Outdoors

Lighthouse Point

Of silence and salal

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Midweek: A frenzy of phone calls, texts and emails meant obligations and deadlines were eating my lunch, which I had no time to eat. I needed a few hours of silence and solace, and I needed it bad.

It was time to get out of town.

An hour later, I parked the trusty Subaru at the nearly empty Bowman Bay parking lot at Deception Pass State Park, turned my phone off, shouldered my day pack and headed south down the beach toward Lighthouse Point.

From the parking lot, it’s an easy three-mile roundtrip hike to the point—meanders and diversions might add to this total. After a brief walk along the cobbled beach (breathe deeply!) I climbed over a small headland and dropped to a pocket beach, empty except for an informal caucus of sea birds. The trail crossed a small isthmus (low enough to drag a kayak across, I noticed) and climbed the headland that is home to Lighthouse Point.

At a fork, I went left (why not?) to where the winding path loops around the rocky promontory through constantly changing scenes of rainforest, sunny bee-buzzing meadows, stands of fleshy madrones,  jungles of salal and bonsai forests of artfully contorted trees at the water’s edge—art for art’s sake.

The sun danced with the clouds and the light changed constantly: now a shadow play beneath the breeze-ruffled trees, now golden and bronze above the sparkling Salish Sea.  Clusters of delicate and complicated yellow flowers brightened the cliffs and luxurious white lichen blanketed the rocks. If you slept here, your dreams would be amazing.

The hours passed and I stopped often to watch the drama of the sky and listen to the music of the waves, which on this day sounded remarkably like Chopin. My senses awakened: the salty perfume of the sea blended with the sweet scent of rainforest, the dusky sunshine on the exposed headlands carried the aroma of a California afternoon and the depths of the salal thickets smelled like birch bark canoes.

Dark witch-castle clouds enveloped both the North Cascades and the Olympics but here, the center of the blue sky held. I gave thanks for the rain shadow and took my time circumventing the point, retracing my steps a few times to have another look at a particularly graceful madrone or to ponder a pocket beach or off-shore cluster of rocks.

A group of oystercatchers took flight as one, wings slapping on the water. Butterflies drifted through the trees, like extras in a Disney movie. I reflected on how difficult it was to make myself step off the treadmill for a few hours, to leave phone messages ignored and emails unanswered. I leaned back against a rock, closed my eyes and listened to the stillness.

For more details on how to get to Deception Pass State Park, go to http://www.parks.wa.gov

Skagit-Stack the Deck
More Outdoors...
Ruffled Feathers
Coping with a cooper’s hawk

The mystery started when one of our free-range hens turned up dead behind our garden shed with a small puncture wound on her breast and half her feathers plucked out.

During our previous seven years of urban chicken ranching, the Lady of the House and I have scraped a few savagely mangled…

more »
Unearthing History
Take a historic cemetery tour

While it’s true that the outings taking place Sun., Oct. 15 at the Mount Vernon Cemetery are occurring during the spookiest time of the year, Skagit County Historical Museum Director Jo Wolfe wants to assure potential visitors that there’s absolutely no need to be afraid of what lies inside…

more »
Beer, Metal, Yoga
A different kind of serenity

Yoga can be intimidating, but a couple of venues in downtown Bellingham want to provide an out-of-the-ordinary experience for beginners and seasoned practitioners.

First up: Beer + Yoga at 9am Sat., Oct 7 at Aslan Brewing (1330 N. Forest St). Jess Fleming and Dawn Hood started Just Add…

more »
Events
Today
MVHS Fall Concert

4:00pm|McIntyre Hall

Book Group Mixers

5:30pm|Village Books

Group Run

6:00pm|Skagit Running Company

Life of the Arctic Polar Bear

6:30pm|Community Food Co-op

Creekside Open Mic

6:30pm|South Whatcom Library

Anyone for Stew?

6:30pm|Gretchen's Kitchen

Seasonal Beers

6:30pm|Cordata Community Food Co-op

Birds and Plants

7:00pm|RE Store

Thriving in the Middle

7:00pm|Village Books

Jeremy Kahn Quartet

7:00pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Scottish Dancing

7:30pm|Fairhaven Library

Mt. Baker Theatre Undersea Bubble
Tomorrow
Book Group Mixers

5:30pm|Village Books

Bringing history into sharp focus

10:00am

Fall Craft & Antique Show

10:00am|Northwest Washington Fairgrounds

U.S. Citizenship Class

6:00pm|Lynden Library

3MB

7:00pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

The Women of Lockerbie

7:00pm|Lynden Christian High School

Balkan Folk Dance

7:00pm|Fairhaven Library

Summer Bike Stories

7:00pm|Cafe Velo

Young Frankenstein

7:30pm|Anacortes Community Theatre

Trove Bellingham Farmer’s Market
Friday
Fall Craft & Antique Show

10:00am|Northwest Washington Fairgrounds

3MB

7:00pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

The Women of Lockerbie

7:00pm|Lynden Christian High School

Young Frankenstein

7:30pm|Anacortes Community Theatre

Wild Things

9:30am|Stimpson Family Nature Reserve

Book and Bake Sale

10:00am|Lynden Library

Grand Opening and Open House

11:00am|Social Fabric

Books and Bites

1:00pm|Blaine Library

Clean Eating

2:00pm|Cordata Community Food Co-op

Coffee Tasting

3:00pm|Camber Cafe

Food Not Bombs

4:00pm|downtown Bellingham

Art Night

5:00pm|SpringHill Suites by Marriott

12 Minutes Max Auditions

5:00pm|Firehouse Performing Arts Center

Amber Sky CD Release Party

6:00pm|Presence Studio

Gore & Lore Tours

6:00pm|Historic Fairhaven, downtown Bellingham

Falliday Vintage Market

6:00pm|Port Transit Event Center

Family Story Night

6:00pm|Fairhaven Library

Wild & Scenic Film Festival

6:30pm|Lincoln Theatre

Poetry Party

7:00pm|Mount Baker Theatre

Upstream

7:00pm|Village Books

USA Dance

7:00pm|Majestic

Thriller Dance Class

7:00pm|Moles Farewell Tributes

Halloween Movie Night

7:00pm|BHS Performing Arts Center

Friday Night Flicks

7:30pm|Van Zandt Community Hall

Sanford-Hill Piano Series

7:30pm|Performing Arts Center

Hellingham

8:00pm|Upfront Theatre

Holding the Light

8:00pm|Honey Moon

see our complete calendar »

Trove Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1 Mt. Baker Theatre Undersea Bubble CWWarrenMiller Bellingham Farmer’s Market Village Books