Don’t tell me you forgot the ….

Ok I have to admit it, I forgot to bring toilet paper!  A nice bathroom with a flush toilet was provided by the Kanaskat-Palmer State Park system and it was fairly close to my campsite, tho I didn’t much relish getting dressed in the middle of the cold, dark night to hike over there.  Granted, I had a very comfortable bathroom inside my trailer, but there was this one little thing I had forgotten to bring .. sigh.  So I jumped in my big white truck late in the afternoon of this first full day of camping out in wilderness mountains where I was self-sufficient and hardy and tough and all that baloney, and I drove 25 minutes each way back into the nearest town to buy 4 rolls of toilet paper … sigh.

As long as I was out and about in the truck, I decided to explore the road that led east and into the mountains from the town of Maple Valley (where the toilet paper store was).  It was the Kent-Kangley Road for those of you who want to follow along on a map.  It was just a regular nicely paved, two-lane country road to begin with.  The further east I got, the narrower and less well-maintained the road got, and the older the homes got.  Eventually, the road ended at a small, old community named Selleck.  It didn’t even change to a dirt track; the road simply ended in a circle of homes.

About a mile before Selleck though, the road passed under these majorly huge power transmission lines.   The humming was LOUD underneath them and I didn’t dally.  It did bother me that the land there was being used as horse pasture (look closely at the bottom of the steel power pole on the right and you’ll see two horses).  Those horses surely must be adversely affected by that noise and the electromagnetism and other weirdnesses from those high power transmission lines, particularly since there were two different sizes and voltages of poles/lines (you’ll notice two different types of power poles).

At the far right in the photo above, you’ll notice a rag-tag bunch of travel trailers and cars and trucks.  It was apparent that folks were parked and living there.  I didn’t dally there either.

But I did head on up to the end of the road at Selleck.  Founded in 1908, Selleck was a lumber company town owned by Pacific States Lumber (directed by Frank Selleck).  It was originally reached by the world’s highest railway trestle, 204 feet above the Cedar River.  The mill played a significant role in rebuilding Tokyo after the 1923 Kantō earthquake.  At that time many Japanese workers and their families came to Selleck to work in the mill and much of the lumber was shipped back to Japan.  The lumber company went bankrupt in 1939 and the town declined after that.  A few of the original company-built homes from 1908 remain in use today, but most of the homes that were there on the day I visited were built much more recently.

Reported by some to be haunted, the “schoolhouse” (photo above) in Selleck was originally built to house mill workers, was later enlarged to become a fire station, and enlarged again and remodeled to become an elementary school.  Robert Schaefer purchased the town in the early 1970’s.  I chatted with a fellow on the street who said his aunt and uncle, descendants of Robert Schaefer, still owned most of the town and still lived in this building.  Another uncle was living with them and was “mentally handicapped”, was kept indoors, and often simply stood and stared out the windows all hours of the night.  The man I talked with believed that’s where the reports of a ghost came from.

The fellow I talked with seemed to be a perfectly normal, nice guy, although when I first saw him he was standing at the edge of the street in front of a house and he seemed to be simply staring straight ahead at nothing, not moving his head or his eyes, not looking at me or anything else, no kidding.  Truly, I’m not kidding.  I drove past him once, paused for awhile and wondered about him, then turned the truck around and started past him again to leave and that’s when he moved and came over to my truck and started talking with me.  I did not linger to take more photos.

But I did find some interesting homes to take photos of on my drive back down the road towards the turn-off to my little RV trailer and her temporary home at Kanaskat.

Above, one of the homes along the main road that I liked a great deal.

The photo above does not show the full effect of this oddly shaped and sadly sagging house, but at least you can see that it has a relatively new window, even though the top of the probably perfectly rectangular window doesn’t really fit the framed-out window opening so much.  The pickup truck parked in the shrubbery was missing part of the front grille.  Another vehicle on the property had no wheels or tires and was just sitting on dirt, not even blocked up.  I know folks can have tough times and I wished these people happiness and peace.

A bit further down the road there was this monstrous and ugly (to me) conglomeration of buildings and vehicles with a warning sign on the tall, offensive, and officious brick wall of a fence.  On the other hand, I supposed that’s exactly the message they wanted to deliver .. you don’t want to come in here, stay out!  No problem, the place wasn’t at all attractive.  It might have been expensive to build, but this house certainly didn’t fit the forest and mountain ambiance that made the drive along this country road so pleasant and relaxing.

And this place was just fun!  The house (out of the picture, to the left) was a nicely kept regular sort of farm-ish house.  Obviously, someone who lived here had a hobby of collecting all manner of signs.  The sign at the top/front of the small barn was a Denny’s sign.  I’d bet the owners had stories to tell!

And further down the road yet, this pretty fellow was grazing peacefully.

Finally, after a fun afternoon drive, I arrived back at my campsite at Kanaskat State Park and backed in, right in front of my trailer, with my little package of toilet paper.

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