Chatting Around the Campfire: Lake Ozette I

By Duane Miles


Before looking along Ozette’s vast shoreline for various accounts to include in this current series it is first essential to explain why it has become necessary to cut short the previous Addressing Tactical Techniques Against Critter Knaves (A.T.T.A.C.K.) series.

Knowing no serious column reader could be duped into believing a simple “neighbor’s dog chewed up a month’s worth of episodes” explanation, I won’t attempt that ruse. Ironically, though, there is a tiny bit of truth to this feeble school boy excuse. For it was not a dog, but rather a wolf at the (back) door recently.


But, before sharing more about that, a few comments about the A.T.T.A.C.K. series are imperative:

1. The possibility of being confronted with an aggressive Olympic Peninsula bear or cougar is rare, except for situation in which these predators are wounded, have young or are pressured by dogs. Nonetheless, it is wise to take precautions as formerly stated in this column. As for wolves or the Sasquatch, encounters of any kind are not worth mentioning currently.


2. Whereas a bear is a possible threat 24/7, there is no evidence that a cougar will attack after dark, even though tracks have revealed their night time meanness to slumberers.


3. Locally, harm from a cougar is greater than from a bear, but the danger of life-threatening injuries rests with a bear attack. These factors take into account all of the proper defensive measures employed for each.


4. Admittedly the previous series was written with the intention of scaring as many people as possible out of the woods so that I could have the backcountry to myself. But this ploy hasn’t worked, for either there are a lot of tourists hiking or this column has very few readers. Whichever, this column has been almost non-existent to readers of late anyway.

Wolf at the door, you ask?


Recent local burglaries have prompted a public outcry for a return to old-fashioned vigilantism, followed by subsequent appeals by law enforcement – in the pages of this very publication – for restraint. That is, trust law enforcement to handle this problem.

Complete justice is twofold.


It contains both an appropriate penalty for all involved in each crime as well as full restitution of the victim.


So, not only does a victim want the robbers – it’s almost always two or more – behind bars for a long time, there is also a desire for an immediate recovery of stolen items or at least equal compensation.


Be sure to ask just a few victims how they feel about this, friends such as Charlie Long, Lonnie Archibald, Rene Davis, Mark Raben and Ray Gardner.


You already know my opinion, but add my comments to that list anyway.


Yes Me!


For upon arriving home from a three-day solo backpacking trip over a month ago, I immediately noticed something amiss.


An attache-style soft case was missing from the end of a couch. Among other important items, it contained hand-written drafts for this column plus over 50 pictures.


I soon discovered the absence of many other items plus a very “dead” deadbolt lock at my back door.


Later, I concluded that as many as seven people were involved in this theft in some way. But only one fall guy has been arrested.


Needless to say, this column has suffered lately.


Therefore, the previously promised episode about Merritt Corbin’s cougar encounter will have to wait until lost information is replaced. The same is true of a Sasquatch story.


With the completion of this boring excuse, let’s now begin the current series.


It was in the summer of 1960, at age 16, that I got my first glimpse of mysterious Lake Ozette.


The occasion was a weekend campout with family. My family included my father, Gerald (Jerry), mother, Florence, older brother, Gary, and younger brother, Ellary. Accompanying us was another Forks family, the LaChapelles.


They had three children in the family, Cheryl, Karen and Teresa. Their parents were Pat and Carol.


To be continued …

May light for your feet guide you on the path of life until we meet again.

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