I WON'T BACK DOWN

Monday, June 26, 2017

Hell Peddles Hell

When we were in town last week we happened to catch a glimpse of a local newsletter that had a cover promoting Skamokawa as a ‘Getaway Destination’. Hubs and I looked at each other with raised eyebrows and telepathically communicated to each other: Skamokawa a getaway? Are they serious? Then we burst out laughing. Then we decided to go check out what they were peddling.

I grew up in Skamokawa.

Hubs grew up in Eden Valley – a little farming community between Graysriver and Naselle. But he was familiar with Skamokawa.

Our families eventually moved “into town”; LOL. We both went to High School in Cathlamet, which was a river town, and though small was significantly bigger than we had experienced before. We met, married, and raised children in Cathlamet before leaving it 24 years ago and spreading our wings by living in several towns up and down the Pacific Coast & Columbia River (Hoquiam, Aberdeen, Raymond, and Kelso) before finally settling in the small city of Longview.

Anyhoo … we decided yesterday to take a day off from packing and hauling to just relax and catch our breath. So off we drove on a short roadtrip. A friend had mentioned the other day that her husband told her there as a “little Irish restaurant in Deep River”. Hmm. Not that we are aware of; there IS an Irish Pub/Restaurant IN Graysriver though … but she was adamant that her husband said Deep River. So we decided to check that out to ;-)

Before we left town though, we stopped at the new house first to get Hubs’ cutoff shorts; it was hot yesterday – definitely a shorts type of day. While I was moving boxes to find them (practically everything we own is now at the new house. It is frustrating to live between 2 houses), I happened to lift this one and started laughing when I read the label. Hubs looked at me and I said, “Oh man, this label is a liberals nightmare. The obamanites would be going crazy if they ever saw it!”

Humorous.

I eventually stopped laughing and hubs changed into his shorts. Then we hit the road. I have always liked the drive along the Columbia River and I freely admit that I do miss that weekly drive; but that relaxing scenic strip of highway is not enough to entice me back to Cathlamet. I was glad to leave and am glad to be gone from there. We do occasionally stop in Cathlamet for one of Lulu’s Hamburgers because they are the BEST by far, but that’s as far as we go. There is nothing else in Cathlamet we want.

We decided to drive straight to Deep River first off, and then work our way backwards on the way home to scope out what Skamokawa is peddling to the tourist. I personally can’t imagine what Skamokawa has to offer outside people would be interested in. Seriously.

Deep River is basically a dead spot on the map – there are still a few farming families left, but most everyone else has left. Deep River was once a fishing and logging community, but that died out decades ago. We been married 42 years and it was a ghost town back then when we were doing road trips down there on the Harley full dressed Hog. Deep River was a cozy comfortable ghost town back then, but it’s a dead-dead ghost town now. The floating walkway ramps between anchored boats are gone, claimed by the depths of the deep river; the abandoned stores have long since been swallowed by the creeping vegetation and encroaching forest, and there are only 2 or 3 houses left standing and inhabited in the actual town area itself. There are a few farms spread out in the valley, but mostly Deep River has been abandoned and is quickly disappearing.

Pretty little country Church. Historical Church in Deep River.

We drove the entire length and width of Deep River, but found NO restaurant there – especially NO Irish Pub/Restaurant: our friends husband must have confused Deep River with Graysriver because Duffy’s Irish Pub & Restaurant is right where it has always been – IN Grayriver, on the river. Duffy’s is not always open for business; but when it is, the food can’t be beat! The food is always fresh and made with local fare, homemade homestyle meals and pretty spendy, but you will get your $$$ worth and be glad you stopped in for a bite ;-)

