Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Makah Indian Reservation

Cape Flattery, Washington

Cape Flattery is the extreme northwest corner of the lower United States. You can't get much farther away from Key West and still be in the lower 48.....

The Makah Indians own this piece of beautiful real estate. They've built a lovely 3/4 mile walking trail on their reservation that goes steeply downhill to Cape Flattery.

It's a rain forest environment with abundant  moss, ferns and cedar trees.

The Makah have built a series of overlooks on the cape with cedar walkways and  viewing platforms.

We didn't see any seals or whales, but they are common here where the Pacific Ocean meets the wide Strait of Juan de Fuca (Wanda Fooka). Looking north, you can see the mountains of Canada over the strait.

This is a cedar tree. I'm not sure I've ever seen one before.

Lots of ferns and moss here in the rain forest.

We visited a fish hatchery. They raise Chinook salmon, Coho salmon and Steel head trout here. The hatchery cost $13 million. That's actually less than one F-16.  I do not begrudge the money the government spends to hatch fish. The fish have helped us and now we need to help the fish.

They have a new way of tagging hatchery fish by implanting a tiny wire in the nose of each fish.

The odd gadget above is an electronic fish weir.  It forces the Chinook (king) salmon up the fish ladder into the hatchery where they spawn in a most unnatural way and produce many new salmon.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Twilight Mania

Olympic Peninsula, Washington State

We're at a place called "Forks" which  is 12 miles from the Indian reservation  on the Pacific Ocean coast. The reservation is at a small fishing town called "La Push", home to the Quileute Indians. These Indians are important in the "Twilight Saga". This popular story is about a group of sort of vegan vampires who are ethically opposed to drinking human blood and like to chase deer in the Washington woods..

The dark, damp, dreary and dank coniferous rain forest of the Olympic Peninsula is a perfect place for these vampires to call home. Sometimes I think I might be part vampire because every time I go out in the sunshine I get another cancer.... Bella is a human girl who moves to the Forks to stay with her divorced father. Edward is in inhumanly attractive vampire who attempts to avoid her and seems to Bella to find her repulsive.

Edward and Bella's ultimately establish a relationship grows over time, and they fall passionately in love. Their foremost problem is that to Edward, Bella's scent is a hundred times more potent than any other  human, making Edward struggle to resist his desire to kill her. However, despite this they manage to stay together safely for a time.

Anyway, the small town of Forks has five or six businesses and tours that focus on tourists and the Twilight Saga.

Forks is very well located for exploring the beaches and coniferous rain forests of the Olympic peninsula.

We'll be here until the 4th of July . Our next stop will be Port Townsend. Maybe we can find a way to explore Seattle and/or the San Juan islands.

We went to a place called Rialto Beach on the Pacific Ocean in the Olympic National Park today. A characteristic of Washington beaches is the huge bleached driftwood trees.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Mount Rainier National Park

Back in early 1966 we drove our green Triumph TR4-A and all our possessions up here to Tacoma, Washington. I was navigating C-124s over the Pacific to Southeast Asia to support the war effort..

Our first ever camping trip was here in the Mount Rainier National Park. I was in great shape back then. We had two bedrolls and a kerosene lantern that we checked out from the base recreation officer.

We walked the hills for miles. As darkness arrived we found a place on the mountainside to spread our sleeping bags.

It was our first time camping out. I worried about bears and about rolling over and down the mountain.

We lit the kerosene lantern about 1 AM and walked for about two hours back to where we had parked the 61 Cadillac convertible.  I was afraid. Mrs Phred had no fear.

The Mountain goes up to 14,400 feet. It's an active volcano that might be big trouble anytime now.

Mount Rainer was the 5th National Park established by Congress in 1898.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

The Allure of the Automobile

Portland Museum of Art

We took the light rail into Portland.

Portland is big on roses. The first rosebush was shipped n 1837 around Cape Horn and presented to Anna Marian Pittman on the day she married Jason Lee. We saw lots of roses walking downtown Portland.

