Chatting Around the Campfire: Lake Ozette II

By Duane Miles


Exploring wilderness has an immense fascination to me.


But right alongside wilderness, the evidence of earlier explorers, homesteaders, miners, trappers and the like holds equal allurement. I respect the hardiness of those individuals among other attributes. (Similar words to those above will be seen in a future more extensive article.)


At Jarsted Point near Umbrella Bay along the shore of Lake Ozette in 1960, I got a healthy dose of such fascination.


More on that in a few minutes.

Now, for the rest of the catch-up account from
last week.


Having convinced my hunting partner Bill that closer scrutiny of promising elk activity was prudent, I returned with him to that location. Upon arrival, my camera recorded evidence that a yearling cow had fallen victim to a hungry cougar (later, two more, older victims were found).


At this site, there was undeniable evidence of the presence of a branch antlered bull having been with the departed elk herd. This animal had raked the ground with his head gear while thrashing huckleberry bushes in several places.


Bill and I followed the three-feet wide bulldozer path those elk had left behind in their frightened wake.


Their desire had been to leave that predator far behind, though initially a few cougar tracks were found atop elk hoof prints.


There being about nine hours of daylight left, would Bill and I have a chance to get a good look at the bull in that herd before day’s end?


Find out next week as we now return to Umbrella Bay on Lake Ozette.


As stated last week, both my dad and Pat La Chapelle had a boat. (As you can see, I have here again correctly spelled the La Chapelle name, for Scott McGee — Teresa’s husband — assured me that only one “p” was correct.)


Whereas the Miles family boat had a mere outboard motor, the La Chapelle boat had an inboard motor. This fiberglass-coated craft had a four-cylinder General Motors Co. engine. Pat and another friend, Carl Sinnema, had built this vessel together.


As earlier alluded to, the most appealing feature near our chosen campsite was a display of human fortitude from an era two generations earlier.


Read the rest of this particular account next week.


The lie I told my mother in 1951 at age 8 may not have been necessarily colossal, but one told by my father during that same time certainly fits that category. More about that later.


In the meantime, my family — with the exception of my dad — were housed in a Brinnon cabin on my Grandmother Northup’s property next to the Dosewallips River.


It was shortly after arrival there that Mother instructed my brothers to stay away from the double-bitted axe planted firmly in a chopping block in the nearby woodshed.


That warning didn’t apply to me, but I would certainly have to make sure that Mother didn’t see me when I took an opportunity to use that axe.


For certainly, this was not like God’s only instruction to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:17).


After all, others had not been told to stay away from axes for centuries after the development of metal.


So this was not a fair instruction to a boy who totally understood that an axe was an important tool to mankind. A boy who understood such things would just have to learn what it felt like to make kindling with such a tool, right?


To be continued …

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

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