tuesday!


gl. said...

this totally cracked me up. :)

Ben said...

We'll call you Michael Joyce.

mrs.5000 said...

I like the sense of continuity of character embedded in "Drove this road in the snow in '94 in dad's truck just for the county"--I think the twenty-something Michael would certainly approve of your current exploits. Who knew life as a grown-up could be such fun?

Michael5000 said...

As long as you don't just call me "Joyce."