My PNW vacation is over. Family were visited, friendships started, fish sought and some caught. In between there was beer, uncle time, time to myself, and general re-acquaintance with the place.
Thrust back into the routine, I’ll be back at work today, and have the weekend to recover, in between yard work and car washing. In the rear view mirror are great memories that began a week and a day ago.
This trip was marked with my first experience flying with fly fishing gear, including two rods and matching reels. Despite worries that TSA personnel might consider fly line a strangling risk, not once did I have to submit to questions or a strip search of any kind. I did, however, leave desiccant (a white, nondescript powder to non fly fishers) at home to avoid the whole anthrax issue.
The retired folks who raised us took time out of their busy schedule to provide transport to my lodging, which, funny enough, they also provided, and without any hint of compensation. (We’ll get back to that.) I’d love to say that Mother Nature welcomed me to Seattle with blazing sunshine, but, well, it’s Seattle: overcast and gray. I interrupted the ride home with a stop for lunch in celebration of Mom’s birthday. My brother and his family, in a surprise appearance, joined us. It was a fun family meal.That evening, thanks to wifely permission, “little brother” Mark and I headed out for a bit of a beer adventure. I’d like to say that I never met a beer I didn’t like. That’s no longer true after our experience that evening with a flight at a local bar and grill. Of seven beers, we deemed only one barely acceptable for our palates. And we’re not beer snobs. Thankfully, it was the time together that mattered more than the beer, and after moving along to another source, we found better-tasting brew. I remember later appreciating that my brother’s wife put out the air mattress, and laying down. That’s it. Sleep came fast.
Next I knew, it sounded as if cartoon characters where running around the house. Nephews Kaden and Levi were up and it was time to begin some “uncling.” I don’t claim any particular knack for this art, but there’s a certain pride that comes with one’s nephews (or nieces, but I don’t’ have any) knowing you’re the uncle. It’s even better when they remember you because of fun times. (Insert comment here about me acting their age.)
Fair is fair, so Mark and I stayed with the boys to allow their mom a bit of away time. As an uncle who grew up when the biggest video game was PONG, it was natural that I’d join the ‘phews in a game of Super Mario. With a timer set to ruin our fun at any moment, we jumped into the game as I struggled to recall how to play; all the while watching the boys go Donkey Kong all over me. Called back to reality by the buzz of the timer, we gobbled down some breakfast and assembled for a walk in the woods along the Skykomish River.
If there’s any one thing that I like about the upper King County/Snohomish County area, it’s the easy access to nature, whether woods, rivers or mountains. It was a good time walking on trails in the Al Borlin Park, which parallels the Skykomish. A good place to get some fresh air, throw rocks into the river and just be outside. Also an opportunity for an uncle to show off his mad rock-skipping skills.
We closed the day with a late and long lunch at the folks’ place.
Then it was time to hit the sack early. Alarms were set for 3:30 a.m. in anticipation of Saturday’s salmon fishing. For some of us it would be fishing, hooking, but not landing; but that’s the next post, which should be number two of three.
August 6, 2010 at 9:55 am
Sounds like you had a great visit, Pat. Sorry I wasn’t able to break away from my weekly routine and get you out to the Middle Fork. I myself haven’t even had a chance to get up there yet this year. Looking forward to Parts 2 and 3. BTW, where was the bad beer encountered? I stick with Bud, therefore I am either always, or never disappointed 😉
August 6, 2010 at 10:06 am
Let just say that bad beer can be found at a place named after a certain large saltwater game fish, in the town about 10 miles north of you. It was so bad that I would have taken a PBR instead.
As for getting to the Middle Fork, I’m making plans to do so during a return next year, when I also hope to get the nephews out for some fly fishing…Kaden is a natural caster. And maybe, being an odd numbered year, I can chase some pinks with the Bothersome Brother. Never done that and it sounds like it could be fun. Enjoy your trip north!
August 6, 2010 at 4:04 pm
Patrick – there is nothing finer than river beer, one found floating in the river like a gift from the river gods. A PBR, when found, is the holiest of the holy.
Kirk – Budweiser is not beer, it’s frothy malt with yellow dye. Yuck.