Journey to San Juan Islands, Day 6: Recaptured Magic

Vacations are wrapped in magic  – the dreaming, the planning, the anticipation – culmination in the pumpkin-turned-carriage ride! Dreams coming true.

My trip with my sister-in-love to the San Juan Islands was all this and more.

After I get back from such a vacation, I always try my hardest to get any trip captured onto print before its glow fades like Cinderella’s gown. However, as per its reputation, the craziness of Covid did its best to try to steal the magic’s alpenglow. 

I am so thankful for images that fit just like that glass slipper, making it possible to the capture the enchantment once again in mind and heart.  … 

August 12th, 2020

Terry and I woke up, no less mesmerized by our surroundings, drinking in the beauty from our Eagle’s nest…





But today was to be our hiking day in Moran State Park. We would be having breakfast out, then a quick waterfall hike ( only about a mile) and a “shortcut” hike (4 miles versus 7) up Mt. Constitution (as per directions from our good ol’ kayak guide extraordinaire, Andy).

. . .

Ummmm…. let’s just say, plans don’t always turn out they way you plan them.

. . .

Breakfast was great and we were off for our adventure.

… and of course we had to go to them all!
Rustic Falls
Cascade Falls
Cavern Falls

But Hidden Falls? Nope… couldn’t find it. 

Not for lack of trying, however. (Found what maybe could have been Hidden Falls.. but .6 miles? Didn’t seem like it.)

And yet, like hounds on a scent, we keep trying. Ended up finding some teenage girls coming the opposite direction. “No, we didn’t see any falls, but there’s a lake not too far from here…” 

So…. why not?

Two miles later…

Beauty along the way
Mountain Lake (really, that’s its name)

So, with about 4 miles already under our belt when we got back to the car, we decided we better high tail it to our Mt. Constitution “4 miler” shortcut…

Ummmmmmmm, make that 7 more miles. It appears that Andy’s directions, “on the way up the road, “about a mile” were a bit skewed.

Gotta love the Long Way adventures.

Our carpet… all the way up!
Looking down on our morning hike to Mountain Lake
In the 1930s the Civilian Conservation Corps constructed this tower and the road and bridges which lead to the summit of Mount Constitution.  From the tower visitors can observe a 360 degree view of the surrounding area including shots of Mount Baker, the North Cascades, and the other islands of the San Juan Archipelago.” Unfortunately Covid closed the tower to us. Our 180 view would “have to do” 😉

I usually don’t like hiking where cars can drive. Still don’t. I’ve always thought it mars the purpose of hiking… and I find myself a little miffed. (Can I get some cheese for my whine?… )

So, after taking some time to check my inner complaints at heaven’s door, I waxed wise. 😉 and was slapped with all the gifts around me. I let it all sink in anew: the purpose (and joy) of hiking is never found completely in a destination… it really is IS the journey itself. The stillness. The sunlight playing tag through the trees. The peek-a-boo views. The gentle rhythm of footsteps waking forest creatures from their solitude. The company. The conversations. The breathing in of expectations,… the breathing out of the simple, profound Now.

How’s THIS a view for some hiking snacks?

And then realizing our journey was far from over, we set off for our Orca’s home

About halfway down, we took a 1/2 mile detour to “Little Summit” and saw a whole ‘nother round of views of the southeast side of the mountain (and a view of where we would end up the next day).

And, surprise, surprise, we found Andy’s shortcut on the way back! (too bad our car was 3 miles down the way! 🙂 No complaints. 😉 the journey and the little detour to “Little Summit” was worth its weight in blisters!

Don’t know if this is why the island was name “Orcas” … but can you see the whale tail??!
And a gentle reminder that in a journey, it really helps to know
what’s important along the way.

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