Monday, September 5, 2016

The Tomaso Files: Four Left Turns later, We finally arrive at Mount Rainier...

A Team replica van commissioned by Mike Myers; WAY! (Image source:
'Whale Goll-lee! Four lefts really does makes Uh Circle! As low 'N behold, we'd make several circuits round some Roundy-round Taxicab Driver's Hometown, affectionately known as "enumscratch..."

And as already regaled, I've been fortunate enough to partake not one, but two trips to Mount Rainier this summer, in what's quickly becoming Thy Summer 'O Camping for Mwah! Having delighted in multiple Overnight camping outings in thou brand new Pop-up tent, supplemented with our Yurt Roadtrip.

Against better judgment, as Tacoma Bureau Chief Mary Ellen Quizzically inquired, why would we go to the Mountain on a weekend? That's NUTS! To which she quickly divulged that both Paradise & Sunrise's parking lots were completely filled at 9AM Friday morning via the webcam; SHEISA!

But we needed to get outta Dodge; Err Tacoma, so reluctantly we set off in her trusty "Eh-Team" van around lunchtime or thereafter, running smack dab into the worst day of the week's Rush Hour traffic, when the south end of Seattle becomes one Humongous Parking lot due to the ceaseless Gridlock of too many automobiles frequenting every available road!

After having squirmed our way thru Auburn, which is the south end's answer to Bakersfield, CA, which I believe I've heard called the Armpit of California...

Having been seated inside the van for hours, and nearing the end of available cellular telephone range, which disappears once Yuhs venture into the mountains.

We pulled off in a shaded nook on this fairly warm day along the side of the road leading to Enumclaw, which many locals here, including myself prefer calling Enumscratch, due to it's  being out in the virtual countryside! So Mary ELLEN could make her calls to inform others we're going "Off the Grid" shortly.

As Mary Ellen finished her call and looked towards me standing nearby, she said Uhm, I don't think the tyre's supposed to be leaning in like that! Huh? As we definitely had a problem, so we elected to putter over to the local Les Schwab Tires store for an assessment, which we arrived there somewheres' around 4-4:30PM-ish, on a Friday afternoon to which we were informed it would be an hour to hour and-a-half wait before they could even look at our van.

Leaving our contact info, because we didn't wish to sit inside smelling rubber and cajoling a small dog, we ventured around town to the Public Library, where we found an extremely uncomfortable wooden bench outside the library in the shade, for which Mary Ellen asked me if I wanted my camping chair instead?

Having drug Mwah to said locale, and now seated with Thy Pixolator atop my lap, her phone rang, with Les Schwab saying they were ready to inspect our "Eh-Team" Van, which we call it, since the 1991 Dodge Camper van closely resembles the one from TV fame, albeit I'm certainly NO Mr. T! Whilst ours enjoys travelin' Up North Eh! And you can figure out the rest.

Although I've previously been informed that some clever Chap driving a red Dodge Camper van in Oh KanaDuh' has already cleverly taken this personalized license plate name...

As Mary Ellen departed, Pixie and I were serenaded by the continuous traffic drone upon what's called the Honorary Kasey Kahne Drive, which is actually Enumclaw's 1st Street, but has been renamed in honour of its local driver having  made it to the B-I-G' TIME! Y'all know, as in 'RASSCAR; SIGH!

For which every time I hear Kasey Kahne's name, I always think of good 'Ol Awntie Harriet, who was his Numero Uno Fan and would squeal in delight every time I told her he'd won again...

And with Mary Ellen being gone so long, I mused reluctantly to Thy Pixolator, it's NOT looking good Pixie, and I hope we're not gonna be spending the night in Enumclaw!

- Les Schwab closed for the night promptly at 6PM, as Mary Ellen first telephoned Mwah to say it wasn't good! Informing me that we had a broken upper control arm, having returned to the library with her camper van parked inside on the lift.

As the mechanic was so worried about it, he wouldn't even back it out of the shop, with Mary ELLEN grabbing some of our belongings whilst the mechanic told us we could stay overnight at the hotel across the street from the Library, since they're closing and the part would need to be ordered.

Unfortunately it was the weekend of the Highland Games + another musak' Festival, actually the 10th Annual Rotary Street Festival. ARSE-Sumedly replete with requisite Beer Garden? Since there was a continuous throbbing 'O noise coming from a stage with multiple live performers...

Having listened to a So-So rendition of a Led Zeppelin song whilst seated in my trusty camping chair with thy Pixolator perched upon Thy lap, awaiting Mary Ellen's return. As traffic continued to roar by us on Kasey Kahne Boulevard.

As can't remember what Zeppelin song it was? But I'll go with Black Dog since Pixie & I Rocked out to I-T!

