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Four words enraged a drunk farmer. Last night's aurora was a bust.

Since age thirty, I have driven to Badger Mountain to watch the Perseid Meteorite shower each August. No city lights and velvet dark with big skies. I look up and feel awed by the glowing Milky Way and billions of sparkling stars.

Ten years ago, a farmer put up two grain silos with a gravel driveway and parking lot at the summit. Beats lying on wheat stubble worried about getting stepped on by a cow.

Last night, that's where I took my friend Kathy to see the Northern Lights. We sat in chairs bundled up with sleeping bags over us. Drinking hot tea. Laughing and talking. I was thrilled to see three shooting stars.

A farmer and his wife arrived in a truck. He was slurring badly, drinking beer. They sat in their truck chatting with us. It was hard to understand what he said. This parking lot was not their property, she said. They live five miles away. After twenty minutes, they left.

You're blocking my view.

An hour later, he swerved into the parking lot alone. Parked his truck three feet from my chair. That scared me. Ranting, he raged about large farms, Democrats, local grocery store employees who don't know where their beef is grown, ground beef costs $5.95/pound and farmers don't get paid enough. With his slurred speech, that's what I made out. He's furious about the nearby, brightly lit subdivision that was recently built. A farmer sold his land to developers.

He got out of his truck and planted himself in front of us, swaying. Facing Kathy and me, he wanted our undivided attention. He was much too close.

"Excuse me, sir," I said. "Would you mind stepping to the side? You're blocking my view."

"You ruined everything!" he yelled. "You said I'm blocking your view! How dare you! Get out of here! You're trespassing!" (He was, too.) Enraged, he shook his finger in my face.

"Get your finger out of my face!" I replied. "You are being mean and abusive. We're leaving."

Kathy and I efficiently loaded the car while he watched. I felt shaken as I drove away. I'm never going back there. Will find a new place to watch the Perseids. We didn't see any Northern Lights.

Last night's geothermal storm that caused the Northern Lights was much weaker than expected. Iceland got a great show.

It appears that drunk farmer is angry at people who build houses in his area for the views. This is happening across America. "You're blocking my view" sticks in his craw.

"I grew up here!" he howled. "My family has been here for five generations!"

Your thoughts?

LiterateHiker 9 Oct 31
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17 comments

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1

Assholes are everywhere

1

I wonder how he feels about the families who have been there 100 generations

2

My thoughts are you were lucky to go out of the situation unharmed. I think the guy coming back drunk without his wife was a bad sign that he had plans that his wife would not approve of. A drunk and angry man would be scary to be around. You were right to leave before the guy got violent. I am an amateur astronomer and I go to remote dark sites to observe with my telescopes and feel uneasy when other people are around. I also looked for the Northern lights but did not see anything in Olympia.

I agree, you were lucky to get out of there unharmed.

1

I've seen the aurora and it was great. That was years ago in very dark circumstances: the rocky shore of the Atlantic Ocean in Maine.

2

Some people do not embrace, or do well with change. This phenomenon will get much worse over the next 10-15 years as AI makes people ever-more economically superfluous.

If you want to understand this phenomenon in a more nuanced, big-picture way, read Sapiens by Professor Yuval Noah Harrari. Remember the term the Useless Class. Useless in an economic sense.

Change is likely to be swift and our working styles must change to match. Currently in Scotland we are looking into this.
Care and support work will be a huge growth industry as these are currently technology proof. The literal human touch is needed. The same will be happening in the rest of the western world, the USA included. Jobs which were safe white collar employment are now more efficiently being carried out by technology.
As you have said, some people do not embrace change. Not just the working classes like that farmer, but the investment classes too. There must be a fairer distribution of wealth and for America a National Health Service to enact changes.
At some point I will catch up with Sapiens.

@Sofabeast

2

If you had cellphone signal you should have called the State Police on his miserable DRUNK DRIVING ASS ... With two witnesses he would have been TOAST. Don't take any BS from these MORONS ... We have to use whatever means available to stop this wave of insanity. Glad you are safe though. Sorry the show was a bust. Maybe next time.

@phoenixone1

Good point. I felt appalled that he was drinking and driving with his wife in the truck. I feel sorry for her.

I was a bit busy with him ranting. If I called 911 and reported his license plate, he might have hit me. Plus I'd need a flashlight to see it. (I had a one.) It's hard to do that surreptitiously.

Redneck assholes usually have a loaded gun rack in their trucks.

Women go through this shit all the time. Evaluate the situation, make quick decisions and try to stay safe.

Thanks for your support.

@LiterateHiker I understand...in the future you can swing your car slowly by with the highbeams on and have your girlfriend write down the plate info...time to go on the offense...stealth mode 😹 glad you have pepper spray.

2

I don't understand people and of course them being drunk makes it much worse. People are selfish even when preventing others from being alone.

Back in the 90s my wife and I set up our tent in Teanaway campground. We were just passing through during the week in the off season so we were the only patrons in an area at least a couple of hundred yards across.

