I’m back home and finally can finish out the happenings of the tail end of my trip…

*flashback music*

After my last post I boarded the Ferry To Keystone to get to Whidbey Island.  I’d never done this “drive your car onto a boat thing” before, so I was a little anxious.  Of course they put me next to a huge gasoline truck which just added to the fun.  I’m thinking to myself, “great this will go two ways – blow up or drown to death, awesome….”

They turn all the lights out on the boat.  So there I am sitting in darkness chugging along to the next port.  I start to prepare myself.  Roll down the windows, take off the jacket, get backpack ready to evac if she starts to go under, and listen to music.  We get to the unloading point and I go to turn on my car – click click click – Oh wonderful. I’m the second one in line to get off and my car won’t start.  Suffice to say, I needed a jump.  They push me out of the way and I’m just cracking up at my luck.  I get some weird looks from the crew.  The little jumper box they had was dead so they had to get this converted push cart device with a carefully engineered tire strapped to the front to push me out to the garage where they have the big jumper.

Once things got going I drove up out of Whidbey to Fidalgo Island.  I get a room in Anacortes and head on over to Burlington to see Saw V at the movie theater there.  I go straight to bed after so I can catch the early ferry to Friday Harbor.

Friday Harbor is on what I believe is the biggest island of the San Juans, San Juan island  (go figure).  The ride there took a little over an hour.  Now that I was educated on the Washington Ferry system and how it worked, I felt much better about using it again.  I forgot to charge my camera battery so I was only able to take one picture on the ride there.  It was pretty awesome cruising about and seeing all the other boats out in the water.  The sun was out and bright and there was hardly a cloud in the sky.  There I was, cruising the shores of the San Juan islands just as I intended to do.

My destination today was on the north end of San Juan island.  There is a mausoleum there built by John McMillan (who founded the Roche Harbor Lime and Cement Company where Roche Harbor resort is currently) to honor his family.  So what is the big deal about a guy building a fancy tomb for his family? This guy was deep in the Masonic order.  Which meant this was going to be a very significant site.  The Masons were involved in its construction and that had me itching to see it.

I’ve never been aware that something I was looking at was constructed by Masons, so this was very important.  Everything about the site would have significance.  The number of steps, pillars, directions, any symbolism or imagery carved into the stone would have meaning to the order and no one else.  It did not disappoint.

I had to hike past a very old grave yard with graves on it older then the founding year of Friday Harbor (1909).  Late nineteenth and early twenty century were most of the dates on the tomb stones.  Lots of children were buried here as well, which was a little unsettling to say the least.  There are pictures of this that will be uploaded to the gallery when I’m done here.

About a hair under half a mile I would guess was the total trek to the Mausoleum itself.  Coming up on it was intense and I was alone.  After crossing the rusty moss covered gateway that said, “After Glow Vista” in the wrought iron, I came upon the steps to the site.  The pillars all had indentations in the tops of them – no doubt for holding oils to burn or plants.  When I got to the top of stairs I stopped at the last one that had gathered water in it.  I’m not a religious man but I figured its only respectful to anoint myself and cross on the way in.  Don’t want to upset the dead.

I was preparing myself to feel an intense energy when I got in the circle but I didn’t.  It was very peaceful, there was nothing to fear here.  A stone table with stone chairs around it were at the center.  Six stone chairs sat around the table, each with an inscription of whose remains they housed.  The structure had 7 columns but one was broken in half (on purpose).  It was all significant, down to the smallest details.  Masons don’t build things for nothing.  Here is a link to the local chapters info on the site


I spent a while there looking at every inch of the place.  I was hoping of course to solve some great mystery and put together a peice of the Masons best kept secret.  I got out some parchment and started to connect the dots of the columns in 7 and 6 point configurations … I didn’t come up with squat.  It was clean.

I drove back to Friday Harbor and poked around there and took some pictures with my lightly charged camera battery from my car inverter.  I like Friday Harbor.  It is like Mayberry Island.  Almost every damn house had a white picket fence and there were kids all over.  I had lunch and caught the Ferry back to Anacortes.

