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Boondocker's Attitude Adjustment

2 October 03

Bruceport County Park
South Bend, WA

After a weekend with the good people of PNWCO, I needed a bit of decompression and attitude adjustment.

You can't travel alone if you are too used to company.

And it was good company. I learned a lot, too. Meep explained the workings of a clam gun. Don Murray told me how to get a hog to back up into the bed of a pickup. You can't buy expertise like that.

But I knew I'd gotten soft when I casually put my coffee in the microwave this morning to heat it up. Microwaves don't work without electricity.

What kind of a blundering boondocker will I be if this keeps up? I can see it's going to take a few days of isolation to reacquire that fine-tuned antisocial independence that sustains me in my travels.

Time to toughen up again.

I found a good place for it here at Bruceport County Park, about 5 miles southwest of South Bend. I'm told this park has been here since the 30s. Imagine the looming trees of Millersylvania, sans Snopes, transplanted to a bluff above Willapa Bay. Now thin them out a bit, just enough to allow nearly every campsite a view of bay and evening sunset.

Ain't it fine? Thirteen bucks.

Erratic deep Vs of honking geese are flying south overhead, while a layer of fog settles down on the water below like a soft wool sock.

There's gunfire out there somewhere, in Willapa Bay. Gill-netters, I'm told, shooting seals. Seals tear up their nets. About like having dogs get into your cattle, I guess.

In an older park like this, the best sites are usually dry camping, and I've got one of them. There are full hookups available near the entrance, but they are bunched up, a late addition. I like this arrangement. It keeps most of the motorhomes at bay. Here on the bluff I'm almost alone.

See? Turning downright antisocial again, even as we speak.

I've been working on a website with Don Bradner. I missed the Great Clam Dig at Long Beach because I got wrapped up in talking to him about it. It's coming along well, but it's more work than I envisioned. I'm missing stuff, and need to Google for it in the archives.

I've been intending to get something like this together eventually, but years might have slipped by without the intervention of the formidable DB, who came over to where I was lazing around Don Murray's campfire at PNWCO, plunked down his laptop, and showed me about half of Second Wind already in HTML.

"You want to do this?"

What could I say? It was put up or shut up time.

Don's made it very easy for me. I'm sitting here on the bluff working through all the old stories, trying to find out what's missing, organizing the rest.

And though I said I wouldn't, I'm editing a little. These stories posted to the newsgroup are one end of a casual conversation, and written that way. Stuff that wasn't said in the initial post would come out subsequently.

If somebody didn't get something, I could be sure they'd ask about it. These guys are anything but shy.

If I put these stories on the web, they'll be monologues, and that takes a little more clarity. And that means some organizing. There's a lot more of this stuff than I remembered.

But there'll never be a better time.

Pretty soon I've got to get to a place where there's a better cell connection, if I'm gonna be sending pictures and surfing the web. I'll bet somewhere around Aberdeen ought to do it. Maybe they've got a library.

I've kept a fire burning on the edge of the bluff since I got here, day and night, just in case there's some huddled lonesome soul out there, floating around in the fog, needing the ragged safety of a temporary shore.

None showed up. Hell with it. See, I'm getting my edge back.

Time to move on, while I can still stand myself.


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