When I saw that the museum was having an exhibit called "The Allure of the Automobile", I wanted to go.

This is a 1955 Jaguar. The hood is held on with a leather straps. Leave it to the English to come up with a strange combination of beauty and absurdity.

My favorite in the exhibit was this straight-eight Duesenberg. What a beast. You can keep your Bugatti, the Mercedes and any Aston-Martins. Given my choice, I'd drive this one home in a heartbeat. It was said that only a Duesenberg could pass another Duesenberg , and that only with the first owners permission. The Duesenberg is THE most desirable of classic cars, often selling at auction for well over a million dollars. The 1937 Model J did a 152 MPH at the Bonneville Salt Flats for over an hour. Tom Mix and Rudolf Valentino each bought one. They sold new for $18,000 when the average physician made $3,000 a year. The Duesenberg fell into obscurity during WWII and the model J changed hands after the war for $100 or $200.

We spent about three hours wandering the museum. The Northwest native people's artifacts were very colorful.

Some of the more modern things can make you think.

I liked this one a lot. the little squares are skulls and dice.

Outrageous blown glass.

The museum had lots of photography.

This is absolutely my favorite. "The Dishwasher" is so realistic that you look at the chest closely to see if it's moving. You expect the figure to lift his head and look at you. You can see veins and tendons in the hands.

A good day...

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Mount Saint Helen's National Monument

Mount Saint Helen's exploded with the force of a ten megaton bomb on May 18, 1980. That's 500 times the power of the Hiroshima bomb. It's a little strange to watch the contemporary videos and see the strange haircuts, moustaches and sideburns of Americans 31 years ago.

The scientists had been nervously monitoring earthquakes and "harmonic vibrations" from the mountain for several months, but no one expected the cataclysm that caused the Mount St. Helen's  to end up 1300 feet shorter. The show started with a cubic mile of the Mountain's north face sliding down at 150 miles per hour. The mud and rocks ended up as much as seven miles away. They dropped into Spirit Lake and kicked up an 800 foot wave. The wave slid back into the lake carrying trees six feet in diameter that had been blasted out by the roots.

The landslide loosed a blast of ash, magma and rock that went out as far as 17 miles with wind speeds of 700 miles per hour. Hot air and rocks seared and killed huge trees far beyond the 17 mile blast zone that knocked down every tree. There were 160 square miles of old growth trees ripped out by the roots and many more square miles of trees killed by heat, high winds and blast rocks

Within minutes the heat of the blast melted all the snow and ice on the mountain and caused a 200 foot high wave of water, rocks and mud that buried the river system many miles to the north to depths of 600 feet.

The ash from the eruption rose 12 miles into the air. Within two weeks the ash plume encircled the earth. I think Mrs. Phred and I came here in 1993. The road we were on today did not exist back then. All the roads into St. Helen's and Spirit Lake were destroyed for about 25 miles back from the mountain on the North side... We saw the knocked down trees from the South...This time we have a road on the North Side that reaches to within 5 miles of the crater...

Cause it's the new Mother Nature takin' over
It's the new splendid lady come to call
It's the new Mother Nature takin' over
She's gettin' us all
She's gettin' us all

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Checking Into the Morrison Motel

Let's talk about death. There are more death euphemisms than there are for body parts or even sex. Jim Morrison, for example, has been dead for 40 years.. We've been to his grave in Paris four times. Jim's headstones are frequently stolen and the graffiti changes often. The last time we visited a bored Paris cop was watching Jim's grave...They have Jim far enough away from Proust, Oscar Wilde and Heloise and Abelard that those graves don't get much punk vandalism...Oscar's grave featured  a lovely angel with a full set of male genitalia. those organs ended up on the desk of the cemetery superintendent and eventually disappeared...

