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.
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.
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.
First day was beach-y best, all sand castles and drift wood forts.
Until The Pacific delivered grey clouds and a promise of cold rain.
Olive practiced cheeeeese with squinty eyes while Luke prepared coconut peanut curry on his childhood camping stove.
Meanwhile, the weather flipped a cold switch.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We listened to the rain, peered in windows.