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ELMA, WASHINGTON 3/7/01

I've been through the towns of Allyn, Shelton, McCleary, Whites and am now holed up in a little motel in Elma Washington. I have a HUGE blister on my left foot, none on my right, and -- ready for this? -- 8 on my hands (go figure!)
These towns are all logging communities. Allyn overlooks the inland shores of Puget Sounds case inlet known as North Bay, with Mt Rainier to the South. Thereís a little tiny itsy bitsy teensy weensy church affectionately known as "The Little White Church By The Side Of The Road." It was built in 1907 and is Allynís oldest building.
Then I spent the night in a motel in Shelton, and took 2 rolls of film to the Safeway store to be developed. They didn't come back till 11am the next day, so I got a late start to McCleary. It was around 6pm & I was still 6 miles from town. I realized I wasn't going to get there before dark, so I found a spot where I could camp out. Rt 108 runs through the mountains, and lots & lots of logging trucks use this road. I found a flat area just off the road. I'd say the area was probably 50' by 50', with a creek at the far end. I pitched my tent right near the road but behind a bunch of brush & bramble where I couldn't be seen. My cart, loaded with food, was about 30' away. I crawled into the sleeping bag fully dressed, with jeans, socks, tshirt & sweatshirt. And as I laid there I thought about bears. What if a bear comes & eats me for a midnight snack? Would anybody know? Would anybody care? I knew that there was a big chance that pesky
critters like raccoons & skunks & maybe bears would be very interested in the food in my cart, but I had it packed in there pretty good, and by golly if they were able to get to it then they could have it. But I was still sorta scared about the bears. I went to bed with a flashlight, my alarm clock, a whistle, some pepper spray and my phone. It was a beautiful evening. A clear, starry sky with a not-quite-full moon and a babbling brook nearby. It was actually quite light out all night long.
I woke up at 6am to the sound of logging trucks rumbling by. I was still in one piece and my cart was untouched. What a relief. My tent was iced over, so it got a little bit cool in the night. Later on, after I got to town & was eating breakfast, the newspaper said it got down to 22. Just a little bit nippy.
Not much happening in McCleary, so I continued on to Elma where I got a motel. YOU KNOW YOU'RE IN A SMALL TOWN WHEN..........
you go to the only motel in town to get a room and nobodies home, but there are 2 room keys on a hook on the front door!!! No, I'm not kidding!! So I helped myself to a key, found the room, moved in & took the longest hottest bath I could possibly stand. I've already made contact with the Chamber in the next town, Montesano. It's about 10 miles away and I'll stay there for 2 days.
FUNNIEST THING I SAW TODAY: someone chucked an exercise bike down a deep ravine & it landed upside down high up in a tree!! Darn thing must not've sold at the garage sale!!!

Here's a phone # that you can call me at if you feel like gabbing. I'll be staying here tonight & tomorrow night (8 & 9). This b&b has 2 phone lines. She told me to just take the cordless to my room with me so she wouldn't have to worry about answering it. So give me a call! The number is: 360-249-2320. Later! KB

 

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