Enumclaw and Kapoonis

What a busy week! I’ve been swamped with packing, donating and selling everything in our tiny apartment. We’re finally getting rid out our last big pieces of furniture today; our bed and dresser will be gone by the end of the day, which is exciting! All of our other big stuff has sold and I’ve started packing up the few boxes and bags we are taking with us. It is so liberating to be getting rid of 90% of our belongings.

I’ve started a draft of all of my favorite places in Seattle, but I want to make sure I do it justice. This city is so amazing, from the culture and sights to the people and attitudes that I don’t want to rush it. Against all odds, this place has actually become a second home to me. All of the bittersweet feelings I’m experiencing will also lead to a super sappy, emotional mess of a list, so I think it’s best if I wait until everything is settled and we are on the road to finish it.

So I’m going to leave you with this story I read while we were visiting Mt. Rainier National Park yesterday. A big part of the history of Washington revolves around Native Americans and to me their stories absolutely beautiful. The story isn’t mine, but the photos were just snapped on May 12, 2016.

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“A long time ago two brothers lived near the mountain. The older brother was named Enumclaw and the younger was Kapoonis. These brothers were great hunters and traveled far… They were traveling in search of a spirit that would make them great medicine men. In time Enumclaw became possessed of great strength and could throw small stones from peak to peak in the mountains… As he grew older Kapoonis took long trips alone. At the head of the Cowlitz River he took baths every day at dawn and at dusk and in this way he finally acquired a great fire spirit.

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In friendly rivalry the brothers sat on the rocky ridge to the south of Tacoma… and they agreed to test their powers… The contest raged with such terrific force that in a short time only a sharp rock stood high in the air where the ridge had been. This rock is now known as Saw Tooth Rock and stands somewhere to the south or southeast of Longmire’s Springs. 

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When people… came near their home, Enumclaw would throw stones at the different peaks as a signal of someone’s approach. The noise was terrifying and fiery flames could be seen. The people related… that Enumclaw had caused great birds to fly at such a speed that their wings made great rumbling sounds, and that Kapoonis… caused lighting.

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The Great Spirit saw that such dangerous playthings were not safe in the hands of human beings so he caused Enumclaw to be the thunder and Kapoonis to be the lightning forever.

Told by Henry Sicade, Niaqually, 1924

Wish me luck as I tidy up all of our loose ends here!

-Susan

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