When A Candy Bar Is Truly Guilt-Free

Map of the San Juans
Map of the San Juans (courtesy of this site)


Whew!  What a weekend!  R. Darling took me on my very first overnight kayaking/camping trip and it was both physically and emotionally trying and yet somehow entirely amazing, all at once.


Heading home

Heading home on Saturday with a smile this time….


Friday afternoon found us with a fully loaded truck arriving in Anacortes around 4PM for what was supposed to be a 4PM launch from the Guemes Island ferry dock (if you’ve ever kayaked or camped, you know that it takes a long ass time to load your gear so we were already incredibly late).  Once there, we discovered that there was no overnight parking, so the plan was amended and we were forced to launch from Washington Park instead. 

Leaving so late and having so much farther to go before our first crossing left us in bad shape with the currents, so despite my optimism for a lovely evening of paddling, things turned out much differently for me.  Usually I think of myself as someone who is strong for their size, and I very rarely think of myself as a small or weak person.  But after battling the currents that pounded us after our first crossing, and again towards the end of our second crossing, I couldn’t help but feel tiny and helpless in the face of all that rushing water.  R. Darling will tell you I’m a trooper and I did well, but he didn’t see me avert my face as I tried not to burst into tears of frustration as I paddled and paddled, my heart pounding, and my kayak standing still as I battled to move it forwards against the water that inexorably pushed me backward.  Yet, I made it.  And once ashore, with the campsites staked out and gear being unloaded, I sat and ate that once-in-a-lifetime guilt-free candy bar and didn’t regret a single second of it.  I’d earned that hunk of sugar.  Who cared if it went to my thighs?  Because these arms and this back had carried me to safety.  They deserved a reward.


Campsite on the bluff - Cypress Head

We camped just to the left of our kayaking partners’ tent on this bluff


You would expect the Cypress Head campsites (we stayed just off Cypress Island on what’s called a tombolo) to be nearly empty this early in the year, but blame it on the one nice day we’ve had in weeks, or just plain old spring fever.  Whatever the case, most of the campsites were taken by the time we got there.  As we settled in for a pasta dinner cooked over tiny campstoves, and a cup of warm cider, the springtime darkness moved in and we eventually headed to our cozy sleeping bags.  Not long after, we were roused from an almost sleep by a rather drunken and poorly sung rendition of Credence’s “Bad Moon Rising” played at full blast on a guitar and a rather tooty sounding accordion.  Hoping the interruption would end soon, we rolled over and tried to sleep again, only to be woken momentarily by another Credence song assaulting our ears.  Who goes to the wilderness to make noise?  I just don’t get it.  If it’s noise you want, stay on your sailboat please.  Finally, around midnight, R. Darling had had enough and he went over to politely ask them to keep it down.  At which point he was told to stick his flashlight in a rather small, dark, uncomfortable place that would make it pretty difficult to sit down.  You don’t tell R. Darling something like that and expect him to play nice.  The gloves were off.  Luckily some of the other drunkards stepped in and nothing came to blows.  Blissful silence.

The next morning we woke up early and though we were tempted to walk down to the other camp and bang some pots and pans Tanisha from Bad Girls Club style (no, we don’t watch the show, but we do watch The Soup!) we decided to check out the other parts of the tombolo instead and take some photos.


Breakfast making man

Do I smell hot chocolate?


Beautiful island flower

A mysterious and beautiful island flower


R. Darling just leaving camp

R. Darling just leaving the beach at Cypress Head


The paddle back was much more enjoyable this time and we managed to hitch a bit of a ride on the current, making our crossings easier and quicker.  We took a short break while waiting for the ferries to load and unload and then made our way back to Washington Park.  Though I had a rough time on the way out and I’m in no way close to paddling shape, I enjoyed camping with R. Darling and seeing a place that can only be experienced from the water.  We got to see some creatures (porpoises and eagles) and spent some quality time together.  All in all, a great trip and I’d do it again as long as I don’t have to work quite so hard for that candy bar next time ;)


Waiting for the ferry

Waiting for the ferries


R & M 05-10-08

A couple that kayaks together, stays together!



