Sunday, November 25, 2007

Back from Olympia

I am go glad Rebecca kept pushing to get in the kayak. I was nervous about it because when I went down to the waters edge the prior morning, the tide was out (way out, like 8.5 feet) and i couldn't see how to get the boat out through all the mud and muck and oyster shells. There were two boats that came with the house: a one person sea kayak and a hobie type kayak for two that was more of a sit-on-top construction. two people, high center of gravity, frigid water = nervous. but we got the flotation devices out and the tide came back in making it a snap to launch and off we went, our oars in rhythm around the floating mussel traps out in the bay. We weren't out for too long when a seal popped his head out of the water a few yards away and peered over his nose at us. Now Rebecca was nervous. He swam along and followed us for a good while and we found one of his friends basking on top of the traps looking for free lunch.

As far as the regular thanksgiving stuff went, we roasted that turkey and no one got food poisoning and we played games and watched football at it was very relaxing (as relaxed as i get at least) and fun. The next day we drove up into Olympic National Park for an uphill pie-burner to the top of Mt. Ellinor. I stopped climbing about 5 miles up at the last turn-off and went back down. Rebecca and her brother pressed on and got as far as they could go without crampons and icepicks. Serious.

The other highlight was learning how to shuck oysters. yes I cut my hands and yes i let the liquor (oyster juice) spill out. Difficult stuff, I have a greater appreciation for those power shuckers you see on tv sometimes now. The vacation house we stayed at was perfectly located on Oyster Beach at Totten Inlet. I was looking forward to the oysters but i had no idea its oysters are so special that R.W. Apple wrote a feature about them before he died.
We packed up this morning and saw the family off. Totally scored on the groceries because we were the only ones who didn't fly in. Thanksgiving leftovers, yay! New apartment without a microwave, boo! Excellent side trip on the way back at the Mt. St. Helens Visitor Center where we saw a little movie featuring Grant Goodeve (The Fire Below Us!) in the exhibition area about the May 18, 1980 volcanic eruption that blew the top of the mountain and killed Harry Truman.

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