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Letters home to mom

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      Posting these cat-cartoons-without-the-cartoon was a long journey that I don’t know if I’ll repeat soon again. A daily blog is tough … even when you have your material handed to you! But, I couldn’t have done it without the artwork … Continue reading →
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Where has the time gone?

Posted by joeabbott on September 5, 2015

I used to delight in replying to this question with the nonsensical statement: it’s gone to a small town in rural Ohio. Not sure why I chose Ohio, but it seems diminutive and out of the way, so it felt like a safe place for time to go when it needs a timeout.

But, more importantly, where did I go and what have I been doing?

Mostly, I needed my own timeout; a chance to recharge my batteries, avoid the routines, and just take a break. My life is one of relative leisure, but I felt I needed just a bit more nonetheless. And so I woke up on the weekends, played games or got on with the day, and completely neglected my blog. For a month. I’m back now … not with a vengeance but I’m back. Let’s get on with the stories.

imageAnother hike

When we last parted, my family had been out and I’d strolled up Skyscraper Mountain; my first “summit” in a very long time. Well, that subsequent weekend an old friend of mine took me on a jaunt up Dog Mountain.

It’s a small summit about an hour’s drive from North Bend, WA on forestry roads and of little repute. As the trail is no longer maintained, we had the peak to ourselves that very fine day and, while we didn’t reach the very tip-top, we had gentle sun, gorgeous views, and a good workout.


It’s a nice outing and one made nicer yet by joining Syd and her pooch, Roxy.

Paddling on

For the last 22 years I’ve been getting out each summer with a group of guys. I’d say we’re all relatively young but the truth is, that statement only made sense 22 years ago and by now, we’re all getting a bit grey; even the spritest of us.

At one point in our journey I was behind Dan, who doffed his cap and exposed his short-cropped, fairly white/grey hair. I then exclaimed, “what? I’m going to be following a Q-Tip the rest of the trip?!” Dan let me know that cut deeply … and so it became an oft refrain the rest of the day.

But, because I wasn’t sure my legs would hold up to a heavy pack, I chose another kayaking trip; and while it played out similarly to our 2011 outing, we put in a lot of miles on the water and saw a lot of new things.


Leaving from Friday Harbor, we stopped at Jones Island for a night. And, as we saw the clouds moving in and listened to the weather reports announcing small craft advisories, we stayed a second night. Dan and I paddled over to Shaw Island that next day, sheltered from most of the wind by the many islands thereabouts, but we got rained on as we moved along. It’s actually not bad and maybe even a little nice.

The following day we were eager to be on our way so, rather than wait for the tides to change in our favor, we paddled against the current and got to Sucia Island just after noon … 4.5 hours in the boat. On the island we staked a campsite and then walked the trails until dark, where we sat shore-side for dinner and played cards until the moon and owls were out. It’s a breathtakingly beautiful spot.


We had another day on the water before heading home and we spent that getting close to Friday Harbor. We’d never stayed on Shaw Island, so we paddled over to Indian Cove and put up the tent for the last time this year. As it was high summer we had a lot of daylight left, so we walked the beach a couple times, tossed rocks, read books, and yucked it up before calling it a day.

image  image

And that last day we returned to San Juan Island paddling slowly, going the short distance in as long a time as leisure would permit. The madrona trees were particularly beautiful, their red-brown trunk and branches reaching out from the islands; the tide pools teeming with life, the morning waves gently lapping at the hull. It’s a good time to be on the water. But, we beached soon enough, got home early, and I felt vibrant with no aches or pains to speak of. Good trip.

The rain returns

After a half year of pain in my ankles and knee, the past few weekends felt wonderful; so good I didn’t want to stop my weekend hikes. And so, when my other yearly hike was canceled due to fires in the area we wanted to wander, Pete and I took a much shorter hike just to stay in touch. The rain, however, had returned.

image  image

It returned to the degree that we sat atop Rattlesnake Ledge for a short break, enjoying a small droplet of rain here and there, and before we knew it, everything closed up and we got dumped on. We were completely soaked by the time we got to the car … Gore-Tex or not!


And that’s about it. I’m sure a thing or two of merit happened in there that I’m missing, but those are some of the highlights. I did manage to finish an August shop project, but I’ll write about that later.

Thanks for dropping in and apologies for the delays. I’d promise better going forward but I’m not sure I can keep up to that commitment. The timeout I took felt good and I’m not sure the leisurely life is done with me yet! Let’s see what tomorrow holds!


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