I was welcomed here—clear gold
of late summer, of opening autumn,
the dawn eagle sunning himself on the highest tree,
the mountain revealing herself unclouded, her snow
tinted apricot as she looked west,
tolerant, in her steadfastness, of the restless sun
forever rising and setting....
from Settling by Denise Levertov (in Evening Train)
My trip to Seattle and points north with my sister Tori was blessed by lovely weather. Highlights:
We took the ferry to Bainbridge Island to visit Churchmouse Yarns & Teas. Although I love living in Berkeley, I hunger for the mountain and water views I lived with for so long, so a ferry ride was a must. Many ferry routes traverse Puget Sound—the one to Bainbridge starts in downtown Seattle and takes about half an hour; some of the ferries, like those to the San Juan Islands further north, can take a few hours. If you are visiting Seattle for a day or two, I think that hopping on the Bainbridge ferry as a foot passenger is a must-do activity!
We drove the backroads up to Snee Oosh, outside of La Conner in the Skagit Valley. My mother's family came to La Conner in 1905 from Sweden, and not long afterwards they purchased a bit of land on the water from the nearby Swinomish tribe. Every year my cousin Carl hosts a family gathering—he cooks local salmon over a fire and we have a chance to catch up with each other. We are getting older! The conversation kept veering to retirement plans, but the younger generation keeps things lively.
We scattered mom's ashes at the beach at Snee Oosh, where she had spent so much time as a child. The day felt filled with memories.
We drove back roads through the valley, enjoying the agricultural scenery and the glimpses of the sloughs that run through the land. (The old houses seem to face odd directions, until you realize that they face the sloughs, which were the original "roads.")
We explored Anacortes, where we stumbled upon a BBQ hosted by the local Eagles Lodge. A fun way to end our trip!