In the morning we woke up with a full size RV in the site right next to us. We assume they were thinking they were being sociable, we guessed.

I grew up in very rural AZ and my wife in even more rural MT. We're both used to going 50 miles and knowing we're the only people within 40 miles or so.

That was the only thing I disliked about the outdoors in WA -- you couldn't get away from the people!
One time I hiked up to the Necklace Valley with a work group and we ran into 14 people over a weekend!
There were 2 couples at the top living in a canvas tent, drinking wine from bottles. We wanted to ask them if they helicoptered it all up there.

People only seem to think of themselves. If folks wanted to socialize they would be at a club in town -- not passing through the wilds at the top of a mountain.
/Ok Rant Over -- Some memories stick with you.

@RichCC

I have backpacked to beautiful Necklace Valley twice, at age 30 and 60.

My idea of a great hike is when we don't see anyone on the trail.

Here are two Necklace Valley photos for you.

  1. Sunset lit the cliffs afire, first gold, and then red. Emerald Lake in Necklace Valley. Sept. 2013.

  2. Karen took this photo of the upper lakes above Necklace Valley in August 2018.

3

Sorry a drunk asshole ruined your outing.
Glad you're both okay.

If you don't want a gun, which is understandable, perhaps consider getting a taser.
Assholes are everywhere.

@KKGator

I wanted to call him a drunk asshole, but figured Agnostic.com would delete it. We have more leeway in our replies.

In my daypack, I carry a small pepper spray canister for attacking, unleashed dogs. Think I'll get one for my purse.

Tasers are illegal in Washington State.

@LiterateHiker
I like the pepper spray idea. It's lighter than a gun and I'm anti-gun. I lived in gun country most of my life and have known (mostly peripherally) 7 or 8 people who were shot. Only one was intentional -- a cousin's cancer came back and he decided he couldn't face chemo again. I definitely prefer nonlethal.

Taser is a GREAT idea...Pepperspray also.

2

Hopelessness engenders anger that is, in turn, fueled by alcohol. No excuse for his behavior. I am glad that you were not alone.

3

tire iron upside the noggin.

2

Too drunk and angry. I wonder how the anger shows when he is sober. He is obviously afraid of the progress that he blames for ruining his life. I avoid current progress that I do not like but I don't let it make me angry.

4

Glad you got out of there before something bad happened.

3

You can't argue with alcohol. I'm happy you and Kathy got out of there safely. I feel badly for people who feel helpless in the face of progress, but I stop feeling bad at any kind of assault. There'll be other Northern lights and meteor showers at other great locations. This farmer, however, will never ever be happy.

0

There ain't no mountains here in Indiana! You sure you ain't making this up Kathleen ? I don't mean the part about the drunk (rude) farmer......( 'Cause we's gots them here) .

Okay, here's my 2 cents. Almost everyone thinks that what they have to say is of the utmost importance.

twill Level 7 Oct 31, 2021

@twill

Every word is true. Why don't you believe me?

@LiterateHiker Sorry. I edited my reply.
You know I'm just kidding you ??

@twill

As a man, I thought you don't believe me because I'm a woman.

This happens too often.

@LiterateHiker I prolly should not have made fun of the situation either. I apologize. That farmer was trying to intimidate you, and since you were shaking when you left, I'd say he did.

@LiterateHiker Truly the ones who are screaming
"Snowflake! " & wanna "own the Libs" are the biggest crybabies I know.

I can sympathize with him about the houses....the destruction of beautiful land goes on all across this country. It sickens me to see it in my own area. And really, it's no one's fault. It is the SYSTEM we have. But wait....there is no systemic "anything" according to these goons ! Mindless idiots.

7

Things change, it is "progress" whether it helps anyone or not. Funny that he is yelling about Democrats when it is the Republicans leading this charge to build the houses. His family has been here for 5 generations, how many generations were the indigenous people here for before the white colonizers arrived? And how much respect did they get? Change is hard, be informed, and be careful who you vote for.

@HippieChick58

Well said. Thank you for your wise reply.

4

Assholes, especially drunk ones, are everywhere. Leaving was probably a good idea. I didn't see any lights North of Chicago either, but we do see a very bright meteorite.

1

You want an honest answer? My initial thought harked back to my policy since I was a kid: Don't go down in the woods without your gun. That also applies to don't go out in the countryside at night without your gun. AND your phone.

@mischl

I have never owned a gun. I refuse to get one.

Both Kathy and I had our phones. But often there is no cell phone coverage in the mountains.

@LiterateHiker I certainly don't blame you or resent you for being anti-gun. It would suit me fine if EVERYBODY were anti-gun. But given that I live in a less than perfect world, I'm licensed and I carry.

@mischl Thanks for telling that and now I know to avoid you at all costs.

@jlynn37 Lynn, in all my 81 years on this planet and owning a firearm since I was 13, I've never shot anybody, never killed anybody, never drawn a weapon on anybody, never even moved my hand toward a weapon because of anybody. It's fairly certain that I have a HUGE resistance toward doing harm to any other human. Now, there's a couple I would like to see put in prison...

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