I wanted to just drive it straight through last night and sleep all day today but I never would have made it.  I calculated I could be in Ashland Oregon by 3 or 4 in the morning and that was good enough for me.  I stayed in Ashland and just didn’t have the energy to enjoy it when I woke up.  I was way to tired and strung out on caffeine, so I drove the last 4 hours home this afternoon.  Ashland would make a better weekend trip anyway since its so close.

And that is that. 🙂

It was a great road trip and aside from some quirks I had a jolly fun time.  I really enjoyed  the fact that I would be exploring something new everyday.  We all sit at home so much and “make do” with the same sights, sounds, and places we have known for years.  I can’t stress enough how much of a benefit it is to break that cycle.  Getting out of your bubble and actually understanding there is a lot of world out there (as opposed to just saying it) is of vital importance to us all.

Thanks to everyone who kept up with things and commented.  It really kept me going knowing that I’d be able to share things with more than just myself.  I’m assuming you all won’t be checking my blog everyday from this point forward, but do check in sometimes.  I have a hodgepodge of things that I write about from time to time.  In fact there is a Horror Story contest I’ll be entering this month and I’ll be sure to post it here.  Its due by Friday so I better get to work.

ps. 1 draft and a read through is all I did.  Forgive the errors I’m way to tired. 🙂

pps. Gallery will be updated soon.

October 26th, 2008

Posted In: Personal, zEverything


Greetings all.  I’m in Port Townsend, WA poking around until my Ferry leaves at 6:45pm.  It is my intention to go to Anacortes this evening and catch a very early Ferry to Friday Harbor in the San Juan Islands.

Port Townsend is the first place I feel like I would want to live.  Its great here.  The community is geared toward artists and holistic people.  Walking around a downtown area I found a shop for writers… it  was quite amazing.  I spoke with the owner Ana for a while.  It was very refreshing to talk to people that are as excited about the craft as I can be.  I went into the Tyler Street coffee house and had a few cups of coffee while I decided what to do.

They actually have a loft in this wine store I’m perched in and it is called, “The Artist Loft.”  Extremely peaceful here and relaxing.  I wasn’t in the mood for any city excursions like Seattle, I wanted to keep it simple and stick to the small port towns.

October 24th, 2008

Posted In: Personal, zEverything

One Comment

I finally found the book store and Bella Italia.  It only took me about 10 tries.  For some reason I just kept not seeing it.  Anyway, those pictures are uploading to the gallery as I type this.  I plan to have dinner at Bella Italia tonight and I went into the book store and purchased The Kite Runner. The FABS have already read it but the Book club that does not have a name yet is reading it as the next book.

I tried to get a picture of the house that the Cullen house was based on but that shop keeper wasn’t lying.  A dog came flying out and there was a huge tree in front of it.  Then some shady people started to creep out the woodwork.  So I faked a turn around but wasn’t able to get a picture, just a glimpse of it from the side as I came down the drive.  Still it wasn’t anything we imagine it to be, but I can imagine a Real estate Ad with no picture and just a description being the foundation for what we see the Cullen house as.

I was able to get a copy of the Forks Forum from Bella’s birthday aka. Stephenie Meyer Day and you are all welcome to read it.

Final Thoughts on Forks and Twilight

Forks was the friendliest place ever.  Everyone I talked to and the establishments are all behind Twilight.  For a struggling logging town this is the best thing that has happened to them in a long time.  When I was taking the picture of the book store a kid rode passed me and made a remark, “Why are you taking a picture of a bookstore?” I smiled as he rode away.  I thought to myself, “in two months this whole region is going to understand why I am taking a picture of this store.”

It is so very rare that fans of fiction ever get to have something physical to see.  Most of the settings all take place within ones own head.  The worlds are 100% left to the imagination and you create all of it from the authors words.  Once I found out Forks was a real place I probably spent a good 3 days researching it, reading about it, and matching it up with Twilight.  This place was REAL.  Forks, La Push and Port Angeles – where so much of the story took place was within my grasp – to walk in the footsteps of characters I had experienced so much with.  It takes the imagination to levels that it hardly ever gets to go.

