A sense of place: Driving through woods
June 18, 2020
Editor's note: Oh, my. Last week's edition contained a special section, The Focus on Wahkiakum. We dedicated it to the graduating classes of 2020 and included writing from students expressing their thoughts about coping with school and the covid-19 quarantine. An incorrect article was printed under the byline of Colton Bachman. The high school staff member who submitted the students' articles accidentally attached a different article under Colton's name, and no one caught the error. We all apologize. Following is Colton's article. --Rick Nelson
By Colton Bachman
The woods are my getaway. People say you can’t run away from your problems, obviously they have never been in the woods. I can hear “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” by The Charlie Daniels Band blaring over the sound of my 1996 Toyota Tacoma with the exhaust about to fail for the one millionth time. The trees are taller than I ever could be, soaring high above my head. I come to a fork in the old logging road. I took one that “looked less traveled” as Robert Frost would say. I veered left to the less beaten path. On this path it winds a lot and climbs up high into the hills. As it starts to rain, I smell the fresh rain. So indescribable yet so nice.
At the end of this road, I come to a clearing at the top. I get out and I can see over all of Skamokawa. These are the views I loved to see. No houses for miles. Just roads here and there and trees and dirt as far as the eye can see. I sit down in my truck and just look out over everything, thinking of how big the world is compared to me. I love the smell of the trees, the feeling of not being distracted by artificial things. Disconnecting from the technological world. The sight of a nice buck is always fun too -- gets me more excited for hunting season. The occasional wood duck flying over head gives me the same feeling but for duck season.
On my way back to civilization I notice a nice, fresh mud hole. It rained the night before and I can tell because I could smell the fresh rain and see the rain droplets on the leaves, not dry just yet. I veer to the left into this mud. I shouldn’t do this because then I have to wash my truck; oh well, pressure washer will get it off. That thought comes through my head every time I approach a mud hole. I felt the ruts bouncing my truck all over the world: I go left, then right, then backward and left, and into the air out of the atmosphere. Going through the mud is a love/hate scenario for me. I love it because it is fun and I have grown up in Wahkiakum doing this in many different vehicles. I hate it because sometimes I go through “Dinosaur Poop” which just smells terrible. And in my truck if that gets on my windshield or hood, it vents right into my hood. Just one of the most nasty smells you can smell. It smells like cow pies and mud. It can repaint your whole truck from tires to roof. And then I will want to do what Governor Inslee said about COVID and stay at least six feet away until I can clean it.
By the time I start leaving, it’s 5:30 in the afternoon, I’m hungry and know Remington’s house is near by. Just a short drive off the rocky, bouncy logging road and back onto a smooth, county paved road. The window always stays down. Dogs have their head out the window, well, I almost do that because I love the cold air on my face and going through my hair. Gives me a feeling of freedom away from all the bad things in the world. Once I get to Remington’s, he just looks at me confused wondering where the mud came from in such large amounts. As a joke I tell him “Top Secret” when he asks. We proceed into his camper and eat some food: delicious as could be after the day I had.