After listening to an episode of Lore, we took a hike out to Afterglow Vista on the north end of San Juan island. We walked through a forest cemetery edged by cedars and madronas, and down a gravel lane. At the end, there is a beautiful but bizarre mausoleum—a roofless, limestone rotunda with a table and five stone seats, beneath. Each chair contains the ashes of a member of the McMillan family.

Designed and built in the 1930’s by John McMillan (a business tycoon and Free Mason), the mausoleum is fraught with symbolism. The Roman columns were designed to be equal in size to those of King Solomon’s temple, with one broken column representing the work left unfinished upon one’s death. (Or—as rumored—the departure by a McMillan son from the family’s Methodist faith.)

The monument sits like a crown atop a grassy hill, much of its stonework claimed by moss and succulents. After descending the steps, we pressed quietly into the surrounding forest—an eerie, nearly soundless expanse of trees and winding trails ...🌿

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