Last weekend when I wanted to hike, my husband didn’t want to do any climbing so we stayed on the level path near the river and were rewarded with views of the mountains. This past weekend we had unseasonably warm weather (for December) and it was 58 degrees and sunny.
I convinced him to grab a backpack, put on some hiking boots, and head to Oyster Dome, where I had wanted to go the weekend before. This is a great winter hike because it is along the shores of Puget Sound. Most of the mountain hikes in our area are covered in snow so we’ll have to wait until spring to do those. For us, just a one hour drive from our home provides the reward after a few miles of climbing to a huge rock vista that gives amazing views of the San Juan Islands, but only if it is a clear day!
There were many people who had the same idea. When we are all locked in our homes due to the pandemic and the weather, if the skies clear and the sun shines – we go! I’m glad we left early because we were actually able to find parking. This isn’t an easy hike for older folks like us, there is a fairly significant elevation gain on the way up, but happily, we made it.
Sitting on a rock, socially distanced from our fellow hikers, we enjoyed our picnic lunch with a fantastic view. We had a great conversation on the way up, even when the younger hikers were passing us. I was extremely grateful that every person we saw including little kids, teenagers, young adults, and parents were fully masked. People were polite and stepped aside and turned their backs when coming in the other direction on the trail.
On the way back, we took a different trail through the forest to a little lake. This made a loop of about 6+ miles total. The acres and acres of ferns, the majestic Douglas fir and cedar trees and huge rocks left after the glaciers receded during the ice age made the hike back down the hill really pleasant.
What I enjoyed the most that day was spending time with my husband. Is this what it will be like to be retired? Not being on a work schedule, going places when the weather is good? I’m imagining what a treat that will be!
That day I loved breathing the fresh clean air, talking about our future, basking in the soft light of the winter sun, enjoying the gorgeous green forest, and imagining taking the ferry out to the islands next summer.
Now I’m wondering, what is Beyond Oyster Dome? Whatever the future holds, as long as I can go to the mountains, explore the beach and spend time with my husband – my retirement will be just fine.