Bob-MazamaBy Bob Spiwak

The past week has been gorgeous. While fog has enveloped the country from Everett to Bellingham at least for a week, here it was pushing or into the 70 s. This might explain the numbers of people in Mazama, in the hostelries of Winthrop and on the roads during a normally slow period.

Speaking of roads, Friday (Nov. 1) is opening day of studded tire season, which will run until the beginning of March, says the Washington State Department of Transportation. And coming up is the weekend clock change from daylight saving to standard time. One of the implications of this is that by setting the clocks back an hour, it will again be darker in the morning and the sun will be low in your eyes driving west to east, like from Mazama to Winthrop, or Omak.

The time change was instituted during WW II and never removed, even though some states and counties do not recognize it.

Also on tap is Halloween. Things are in the mill to help celebrate the holiday. Cripes, we have even gotten Halloween email greeting cards. Mazama’s plans call for a convocation of little people and those who are larger and parental. At 4:45 p.m. this Thursday (Oct. 31), plans have been made for the gathering at the Mazama Store from whence they will proceed on the way west up Lost River road to trick and treat and be enchanted (or frightened) by activities at homes along the way.

We have heard of haunted houses, entertainment, bobbing for apples, caramel-clad “Granny Bob” apples and other activities along with the traditional candy grabbing. The entourage will return to the store where by 6 p.m., Mazama Time, there will be free donuts for everyone. We’d heard a rumor about free beer, but that is apparently false.

Also in the rumor mill have been tales about a woman now referred to as “The Shopping Cart Lady.” We have gotten some first-hand information about the woman, who has been pushing a grocery cart, loaded above the gunnels, from Bellingham to someplace in the Colville Indian country. We have heard she was headed for Omak from one source, and Nespelem from another.

Mary Ann Yakabi of Twisp heard about her and drove up toward the pass with foodstuffs and clothing and spoke with her. In brief, she refused all canned goods, apparently because of the weight. Saturday evening, Jerry Laverty came to our door to report seeing her as he passed her west of Kelly’s at Wesola Polana restaurant, and recommending her as good story material.

Ms. Gloria and I drove up the highway, saw her, made a U-turn and stopped behind her. I tried to get some information, but apparently many people have stopped and offered assistance of things from food to clothing. It’s unknown if anyone offered her a ride, and it would take a truck to carry her overburdened cart and contents.

My interviewing skills must have deserted me fully because she was antagonistic from the get-go, and rightfully so. I’d heard she did not like men. She said she was traveling for her health. When I asked her destination she became agitated and angry and during a chewing out I got about interfering with her she said it was getting dark and cold and she wanted to be alone.

I asked if she would tell me her name and then the diatribe really began. She repeated that she wanted to be alone – several times. And she was correct – how many people had already invaded her space? As of this writing she was seen just above Dripping Springs Road at around 7 a.m.

This is about the most exciting thing to happen in Mazama since they shut down Lost River Bess’s house of ill-repute 100 years ago.