We’ve visited 100’s of shorelines in the past five years, but the beaches along Puget Sound will always be home. There is a particular friendliness to the sound of smooth round stones being jumbled over themselves in the waves. The water is crystal clear and triple-gasp cold, the snow capped mountains float over the pine tree horizons, and the friendly green and white ferries continue on their invisible paths back and forth between the islands. Yep, I’m home!!
But wait a minute! How did we get back to the beautiful Pacific Northwest you ask? We flew, but not until we’d had a few more adventures in El Salvador. In our last few weeks in El Salvador we’d been exploring inland and enjoying time with our new cruiser friends. One day a group of us went to the annual Mango Festival that is held in the nearby town of Zacatecoluca. Think of any food or drink you could possibly make from mangoes and they had it. It was a YUM fest, with the whole population of the state seeming to be there enjoying the day. It was funny to be the only gringos in town, and people would stop us just to talk and practice their English. Everyone is so friendly, it’s really a great feeling.
We also made a quick trip to El Zonte, a popular surfing beach near La Libertad. We enjoyed a few days with our cousin Jim in a house we rented that was right above a long sandy beach where the huge swells rolled in from the ocean in wave after wave. It was the perfect place for some chillaxin’ and we spent a good amount of time just gazing out at the ocean from our hammocks and listening to the booming waves. Not being brave enough to tackle the surf, we settled for happy hours in our private pool watching sunsets over the ocean…I know, it’s a tough life we lead.
After spending time enjoying the sights and sounds, pupusas and mangoes of El Salvador, we put Happy Dance to bed in Bahia del Sol to enjoy the rainy season on her own, and then we started our trek north by land and air. As we made our way to the Pacific Northwest we took care of a bit of car selling, truck and trailer buying, and soon found ourselves on the doorstep at Three Tree Point being welcomed by my Great Aunt Peggy and having a week of fun with family.
We had a wonderful stay at Hemlock Cottage, the house that my great grandfather built on Three Tree Point, just south of Seattle. Unfortunately, my cousins were on their own adventures in Alaska, but that meant we had the added bonus of being able to sleep in “the bed with the view” next to the windows looking down to the beach and out to the sunsets over the Olympic mountains. It was like being a kid again when I used to sleep in the same spot, albeit in a different bed! (When I was little I always slept tucked away in the top bunk of the bunk bed that was wedged into the corner at the end of what was then, the sleeping porch. My grandmother’s bed was just below me and it wasn’t unusual for me to wake in the morning on her bed, having fallen from the top bunk to a soft landing.) I loved having the huge windows open so that we could listen to the waves on the beach and hear the early birds welcome the dawn. Every part of me seems to utter a deep sigh when I return to Three Tree (Thanks Barb and Gene!!).
After my trip back in time at Three Tree we headed to another memory lane and another beautiful beach, this one in Coupeville on Whidbey Island where Marty and I first met! Along the way to Coupeville we picked up our new land yacht, affectionately named, The Murph and we were parked on the shore at Fort Casey. It was a busy week, as we unloaded “the shed”, our final link to a home base, and we sold or gave away a whole lot of history, aka “stuff”. I was kind of surprised at how hard this final purging was, but once done there’s always a sense of lightening the load; less is definitely more. Thankfully we had some time to walk the beach, watch the ferries come and go, and enjoy some awesome sunsets with Mt. Rainier floating in the distance. I collected a few more beach rocks, because really, can you ever have too many rocks?
So now we’ve left the beaches of the Pacific Ocean and Puget Sound behind for a few months as we begin our new adventure of traveling the U.S. and Canada in our land yacht. We’ll be roaming around in The Murph for a few months, without a plan, just a goal to explore and see new terrain. Along the way I’m sure there will be plenty of beaches to put our toes in the sand along the lakes, rivers, streams, and maybe we’ll even have time to find the world’s largest ball of twine! Once the hot, humid, rainy season ends in Central America we’ll park the land yacht wherever we end up and fly back to Happy Dance to float our way to Panama. So, stay tuned for possible lake shore beach-capades and travels to twirled twine, in the ongoing adventures of Marty and Sue!