sunday hike & obsessivism

Yesterday we drove out to Gig Harbor to go for a little hike at the park.

On the way we passed this store’s painted windows. DSC_0400What? I do not want potato pastries.

We drove across the bridge and toward the peninsula. We got to Kopachuck State Park. We’ve had this silly goal over the past few years to visit every state park in Washington, and then rate the parks on the “Flaming Geyser” scale – which is a made-up scale based on the awesomeness expected of a park named “Flaming Geyser”, and the super-lame reality of it. The fewer Flames a park gets, the better.

We arrived, and the rain hadn’t yet rolled in.The Mountain Man loves to read the signs at parks, so we stopped before hitting the trail. DSC_0321

It’s the middle of February, but spring is coming! Some of the trees are budding, even with fallen leaves still trapped in the branches.DSC_0324 

Daddy and The Pie take in the view from the beach.DSC_0331 DSC_0335

Chilly nose, happy Pie.DSC_0344

We walked back up the trail, and then along the coastline above the beach. On a very secluded part of beach, we saw what I thought might be an octopus laying dead on the shore, with a large body toward the water and legs splayed out inland. I wanted to go check it out. Octopi are precious in the Sound, and normally don’t wash ashore. I wanted to make sure it hadn’t been hunted and discarded. I guess we would call the forest service if something looked off. There was no trail to the beach here, but we decided to head down there anyhow.


It was really  steep going back down to the beach. DSC_0353

On our way toward the water, we found a stomach full of grass and leaves. It was not an octopus, after all. It had been a ruminant, and something had already gotten to the viscera.DSC_0355

We found a deer carrion on the shore, freshly scavenged by the seagulls. The poor little deer looked young, and had recently either washed onto shore or been uncovered by the tide going out. It was soaking wet, but there was no smell; the cold water must have protected it from some decomposition. Just fresh carrion, and scavengers who will eat well today.DSC_0358The Mountain Man and I imagined that hunter-gatherers living in the area could have found the deer shortly after it died, and perhaps gotten a meal out of it. Even now, if it wasn’t too old, we could get some marrow out of the bones, and the brain may still have been edible. But most hunter-gatherers, even if opportunistic scavengers, wouldn’t eat something that they didn’t kill or see die.

The seagulls sat just steps away, waiting for us to leave so they could swoop back to their meal.DSC_0359

On our way back to the trail, the Mountain Man found a good pull-up tree. I think he was showing off a little. After his pull-ups, he wondered if he could use the Pie as training weight for backpacking.DSC_0365

While the Mountain Man did his pull-ups, I found some cool roots to shoot. We had to climb over these to get back to the trail. They offered nice dry footing for a few steps up, instead of the slippery, muddy slope.DSC_0369 

We talked with the Pie about the little deer carrion, nature, and the circle of life. The Mountain Man and I talked about not needing to shield the Pie from seeing a dead animal in nature. We just wouldn’t let her play with it.DSC_0380 

We found a sunny spot on the trail and decided to stop and enjoy the mid-winter warmth. We took an obligatory self-portrait.DSC_0385

We found a big tree that had grown over a now-decomposed nurse log. DSC_0388

We got back to the parking lot, and it was completely empty. Early walks in February are the best. We talked about coming back here for a hike & picnic in the spring, but we’ll certainly have more people clogging the trails when it gets a little warmer.DSC_0390 

The Mountain Man taught the Pie about cedars while I got ready to nurse for a minute before hitting the road.DSC_0396

And while I nursed, the Mountain Man wrote himself a to-do list:.

  • Washington Water Trails
  • Get a canoe

DSC_0397We’ve been talking about getting a canoe for a few years now. But we need a place to store it, and our old apartment didn’t offer any boat parking. Initially we had wanted kayaks, but we decided a canoe will offer more stowage for boat camping (our very favorite camping spot has a small campground that is only accessible by boat), and we could take a dog and babies in a canoe a little easier than by kayak. There’s just so much water around here, it’s a shame to not be on it.

We drove around and found this super cute little church with really pretty stained glass, and a car parked right in the middle of my shot.DSC_0399 

So for Valentine’s Day, we may be looking for a canoe. I wanted to get a jigsaw (I am turning into my mother) so that the mountain man could build me a hallway bench and build the Pie a fort and a play kitchen and wooden toys. And of course when the Pie gets a little older and doesn’t need to be held all day, I could build some stuff too. I will cook wearing a baby, but I don’t use power saws.

And I also want a sewing machine now. After a couple of successful projects, I am remembering that I used to like to sew! I made these cute soakers on Saturday that actually fit!DSC_0276 I sent the too-small soakers and longies to the Pie’s cousin, so she’ll get some good use out of them.

It’s been so wonderful to create something that I can do from start to finish in a matter of hours, can stand back and see my accomplishment, and something useful and frugal! Having that kind of sense of accomplishment is rare for me now.

I love the obsessiveness of sewing, but I don’t really love the precision part. The Mountain Man thinks it’s crazy that I think that the precision and the obsessivism are different – but I think they are. I hate measuring but love the constant checking and re-checking that my layers are aligned and my stitch is straight. Obsessing is fun. Precision is not. So… a jigsaw, a sewing machine and a canoe. That would make for a lovely Valentine’s Day.

But first, I’ll need to spend a few weeks researching makes and models and features and options and prices and discounts.

I love obsessivism.

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