alaska has left its impression on me. maybe not in the way that amidy expected (or did it;) but when i get bored now, instead of staring at a tv or computer screen, i feel like getting out.
the other day i walked down the hill to where there's a bunch of construction going down on the overpass. they're doing something that necessitates taking chunks off the overpass and heaving them onto the road below. by morning they've picked up all the chunks, swept the road and prepared it for traffic for another day. leftover, however, is a mess of rebar that you don't think twice about when driving by, but looks a bit precarious when you take your time walking under it.
that day, that was as far as i got. enough excitement was going on there. i took a bunch of pictures, but for the most part they're all blurry cuz i didn't want to draw attention to myself with a flash. also. my computer's having issues. but that's another story.
so tonight i had that same bout with boredom. it's my saturday night (i get tomorrow off) and no one's around. nothing new, it's just hard to get used to again.
so i headed out for a walk. almost went north, but at the last second headed on down the hill again.
no construction work this time, so i went under the bridge and down toward fred meyer.
then i got an idea:
what about that strange knoll towering over totem lake? i could climb up that!
anyone know what i'm talking about? it's right behind fred meyer. those who grew up here should know it, but i'm more aware of it because everytime i took a break out with the smokers at blimpie's, that hill was staring me right in the face.
it was one of those things that i'd always wanted to climb, but never had/made the opportunity. kinda like that gravel barge that manuel and i eventually surmounted.... at a cost.
so i made it to the bottom of the mound, i went behind blimpie's and stared up at it.
fuck. blackberries. everywhere.
so. learning from my past mistakes, like on the aran islands
, i made sure i at least semicircumnavigated the base of the hill. cuz at the aran islands, i came upon the back of this large stone wall. i immediately attempted to climb up the 20-foot vertical wall which, in time, i did do.
and after getting to my feet, standing up and brushing the dust off me, i glance straight ahead of me to see a fucking walkway that led right inside
the circular wall.
however, in a sense, i somewhat enjoyed the struggle of conquering that wall. if i had casually walked through that walkway, i would have had a totally different view of that wall, and definitely way less respect for it.
so back here in totem lake i stared at those berries and said, "fuck it, going for it."
so up i went. luckily for me, i had the forethought to bring my headlamp with me. very smart. i clicked that on and was able to see most every thorn coming my way. but the slope was steep and the only way i could forge ahead was to grab at the non-thorned berry plants and pull myself up.
this was a very slow-going process at the beginning, but eventually the non-thorned berries vastly outnumbered the blackberries, however every now and then i'd get a good line of thorns across the chest or into my hand. i'd have to carefully unlatch it from my t-shirt across my chest or stop to pull thorns out of my skin.
the non-thorned berries got denser and each time i pulled myself up by a branch, i was forced to step on it to go anywhere.
eventually the berries turned to grass, which was nice, but very slippery. i chose the wrong shoes. boots would have been handy.
then through a bit more bushes came the trees on the top of the hill.
this is what i was looking for.
up top between the trees was a bit of a clearing. stuff that you'd expect to see was up there that showed signs of past human presence: junk food wrappers, beer bottles and cans, soiled clothes.
nothing too exciting, however, somebody had killed at least a 12-pack of bud and decorated the trees around them. it made it look like budweiser grew on trees! what a magical hideaway i found in the middle of the city!
for a moment i wish i had my camera, but i was glad that i had my headlamp instead.
cuz right then, up in the trees came some noise.
i couldn't tell what the fuck was going on, but it either shat or dropped something to the ground. it went from tree to tree and i eventually caught a quick look at it's furry white ass.
too big and not the right color for a squirrel, so i guess it was a possum.
i was hoping it was as scared of me as i was of it, cuz i really had nowhere to go if it attacked. it went to the right, kinda toward me, so i went to the left away from it.
that's when i decided the journey was about over. it took me awhile to get up there anyway.
so in the direction i was headed, away from that scary beast, i noticed i was following a path. so i continued on it and realized it headed on a fairly easy path all the way down the hill. it ended up at some office building complex on the farside of the hill. the side you can't see from the road/freeway.
sonofabitch. i got to the base and took an easy left. it led right to the parking lot where blimpie's and all that strip mall area is at.
just like fucking aran islands! i missed the easy way. however, once again i kind of enjoyed the tribulations that i went through to get to the top of that hill.
it made it feel like more of a journey. it made it feel like i conquered that hill rather than walking up it.
although i was also glad that when i was done conquering the hill, i was able to walk down it. going through those blackberries again would have pissed me off.
and i would have probably tumbled part of the way down.
going down is so much harder than going up.
luckily, going up is so much more fun.
and now on a tangent. those berry bushes:
i can see why they were domesticated... or at least cultivated to an extent.
i don't know how high the lake was back in the day, but i would have so lived on that hill.
you would have the defense of a natural slope, and you could have the additional defense of those damn berry bushes. they're kinda like a natural fence, like the palm tree-looking, 5-foot tall shrubs that the natives would use in guatemala to mark territory, but here, those bushes had a dual purpose to also provide nourishment. brilliant!
now that's good evolution. something that grew symbiotically with humans for mulitple reasons.
damn i miss only having to think about archaeology. i want to go back to school.
or i could bitch about getting a new job.
showed up two hrs late today on accident. they only made me make up 1 hr.
but i whined like a little bitch to go home after that hour only to sit here and get bored. but i guess it was worth it, but maybe i wouldn't have gotten bored enough to head back up to my workplace.
but still. fuck fred meyer.