All of us dream of experiencing things that we just aren’t sure will be possible.  If I could be a Vampire Wizard Heir to the throne of Gondor believe me I would.  I’ll never say something doesn’t exist or that something isn’t possible.  To do that stomps on the dreams of the millions of people and children that believe in Vampires, Santa Claus, the tooth fairy, and magical creatures of all kinds.  It takes some real pompous egotism to do that and I won’t.  I won’t because I understand how important these things are to people.  People weave the very essences of fantasy into their own soul.  “Perception is Reality” :p … I feel very strongly about this sort of thing and I’ll do everything I can to make sure people keep on having dreams and fantasy.  Ever since I started to write my book (which is almost complete) I have had one sentiment in mind: “I don’t care if it flops on its face and I never write again.  I don’t care if everyone in the world hates it.  If one day, some kid down on his luck finds my book and it gives him some escape from life that he has been longing for… then it was worth every second I spent writing it.”

Read my “Why Harry Potter is important to me”.

Even though Canada gave me the boot (har har “aboot”), going all the way up here to see Forks was totally worth the effort.

Well geez Danny, so what now? Well! you guys totally delivered with the suggestions (as you did with the whole trip) and I’m formulating a new plan as I write this.  My map is right here and its time to get to work.  I should have a plan before the night is out!

October 23rd, 2008

Posted In: Personal, zEverything


Years ago I was habitually abusing over the counter medications.  All uppers, downers, and psychedelic drugs you can obtain by walking into any store.  You just just have to know what to get or what to extract.  Naturally a habit like that will get pretty costly.  Like any other junky I started stealing and I got pretty good at it.  For years I was able to obtain thousands of dollars worth of medications.  When I would visit a new town or a new place I was more concerned with its Pharmacies and Drug stores then any attractions.  It became a game almost.  Me against them.

About 5 years ago the DEA cracked down on a lot of things and you had to start showing ID, limiting the amounts of things you could purchase, and you couldn’t buy directly from chemical suppliers anymore.  I actually went liget for a while and stopped stealing but after the DEA shut down all the chemical suppliers things were back to the old way.  Masquerading as the chemistry Department from (insert college here) for botanical experiments wasn’t going to work anymore.  Back to breaking the law.

Then I moved to Chico.  Oh boy! A new playground for me.  I was in Chico for about 4 months and then it happened.  I picked up about 40 bucks worth of product at the Raley’s on East Ave.  As I walked out the door someone grabbed my arm and flashed a badge.  Busted… great… Petty Theft Misdemeanor, printed, booked, mugshots, the whole nine yards.  (yes I had to resist the Tator Salad urge)

Here is a link to my case


So what does this have to do with my trip?  You can probably guess.  I was denied my entry into Canada because of this infraction.  Here is the excerpt from the Canadian Immigration act that covers this.

“(2) No immigrant and, except as provided in subsection (3), no visitor shall be granted admission if the immigrant or visitor is a member of any of the following classes: (a) persons who have been convicted in Canada of an indictable offence, or of an offence for which the offender may be prosecuted by indictment or for which the offender is punishable on summary conviction, that may be punishable under any Act of Parliament by a maximum term of imprisonment of less than ten years, other than an offence designated as a contravention under the Contraventions Act; (a.1) persons who there are reasonable grounds to believe (i) have been convicted outside Canada of an offence that, if committed in Canada, would constitute an offence that may be punishable by way of indictment under any Act of Parliament by a maximum term of imprisonment of less than ten years, or (ii) have committed outside Canada an act or omission that constitutes an offence under the laws of the place where the act or omission occurred and that, if committed in Canada, would constitute an offence that may be punishable by way of indictment under any Act of Parliament by a maximum term of imprisonment of less than ten years, except persons who have satisfied the Minister that they have rehabilitated themselves and that at least five years have elapsed since the expiration of any sentence imposed for the offence or since the commission of the act or omission, as the case may be;”

Basically, if 10 years haven’t gone by or I didn’t apply for my certification of rehabilitation “do not pass go and do not collect 200 dollars.”  You can imagine how it felt.  Escorted back onto the Ferry, signing my retraction of application to enter Canada – it all brought me back to my arraignment day.  Sitting in a court room with the scum of society and I was one of them.  It wasn’t who I wanted to be, but I can’t deny what I did.  I just wasn’t prepared for that skeleton to be brought out of the closet.  Not like this anyway.

