Thursday, July 11, 2002

Welcome to Cascadia

I remember thinking as I got in my car to drive home, “’Welcome to Cascadia,’ my ass.” There’s something about some people that, despite their saying all the right things and going through the proper motions, just leave a bad feeling. Sometimes it’s just plain phoniness and other times, like with Bob, it seemed like thinly masked malevolence under a veneer of politeness. From the safe location behind one’s computer that thin veneer can disappear. Later the next week, Soo showed me the online “Las Piedras Island Guestbook.” See excerpts below for the assortment of “welcomes” the natives have for Californians. I found the second entry to be particularly curious. It's interesting that the vitriol abated noticeably in more recent passages. I’m told that’s because there’s mostly out of state residents here on the island now, very few “locals” are left.

I have been gone with the army (Enlisted Infantryman.) for thirteen years and have just returned. The traffic is unbearable, I can't believe how overpopulated the place has become. The island seems to be getting overdeveloped and no longer seems to have that quiet rustic quality of old. My family has been here 4 generations now. My grandfather purchased the property around the late thirties after working out here for a couple years (He was from Ballard, now a part of Seattle.). Now that I have come into the property I have found the taxes extremely high (I mean unbelieveably.). Also the cost of living up here has multiplied manyfold of what it once was, not to mention the cost of petrol which is three times that of the Southeast. But at least one thing hasn't changed and that is the lukewarm summers with the spotty rains and the cold wet winters with the high winds, slushy snow, and continous rain (I have seen it rain for over three months straight without it ever letting up and that is no lie.).As a matter of fact the University of Washington has classified a type of depression that emanates from rainy wheather. Maybe I'm wrong but the bad luck with Microsoft and Boeing (To name a few.) may cause a decrease in growth which would be most welcome. The sad thing is that I've been so disappointed with what has become of my home that I am thinking of moving to Idaho, but I'm sure that the Idahoans are having a tough time with growth of thier own. Last time I went through there about eight years ago the place was booming and people were not to happy about it (Except for the builders.). Well you may believe everything good said about this place, it was fairly nice about thirteen years ago (If you don't mind the wheather.) but things change. I am also saddened by the snottiness of many of the people here now but of course most of the people are not even from here anymore (and I mean from Washington state.). As a matter of fact it seems like these people coming up here are trying to turn Washington into another California (We all know what a disaster that place is.) and the thing I can't figure out is that they evidently came here to get away from that mess (Or try to make a buck off of poor unsuspecting Washingtonians.). It takes a bunch of liberal idiots to screw up a good thing and that is also happening up here. Well I guess I'll get off my soap box but I'm here to tell you, honestly, this place isn't what it used to be, it's big city now, withall the violence and crookedness you could ask for. Oh yeah, I also forgot to mention the siesmic activity (Earthquakes- were all still expecting the "Big One".) As well as our lovely Volcanoes (You may have heard about Mount Saint Hellens or whats left of it- yes that was here- but what you may not know is that there are many more and Mount Rainier is the largest and closest and is still very active and just biding it's time for the "Big-Blow".). We also have the regular flooding (Did I mention it rains a lot more than a lot.), severe wind storms (It gets really cold without power for weeks- yup, all those nice trees falling wreak havoc with the powerlines and roads.), blizzards, Ice storms, Acts of God,and etcetera. Yes, nowhere is perfect and I think that I will move there to get away from all the idiots of the world. I hear that Nevada is a nice rural place and also the safest place in the U.S. to live, probably because a lot of it is nowhere, but nowhere can be nice. I could actually do some shooting without having to put up with liberal idiots (Did I mention that I hate liberals? Its because they have a habit of liberally trying to take away all your rights and money and try to make everyplace just like Los Angeles and Washington D.C. to name a few places I never want to be in again. Well enough said, I will now shake my head in disgust then lower it in sadness and walk away.

