Vacationing It Up with Friends in Our Last U.S. Campground

We’ve had only three full days here at the Washington County Park Campground in Anacortes, but we’ve lived them like the true weekend warriors camped among us.

Hiking and Biking Every Day

A paved, three-mile, one-way road loops the park, and I’ve walked it and biked it and stepped aside from it to admire the views of the San Juan Islands and whatever the heck the water is called among them all.

I’ve also hiked the trails that crisscross inside the loop, letting Banjo smell all the smells (but be oblivious to the many black-tailed deer who live here).

This is a terrible photo, but from left to right: bald eagle, great blue heron, then a fawn and a doe. Banjo is busy smelling detritus in the sand because we’re at the fishing dock right at dawn.

Visiting Friends!

As always, the best parts have been having friends come to visit us, hurray! My former co-worker at the magazine, Gavin, stopped by for a couple of hours on his way back from doing some field work away from his office in Seattle (I failed to get a photo). It’s fun to see someone you used to work so seriously with show up in the woods wearing an AC/DC shirt. 🙂 Thanks for the doggy-labeled wine, Gavin!

Then more friends showed up, woohoo again! The person—singularly responsible for me meeting all my lifelong-friends from college—drove out also from Seattle, with his wife and son, to stay in a nearby cottage and hang with us at the campground. (They’re John, Jamie, and Sam.)

Finally, we acted just like the campers around us, thrilled to have friends share the campsite; we even built a real fire and made s’mores (thanks guys!). I hadn’t seen John and Jamie for so long that we couldn’t agree on the exact occasion, but at least 25 years.

It does the soul good to learn that the kind, humble, funny friend whom I met in my dorm foyer first year of college, all because I was wearing a tie-dye shirt, is the same kind, humble, funny guy now with a rewarding career and a loving family.

And Jamie, she knows all the songs I like to sing with the ukulele and will sing them with me! How’s that for a good soul. Tracy gave Sam a tour of the trailer, at which point he became the expert and gave his parents each a tour, one by one. This was between his brave trips around the campground loop on my bicycle and winning over Banjo, who now officially loves 10-year-old boys with treats in their pockets.

We went hiking, we had a picnic, and we played at the campground beach. It was like taking a mini vacation with new friends and an old friend and all right by our home. It’s part of what makes me love this lifestyle.

Prepping for Canada

From here we cross the border, and because Tracy’s found only nebulous and even conflicting info on what we can take, we’ve gone the conservative route by simply eating and drinking everything in the trailer kitchen beforehand. (This is to minimize the presence of the good liquor bottles we are saving and want to cross with.)

We’re also finalizing our border crossing paperwork, and Tracy’s planning groceries and meals and driving routes, because the campgrounds we’ll be in over the weeks until we get to Jasper will be secluded. I spent our errand afternoon treat at the brewery downloading media, too. We’re headed north and we’re gonna be ready! I’m so grateful we ended our west coast tour with friends though. I don’t care what Thoreau said: nature is best enjoyed when you share it with people you care for.