After I got back to the good ole USA – I delt with it like any American.  I found a bar, ordered a double Bushmills, a beer, slammed them both and walked out.  I needed to figure out what to do.  It took a lot to fight the inner urges to do something wreckless and stupid.  I got my head on straight and got a hotel room.  Found the nearest eatery/bar and drank my face off.  So now that I’m sufficiently hungover and watching the Golden Girls I have to figure out my next move.  Not quite sure what I want to do yet.  I’m not upset anymore, it is what it is.  So now you know 🙂

ps. I’m taking a nap, suggestions are welcome for what I should do :p

October 23rd, 2008

Posted In: Personal, zEverything


Alright Internet I have a lot in my head right now so I’m just going to vomit it out as it comes.  I spent a good hour talking to a local and this person gave me a LOT of info that I’m not even sure the public is supposed to know.  So for any press people or Twilight nuts that get to this – This is all hear say and NOTHING is official from my  site.  Fan fiction, as far as you people are concerned. – Danny Machal

So in June of next year there is going to be almost a full weeks worth of Twilight celebrations (around Edwards birthday I think).  Speakers, events, and a whole Twilight party in the town of Forks.  It is going to be nuts.  They are even having volleyball tournaments.  The person that is organizing the event is trying to figure out names for the teams.  The email with the list of names was printed out for me and given to me.  They include things like, “Cunning Cullens, Angela’s Angels, Vicious Volutri, Shape Shifters…” and it goes on.  It is a long list here.  As far as I know it is being distributed to Forks merchants and town officials to vote on.  Not sure, all the planning for this is in its infancy at this time but it is dead set on happening.  The author I don’t think will be here but some publisher people will, and other important players in Twilight’s success.  It will be almost like a Twilight CONVENTION! Twilight CON! hehehe.

The Cullen houses in Forks – The Real story.

Currently the house they are using as the Cullen house is really a B and B.  I didn’t take an official picture of it because its not what I imagined the house to be like.  It is the location of the mail box, and the white board with Esme’s messages to Twilighter’s.  Before it was a B and B this house was owned by a doctor that worked here in Forks and DID have an adopted son.  However it is not that house Stephenie wrote about.  Spooky huh? :p

The real house that Stephenie wrote about she found in an ad online in the Forks paper here.  The actual house description she modeled the Cullens place after is REAL and I have in my possession (after much begging) a hand drawn map to its location 13 miles out of town.  (no I will not tell ANYONE the location – as people aren’t really supposed to be bothering them and they have a large dog)  Basically hardly anyone knows about this place.  It is an old Victorian house built in the late 1800’s.  This will be the real Cullen’s place.  The person didn’t even have a picture of it but I’m going to get one if it kills me.  I promised them I would send it.

This is a small town, a very small town.  When Stephanie came to Forks she went to the local church and was quite excited to meet an old woman that GREW up in the house Stephanie used in her descriptions in the book.  Apparently she was pretty damn dead on.

The Swan House –

The cabinets in the Swan house match the description in the book.  The family that lives there does have a teenage daughter that lives upstairs and there is a bathroom up there as well.  🙂

Twilight and the Press –

The local paper here is holding back issues of the paper from Bella’s birthday.  I’ll be picking one up tomorrow morning.  Forks is going to explode.  Almost every place I go has a guest book to sign.  So this site has been plugged at every establishment I visit (tehee).  November 17th Channel 5 Seattle is going to be running a piece on Forks and Twilight (the town is very excited about this one).  Looks like this is the link to it. http://www.king5.com/eveningmagazine/

The youth of the town have an elitist mentality.  They pick apart the story for its inaccuracies about the area they grew up in.  Where as fans that come here – walk in the world they only dreamed about.  I’m a fan I guess, or I wouldn’t be spending all this time taking pictures and documenting my trip not just for me but for everyone.  I have learned so much more about this then I ever thought I would.  There is new bits and pieces of information EVERYWHERE I turn.

I’m losing daylight here, and I was told to go have dinner in La Push at this place that can see the sunset and I don’t want to miss it.  I was able to get the location of the Baseball field as well, so that is on my list to do in the morning, as well as buzz the tower on the Ole Cullen place.  No Port Angeles tonight it seems.  My ferry leaves at 2pm so there is much to do before then.

Cheers Internet.

October 21st, 2008

Posted In: Personal, zEverything


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