Wood Nymphs and Oysters and Slugs, Oh My!

Camping on Hood Canal, day 2

SealRock Campground

The new griddle Bill and I purchased with too little forethought fit Jess and Mark’s stove perfectly.

We drove to Falls View Campground (which was closed for camping) and walked to the Falls View Canyon trailhead.

The short loop had beautiful views of the falls and the canyon trail was so pretty. It ended in a little cove where a creek entered the Quillcene River.

I balanced across a couple logs onto the little beach. My goal was an inviting boulder. I wanted to sit on top. That rock was so smooth.

Too smooth for my shoes. Too smooth for my bare feet.

If the others weren’t around I might have hugged that rock to my belly and tried to squirm up, but even I have some boundaries—if I’d been more certain of success I would have tried anyway. Soaking my feet in the cool water was a nice backup prize. 

Mark put his hand on a slug then Jess found the same slug. It brought back memories of barefooting up the bluff from Bandon beaches. That cool, oozy, smooshy feeling with the lingering goo.

Bill, Jess, and Mark took the extra half-mile loop but Carol and I started back up the hill (we’re slower). Gerald caught up with us near the top and we chatted with each other and with other hikers while we waited.

There were some little daisies nearby so I started to braid them. There weren’t enough so I added other bits of the forest until I had a wreath. Gerald took portraits of everyone who wore the wreath and we were lovely. (Julie arrived just before dinner so her wreath was a bit wilted.)

After some water and a snack lunch, I read homework and took a long walk on the beach. Sitting in the sun at the edge of the canal watching boats and birds and people—lazy and lovely.

When I got back to camp Bill was asleep in the hammock, Carol was snoozing in her chair with her hat over her face and no one else was around. I joined the nappers. Brave Horatio makes a snug nest.

When I woke up, a bit muzzy, I attempted to teach Carol cribbage.

Funny how something you just DO becomes difficult when you actually think about it. I second-guessed myself over the number of cards to deal, forgot to put the cut card face up, forgot to include it in pointing… and on and on.

With the help of my phone and quite a bit of shamefaced flapping we finally got down to playing and Carol won.

Bill, Gerald, and Mark went on an oyster run to the Hamma Hamma Oyster Company. Julie arrived and set up camp, then moved camp—picking up her fully deployed tent and walking it across the street.

Jess woke up from her long nap and we had a fantastic dinner of grilled Hamma-Hamma oysters, grilled salmon, potato salad, asparagus, green salad, and zuchinni. Yum, yum, and yum.

We’re headed home tomorrow. Grateful for the weekend and a little envious of Julie, Jess, and Mark’s additional night

Adventures with a spinning singing candle

Seal Rock Campground

It was supposed to be a noon start, but Bill’s lunch was frustratingly slow [Happy Birthday Marc] and he didn’t pick me up until 1:30. Oh well. We skipped getting shellfish permits and headed out into a beautiful afternoon.

Off to Seal Rock, a rare National Forest Service campground located on salt water.

Even behind the chip truck we made pretty good time.

Gerald and Carol with their pop-up A-frame were about 15 minutes ahead of us. They found two neighboring spots and another across the road. Pretty lucky since it was the last weekend of shrimping season.

We pulled Brave Horatio into the spot next to Carol and Gerald’s setup. Brave Horatio is sporting new dividers in his utensil drawer—pretty slick.

Bill covets Gerald’s axe

I hung my hammock next to the C-G campfire and walked to the beach. It was covered with oysters. Oysters shining in the sun and me without my shellfish permit. I poked at oysters, tipped over rocks to pester tiny crabs, and tossed pebbles into the sunny water.

Mt. Rainier over Hood Canal

For dinner we enjoyed duck breast, quinoa, and a mango-pomegranate-avocado salad around a lovely campfire… and we talked.

We totally did not notice the group that set up a couple tents and a picnic table kitchen in the spot we’d reserved for Mark and Jess—the one LuluBelle was parked in. I guess they didn’t notice the BIG RED vehicle in the camp spot when they parked along the road.

It worked out fine.

Mark and Jess, on their inaugural trip with their new TAB teardrop, set up in the campsite driveway and worked it out in the morning. (The interlopers left with no heated emotions.)

We celebrated Mark and Carol’s birthdays with a fantastic chocolate-beet cake and everyone laughed at the sparkler-flamed flower candle that spun and sang.

It just kept spinning and singing so I stomped it.

That worked for a few minutes…then the singing started again!

Another stomp killed it dead.

Happy Birthday Dammit!

Great Blue Heron