Tour de Tums
Today, I had all classes canceled; Taft Day, Nat Brown Day, maybe it was Rosh Hashana, I don’t remember. Anyway, Wonderwoman’s best friend has been visiting and is going back to Arizone soon, so I wanted to give her a good Eastern Washington tour first. My Tumtumian homies showed up around noon. Bubbles asked if I could give’m a haircut first, as per our tradition, so I did it quick and we hit the road for Tum Tum. We sat at Bubble’s place for a while and he hadn’t had a drink in nearly 2 days, so he was overflowing with weird local stories.
The lake was drained for winter cleaning, and all the docks were hanging out in mid air, 40 feet from the winter waterline. As Tumtumian tradition dictates, there were old neighbors driving on the newly exposed lakebottom. It’s a good time to dig riverclams, but not from a car or tractor. Every year someone drives out there, and every time they get stuck. So Me, Seamus, Bubbles, my old farmer neighbors, Scott and Kerry (with their superfunctional but oddly quiet teenage farmlabor) and an old guy I hardly recognized, all got out there with shovels, chains, prybars and a truck, trying to get Scott and Kerry’s little tractor out of the lake mud. Wonderwoman’s friend Theresa yawned a bit, but seemed otherwise impressed. The truck we were pulling with sank in a few times, but not permanently. The old lakebottom tires we used to link the bits of chain together snapped a few times, and hilarity ensued. The tiny tractor was eventually pulled back to the docks amid cheers. I hardly got muddy at all, and got to say “hi”to my old neighbors. Theresa yawned a bit, but seemed otherwise impressed.
We went to the damn Overlook, and looked at LongLake Dam. It was built a few years after 1900, and was the world’s tallest cement structure at the time. We drove out to the Wellpinit Res, while me and Seamus and Bubbles all told Theresa all the weird local legends about the Superfun site and yellowcake uranium mine. We saw the explosives outlet/tobacco place, and enjoyed the jerky and free coffee. Theresa yawned a bit, but seemed otherwise impressed. We saw the Ghost Church, and took pics of the strange idols, and Stations of The Cross with pigeon nests in them. Theresa got to use the bathroom in a real hermitshack, and displayed nerves of steel.
We took a shortcut back, through Rail Canyon, Nigger Mountain, and Scott’s Valley, where a huge crowd of deer leaped majestically across the misty fields, in front of the beanfields and aspens. We didn’t take any deer, but I’m glad our foreign friend got to see so much authentic local flavor.