About lucky mud … about 45 years ago a bunch of New York hippies moved onto a scrap of land at the end of West Valley in Skamokawa. They arrived close to Fall and since that is our rainy season here, they quickly and haphazardly set up a large encampment under large transparent plastic tarps. And they also quickly started insinuating themselves into the local civic governing of Skamokawa, Cathlamet, and eventually Graysriver. It soon became apparent to everyone that these {hippies} were not really hippies at all – they were in fact highly papered individuals who were intent on creating a nirvana for themselves: the leaders were a catholic ex-priest and ex-nun who ran the commune and 96% of them ALL held bachelor decrees in governing leadership, legal office venues, teaching certificates – including professor status, and 2 couples were musicians from well-established musical families, and several were engaged in free sex orgies including homosexual liaisons (I know this for fact because several of these people were welcomed into my parent’s house before I moved out of it when I married in 1974: my mother stayed in contact with them until she died, and 3 of my siblings still have contact with lucky mud). And they had MONEY – LOTS of money. In short, they blew in acting stupid and shiftless, wormed their way into the communities and set about their well-organized coups. They established an organization entitled, ‘The Friends of Skamokawa’ born and drafted at lucky mud and began their infiltration in earnest. In a little under 5 years, there was no place they hadn’t spread their tentacles and hooked positions for themselves: they set up legal aide offices, established a religious order catering to the pagan religions – some even openly practiced devilish religiosity in spiritually dead churches, held teaching positions in the schools, took civic office positions, set up restaurants that were cover operations for drug traffic, ect. The pseudo-hippies now {owned} Skamokawa, Cathlamet, and Graysriver. It was all very well planned and carried out. Big time drugs and mob activity began to move in … and mysterious deaths began to happen. We eventually moved out of the region.

So after recently reading the newsletter cover we glimpsed downtown, we were curious as to what the ‘friends’ were peddling now to unawares tourists.

We drove out to lucky mud and saw that is still a dumpy mess with ramshackle shacks passing as houses, discarded junk littering fields and roadsides … and wondered what on earth could possibly pass as “the Inn”. We caught glimpse of a sign in the blackberries along the roadway that pointed the direction to the Inn. As we turned up the gravel road, we saw a handmade sign tacked to a post that read, “GO AWAY!” What the …? But that is so typical of the greedy and grasping fletcher family. They want the $$$, but they don’t want the people with the $$$. If they are already sending double-messages to tourists that make the looooooooooooong drive out the valley to find their “Inn”, how do they expect their “Inn” to stay in business?

'The Inn at lucky mud', Skamokawa. Hmmm. The fletchers have come up in the world - no more living under a plastic tarp tent ... I wonder how many tourists it will take to pay off the mortgage on that fancy house?

Well.

That was the end. Literally; the end of the road, and the end of the curiosity. Nothing changes with these people; they are still duping the unsuspecting and unwise.

Shaking the dust of lucky mud off our big 4x tires and exiting West Valley, we stopped at Vista Park … past the church there that preaches Jesus and Buddha are the same (a concept put to book form written by a lucky mud devotee in the late 1970’s and published by lucky mud affiliates) … located where the old school used to stand. The ‘friends’ bought the land and have been trying for the last 2 decades to make it pay for itself. The Park is really quite barren and the beach is eroding away: the lapping river was alarming in its greedy appetite as we watched it behind the “DANGEROUS BEACH!” sign; we used to be able to swim in these waters, but now there is no beach to speak of anymore, the river has reclaimed the beach and is seriously eroding the Park property. And since they took out all the trees there is no protection whatsoever from the harsh winds that blow inland off the Columbia River; yesterday the winds were very strong and very gusty and blew curtains of stinging sand everywhere: it was hard to see through the sandy haze that whipped over the entire Park. We used the porta-potties there and at one point the wind hit it so hard and rocked it several times, that I thought the darned thing was going to blow over: seriously! I bet camping is a blast there – in more ways than one. We got outta there while we still had sand to stand on and some paint left on our 4x pickup.

Off to the side of the Park area are 2 yurts for the yuppie minded; that hillside is ALL shale and shifting pebbly debris … hard to stand upright in and nearly impossible to walk across because it’s so shifty underfoot, I don’t know how they have secured these yurts, but I sure wouldn’t rent one knowing what I know about that hill it sits on:

Yurts perching on the slope of Mole Hill in Skamokawa. Vista Park.

After we skedaddled from Vista Park, we looked for the “resort”, coming to the conclusion that resort must have many meanings because we never did see anything that resembled a resort, but we did see that the old ‘Hoby’s Store’ and adjacent old post office building had both been updated and modified and perhaps that is what they are peddling as a resort.

We're guessing this is the 'Skamokawa Resort' - the modified old Hoby's Store and Post Office.

Well I guess city folk might think all this horse pucky is romantic, but it just smells like snake oil to us who know better – and know the people behind the sales propaganda agenda: hell is peddling hell.

We did like sighting this ship though that passed by unawares of what lies ashore …


Big ship cruising the Columbia River in Skamokawa.

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