Road trip

Change of scenery and subject.

Cameras and gear are packed and I am so ready to head off to Eastern Washington. For a week or two. There are a lot of places to photograph. Eastern Washington is one of the world’s leading wheat growing regions. Also apples are a big deal.

The Columbia River flows north to south and then west to the Pacific Ocean. I’ve taken I-84 which runs along the Columbia River. There are several dams on the Columbia River which provide a massive dose of electrical power to the surrounding states.

California would love to get her hands on the Columbia River water. But they might want to rethink that idea. There is a massive Nuclear waste site called Hanford which is right on the Columbia River.

Western states tend to be massive compared to their sister Eastern founding nation states.

The northeastern corner of Washington has a radically different climate from central eastern Washington. This is a wet region with several large lakes and rivers. The mountains have a major influence on the weather.

The U.S. and Canadian boarder is of course nearby once you get into the Colville National forest. Even though we get fairly close to the Canadian boarder  – according to the signs – we have yet to see a single white and green boarder patrol vehicle. In New Mexico and Arizona one sees dozens of boarder patrol cops and there are check points all over. To the point that the nick name for this Mexico / U.S. boarder area is called the Constitution free zone. Native Americans living on reservations next to and near the Mexico are constantly harassed according to Todd Miller author of, Border Patrol Nation: Dispatches from the front Lines of Homeland security.

Other than the ominous signs that if you continue on a road you will be entering a U.S. boarder zone so far I have not seen the same Gestapo show of force that I have witnessed 50 miles north of the Mexican boarder and on American soil. But things are changing and the farmers who depend on migrant workers are bearing the burden of this new hyper Americans only policy.

My relatives who live close to the boarder haven’t heard or seen the ICE or boarder patrol cars. This could change. The boarder patrol stationed in the Port Angeles area like to play cop by putting up road blocks and stopping residents and demanding if the residents are citizens. That really went over well with the local sheriff and locals who were insulted by the U.S. Gestapo. Oh well I guess that the 100 miles boarder zone isn’t a myth.

The U.S. Coast Guard is part of the boarder patrol as well as escorts for Navy ships going and coming from the Pacific Ocean. The coast Guard can and does block and scramble civilian boats GPS when playing escorts for Navy boats. Personal witness here – our GPS was messed with by either the Coast Guard or the Navy. Looking back at our “route” after the fact on the GPS unit although I was steering a straight course – the post Navy encounter showed our route as zig tagging and looping as if we were drunk out of our skulls. Which would never happen – we never drink while under way. That would be stupid. 

Our guess is that the paranoid U.S. Navy and Homeland InSecurity considers all of us suspects and thus they believe any civilian vessel could fire a weapon of some sort. So in case this happens they will prevent harm to their helpless little boats by disabling GPS guided whatever. Thankfully I knowing that all civilians are suspects I kept a watchful eye on my course and the depth sounder. Had I relied on the auto pilot – thanks to the Coast guard -our boat would have beached on a rocky point. Protect and serve – B.S. to that pledge seems to be the modern coast guard attitude.

As others have said – the terrorists have won, game over let’s take the ball home. The U.S. really used to be a nicer place. German POWS were not tortured. We the people are still mostly decent. Something happened, something is broken and I don’t know how to fix what has gone rotten. Perhaps Harry Reid is correct – the Koch Brothers are spending millions spreading their brand of hate. To these brothers – President Raygun was too liberal for them.

Anyway I’m headed east to see how the rest of the state is managing. East is conservative territory in Washington State. So is most of rural Washington. For years there was a “Get US Out of the UN” billboard on the route I traveled. There were also John Birch society signs a long another route. Evidently the Koch Brother’s daddy was somehow involved with the John Birch Society. Right to work laws and the Koch Brothers and John Birch society joined at the hip.

When I started writing this blog post I had no idea this is where I would end up. Do the average Joe blow Republicans realise the are being used? I’m going undercover to find out. So there I did get back to my road trip.


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