deception pass

January 2, 2016

On New Years Day, we all barely move. Today, we bundle up and hop into cars. There is a thick frost on the windows.

In my childhood, my parents drove us up and down the Washington and Oregon coasts. Those trips painted the coastline in with broad, thunderous strokes and as an adult, I am trying to fill in the details. The beautiful places that were missed. I know the PNW is home but it is a home that I am not intimately familiar with.

I have never been to Deception Pass—a small and magnificent area that separates the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Skagit Bay in the northern part of Washington State— although I have seen it appear in Chrissie's photographs. We decide to make it our first destination of 2016. Traffic and angry border guards aside, it's about a 1.5 hour drive North of Seattle or a 1.5 hour drive South of Vancouver.

We depart Seattle, picking up additional adventurers on the way. Amanda brings a skeleton named Skelly.

We drive along twisting roads through the jade-green rainforests and past tourist traffic and over bridges until we arrive at the ocean. It is breathtakingly cold and dazzlingly beautiful. These winter days are short but the light is absolutely striking. The majority of our little crew are photographers and we are giddy at the enormous beauty of it all. Even those lacking a camera-in-hand are giddy. The hangovers have passed and we are alive in this world and isn't the whole thing mighty! We scurry down slippery hills and climb to the top of boulders, laughing in the afternoon sunlight and picking up shards of ice.

In childhood, adults always seemed so stoic and serious, preoccupied with the procedures of living and the business of being responsible. Now in my 20s, I realize how untrue that perception is. Most of us are still just big kids. We have the added duties of feeding ourselves and paying our bills but the desire for play is still there.

When you're little, that play and curiosity is essential for growth and building your social skills. In adulthood, play is just as necessary. It balances out all the serious stuff. It's the enjoyment of life.

We laugh. A lot. We make silly jokes and slide down frosty slopes. Skelly follows us around, sitting in peculiar positions with his jaw left haphazardly open. Photographs are taken; stranger's dogs are greeted. I am immensely grateful to be reunited with Chrissie after nearly a year and to be spending so much quality time with my best friend who lives in another city.

Life is good.

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