Friday, March 27, 2015

Deception Pass will get you

Wobbly knees, anyone?
Surprised myself when my knees got a bit wobbly and I clutched my phone/camera in a vise grip sure I'd drop it 200 feet to the swirling water below. This is Deception Pass Bridge connecting Whidbey and Fidalgo islands in Washington. The two-lane motor bridge is more than a quarter mile in length with a three-foot pedestrian walkway. We walked over and back, having already hiked trails along the forested cliffs.

At one spectacular moment, two bald eagles soared right over our heads mid-way across the bridge. What a thrill! The nearby Upper Skagit River Valley has one of the largest populations of wintering bald eagles in the continental U.S.

Look closely and see the steel arch of the bridge through the trees. The trails, some quite narrow and rocky, are breathtakingly close to sheer drop-offs but the jade color of the water is equally breathtaking. The area was carved by glaciers and is a deep channel connecting the Strait of Juan de Fuca with the Saratoga Passage.

Before the bridge was built in 1934 by Civilian Conservation Corps and local farmers, travelers would hit a metal saw with a mallet to call a ferry operated by the first woman ferry captain in Washington, Bertie Olson.

Travel+Leisure lists the Deception Pass bridge as one of the scariest in the world.
It is certainly also one of the most beautiful.

Deception Pass State Park has 35 miles of trails with almost 15 miles of saltwater shoreline.

It was a most excellent day, which I recommend to anyone visiting Washington.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Walking into the sky

For some reason when I saw this blue opening in the sky I thought it looked like a path, like I might step into the sky, wander into the Other.

It felt more magical than a tiny fairy door because the potential was enormous, as big as the universe.

Or maybe my subconscious was remembering how I felt long time back reading the final lines of Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass: "So Lyra and her daemon turned away from the world they were born in, and looked toward the sun, and walked into the sky."

I've always thought that is one of the most brilliant ends to a novel ever.

Different day. Different sky. No openings except those one makes.

steady lap of waves,
mountains serene--sudden
cacophony of crows

Sunday, March 8, 2015

The things I see

Surprise, surprise. While hiking in a wooded park by Puget Sound, we came across a happy face drawn on this mossy tree stump. The beautiful scenery and fresh air already had me smiling, but this made me smile even wider.

Despite all the bad news in the world, life on this incredible planet can be mighty fine.

Another day, walking along a huge lake I wrote a haiku (the birds were too speedy for a photograph)

warm March on the lake,
'whoosh' of coots make a rooster
tail of white water