Equisetum makes a fine whistle

Smith River has more than redwoods

Yesterday, I found a rock down by the river. Well, I found lots of rocks and, as always some rock hearts and other small lovelies came home in my pocket. But–this was a rock, not a pebble. I could lift it and even carry it, but it was heavy. Looked a bit like a piece of Shropshire blue cheese all golden with veins of bluey-green, white, and gray. That rock wanted to come home with me. I lugged it to the next clump of bushes and put it to bed.

Early this morning I took my coffee and went back to the river. I was surprised by the vast multitude of bushes. I found and old metal plate, an empty crawdad shell, more neat rocks, a cool bit of bark, a tiny patch of iris growing in the rocks and sand…and…at last…my rock. Brought it two bush clumps closer and triangulated better. I have a strategy.

Still life with tin plate and last months carapace

Bill and I explored the riverbank. He took pictures and I made discoveries.

We walked to and through Stout Memorial Grove. Such huge and peaceful trees. Truly a cathedral of a forest. It’s interesting to see how fire appears to melt their bark. I guess fire makes the trees produce that bulbous, curvy, melted looking bark. We saw mergansers up close and Mark learned about equisetum whistles. Equisetum makes a fine whistle!

…and it has beautiful Redwoods

Went back in the evening and moved the rock all the way to the base of the short rocky hill. Tomorrow we move upward. There was that moment when I looked from the last brush clump across the sand to the base of the trail. It looked a lot longer from that perspective. I walked to the edge of the river. Tossed in some pebbles, breathed, and walked back. I crouched, hugged shropshire to my chest and stepped out and out and out each step longer than the last.

On reaching the base of the rock jumble that lead to the trail, I swung the rock out and up a bit, overbalanced and landed on my butt. Luckily the rock didn’t land on me, I steered it a bit to the side. Whump! Naturally nestled next to the little pool.

I looked hastily around. Couldn’t see anyone obviously laughing at my grace. Back to camp.

Brave Horatio in the Redwoods

Hot dogs and baked beans and music around  the campfire…this time at Jess and Mark’s …one space farther away from the camp host.


Oh, and I took a picture of a log that looks like a slug.

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