I’m back home and finally can finish out the happenings of the tail end of my trip…
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.
Danny Machal October 26th, 2008