We have marvelous friends. So many marvelous friends.
Mark and Jess invited us to join them at Camp Dewatto and we were pleasantly surprised to find Julie, Doc, and Marsha there that weekend too.
We drove up on Friday evening, tried and failed to find milkshakes along the way, and arrived just in time for cocktails.
Saturday was hot. Really hot. Doc played early morning guitar by clubhouse. Jess and I walked down by the creek. Everyone else played music in the shade while I picked salal berries.
After naps we headed to a bar in Belfair looking for air conditioning and an audience (we called first). They welcomed us and we spent several lovely hours singing and playing for some really nice folks. One guy left and brought back his wife!
Salmon, herbed rice, shrimp, ribs and salad…with my not-so-great salal sauce on the side–I added too much honey.
We drank our Sunday morning coffee to Jess playing whistle in the tea/tree house–it’s great to have a soundtrack to your morning.
A Sunday walk around a nearby Boy Scout Camp that has seen better days and apparently will again, and home we went.
Rain pounding on Brave Horatio’s roof at four am signaled a wet morning. Good thing we travel with the batwing–too bad we didn’t deploy it yesterday.
After the first points are attached you can work mostly in the dry and it wasn’t raining hard. We were soon drinking coffee and breakfasting on eggs, bacon and polenta while the rest of the camp slept.
We drank after-breakfast cocoa and read in our new camp rockers while the rest of the camp woke. I’m loving our rockers!
Bill joined a group doing some infrastructure work and I headed off to find the creek. Down the newly cut trail, past the treehouse/zen tea room (deer blind) and into DNR forest. There was a scrambly bit to a lower trail. I could see I should have kept going to the switchback. Reminder for return leg.
The trail got a little narrower and a little more scrambly. Pretty clearly marked though and definitely heading downward toward the creek.
I like a good scramble.
My phone had a dead battery so I left it charging at camp. So sad. I wanted to take pictures of the rock cairns I built (one in the middle of a log that spanned the creek).
Looking upstream, the devil’s club was beautiful with the sun behind it. There were also a couple steep banks covered in maidenhair fern. So lovely.
That devil’s club…I was careful. I used two sticks to move those spiky stems so I could climb under and over logs and make my way up the creek. I came out mostly unscathed. Sure felt the couple that got me though.
I wandered up the creek a bit–walking through the water, picking up stones, trying to outsmart the devil’s club, and generally having a relaxing, enjoyable time.
Finally the devil’s club looked to be turning into a thicket and I started to think about heading back. I could have retraced my steps, but a maple and an alder had both fallen down the bank about a foot apart. I thought I could walk up assisting myself with my hands–maybe one leg on each trunk.
Did I mention that the creek was in a ravine? Not particularly deep, but pretty damn steep. At a guess it was a 60-70 degree slope from the creek to the trail. But there were those tree trunks and I like a scramble.
The alder had little broken off limbs on it’s underside every couple of feet. I started out with both feet on one side and my arms around it hauling on those little stubs. The bank was nearly vertical. I ended up astride the trunk on my belly, which worked great until the stubs stopped.
I was more than half-way up. It looked even steeper from here. A dirty slide back to the creek or an impossible-looking inching to the top. I’d stopped right over a pretty vigourous seep. Neat moss and other tiny, tiny plants. Good reason to rest and take them in.
I decided on up.
There were lots of ferns and the base of sword ferns are pretty solidly adhered. I planted my feet, hugged that trunk and inched upward.
It’s an interesting viewpoint and one I don’t think I’d experienced before. Looking down seemed far steeper than it had from the bottom. I looked up into the underside of a large artist conk. Bright white and glowing in the sun. It looked like the path was just the other side of the stump that was hosting it.
A few more thoughtful rests. A few more slow foot placements and slower pressing upward. A final foot on a final friendly sword fern and I was up!
I backtracked along the little trail, passing the point where I’d scrambled down heading for that switchback. The trail just kind of ended so I bushwacked.
I couldn’t get lost. Not a chance. The camp was up. Just up. And the slope was wimpy now that I was over the lip of the ravine.
The trail and I converged and I waltzed back to camp. Wet, thoroughly grubby, and triumphant.
I like working at my office surrounded by other interesting people. I like to explore ideas in coffee rooms and hallways and over cube walls.
I love my team and interacting with folks who do very different work from me. Discovering differing perspectives and different approaches always adds value to what I do.
Back in October, well before Covid, my office space was dismantled and everyone was sent home to work while our new space was configured. That, of course took much longer than anticipated. I was looking forward to moving into new work digs mid-March…which, of course, didn’t happen.
Instead Bill moved his office into our other spare bedroom and we started commuting upstairs together every morning
I begrudged work intruding into my home when it was due to a poorly planned move. Doing my bit to slow the spread of a pandemic just makes me grateful.
Both Bill and I have jobs and can do those jobs from home. Our kids are adults living on their own. Their old bedrooms are some of the largest rooms in our house and make pretty pleasant workspaces. We’re lucky and we know it.
We both work in Public Health and take modeling safe behavior seriously. We’ve been staying home except for twice a month grocery runs and at least weekly dinner pickup from local restaurants. (and that one day we popped out to buy Freya.)
Socializing has included weekly Zoom meetings with friends, less frequent Zoom or Skype with family and a lovely curbside cocktail hour with our across the street neighbors at least once a week (kind of like a reverse parade, we each stay on our side of the street and wave at the occasional car.) We’ve also been singing “What A Wonderful World” on our front porch at 6pm every evening since March 29.
We miss playing music with friends and miss camping.
Today we’re headed off to do both!
Did I mention that we’re lucky?
Mark, Jess, and Julie recently organized the purchase of some camp land with a group of friends. We opted out of buying in, but are joining them there this weekend.
The weather forecast is iffy so this might be the first auquacamp weekend of the year.
Bill missed the Purdy Cutoff so we thought we’d take the Skokomish River Road. Despite the large official looking sign, you can’t use it. You get ready to turn, notice it’s a dirt track with daisies down the middle, drive past, turn around, decide dirt tracks can be delightful, make the turn and see the large no trespassing/no motorized vehicles signs. Brave Horatio’s diminutive size made it possible to ooch ourselves around and head back to the Purdy Cutoff.
Past Two Margaritas and The Robinhood watching kayakers in the canal and the beautiful Olympics.
We knew we were ahead of our hosts so we checked out Belfair State Park. We’re headed there with Ben, Alex and their folks in August.
We’re going to have so much fun.
Three of the 9 spots were occupied when we pulled in. Jess and Mark directed us to campsite 3 and we bounced between setting up and checking out the camp.
Beautiful Dreamer’s spot is tucked in among Doug fir, cedar, and huckleberry. He’s got a flagpole out front that flys a number of Caribbean and yachting flags. He also has his very own shed and yard decorations. Pretty fancy.
We all tried to keep a six-foot distance and generally suceeded. Bill and I sang “What a Wonderful World” at six pm as we have since March 29. We usually sing on our front porch. Today our front porch was the woods.
It was nice to be outside our house and yard. It was nice to be in the middle of trees. It was nice to eat dinner around a campfire. It was more than nice to play music and sing around that fire before heading off to bed.