Side view of Alisa

Another side view

Alisa front view

Alisa back

Alisa front detail

Alisa side detail

Pattern: Alisa (on Ravelry here) from Chris Church at Pursuit of Fiber (can be purchased on Ravelry and on her website)

Yarn: Knit Picks’ CotLin; close to 5 balls (6 balls recommended) in color #699 Moroccan Red (thoughtfully provided by Chris in return for test knitting the pattern for her)

Needles: Size 6 Addi Turbos (Lace)

Mods: Zip.Zero.Nada.

New Techniques: Short rows!

Comments: I love love love this pattern! At first I didn’t know what to expect, having not seen a photo of the finished garment. But when I finished it up and put it on and it fit like a dream, then I fell in love. The pattern is well written and easy to follow and the stockinette section is nicely broken up by the lace panels on the sides. I really like the lace detailing – it comes across as clean and eye-catching, yet not overly frilly or fussy. My straps came out slightly different than Chris’, perhaps because I’d never done short rows before, but I like the way they look (even if I messed up somewhere!). I think this is the perfect summer tank and I’m really looking forward to wearing it often. Thank you Chris for letting me test knit this for you! It was so fun to help you get your first pattern launched and I wish you tons of success with your future patterns!

An Alisa outtake!

An Alisa outtake!

Because I can never resist hamming it up when the camera’s pointed at me ;)


Stuff That’s Cool

Italian postcard from Ravelry friend Troy

Finding a postcard on my computer at work today that my friend Troy (introduced here) sent me from Italy…..


Brown Blue-Faced Leicester Roving from Hello Yarn

 Presents!  Even when you buy them yourself……….


Fragrant freesia plant

When your husband buys you flowers on Sunday “just because”…..


Mossy Rockfoil

Pretty pink flowers blooming in the late afternoon sun……


New tomato plants

Happy tomato plants growing in the garden….



Elvis in a pink sportcoat – cool!!


Warm Woolies Item #12

Warm Woolies Item #12 completed!


Warm Woolies Item #13

Warm Woolies Item #13 completed!


Hope your day was full of the cool too!


Friday Fill-In #70 & A Contest Entry

My new bee cosmetic case!

Ooooo, lookee what I bought myself today!

Lately, I am all about the bees. Speaking of bees, “The Mighty B” is my all-time favorite new cartoon. I think Amy Poehler could make a rock pee its pants (if it was wearing pants)…..


♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Friday Fill-In #70
(get yours here)

1. Two of my favorite ingredients in a drink are tequila and lime!
2. Human behavior (both good and bad) often amazes me.
3. You can keep doing that forever, the dog is still going to try to lick your face.
4. Espresso, chocolate syrup, caramel syrup, milk & ice, mix it all together and voila! You have a great afternoon (or morning, or evening…) pick-me-up!.
5. If I had a yard with a garden, I would love to grow veggies and fields and fields of dahlias.
6. Late afternoon napping is best au naturel.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to knitting, tomorrow my plans include driving to Canadia to meet up with R. Darling at a work function and Sunday, I want to come home and relax!





A happy day at Red Rock Canyon - April 17, 2008

 This is what makes me happy!


O.k.  I know I already posted this picture earlier, but this time it’s for Chrispy’s birthday contest (you get extra points for pics!).  We’re supposed to post about what makes us happy. 

There’s so many things that make me happy: little things, big things, some that are cheap, some that aren’t.  But the one true thing that never fails to make me smile, is my husband.  He is truly my best friend and the one thing I could not possibly live without.  Ever.  This picture makes me think of all the wonderful things that we’ve experienced together over the last 7 years (3.5 of those married) and just how much I enjoy being with him.  It doesn’t matter if we’re somewhere exotic and exciting, or on the couch in our living room.  There’s nowhere else I’d rather be and nothing that makes me smile like he does.




So get yourself on over to Chrispy’s blog (Pursuit of Fiber) and enter her contest! 

Have a fantastic weekend Bloggy Peeps!

Knit ya later ;)