June 12th…“WERE YOU EVER CHASED BY AN ANIMAL?”
The sparkling Summer of 1975 held many an adventure for myself and Shirley Cass (the young lady I was courting). One outing of fun had me pointing my Midnight Bronze ’72 Chevy Malibu westward and towards the Pacific Ocean coastline of SW Washington State. We would soon approach and enjoy the areas near the town of Ilwaco.
The weather was crystal clear that day and the sky was ruled by a buoyant sunshine that cheered us on in our exploring of Gods’ lovely ocean with its magnificent coastline and also by taking in the history of this part of the Northwest. One of the stops that day held a double delight in that the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center was built, literally, on top of the old Coastal Artillery Emplacement known as Fort Canby.
After soaking up history of the Lewis & Clark Expedition inside the Interpretive Center, we stepped out into that glorious Summer day and also meandered through the old coastal artillery ruins of Fort Canby that lay dormant beneath the Interpretive Center. Between the 1860’s and right up to the end of World War II, these “disappearing” giant “rifle” emplacements were intended to protect the mouth of the mighty Columbia River from any invading naval enemy forces that may attack us from the Pacific Ocean.
It was a fun-filled day after hiking to Cape Disappointment Lighthouse, seeing old Fort Canby and touring the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center. We then climbed into my Chevy Malibu and followed those serpentine roads around the peninsula and eventually came into the outskirts of the seaside town of Ilwaco. As we cruised past one viewpoint, we were impressed with the stately looking fleet of fishing boats down in the Ilwaco Harbor. I thought it would be grand to get a photo of that pleasant scene of the fishing fleet to celebrate our fun day together. Parking about 40 yards down the street, I had Shirley remain in the car while I, in my cowboy boots, hiked back to the viewpoint for a photograph.
As I reached the viewpoint, intending to take that photograph of the fishing fleet, I had noticed, in my peripheral vision, an elevated hillside residence behind me. What I did NOT notice, in that quick glance, was the GIGANTIC Great Dane “dog monster” that lay on the lawn of that home. As I brought my camera to eye level for that scenic shot, my ears discerned the bass, bellicose blast of a dog (or better yet, a canine HORSE) with a carnivorous look on its ferocious face. That monster dog launched himself from the lawn of that front yard above me and made a beeline right for this human who had dared to venture into his doggy domicile domain.
Even though my cowboy boots were not intended as “track shoes”, that day they did the boot scootin’ boogie as my legs rocketed this young buck in the direction of my car……and, at Norwegian “light speed”, too!!!! With that meat munching mongrel hot on my heels, I ripped open my driver’s door and leaped inside to safety; depriving that “Dining Dane” of his man meal!!! After such a wild chase, my young heart was pounding like a trip hammer and felt like it was going to pop right out of my chest!!! Yet, once having regained my breath and composure, Shirley and I had a rip-roaring good laugh over the dangerous, yet hilarious incident. That truly was one “dog gone” good adventure for this Norwegian Farmer’s Son. 😉