VIDEO: Black Dog

Mary Ellen ran across the street to the hotel to inquire about rooms for the night, joking 'bout how we could spend Saturday at the Highland Games watching them toss logs around; Hya!

Which was a pretty good guess upon my part, since I'm told it was the Caber Toss she was talking about, which is indeed a Scottish form of tossing wooden objects...

VIDEO: Caber Toss

Returning with some local pie; Hmm? This was certainly turning somewhat into a lost episode of Twin Peaks! She told me that every single hotel in town was booked, but there might be a single room cancellation, but he couldn't give it to us until 9PM, which was nearly three hours away.

And that was without even knowing if they'd accept our Puppy dog? Whilst trying to get a quote for a Taxicab was quite entertaining, since I didn't know what county we're in, and the lady Mary ELLEN asked said; What's the name of the library you're at after she'd told her we're at the Enumclaw Public Library...

After sitting there for nearly an hour and-a-half listening to traffic rumble by on Kasey Kahne Drive, and with no guarantee of a room, we elected to take a cab from Enumclaw to Tacoma, which took another hour's wait for our cab to arrive; CRIKEYS! And then approx. 50mins later, we arrived home for the evening!

The next day the van was ready to roll at 4PM (Sat) after having the broken upper control arm replaced! Which is part of the suspension that holds the wheel on, so it's kinda important! As ours was the original, and had two massive cracks which were getting ready to meet in the center; Aye Karumba!

Thus, we resumed our trek to Mt Rainier that we'd reluctantly began the prior day, since typically the mountain's Ah-wash in people, especially during summer, already knowing that both of Mount Rainier's main areas Paradise & Sunrise's parking lots were completely full - after Mary Ellen had checked them out Friday morning at 9AM via the webcam; SHEISA!

And the State Park's campground was full when we arrived Saturday evening, so we set up camp on a highly traveled logging road & were serenaded by the sounds of Yeahoos' firing off multiple rounds of "full Metal Jacket" ammo' from several different weapons, even in the dark! H-U-H?

Which for reasons unknown, made me reminisce 'bout Jeff "You May be a Redneck!" Foxworthy's skit 'bout blowing up Mama's propane tank after rollin' down the Caddy's window and firing his Huntin' rifle from the Back Seat...

Sunday morning we finally made it to Sunrise, which had the worst traffic ever! As won't bore Y'all with the litanies 'O sitting in traffic, Jackarses in Sports Cars cutting in front of us - apparently needing to use the bathroom real bad! And the Toll Booth shutting down for lunch and reducing Park admittance to one lane.

Although this was the first time ever that I've witnessed a Park Ranger actually directing us where to park, wanting everyone to scoot in a little further, kind of like parking in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway infield. Although don't think the Parking Attendants, nee Yellow Shirts yell at Yuhs NOT to park on the flowers!

And what can I say about this wondrous mountain? Other than I could still actually S-E-E part of IT! As I'd learn afterwards from Timothy Egan's The Big Burn book that Gifford Pinchot National Forest was dedicated to him by his widow in 1949.

And it was funny hearing Mary Ellen trying to mentally work out when we'd need to leave so I could possibly catch the re-airing of the Mid-Ohio IndyCar race, which I believe was re-aired Sunday afternoon on "Peacock-lite," nee NBCSN. Simply telling her I didn't care about the  race which most likely would be another boring procession of follow-the-leader? Not to mention I wasn't in any hurry to go home!

After watching the Toronto race, which wasn't exactly spellbinding, it was kind of nice going a whole month without watching; Err listening to any IndyCar races! Since after all, we'll need to steel ourselves for another STUPENDOUS Off-season, eh?

Although even funnier yet was that Seattle was in the midst of a HEAT Advisory with Red Flag warning! Whilst Pocono was being Rained Out...

As we meandered our ways back to Tacoma, we once again passed thru Enumclaw, which although I cannot find any pertinent information over the name change of First Street, other than it occurred in 2005? And there was even a Kasey Kahne Day held, complete with 5k run, all that pops-up on the Intrawoods' is links to the Kasey Kahne Store situated in Enumclaw.

Although think I briefly ran across some dribble on the City's website over a Logging Day? Or at least something commemorating all of the fallen loggers, subsequently learning about some bronze statue glorifying the logging industry and all the Loggers who denuded the forest by clear cutting the landscape, which surely would have Gifford Pinchot turning over in his grave!

And that's without even broaching the topic of the Oso Mudslide which killed 43 people due to rampant clear cutting!

Or reading a great 'lil book titled The Worst Hard Time, also by Timothy Egan regarding the Dust Bowl era, another man made catastrophe...

"Humans should Never take More out of the Earth than They Can Put Back in..."
Gifford Pinchot