Last weekend K and I tent-camped overlooking the Strait of Juan de Fuca while outdoor’n our way around the coast of the Olympic Peninsula. It was crisp, windy, damp and beautiful….
The Strait of Juan de Fuca is a 96-mile-long body of water which separates the northern edge of the Olympic Peninsula, Wash. from British Columbia, Canada, and is the outlet of the Salish Sea into the Pacific Ocean.
Some highlights of the stay were:
watching multiple bald eagles soar in and out of the trees around us
watching misty sunrises and sunsets from the comfort of the tent
waking up in the middle of the night to see the stars (note to self: “big dipper screen saver” lol)
cool, moist, fresh air–a much needed break from the extreme heat and wildfire smoke we’re experiencing out here in Eastern Washington
The (typical) rough bits were:
stiff muscles and creaky joints from hiking and sleeping in the cold
disrupted/sluggish digestion from traveling
a sore neck from Stevie (my dog) hogging the headspace/pillows in the tent every night
Here’s where sunrise campsite yoga comes in.
Lubricating my creaky joints, smoothing out cranky spots, and quickly assessing my overall physical, mental and emotional needs for the day…
The way I see it, an A.M. view like this is a precious gift…
The way I see it, this human body and the power to move it is a precious gift, too.
I strive always to be a grateful, humble, studious recipient of these gifts!
For those curious, the boat in the background of the video appears to have been left to rust on land many years ago. 🙂
This was a spontaneous and candid recording filmed outside the tent just after sunrise.
No yoga mat or props… hoodie, wool cap, boots, grass, rocks and all.
Pausing to soak in my surroundings. ❤
I hope you get a chance to go outside and move your body around real soon.
We packed a cold chicken pesto sandwich, a greek salad, and a couple of bottles of kombucha from the Tonasket Natural Foods Co-op into a lunchbox for just the right moment to pullover and pop the trunk for lunch.
I’ve eaten lots of fancy foods in very nice restaurants over the years, but these humble trunk meals of sandwiches and snacks are actually my favorite.
Standing in the gravel of some rest area between hikes, or on a road trip, quietly synchronized-chewing in blissful satisfaction.
Naturally, after fueling up on some simple nourishing grub, I felt like twirling in the sun.
Some photos I captured on a walk earlier this month of a plant I was able to later identify as a type of Amsinckia, commonly known as Fiddlenecks.
After a fair amount of comparison and research online, I still wasn’t able to distinguish the exact species. I suspect most likely Amsinckia tessellata or possibly Amsinckia menziesii, but this plant is new to me and the variations are subtle and numerous.
Common fiddleneck is a member of the borage family, aka the forget-me-not family.
Adorable, hairy tendrils growing toward the light…
Hey, that sounds a lot like us fuzzy little humans 🙂
Long before I opened my eyes to the calm blue light of tent walls dotted with sunlit glassy raindrops, the honking of geese overhead stirred me to consciousness and a sleepy smile spread across my slightly chapped lips.
These early morning moments are what I camp for.
Waking up in a tent to the smell of wet earth.
Crisp air nips at my cheeks and reminds me of my vitality.
The sounds of animals bustling around me on a thick carpet of damp ponderosa pine needles reminds me I am but one part of a large web of deeply connected beings.
Waking up to a new day alongside non-human siblings – the grasses, the trees, the bugs, the birds, the deer, the rocks. Whew! What a privilege.
Last weekend I noticed snow had collected in the dried remains of the fruit on this Tulipwood Tree. I was struck by how much they looked like tiny snow cones and attempted to capture their adorableness with my old-but-new-to-me 75-300mm zoom lens.
Liriodendron tulipifera aka Tulip Tree, Tulipwood Tree or Yellow Poplar produces a cone shaped fruit comprised of many samaras – dry, single cell fruit which are dispersed by the wind.
My beloved, albeit painfully needy rescue pup woke me up at 3 o’clock Sunday morning to investigate a mysterious sound, again. I’m an all-or-nothing sleeper so once I’m up–that’s it for me. I try to be sympathetic in these moments. How do I teach her which sounds are inconsequential – the clicking of the ice maker in the kitchen – and which sounds might be raccoons rummaging through the kitchen, or aliens beaming up the whole damn house?
I got dressed, washed my face, and brewed myself a hot mug of spiced apple cider. I wrapped up in a blanket and plopped down on the couch in the dark. My mind wandered to the quart of buttermilk idling in the fridge. “Why yes, Stevie,” I said to the dog now contentedly snoring beside me, “buttermilk pancakes do sound good.”
I googled “buttermilk pancakes” and the first recipe to pop up was Perfect Buttermilk Pancakes. I had all the ingredients on hand so I went with it. NYT Cooking recipes tend to be consistently O.K. with a couple of modifications – in this case I added a tablespoon of vanilla and a 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, incorporated the wet and dry ingredients in separate bowls before combining everything together in one large bowl, I let the batter rest at room temperature for nearly an hour, and I opted for avocado oil in a cast iron skillet for perfectly golden pancakes.
While watching the sunrise over frozen hills from my kitchen window, I ate a single perfect pancake, complete with a cartoon quality pat of melting butter and a hefty glug of real maple syrup. I cleaned up while the leftover pancakes cooled, used a cookie cutter to cut them into several small circles, and dusted them with powdered sugar before tossing them into a travel container. I then brewed two thermoses of coffee and patiently waited for K to wake up.
We try to get out for a hike or at least a long walk every weekend.
Sunday was crisp and gray, and I layered up in fluorescent knits against the chill.
I’m a creature of the PNW and the smell of wet, rotting leaves soothes me. If I look at this picture, then close my eyes, I can smell them now.
Once we reached the peak of our outing, we stopped to sit and enjoy some tiny buttermilk pancakes and hot coffee.
I added hot cocoa powder to the coffees; a poor man’s mocha. We quietly ate more pancakes and I audaciously wiped my sticky fingers on the cuff of my pants. Stevie sat inches from my face attempting to showcase her self-mastery and obedience in exchange for a tiny pancake of her very own.
Of course I obliged, I’m not a monster.
I’m an equal opportunity hiking guide – everyone gets a pancake at the summit, no questions asked.
I felt so grounded here by this gushing stream, I took a selfie to commemorate the moment.
Escaping to nature is the best antidote against the “too muchness” of contemporary life.