A Home in Forks, WA

  • Tue Jul 30th, 2019 2:44pm
  • Life

Continued …Feb. 2, 1992

We drive out toward the and the first stop the Makah Fish Hatchery where one of the student’s parents works. I get a tour checking out fish from eggs to breeders. After the tour the mother comes back with a giant steelhead netted out of the runway for me to take home, cleaned and ready for the oven. This is the way to fish.

We head for Shi-Shi and partway down the trail we take a cutoff on Portage Head to check out a WWII bunker. After a short hike, we arrive at a massive concrete structure perched at the edge of Portage Head. It has a sweeping view up and down the coast. Strategic openings on the ocean side of the bunker allowed for guns, likely massive guns able to shoot planes, ships or submarines who might try to invade the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

We continue on the trail to Shi Shi beach on steep switchbacks down to the ocean. The tide is out and we have easy walking heading down to the Point of Arches. We find rusted pieces of ships that wreaked a long time ago as they struggled to make it through storms trying to find the Straight. There are several large wreaks along the Olympic National Park coast. There are modern wreaks of skiffs who for some reason ended up on the beach. Maybe they were pulled from their tether while in the harbor and swept out to sea.

On the way back to the village along a rutted and muddy road, we spot an eagle feeding on a 10 lb. steelhead it had caught. “Turn off the engine and let’s watch it,” they say. The eagle has skills and rips the skin exposing the tasty parts. Everyone likes fresh steelhead.

February 23, 1992, Sunday

Death by Virus

I am close to death and it does not feel very pleasant. Fever, coughing, fatigue, a pounding head, a general distaste for food, boredom and a general feeling that I am alone in this world. My body is a mere speck of cells not strong enough to keep me from going down. This infliction with viruses and bacteria which have overtaken me has been going on for over a week.

Death would be alright. I am close to feeling comfortable about the relief. Of course, if there is hope for new strength I may change my tune.

March 2, 1992, Monday

Who Gave Me the Virus

I am finally beginning to get some strength back after being inflicted with a flu virus that found my body to be its happy home over two weeks ago. I don’t know who passed it to me, it could be any number of students from either Forks, probably the elementary, or Neah Bay.

This ordeal began when I was in Seattle on Thursday, Feb. 13 with a friend who was attending a conference on water law. I didn’t know what water law was and it didn’t sound interesting so I planned to walk around drinking coffee at Pike’s Place Market, maybe intercept a flying fish and running away with it.

Symptoms worsened over the day with a general feeling of apathy, food still did not taste good and I was tired, crying tired. By the time I left Seattle on Friday night for Stevens Pass to do some X-country skiing with the Mountaineers, the symptoms hit harder with a headache pounding the inside of my skull and causing a shrill pain my eyes and I began getting chills.

I left Stevens Pass for home early the next morning, three days early, and drove a long six hours home. I have a fever which was about 101.5 by early evening. I stopped at a grocery store for a thermometer to remove the guesswork and to know if I should go to the hospital to have them submerge me in ice water. I was in a state of fatigue which left me able to do nothing but lie my head on the headrest with one eye closed. Ohh-hhh-hhh-hhh-hhh.

Home, I am home. I recline my seat and take a nap too sick to open the door. Waves of misery. I am getting worse.

I walk in the house to look in the mirror. The reflection is frightening. I see a blanket over my head, red eyelids, red eyes and nose and a pale greenish color. The mirror doesn’t want to see me again.

March 4, 1992

I call my mother. I tell her I am dying. She says I am not dying, I need to go to a Dr. I explained my symptoms step by step. Well, she said, I guess you are dying but the Dr. can help. Okay, I’ll go.