Saturday, June 24, 2017

Vitamin "N" and the Raccoon -- Thursday, June 22, 2017

The morning sun greets us warmly and Herb spends some time playing with the compass on his iPhone, comparing it to the one on the bow of Willie’s Tug.  He gives me a lesson in the difference in magnetic North and true North.

Herb asks if I would like to do the East loop today.  The Ranger had told us he is responsible for having it’s two parts completed into a loop two years ago.  I agree to go.

When we were in Anacortes recently, I picked up a magazine about visiting Mt. Baker and read an article about getting your vitamin N.  “N?”  Yes, N refers to Nature.  The author, Mandy LeBlanc, tells of walking through Discovery Park in Seattle and feeling so tranquil. 

I agree that a walk through the forest is relaxing, although it is exercise, but enjoying the rocks, trees, flowers, sea, and your companion are one of the benefits of being alive.  Learning about what goes on in the forest is exhilarating.

So around 2P we begin our trek.  We see several hollow trees with the middle burned, and wonder how it happened, and why.  Most are still upright, but this fallen one captures my interest.  I see the cinders inside, and the green moss still growing on its topside.


Oh, sweet!  An Easter egg.  Well, no, it is a blue colored bird egg nestled among the vines and sticks along the path.  We hope the baby bird grew big enough to break out of his shell, and fly away to sing to us.

We are glad we brought our walking sticks that daughter Vicki gave us.  I use mine many times to steady myself as I climb up the trail.  Some rocks or roots are pretty far apart to step and the stick helps to propel me upward.

We stop often to rest and drink from our water bottles, and to enjoy the scenery.  What a rock I see on the side of the cliff!  It is in the shadows and against the background of the sea, it appears to me as pyramid shaped.  What a story it could tell!

Now we come to an area that we think must be the result of Ranger Doss’ work on the loop.  A large fallen tree has been cut to allow easy passage – one does not have to go over, under, or around.

Wow!  This ‘flower of the day’ is gorgeous!  Star shaped yellow blossoms nestled into a bank of what we call ice plant succulents. 

We come to a tree with another type bark, one we have never seen before and don’t have a clue what tree it is.

During some of this walk Herb assists me, by pulling me up the steep hill where doesn’t seem to be a safe place to put my foot.  In other areas where I would like to have a guard rail, I lean into the hill and feel safer by resting my hand against it.  Oooh, yuk, that was spongy and I thought it looked solid.  But now I know what to expect, and it’s Okay.

Four twenty in the afternoon finds us back at Willie’s Tug exhausted, and we take a nap.  At whatever time we wake, it will be Happy Hour.  I am happy now to have completed that trail and I think it is the most challenging one we have walked this Spring.

Somewhat rested, we do enjoy Happy Hour, and at 6:50P we hear a small boat cruise up to the dock near us.  The young man is quite noisy with what may be a crab trap, and we watch, wondering if he plans to drop it here.  Looking over our dingy behind the cockpit, we see him go up the ramp to shore -- with a raccoon trap!

He has tied his boat across the dock from Willie's Tug.

We are dumfounded that he is bringing us another raccoon, as we have already seen the little animals going into people’s tents when they are walking trails.

I follow to see what he is doing and ask, “What are you going to do with that trap?” He replies that he is working on a house for some people on the private island, Crane, and they make him sleep in a tent.  Says the raccoon steals his food, so I guess he thinks it is better for the animal to steal food from people on Jones Island.

I do ask him that question, and he then asks me if I plan to report him.  I ask if what he is doing is illegal.   He asks me what he should do, and I tell him I can’t advise him.

He releases the animal and drives his boat away.  Result:  private island Crane has one less raccoon population and public island Jones has one more.

It is time for some Vitamin N....

Willie of Willie's Tug,
   and of Walldog, Willie and Jake
   Thursday, June 22, 2017


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