I’m ensconced in Orting, WA. with my daughter, Erin, her husband, Bob, grandson Elias and my wife Mariam. It’s one big happy family. We’ve spent only one full day here and already I’ve managed to get caught in a hailstorm while walking across a Safeway parking lot. We weren’t out in the Plains, facing the desolation while hearing the pelting of the pea-sized hail blast against the Aluminum siding of the R-Pod. No, I was in a grocery store parking lot. The only drama was that I was without my cell phone and was separated from Erin, Elias and my wife. How did I deal with such an edgy experience? Well, I trotted to the entrance of Safeway that adjoined the Starbucks. I did what all semi-lost men do…I bought the local paper and ordered a Chai Tea Latte and settled in, waiting to be rescued by my wife. Sure as the snow on Rainier, she had made it back to the car at Erin’s house and returned to get me. I even got a new tea mug out of the deal. It was on the Starbucks rack where I drank the Latte and it begged to come back to the East Coast with me on our return trip. As I reflect on the final drive to get here two days ago, I recall seeing something that made me think those Woody Guthrie thoughts about whose land this really is. Passing through western Montana and into eastern Idaho, I saw coal trains that seemed to stretch from there to Detroit. It would easily take me about 45 minutes to walk the length of these sinuous open cars filled with black chunks of black gold. And, this was all strip-mined to make matters even worse. I am a firm believer that there is no such thing as “clean” or “green” coal. It’s a lie put out there by the Energy Industry to rape what’s left of our resources and get as much money out of pubic lands as they can. My simple question is this: Who is thinking of the future? The native americans had it right. They took the long view and thought about what was to be left for their grandchildren’s grandchildren. We tend to think about our next credit card purchase. The bill has to be paid in the end, one way or another. My educated guess is that this coal is from leased Federal Lands. And I can’t get past the gate of Yellowstone National Park to watch Old Faithful. I want my National Parks back!
You should make a trip over to Leavenworth Wa. and meet the Gibbs family of organic farmers. Most of the kids are named after the Guthrie’s. Super cool, earth friendly family.
Wish I was going that way…but who knows?