WEST END NEIGHBOR: Highway stands sprout with essentials, more

I WILL NEVER forget the time we were camping on the south end of Lake Ozette by Baby Island for a few days.

It was the first morning, and we were just getting moving.

My husband was rummaging around, and his motions seemed to grow more frantic as the minutes passed.

Then he came to me and said the words that made my heart sink to my belly: ‘’Did you pack the coffee?”

Rats.

This remote place is not the place to forget the coffee, much like our trip up to Blue Glacier when I forgot the aspirin; there are some times and places you just have to live without some relatively necessary items.

On U.S. Highway 101, there are several places a person can buy firewood in case they forgot this essential item for camping.

Yes, you can cook s’mores over a propane stove, but you lose something that way.

There are some locals who load up their trucks with firewood and drive the campground loops selling bundles, but quite possibly there is an easier way.

Mike Potter has had his wood stand on Highway 101 just south of Beaver for more than 20 years.

It was “just something to do to keep me busy,” he said.

He sells bundles of firewood for $4 a bundle from a nice little unstaffed hut on the side of a wide spot on the west side of the highway.

He makes them in a jig he created for a uniform size in his bundles.

Also for sale at Potter’s stand are birdhouses, which he makes and sells for $5.

Does he ever get ripped off?

“Most people are honest,” he said.

“I have gotten notes in the cash box from every state in the union and several other countries,” Potter said.

He has met a lot of tourists who have driven down to his place off the road to chat. His greatest sales are Friday evenings.

Brian and Dawn Emmons sell firewood bundles on the side of Highway 101 too, but their stand is more of a produce and art stand with firewood on the side.

This is the third official year for their stand, which is on the south side of 101 between Lake Crescent and Cooper Ranch Road.

“We started it because we grew so much produce,” Dawn said.

They sell eggs, potatoes, zucchini, radishes and whatever else might abound in their garden depending on the season.

Produce wasn’t so abundant this year.

“The birds and mice kept taking the seeds,” she said.

But there have been no drawbacks to having the stand outside their property — even their dogs have grown accustomed to the extra traffic.

Dawn will put some items on the stand once she de-clutters the house.

She also invites her artsy friends to put out those pieces that didn’t turn out quite right.

Their stand, too, operates on an honor system.

“If someone finds a little treasure, and they don’t have the money now, we hope they pay a little extra the next time they have the money,” Dawn said.

Nobody claims to be raking in the dough from these stands, but they are popping on the West End.

These roadside entrepreneurs sell everything from homemade jams, jellies and cakes to handcrafted walking sticks.

On Mora Road, heading out to Rialto Beach, it seems like every other driveway has a stand selling firewood.

Maybe I’ll start one that sells coffee and aspirin.

_________

Zorina Barker lives in the Sol Duc Valley with her husband, a logger, and two children she home-schools.

Submit items and ideas for the column to her at zorina [email protected], or phone her at 360-327-3702. West End Neighbor appears in the PDN every other Tuesday.

Her next column will be Aug. 22.

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