A mythic road movie song writ large across the Cascade Mountains in the Pacific North West detailing the four hour ride to escape the mega-metropolis of Seattle, and get back home to rural north central Washington.
Still on the west 'wet side,' a short cut along 530 NE bypasses Arlington and skirts into the foothills of the North Cascades and after about twenty miles mainlines through the town of Oso. On a sleepy Saturday March morning in 2014, east of the rural town some of the outlying residencies were buried by a mud slide of epic proportions, when a whole mountainside collapsed and flowed like lava engulfing homes and leaving 43 people dead.
Back as far as 1988, geologist Paul Kennard warned regulators that the removal of trees held “the potential for a massive and catastrophic failure of the entire hillslope.” But that and subsequent knowledge that human habitation beneath clear cut forest, with a river undercutting the hillside would in times of extreme weather be a disaster waiting to happen, were ignored.
Whilst climate change deniers blamed 'natural causes', they declined to mention that record breaking rains produced by a warmer climate meant extreme river flow, in addition to the mountainside itself being pounded with rain, and with the trees scraped from the hillside by extensive logging, under the circumstances there was no viable root mass to hold the earth on the mountain in place. The truth being that whilst no one thing is solely responsible for the catastrophe, the combination of a global warmed climate acting on existing human disruption of a local eco-system can tips the balance into disaster. "Oso Strong" was the cry of the community trying to deal with the tragedy.
Down the road to Rockport where 530 dovetails into East 20 opens up into a hundred miles of the most beautiful and spectacular mountain road over The Cascade Mountains and dropping down into The Methow Valley and towns of Mazama, Winthrop, Twisp, Carlton and beyond.
Owen Wister, author ‘the first western novel’ "The Virginian," allegedly found his inspiration for the novel whilst visiting the area back in the late 1890’s.
And The Mystery Motel? Well check it out for yourself if you are ever in the area.
GOTTA GET ME OUT OF THE CITY
SEATTLE BURNING A HOLE IN ME
I-5 IS A REAL LIVE WIRE
BUT I HAD MY FILL OF ELECTRICTY
LEFT THE MAYHEM BY ARLINGTON
FOR THE RELATIVE CALM OF THE RESERVATION
THE ENDLESS TREES BEYOND DARRINGTON
AND THE MAJESTY OF THE CASCADE MOUNTAINS
OH SO GONE, OH SO WRONG
IN THE PATH OF PANDEMONIUM
THE RAIN OF RAINS, RAINING COMES
MELTS A MOUNTAIN, OSO STRONG
A KISS OF FRESH AIR
Q.E.D. DEMONSTRABLY ETHEREAL
THE PULL OF THE MOUNTAINS
CENTRE-ORIENTING ME SOME
TOOK A RIGHT FORK, OUTTA ROCKPORT
HEADING EAST ON EAST 20
LOOKING FOR SOMEONE I THINK
I THOUGHT I ONCE KNEW
ITS A LONG SWEET BEAUTIFUL ROAD
SOOTHING ME AND MY WEARY MIND
COMING UP TO THE SNOW LINE
IF I CAN GET MY ASS OVER WASHINTON PASS
FIND MYSELF IN COWBOY TOWN
LIKE I GONE BACK IN TIME
LOST MY WAY OR I GONE TOO FAR
BUT OWEN WISTER IS DRIVING A CAR
OUTTA WINTHROP WA
BETWEEN POORMAN CREEK AND MAZAMA
I MIGHT EVEN FIND MYSELF
DOWN AT THE MYSTERY MOTEL
WELL, WELL, LOOK WHO’S CHECKED IN AT THE MYSTERY MOTEL
from Stardust to Darwinstuff
released April 21, 2017
The Axis of Dissent on this song are:
Danbert Nobacon: acoustic guitar, vocals
Miranda Zickler: vocals
Anna Dooley: violin
Gregory Miles: electric guitar
Austin Quist: bass
Steve Kamke: drums
Written by Hunter, N. Directed by Nobacon, D.
Produced by Mell Dettmer. Recorded, mixed and mastered by
Mell Dettmer at Studio Soli, Seattle WA, Oct-Dec 2016
EMI Music Publishing Germany 2017
all rights reserved