58 minutes | Feb 12, 2019

I Fell Down

It was bound to happen.

In 1864, Captain William Renton arrived on Bainbridge Island and built what would soon be lauded as the largest sawmill in the world. A town blossomed around it, with churches, a school and a 75-room hotel, and a separate village of Japanese workers, with a bath house and ice cream parlor. Then, in 1888 the mill burned down. In 1907, it burned down again. Then vertically-integrated midwestern logging concerns moved into the area, drove down timber prices, and soon, the mill was gone.

Recently, calamity struck again. I was tromping around the ruins of the mill when my boot slid out from under me on a muddy embankment and—whoosh—I slammed to the ground. Does Marc Maron ever fall down while podcasting? What about the Two Dope Queens or PJ Vogt? Probably not. Probably, I am the first podcaster ever to fall down in the middle of his show. It’s a distinction I’m proud of. Damn straight I left that audio in.

The rest of the walk—the upright part—was equally fulfilling: chilly, leisurely, gray. Toward the end, I encountered an unfamiliar Canadian in the forest with news of unusual weather further uphill.

This week’s walk is brought to you by Samin Nosrat, who wants to encourage donations to the criminal justice non-profit Uncommon Law. I read Samin’s ad beside the giant, upended root ball of a fallen fir.

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