Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Re-establishing Connections

On May 23, 2013, the Skagit River bridge collapsed, plunging several vehicles and their occupants into the glacially-fed river.  Thankfully, no one was injured.  This event has caused commercial disruption to an amazing degree.  Although I've lived in Western Washington most of my life, until this catastrophe, I did not appreciate or comprehend the amount of traffic using that bridge to get back and forth.

Pondering the speed with which our lives can change, I decided to organize a gathering with my daughter (a busy adult and I don't see her enough), my best friend from ages ago (lives in Monroe, an expensive ferry ride away), and an old pal who lives even farther away and who I haven't seen since last summer.  Plus two dogs:  Snickers and Lucy.  We planned a hike to Wallace Falls, a high waterfall lying within a State Park.  There are several viewpoints along the route, and one does not have to gain the highest point in order to have lovely views of the forest, mosses, the falls, and the singing Wallace River.

The weather was perfect, the company exquisite, and in addition to reconnecting with my hiking family, I felt a reconnection to the landscape in which I grew up:  the Skykomish River Valley.  I hadn't been back that way in many years, and was startled to see a roundabout (!) in the middle of Highway 2, plus a new McDonald's and Subway.

Four miles was as much as my arthritic joints could manage, and we retreated to a shaded picnic table to feast on smoked oysters, blueberries, four kinds of cheese, fresh veggies, and a cooler full of exotic beverages.

My bridge back to my hiking family was in fine shape, although the Skagit River at Mount Vernon still has no functional bridge.  The governor promises quick action; we shall see.  In the meantime, let us heed the exhortation of Wordsworth, posted on the old railroad grade trail:

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