Jul 19, 2016


Empty Pack on a Mountainside. Karma's
Screw all this Beauty!

Listening to: "There Be No Shelter Here"
by Rage Against the Machine

I'm sitting on my Z-lite pad in a very dingy motel, 55 miles East of the Pacific Crest Trail.  My pad may be the cleanest thing in this room.  Tonight I'll be using my sleeping bag even though I'm in a motel.  You could say that's a waste of money, but that assumes that it is the room that I'm paying for.

It's not.

I paid for the Wifi, and the air conditioner. Those two things work like a charm. The bed, however, is highly suspect.  Take it from someone who has worked in the hotel industry.  The effects of sleeping in that bed would be far reaching....  bodily.

Karma is off the Pacific Crest Trail for now.
A river runs through it. 

Weeping Willow Tree from Karma's PCT.
and a willow weeps.

Why the am I here?  Why am I not on the PCT, making miles?  Why the hell am I heading East??

Did you read my blog regarding Amtrak and the ride up to Washington?   It was a glorious tale filled with action, adventure, and hilarity whose literary value may never be repeated.  Let's face it, folks, it was just that good. 

Nevertheless,  I didn't mention an important meeting I had on that train.  It wasn't something I had planned.  We'll call it a lucky coincidence.  While on board train 14 from LA to Seattle, I met a group of men, and one in particular, that were also heading north but for very different reasons than my own: they needed to be in a Federal Courthouse in Portland.
Bernard Hosey's metalwork on display in Twisp.
What a Geometer! 

Karma finds anot her glone on the PCT
Hosey''s Metalwork

They were members of a militia group that had taken over a Federal Park in Oregon a few months earlier. 
I'm sure you've heard of it.

Ammon Bundy?
Bureau of Land Management?

There was a standoff and one man died in a shootout with Federal Agents.

If you don't know what I'm talking about, stop reading this blog immediately and go read a newspaper. In fact read a couple.  Wake up.

For everyone else:  yes, I met and spoke with those scary militia-men.  I believe you could drop me in heaven and I guarantee you it wouldn't be long before I'd be consorting  with the one troublemaker causing problems for St. Peter. I'm a magnet for this stuff. I think it's the bartending, or maybe my devil-may-care attitude.  I don't really know, but I've got a knack for finding trouble.  Call it a gift.
Photos from Karma's PCT.
Yes, It's all right here in Omak. 

Anyway, I spent a few hours with these men. That in itself is a dangerous thing these days. I'm aware of it.  I'm quite certain there were also Federal Agents on board that train keeping an eye on those men and anyone they might be talking to. Even if there weren't, it would be stupid of me to assume otherwise.  But hey, it's a free country, right.... (extremely loud chuckle)

Karma looks at deterioration on the PCT
American Industry

Downtown Omake falls apart.
Brick and Mortar

United States Of America 2016. Karma on the PCT.
USA 2016.

In any case they were interesting men. I'm curious about them and I know where to go to find out more.  It ain't on the Pacific Crest Trail. I consider it a journalistic enterprise. I've never fired a gun, I don't advocate rebellion, and I don't plan on becoming a militia-member.  But things are changing in this country and I don't want my information coming from CNN. 

I also have some serious reservations.  Ammon Bundy has himself together and if you ever listen to the man, you'll have a tough time finding much fault with his logic.  I detected an air of something else in these men, though.  Let's just say my bullshit meter was on high alert.
The PCT from Not the Water Report looks dark.
The Sky does not care 

Not the water report, the moon rises on the PCT
Neither does the Moon

 Fact is I suspect something vaguely "white-preferential" about their beliefs, though they didn't betray so openly.  If that's the case, these men, for all their perhaps justifiable grievances will have lost what it is they're fighting for. You don't go toe to toe with the champ without allies. Every ally you can muster.

I believe that racial tension, division, and bigotry is manifestation of class warfare. Those in power create hostility amongst different minorities to keep everyone at each others throats instead of their own.  Irish vs Italians. Blacks vs. Whites. Gays vs. Muslims..... oh yes, that was an interesting scenario out in Orlando, don't you think?
These horses be plotting on the PCT
Why do horses always look like they're plotting agianst us?

Divide and conquer.  Oldest trick in the book.  Every time I hear American "Patriots" talk smack about the Black Lives Matter movement my soul groans.  That they can't see beyond the racial divide at how BLM in many ways embodies their own principles is a mind-crime if I ever saw one. 

So I've been making my way east for a bit.  I already dropped around 70 miles on trail and the PCT will always be there. I don't, however, know when I'll be back this way, Probably never.  It behooves me to educate myself.

Not the water report.  Dead food mart
When Walmart Happens

Believe me all those wonderful thru-hikers knocking out miles on the Pacific Crest Trail right now:  I don't envy them.  Landscape and trailing is just one aspect knowing a country.  There's a hell of a lot more to know of you're willing to open you're eyes. 

Speaking of education I've learned quite a bit about the Native Methow (pronounced Mett-HOW) Indians since I've been wandering around Central Washington.  Fascinating and proud people. I'm actually surprised they are not the ones in open rebellion.

This is cowboy country and everyone is preparing for a stampede that will be in town in a week or so.

The Pacific Crest Trail doesnt even pass through this town.
Yes, we did miss alot. 

Karma reports not on water, but on odd moonlight.
An Odd Moon.

I need to be far away from here before that time.  I have a plan for that, so I'm not particularly worried. 

One striking thing about the towns I've been wandering through, is the abject poverty, that appears everywhere.  It's stifling.  It reminds me of the Southern States and tent communities.  I doubt whether most of the people I've met have more than an 8th grade education.  I don't know that for a fact, and believe me, I know there is a difference between speaking slowly and thinking slowly.  But I'm telling you, It's pretty bad out here in Okanogan County. 

All the right institutions seem to be in place,  but there is definitely something missing out here.  I'll let my photographs tell the rest of that story.
An odd place for an Obey sticker to show up.
Obey! .... the street signs.

Vaya con dios,


1 comment :

York said...

Karma, I truly enjoyed your observations and assessments so far. Living here in the Northwest and having travelled a great deal of the interior of these beautiful western states it's a sad reality of the state of humanity and the discontent underlying the fabric of areas that could be so much more.
I hope the weather and conditions and mindset clear with revelations to your proper path fitting your specific and individual skillsets to the benefit of us all.

York 503 703-2614