Sunday, February 8, 2009

Windrope boys to Jones Island

The Windrope boys of all three sizes headed off to Jones for adventure while Amy is away on a ski trip of her own. Rounding Shaw to catch some different scenes, we came to view the beautiful expanse of water laying between Lopez, Shaw and Orcas. On cue, the sun burst through the fog and we lunched drifting along while bathed by photons.

The course between Shaw and Orcas so delightful and twisty, a treat for all the senses. Blind Bay here, Turtleback there, West Sound and Crane Island and all those little isles. Went through Pole Pass for the first time and as we approached Elliott said "Dad, do you know where you're going?". Now that's a good first mate.

Tucked into the north cove of Jones as SE winds were forecast. Dinghied over and hiked the West loop backwards compared to our normal start from South Beach. Every step a joy. Every step a chance for Elliott and Owen to feel the freedom of wild places. They run ahead, they fall behind, they're up a tree and down a ditch. They can do no wrong here: nothing to break or to fear. It dawned 28 degrees this Saturday morning, but by the time we started our walk on Jones at about 2pm, it was a balmy 40 or so.

By the time we made it around to South Beach, happy and refreshed, the sun was there and we were able to play for a while. The boys took off to be humans, and I layed on the beach to absorb myself in thoughtful sunfilled reflection. Hearing them cavort around made my daddy heart sing. I realize this may sound silly, but there is nothing silly about the importance of kids having free time in a wild place. They invented all sorts of fun games and had each other in stitches, climbing the cliffs and throwing rocks in the water.

A cozy night on Aeolus with the cabin heater keeping us warm above the chill outside. A nearly full moon lighting the water all around.

This morning we headed out for our adventure of rounding the East side of Jones, where there was once a trail but now no more. It was perfection. My little Owen, just four years old, just motored all over the fallen logs and along the cliff edges while big brother Elliott showed the way. There was just enough sign of the old trail for it never to be in doubt, and just enough downed logs and such to make it feel adventurous to the boys. Beautiful pocket beach after beautiful pocket beach after beautiful pocket beach. Astounding.

This was a perfectly normal and uneventful weekend of a dad with his two sons. Yet so much more. It was yet another deposit into the bank account of their personal development and connection with the natural world. It was another opportunity for them to realize how free they can be in nature, how close to the source, how unfiltered an experience. No matter their adult preferences, they will never forget that they had a ton of great times away from urbanity, and perhaps, that it is a place they can always return to for refreshment. For me too.

We had to motor back as the forecast 10-20 SE wind never came.

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