Travels and Observations of Southwest Washington State

Observations from a recent drive-through on back roads of Southwest Washington State:

Huge lawns! Whether a big or small house, rich or poor; vast beautiful lawns and clusters of color-blasting rhododendrons. It must take hours to mow one of those lawns and you definitely need a riding lawn mower.

Derelict Boats! Mossy, fungus-stained boats of all sizes and types. River boats, surf boats, ocean-going fishing boats. They’re stashed everywhere; behind barns, in front and back yards, next to roads with “For Sale” signs on them. Boats tucked away in likely and unlikely corners, near and far away from water. Tens of thousands of derelict boats that look beyond redemption, scattered over the landscape. I took it as a warning to never, ever buy a boat as this would be its likely fate (at least at my hands).

No goddamn mega-mansions! Some nice houses, but no arrogant mansions cluttering up the landscape, bragging from some hilltop.

At the other end of the housing spectrum, there’s a lot of houses that are hard to believe still harbor human inhabitants. I’m talking about houses, single and double-wide trailers that look like something out of a Stephen King novel. Dim, dark, somber looking dwellings choked by weeds and grass, sagging roofs covered with cones and debris from towering conifers and maples, clumps of moss and fungus coating the siding, ragged shreds of old paint curling away from the walls. And yet you’ll see one or more vehicles parked outside, maybe some smoke drifting out of a chimney, dim orange light in a window, or a person walking across a pasture out back. It must be infinitely depressing living in such an environment. I can’t speculate on why or how people come to live like that. I’m sure there’s some sad stories there.

On a brighter note, the flora of Southwest Washington is vigorous and green, the waterways beautiful in their verdant lushness.

That concludes my observations from a brief drive through that strange land.

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