I was promised the opportunity to bag my own poop mid-July. A promise that was taken from me. From us! And now, instead, I get to roam my backyard and use those very same bags for a puppy who groans like an old man every time she moves a muscle on the kitchen tile.
The Washington trip was worth it just to fly from Kansas City, America's armpit, to the heavenly weather of Seattle. Don't get me wrong; I love Kansas, but 104 degrees at seventy-plus humidity is a fevered man's pit stain in the making.
Erica, Tayler, Jed and I rode the Space Needle and discovered Chihuly's Glass Garden. We ate Mexican Ninja rolls at Japonessa, and consumed entirely too much chocolate as we strode along Pike's Place Market. I read later that this is the market that is famous for throwing fish to its customers; we didn't have that experience. Peanut butter buckets were calling. Then we left Seattle, dipped South of the Puget Sound, and spent the night in Silverdale, overlooking the Dyes Inlet.
Mount Townsend on Thursday didn't require repelling gear or pick axes or those sub-zero one-man tents that cling to mountains like ticks on a dog. We needed 6 hours, a Jullian Michaels group motivator (Erica), and many stops due to the pain a ten degree incline an induce. The clouds thinned as we reached the peak and three dormant volcanos came into view along the Cascades. The top was amazing.
The night was spent in Port Angeles, where we dined at Gordy's Pizza and Pasta. Any pizza place with beer on tap is a great pizza joint.
Friday was a lot of driving. The Marymere Waterfall, Ruby Beach, and Hoh Rainforest were highlights we wanted to see before the kayak tour. We stopped and bought Cokes in Forks; making several jokes about Belle's food choices, vampires, and werewolves. Jed drove the rental onto a boat! On purpose! And we traversed the Puget Sound by ferry to the Coupeville dock. The sunlight was nearly gone as we drove over Deception Pass, making note to see it again Sunday. Dinner was at Adrift in Antecortes. Food is so much better when you're hungry and tired, but in no real hurry to end an evening with family. A hotel error and we spent the night in smoking rooms. Watching Jed light up was quite the surprise...okay, that is a complete lie; he's a pipe guy.
An early rise the next morning started our camping trip to Friday Harbor on San Juan Island.
The kayaking was fantastic. The poop talk went from jokes to serious nutritional planning. Erica and Tayler had been in discussions on how to slow or hinder peristalsis during the next 48 hours. We divided up Erica and Tayler in one boat. Jed and I in the other. Everyone relaxed as we pulled our kayaks up on the Orca Island Saturday night and saw the outhouse.
Unfortunately no Killer whales were seen during the trip, but there were several harper seals and bald eagles as we hugged the coastline, skipping island to island. Sunday's kayaking back to Smallpox Bay was challenging. Two person kayaks are probably not the best thing to do with a partner unless you have a strong and healthy relationship. I can not write well enough to properly convey Erica and Tayler's bonding moment for those last three hours Sunday afternoon. I can say they did walk away from it without killing each other, and I believe they are still talking. Jed and I had a quiet understanding, put our energy into the paddling. And good lord did we paddle. The currents along the West coast of San Juan were pretty intense against us, and it took three hours of continuous paddling to make it. The trash talk of the day was how Jed and I landed safely in Smallpox Bay twenty minutes or so before the brother-sister team. it is estimated we traveled a total of twenty-three miles by kayak over the weekend.
Sunday afternoon was getting back to Friday Harbor and eating the best freaking burger and beer of my life at The Rumor Mill. Night was in Seattle, and everyone caught flights back Monday.
My next post will be my retirement, America's wang, and a new member of the family.
Jack and James, Texas businessmen, kicked back and had a good time Saturday night. There was a wedding reception there. No one knows if they were invited.