The Subjunctives


Headed East Again – The Subjunctives

My family and I have been heading east of the mountains since the early 1970’s. It was no surprise when I chose a college in a small town tucked in the wheat fields of far Eastern Washington. In truth, Sicko was actually formed in the east, and only came to be a Seattle band later, but that’s another story! One of the triumphs of the American west is the reclamation of the desert, begun in the early 1900’s, and by the 1940’s resulting in the diversion of the massive Columbia river into thousands of canyons and coulees for transportation, storage, and eventual irrigation, turning eastern Washington into a breadbasket and vegetable garden for the great coastal cities. In 1949, the O’Sullivan dam was completed, and the Potholes Reservoir first filled, forming a 27,000 square acre lake in the desert. The fish, birds, and deer followed soon after. In time, this lake became a destination for anglers, and a small, spartan resort developed on the lake shore. The lake and resort became a regular getaway for my family, and some of my earliest memories are of this journey and destination. My dad and grandad guided my brothers and I safely around that water, taught us to camp and fish and hunt there. I remember hanging around the resort restaurant/bar trying to get spare quarters from the pinball machines while the older men talked and talked. Once, my brother and I got in trouble for melting drinking straws in the electrical heaters that warmed the bunkhouse we stayed in. My grandfather turned off the heater and said nothing more about it. I ate wild trout cooked on a campfire, and slept next to my dad in an old canvas tent on a sand dune, looking out over the dark lake and listening to the wind rush through the sage brush. The journey to the little college town was essentially the same one my family had taken to the Potholes, just a few hours further down the same road. My time in college cemented my love for the desert seasons, the barren views, that smell of sage. Today, this journey east is many things to me. On the surface, it is an escape from the tension and crowds of Seattle… people are less ostentatious, warmer. Now that my dad and grandfather are gone, I’m the one bringing children and friends to the lake, taking care that they stay safe and return with happy memories. In this way, it becomes a journey into archetypes of fatherhood which I find at times unfamiliar in modern life. I also find myself thinking, “my grandfather stood here”, “my father told a story over there”, “I felt the way a little boy feels on this spot”. So, it also becomes a journey into the past, but I never tell anybody. I just want them to enjoy their weekend away, fishing in the desert. This video consists of the dashcam footage from at trip that I made with Matt to the Potholes, compresing a 3.5 houre drive to 1 minute 59 seconds. The camera slows down periodically to capture memorable points along the journey, each described in a stanza of the song. -Ean

Posted by The Subjunctives on Thursday, October 24, 2019



The Subjunctives are a Seattle based Pop Punk Band for fans of Husker Du, Snuff, and Stiff Little Fingers.  Ean from Sicko, Jeff from Four Lights, and Matt from Rochester will play your show!  Give us a shout at


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