Jim stole an umbrella from a police car in 1963 while he was a student in Tallahassee at Florida State University. He was drunk at the time and got busted for urinating in the wrong place while holding the wrong umbrella. Jim was born, like me, in 1943. I was also arrested in Tallahassee as a student in 1964. I drove my Harley Davidson at speeds over 100 MPH past the Tallahassee police station at 2 AM...I was drunk on 151 rum at the time...The policeman who arrested me was shaking badly...I remember the judge asking me if I was insane...I pleaded out with the simple military serviceman ID card and paid the $110 fine...

Jim was a roommate of my friends, the West brothers. They played "Strange Days" for me on vinyl and told me that Jim had moved out just before I moved in. You would have thought that Jim would have outlasted me based on his feeble law breaking attempts at umbrella theft and my own high-speed drunken exploits...Instead, here I am 52 years later having a good time...and Jim, at age 27, is in the great Golf course where we all get a hole in one...Taking a dirt nap...Pushing up the daisies ...Passed on...Deceased...At room temperature...Stone dead ...Demised ... Ceased to be..No more

Expired ..Gone to meet his maker ..Stiff ..Bereft of life ..Resting in peace ..Off the twig ..Kicked the bucket ..Shuffled off the mortal coil ..Run down the curtain ..Joined the choir invisible ...That good night ..In a better place.. Six feet under ..Crossed over ..crossed the bar..Crossed the River Styx ....Wandering the Elysian Fields ...Paid Charon's fare...Sleeping with the fishes.. belly up ..bloodless...defunct ..departed..done for.. erased .extinct ..gone ..inanimate.. .late.. .lifeless..liquidated ..mortified ..offed ..perished repose ..rubbed out ..snuffed out ..wasted ..lost taken ..bumped off ..bought it ..cashed in..checked out ..conked ..croaked ..Danced the last dance ..ate it ..finished .Kicked off ...Got a one-way ticket ..Popped off ..Snuffed ..Sprouted wings ..Succumbed..No longer with us ..Ashes to ashes, dust to dust ..Returned to the ground ..With the ancestors .Gave up the ghost ..Wacked.. Terminated ..Put down.. going to the big ___(whatever) in the sky"...Worm food ..Fragged.. Bought a pine condo..Gone into the fertilizer business .....Become living-challenged ...tits up

    Jim is definitely done dancing....He checked into the Morrison Motel...Jim's eating at the Rotten Skull Cafe...Jim's gone belly up...He's gone to the last roundup...He went past his "sell-by" date...Jim has left the building...Jim's no longer with us...He's on the unable to breathe list...Jim's permanently out of print...The lizard king is six feet under...Jim is sleeping with the fishes...He's wearing a toe tag...He's in the past people plantation...Been assigned to the Hale Bopp project...Become peasant under grass...He's playing harp duets with Hoffa...

    So...Jim was a pretty boy, but, actually I think I was at least as good looking as Jim. Not only that, but my crimes were more exciting...and I appear to be a much better survivor type...C'mon baby light my fire...As far as Jim goes, he's at room temperature...belly-up....bought a pine condo...ceased to bee...danced the last longer running the human race...pushing daisies...paid Charon's fare...stiff...wandering the Elysian fields...gone into the fertilizer business...worm food....resurrection eligible...kicked the oxygen habit...passed his sell-by date...examining the radishes from below...

    Mrs Phred went into Newport, Oregon to get her hair done yesterday. I took the camera downtown to get pictures of all the seafood processing plants and marine mammals.

    I liked this T-shirt. It reminded me of certain degenerate English gambler friends...

    Today we passed over the mighty Columbia River to an RV park north of Portland in Vancouver, Washington. We want to see Mount Saint Helen's again. It blew in 1980. The last time we went there was 1992. Looking at the recovery after another 20 years should be interesting.

    Laura came to visit Mrs. Phred back on the Siletz River. Mrs. Phred has her own online life with the women's RV Forum...Personally my own online activities are at "Second Life", where my avatar is extremely attractive and rich...I spend a lot of time in "dance bubbles" with attractive avatars who claim to be female...Probably most of them are unshaven middle-aged fat men from Cincinnati, fingering keyboards while wearing their "wife-beater" T-shirts and drinking Budweisers....