Still wood stove season

Posted by Ken Campbell March 3, 2011 2 Comments 921 views

It’s blowing a cold wind out there this afternoon. I heard somebody on the radio saying that there could be sleet later on. The sun comes out from behind the clouds from time to time, but there is no warmth in it, and the clouds are black with rain and soon will be here in force.
I am in a cozy bar, with a hoppy pint of something fortifying. I’m sitting by the window, a chart of the north Puget Sound on one side of me and a yellow legal pad on the other. I’ve got trips to plan for this summer and fall, a 5-day paddle near Port Townsend, a 3-day outing that transits Deception Pass and another 5-day in the San Juans, mostly up north. It is that time of year again.
It is a strange paradox – and I have always thought so – this planning of summer’s languid days on the water at a time when thoughts run more naturally to dark beer and salty cuts of meat. I am not only responsible for planning a trip that is exciting (but not overly so), memorable (but only for the happiest of reasons), and rustic (though showers and electricity are sort of, y’know, important too), I have to do it now. At the coldest, least inspiring time of the year.
One completely new trip I’m planning out is for the YMCA, a new route around Marrowstone Island that will include Port Townsend and Fort Worden, is especially interesting. It’s a trip that could be done in a day, but there is no reason to hurry. I remember the camp experiences of my own youth as I plan out the route, and I wonder how this one will go. What life-changing events, what forever friendships will grow from these warm and pleasant days of paddling? I try to keep that summer sun there in the front of my mind as I put the pieces of another trip together.
I know. Winter is beautiful too. I do love it so. Seriously, sort of. But I was talking to the boy about it this morning… and he agrees. We are summer people, really.

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