Dear Government shutdown, must you ruin everything? No WIC for moms, no benefits for veterans, no financial security for the furloughed employees, and no camping for this family of patriotic Americans (and aspiring Americans) who just want to admire the majesty of our North Cascades National Park.
Okay, I guess I'm being
So instead of sleeping under the stars tonight, I'm gonna force you guys to live vicariously through last year's camping trip with me.
Honestly, as much as I love the alternate reality of Barter Fair itself, I almost love the drive there even more. There's nothing more fun than getting up early the day before, drinking tea on rocks by the ferry, while waiting for the red-eye.
Last year we stopped by the river before entering the Cascades Pass, waded in the water and bought organic kiwis and blueberries from the "home" farm of a certain GMO-loving cereal company. Why is their "farm" so scenic,why are their berries so delicious, why? The bastards! The woes of white hippies seem to be the theme of this post.
Skagit River is magical. Whenever we're around there, we fantasize about bringing our row boat, or kayaks with us in the height of summer and going down a part of it.
The last few years I've been really drawn to rivers, seeking them out in my travels, wanting to dip into moving water. They're so different from the ocean, yet their energy has that same restlessness that's also calming. I love watching the water go by, imagining all the places it passes.
I'm still sad we didn't dip in that day and even though I doubt it'll be quite warm enough, I'll go prepared this time, carrying my towel and my next to the road necessity: the dreaded bathing suit.
I also like to imagine what the river might have been like before this beautiful 1920s monstrosity was built. On the one hand I can't help but love the absurdity of the Diablo Damn, not to mention the good clean electricity it provides us. On the other though, it has forever altered the landscape in ways that are hard to even imagine now.
We camped at our usual spot in Colonial Creek, where camping is actually free off-season. Pretty sweet, right? That night we set up camp and went on a little hike to admire the beauty of the lake and my favorite, still unconquered mountain, Sourdough. That there is not Sourdough. It's in the picture I'm in and C's not here to remind me what that other mountain is.
Diablo Lake, artificial as it may be, is beautiful.
It was on this very same lake we had one of our first camping adventures as a couple, about a thousand years ago, when the Earth was very young and we were very young and hopeful and slightly more attractive. But seriously, I recently uncovered some photos from that trip and maybe I'll do a post about it sometime.
The North Cascades are the first real mountains I ever got to see and they will never lose their mystery and specialness to me. I regularly dream about hiking a part of the PCT on their backs, but I guess easy does it and perhaps climbing Sourdough would be a good start. Next May, I swear we'll do it.
Nothing more glorious than waking up in the mountains at dawn, watching the fog recede to the hills, dipping your toes into a mountain lake, drinking coffee from a deliciously hot metal mug.
This is the last overlook on the Highway before the road begins to descend. The unnerving feeling you get close to the edge of rock-face, not matter how fenced in, never to totally go away. The little bugs of cars, the small pins of huge trees on the bottom give you a small insight on what it might be like to be a bird.
The trees at these altitudes are scraggly with the snow and the wind and the intensity of life up there. As to why this lichen is neon-colored though, I have no insight.
Oh mountains, I can't wait to see you tomorrow. I'll wave at you from the car window since unless certain hostage-taking boneheads decide to come to their senses for a moment, you will be closed for business.
Let us not linger on the absurdity of closing down what is essentially a wilderness, wide open space and also public land, owned by the public for the public. That somehow the men and women who watch over these lands are considered "non-essential" or somehow less essential than men and women who...you know what? I'm just gonna let you complete that sentence all by your radical self. Just remember to put the blame where it belongs.
And you'll never guess where we always eventually end up...