Okay, I am finally out of jail and if you Max Unglohd IV, or whatever you call yourself there now are still living there or haven't been shot or eased into the murky depths of Puget Sound with tightly bound ankles and appropriate lead or concrete gravity activated Davey Jones depths conveyance mechanism, if you haven't, well let me tell you, buddy,that you owe me bigger than big. After your brilliant plan failed. After we dug that hole that tunnelled into the place. After doing that job on that sub's reactor core. AND after you turning me in to take the heat off dear sweet you.
Well, Las Piedras Island is a very wet place, but when the sun shines it makes it worthwhile. Unless your'e in the federal pen in Colorado. So when I find you, it won't be on a sunny day. Wait for the rain. And wait for more rain. And when you grow tired of waiting, when you no longer believe that I will....... I will!!!

I have lived in Lakewood, Wa since 1959 and have never been on the island. Sounds like it may sink soon. Too many people, not only on Las Piedras but, all over Seattle/Tacoma. Stay in California......

hi i grewup on san pedro islnad from 1943-1960
i've seen property skyrocket on the island
a poor man can't afford to live there no more
i've seen for ward go from the naval base to a millionaires paradies.
my family is buried in the island.
i have 55acres for sale to any millionaire that would like to but it
my grandparents bought it in 1933 for $1,500.
i will sell it to ne one for 16 million dollars
half is waterfront
sincerely yours
mr rose
lyle p rose
- Thursday, April 29, 1999 at 23:43:26 (PDT
Welcome to Las Piedras Island , Now Leave.
Bobby Hull
- Sunday, January 31, 1999 at 10:37:11 (PST)
I am back to Idaho! Orofino baby! This place stinks!
Clint White
Idaho, ID - Wednesday, August 07, 2002 at 23:18:41 (PDT)
I agree that Las Piedras is a pretty place... to visit. After living there for 16 years however, i must say that all the rich, self-righteous snots that have taken over, have made the island an ugly, ugly place. Not the land mind you, i'm talking about the attitude of the place. All the lawsuits and constant bickering about pointless things make Las Piedras an enormous ball of stress. Adults are rude to children and people find some comfort in driving 15 miles below the speed limit. No wonder your highschool age drug use is shooting through the roof. Islanders need to give themselves an attitude check and a wind-down, then maybe it would be a nice place to live.
(an oppinion from one of us that is not blessed with a fancy house and millions of dollars to talk with.)
I feel more than blessed to be away... in a community of Tacoma no less, and loving it. I find it strange that in a large city like Tacoma (where very few are wealthy compared to the population as a whole) everyone is kind and polite. Unlike your Island.
Do an attitude check.
The trees however, are very kind to the eyes.
Fircrest, WA - Friday, May 31, 2002 at 02:57:37 (PDT)
POULSBO, WA - Thursday, April 11, 2002 at 14:24:48 (PDT)
I have mixed feelings about Las Piedras Island. My brother was born there, I was born in Seattle, the family moved to Utah when I was too young to remember. I do remember spending every summer with my grandmother, Margaret Manning, out on Battle Point. That was indeed heaven. What really hurt was the fact that my grandmother was driven to sell her home due to the insane property taxes. Her father was a ferry boat captain on the sound; my grandmother and grandfather built the road and the beach-front house before World War II. They helped create the golf club that cannot be joined now without the income of a small European GNP.
Communicating with others who are leaving Las Piedras, in disgust, the consensus seems to be that money has ruined the Island. The island is almost as nice as it used to be, if you ignore the hundreds of new houses going up all the time, it’s just that there is a new breed of islander, more suited to the blue blood New England snobs than a semi-rural bit of paradise.
It really saddens me.
Liddy Gordon
Tucson, AZ - Wednesday, April 10, 2002 at 12:57:29 (PDT)

Note that these are actual excerpts, cut and pasted directly from the Las Piedras Island online guestbook. “Cascadia,” in case anyone was wondering, is the term used to describe the region around the Cascades, including, of course, parts of Canada. The thinking is that the people in this region have more in common with each other, regardless of nationality, than they do with the rest of their respective countries. I know it sounds strange for Americans to feel an affinity for Canadians, that odd tribe in the Great White North, but this is the thinking.

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