Shaw Island, 2011

It’s amazing to think Luke and I ever backpacked deep into mountains and carried everything on our alright his back when you see our black pickup filled to brim with five people and one giant dog to camp 7.8 miles away on a neighboring island.
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Our first camping experience here was with Olive ripe in my belly and I can’t help but wish we’ll never miss these summer days spent at Shaw Island County Park.  I’m still head over heels charmed by the one room store:  deli, espresso stand, grocery, post office, ticket terminal, local craft mart.
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This summer was the coldest spring-fall summer ever.  I never wished one summer night away for an air conditioner and I can count on one hand the times we were sleeping under the stars saying oh, what a lovely evening.
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First day was beach-y best, all sand castles and drift wood forts.

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We reapplied sunscreen, made patterns with seaweed in low tide’s exposed sand and stayed in bathing suits and bikinis all day.
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Until The Pacific delivered grey clouds and a promise of cold rain.
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Olive practiced cheeeeese with squinty eyes while Luke prepared coconut peanut curry on his childhood camping stove.
Meanwhile, the weather flipped a cold switch.
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We wore our foul weather gear – I like to call it my grumpy weather gear.  I wore layers and layers of long underwear and slept with my winter cap on.  The girls were stacked in fleece and Gortex and whenever I mentioned the not-humid weather Luke would talk about winter camping in a snow cave when it was -40.  Clearly, he’s a a once-boyscout and the son of a Fish and Game Warden.  I first slept in a tent when I was eighteen, and will sometimes admit that car camping with a solar sun shower and a cot and a tiny espresso maker is roughing it.
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The rain fell in drops like basil leaves.
In the Pacific Northwest, the rain can drive us inside and keep us hostage.
It’s hard to make do, and even more important to have gear.
Alas,  we stayed with our non-leaky new tent, our warm base layers and dry Bogs.
Alas, we stayed with our children who never took note of the weather.  I’m pretty sure the older girls believed they were on some wooded, damp fairy island and spent their time buoyantly building fairy houses and fairy playgrounds with bark and seashells and wet ferns.
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I was freezing, or more longing for a hot shower so on a drive Luke presented me with the woodsy-wife award of a hot store-bought mocha.
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We took a drive to the island’s two-room school and played on the playground.  It’s so funny to think how years ago I almost got a job teaching at this school, fresh out of graduate school.  Now, we neighbor its island.
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We missed the dim window hours of library, historical museum.
Someone in our family who always wins best pout face was sad about not being able to look at books, at island artifacts.
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We listened to the rain, peered in windows.

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The rain held my girls skippless to the beats of rain.
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We climbed tall fairy mountains.
Someone smiled at being last at bottom.
Someone pouted at being not first to top. 
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Luke brought his large bin of rock climbing gear with hopes of creating a zip line for babes at camp.  Seriously, a child-sized rock climbing harness is just about as cute as things come.
Instead, he impressed campers with his rope technique and constructed a rope bridge.
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I love the stories kids tell and the way children play when inside the woods.  Time passes so easily and it makes me wonder why we have so many toys at home whenever we play outside.  
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Although this isn’t the best picture, I love the gestures, evidence of a day at the beach in the background and faces of wonder in this photograph:
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It rained.
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And rained.
Some great families fled to ferry, to home.  
Three great families stayed for a burrito night originally planned for eleven adults and fourteen babes.  It worked out to just under two pounds of beef per adult tortilla.  Great laughs in the rain, for sure.  We had good times while, although missing the dry families who fled to home.
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Departure’s morning welcomed us with grey skies, damp air: no rain.

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An hour’s walk around Indian Cove, ferry views and all.
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I love Shaw.
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I love my babies in slings even more.
[After seeing these sunglasses in a picture, I don’t think I’ll wear them anymore.]

12 Comments

  • Cory says:

    what a life you lead, darling! And the sunglasses are awesome! You look like a happy sweet mama. Oh, how i miss the sling. : (

  • Emily says:

    Even with the rain and the cold it looks like it was an amazing trip! Love the pouty face.

  • you look so happy! and yes, babies in slings are the best thing ever. sounds like y'all had fun despite all the gear necessary to move a family of 5 😉

  • this all hit home! we JUST walked in the door from camping for one measly night and we took enough stuff to support a small country…except for MY sleeping bag and pillow…which was BAD and made for a very long night. but yes, children in the woods are as they were meant to be and we’re heading out again next weekend. would love to be up in your islands!!!love the old stove and love the driftwood lean to on the beach….looks like a whale skeleton. and darling girls, there!!

  • MJ says:

    You always seem to make the best of things and still make cold drizzly weather camping desirable!! Not to mention your adorable babes who are busy no matter what :). Driftwood fort-cooool ;).
    xx oo

  • Tracey says:

    Camping with children always requires more stuff than my house holds, but what fun! Keep the sunglasses and the smile, they're perfect!xx

  • Angela says:

    Wow you are awesome! Love that pout face! It looks like a lovely trip and worth all of the rain and chill. You all were well-prepared! You all are beautiful!

  • The damp weather yielded beautiful pictures even if it was a little too soggy for some. I love how kids never even notice the weather.

    LOVE the matching binky with the rain gear. So cute!

  • Tonya says:

    I had to chuckle at your hot mocha fix and the espresso machine in the one room store. It reminds me of my time in Seattle, and the drive up espresso carts that were everywhere! And the rain. I remember it well. Good for you for sticking it out!

  • I love how colorful everyone is against nature's backdrop. I think I love the last picture best of all – you and Olive, wrapped up together. There's a tenderness that shines through. Beauty. xo

    • Trish says:

      Allo a vous deux,espérons que tout va pour le mieux pour vous deux,vous êtes en plein rallye la course est vraiment commencée.Les enfants sont avec papa depuis dimanche matin ,je reprendrai Charlotte mardi soir ,car papa travaille.Vivons intésement votre parcours ,donnons souvent des nouvelles mais rien ne prouve que vous les recevez.Avons vu votre bivouac ,il y a sûrement des endroits plus confortables mais voilà c’est ca.2A230;&#8#30;.&8u plaisir de vous lire.Gros bisous à vous deuxDenise et Michelxxxxxxxx

  • Zane Wooder says:

    Looks like you had more fun there then your kids did.

    -Zane of ontario honey

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