Last week I left off my story at the local gas station, with an ice cream and a tea. I headed towards Highway 101 from just outside of Long Beach, Washington. If you have never experienced the beauty of Highway 101, then I apologize for not stopping and taking photos. Over the years I have traveled 101 so many times, that I now don’t often stop for photos. I was really looking forward to getting off the beaten path, so I bombed north without stopping. Highway 101 is definitely one of those “over the river, thru the woods, to grandmas house” kind of roads with amazing views of Willapa Bay thrown in the mix.
My favorite part about driving 101 is the connection with the road. All the hills and corners make for an exciting drive, coupled with the horsepower and the 6 speed manual in my truck. This Toyota is an amazing machine! Its 4.0L V6 engine makes more than enough power to haul me around. Honestly this truck makes so much power and purrs so smoothly, that I set the cruise control in 6th gear and never had to shift. The best part came when I caught up to a 1st generation Tacoma. I decided not to pass his truck. As I followed him, he picked up the pace and we carved corners together for about 30 minutes. I really enjoyed seeing his truck from various angles around the corners, up and down the hills. I could definitely see the design cues in the shape of the 1st gen body panels and how they influenced the 2nd gen truck that I own.
By this point it was around 4 in the afternoon. I knew my planned detour would add at least an hour more than Google said to my return trip home. I stopped many times from Highway 101 to Highway 12 for photos, which added time.
I passed by many logging operations on my drive. The earth always looks so naked to me after all the trees have been cut away. I don’t know why I am always so fascinated by logging, but I like to stop and take photos. One thing that doesn’t make sense to me is the two trees left standing in the middle. Were those trees not good enough for the logging company? How would it feel to be a tree, knowing all your friends got turned into toilet paper and you are left alone? What kind of a life is that?
One of my favorite parts about taking the back roads is that you don’t know what to expect. The interstate is city after city, traffic and boring roads with minimal corners. At one point during the drive, I came around a corner and the bridge was down to 1 lane with no prior warning. It wasn’t dangerous at all, but certainly not something you would see on a well traveled road.
Am I the only person who stops and wonders what things used to look like? I have been fascinated by history my entire life, so this is an extension of that. I wonder where the trees went in this field. Perhaps they were logged, milled and used for houses in the near town of Brooklyn. I have always wished that life had those small plaques with an explanation that you see in a museum. I could just be standing here, reading the history, instead of left with questions.
I love the look of moss as it grows on concrete. Its such a strange relationship if you stop and think about it. How does the moss get the nutrients to survive from the concrete? Either way, it makes for a great photo of my poor beat up Toyota.
This is the 3rd time that I have driven through the town of Brooklyn. The first time I drove through the town was a complete accident in 2011. I did not take a single photo of the town because I was honestly a little nervous. Have you ever driven through a remote, backwoods town with absolutely no one outside? Its an experience that feels just like the beginning of a Hollywood horror film. Last year I drove through the town on purpose, mainly to show my girlfriend a new route and retrace my steps. Yet again I did not stop for photos. 3rd time is the charm as they say, so I stopped in front of the town bar for 5 minutes. I was checking out the building, reading the signs in the windows, and taking in the scenery. It took me a minute or so to notice that the ground was littered with bottle caps, which made for a unique photo-op. Out behind the bar they had an old rusty machine that was definitely worth the photo. This would have been the perfect situation for an info plaque like I was talking about earlier. If anyone has any idea about the history of this machine, please send me a message. I would love to learn.
My favorite part about the town of Brooklyn was definitely the weather station. Whoever built this contraption, my hat is off to you good sir.
During my brief stop in front of the bar, I saw no one. It was 5:30 pm on a Tuesday and not a soul in sight, eerie.
I hopped back in the truck and continued on my journey. Tune in next week as I go off the beaten path and on a 20 mile gravel road excursion. I took some great photos that I am excited to share with everyone! Thank you for reading my blog, please share and like my Facebook page!