November 13, 2007
From time to time the Pacific Northwest is hit with major wind storms, and we just had a good one. The 61 MPH winds that hit Friday Harbor are nothing compared to the 92 MPH ones that visited Seattle. Power is still out in some places, inviting those without generators to step back from their computers and enjoy the nearly forgotten rituals of reading and conversation. And many other activities that don’t require power. Use your imagination. That doesn’t need electricity, either.
It was a dramatic night. Despite the chill and roar of the dry gales, we slept, as always, with the window open a few inches, taking in as much of the charged air as our lungs could hold. Small tree limbs were tossed against our roof and unrecognizable sounds implying varying degrees of chaos filtered through our dream states. As the almost rainless storm died down the next day, Charles and I assessed the results to our property (not bad, all things considered), and then couldn’t resist maneuvering our truck around fallen trees and debris to get to the most weather beaten part of the island, the west side. Once there, we basked in the sight of the unusually large waves between us and Vancouver Island.
The beach around American Camp on the southwest end of San Juan Island is, like most shorelines here, draped in miles of forgotten timber and driftwood. This visit was an object lesson in just how all those pieces got there. There’s nothing like watching a 30-foot long log haplessly surf the waves and then be deposited hard on the sand like an abandoned kayak. One by one, these castaways keep the outer edge of paradise in a state of constant change, and me in a constant state of awe.