Cascadian Adventures post #1
It was Monday Morning August 19th and Darryl and I were packed up. All our gear tucked into the back of his newly acquired ford truck, dubbed Ricci.
At the gate we turned left and headed for the interstate and Bellingham, the warm afternoon air rushing in the open windows against our faces and freckles on our arms.
We had been planning this adventure all summer, came up with the plan in the spring before Darryl -who is a wonderful friend of mine and my teaching partner for a complicated element of partner dance- went into the woods of Alaska for 70 days leading underprivileged kids in outdoor adventures and self building; and I went to New York City. We had just spent the weekend at the quarry, with our Blues recess family, swimming, talking, eating and dancing late into the night. But now it was monday and our camping adventure had started.
As we neared the onramp for 5 Darryl noticed the plethora of blackberry bushes loaded down with fruit on the onramp and he quickly pulled Ricci over. We scavenged two zip lock bags full of ripe beautiful black berries, the juice staining our fingers and the brink of my lips as I couldn't help sampling them.
We ate them in a comfortable silence as we roared down the freeway to Bellingham.
Once there, culture shock hit. I'd been in New York City for the summer and Darryl had been in the remotest woods he could find. And then we had spent the weekend in our own kind of world, the recess weekend world. We decided dinner was our next priority.
We window shopped on our way to find food, stopping at a camping store to look at maps of the area and try and figure out where we were headed. We ended up eating dinner at a pizza place that had goats as their emblem (happy girl) and sold their incredible pizza by the pound. After a quick catch up, -we'd barely seen each other the whole weekend- we went to the store in search of chocolate chip cookie ingredients to make in our camp fire.
Obviously I was feeling adventurous.
We shopped at the local co-op in bulk so our basket was filled with little brown bags full of chocolate and sugar, salt and flour. We also bought a peach and cheese and tomatoes for sandwiches the next day.
As we headed out of town the sun was sinking into the golden frame before it sets behind the edge of the water. It gilded the trees in gold, glowing against the dark tops and trunk. .We shared the peach, sweet and dripping in our hands as we passed it back and forth, the muffled sound of the wind rushing in the windows, the glimpse of bright water through the trees flashing past took my breath away. I leaned my arms and face out the window. My face unable to capture the smile on my lips that was coming straight from my heart. It was so beautiful.
The cars thinned and the road we drove became ours, sharing it only with the sun, dappling the shadows and laying warm fingers across the bright yellow line running down the middle of the black pavement.
I felt myself lift up, my heart content and filled in a way by the beauty of nature and aliveness of the sun, that is hasn't been in a really long time. I felt gratitude rushing in.
This was the day, that marked my three year anniversary with Blues dancing. Three years that have drastically changed my life, but three years that have brought me so many incredible friends, adventures, love, and a much deeper and closer understanding of myself.
That morning back at the quarry, as the pale light of dawn slowly illuminated the walls of my tent, I woke up groggily to the sweet and soft words of I Love You. an I love you, I never would have known if it weren't for Blues Dancing.
I am filled with gratitude.
I felt the pressures and the weight of the past few days lift as we drove down that deeply lit and curving road tucked in the woods between land and Sound.
The rest of the sunlight was spent on choosing our campsite and unpacking our things, building a fire and I made cookie dough. -Word to the wise, forks, are extremely awesome when trying to mash hard butter into batter. A knife and spoon, yeah, they don't work as well.
We had forgotten a pot to cook the noodle soup in, so Darryl went and bartered with a neighboring campsite with a few cookies -cooked wrapped in tin foil in the coals of the fire- for the use of their pot for an hour.
Afterwards, I crawled into my sleeping bag beneath the pine trees and the few stars and fell almost immediately asleep.
The next morning, as we cleared up and organized breakfast on the tailgate of Ricci (yogurt and nuts and granola with fresh blackberries for good measure) I met the third Zach of my adventures. He was scruffy and handsome. A young backpacker, who spoke with the southern lilt about the border collie he was adopting that afternoon. When he told me his name was Zach I actually laughed, bringing a hand up to cover my mouth.
Darryl and I ate our breakfast sitting in the sun on a big rock overlooking the water and the san wan islands.
It was a glorious way to start the day and the first full day of our adventures.
I am full. Of sunshine and ripe wild berries. Of the happy clean feeling of being freshly showered for the first time in almost a week. Of the serendipitous moments I call grace. The water is so blue, parceling and the sky too.
Sometimes I really think I know where I am going in my life, but mostly it's just about waking ip and doing my bets to live in that day. And that one. This golden gilded hour, and this dark and surprising moment. Letting it sink in beneath my shell. All all those moments become my days, my past and they turn into my future.
So alright, life. What do you have in store for me today?