Tarun and Yogita's Travel Blog

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Location: New Delhi, India

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Thursday, April 13, 2006

In Rain and More Rain ...

...and still more rain we did our trip to Orcas Island. I am still in awe of the pristine beauty of that island (well, at least for the most part of it) that was to be enjoyed even in the heavy rains.

It was our camping trip and we both were very excited. I think we both love camping and this time we had our new camping lantern, new camping cooking vessels and a working stove :), so surely it was going to be fun. On Saturday, April 8th 2006, late morning around 10 we left home with hopefully prepared for everything. And soon, we reached the Anacortes Ferry terminal. It seemed like a short drive although the weather was starting to get nasty. We did not want rain that weekend and that was all we got. But it was fairly dry in Anacortes. We stopped for a little lunch at Little Calcutta, a small unassuming restaurant serving decent food with only two of us as guests. We then bought some fire woods, a lighter and some paper towels while we waited for our ferry to set off. It was when we were closing down to Orcas Island, it started raining handsomely. But the drive down to the Moran State Park was breathtaking. Orcas is a very small island where people may seem to have been trapped but the beauty of it all makes up for that. We reached the park and looked for a campground with an empty camping spot. It was getting dark and we were feeling hungry so we decided to pitch the tent right away and start cooking. As we were coming a family was leaving the campsite giving up because of the rain. Both of our jackets only appeared to be water proof and we quickly realized they were not really that. So, Tarun started to do the tent and I, well ..., was covering him on camera :) I did help in the end though and I set up the interior of the tent with sleeping bags.

The rain refused to stop and we were getting soaked and I was getting a little irritated with that. Tarun told me to not worry as we cannot do anything abut it except having fun in the rain. We both then meditated for while on the wood log next to the Cascade Lake right by our tent. And this was really helpful for me. The family that left when we arrived had left behind them a generous fire burning in the fireplace and we obviously made good use of it. It was time now to cook so we held our umbrellas over our little stove lit the fire on it and I started to make Maggi. While Tarun on the fire toasted breads. So there was our food, we took it inside the tent and crept inside our tent with our shoes on. We just no more bothered about the mud on them, it was so wet. But now I was enjoying. We enjoyed the dinner too and soon after we decided to sleep. Well there was nothing else to do in that weather. We got inside the sleeping bags telling each other to wake up one another in case of any trouble. We had already thought that if it grows worse we will move into an Inn. It was somewhat eerie to sleep in the tent with rain drop tapping so hard on the outside and the sleeping bad below seeming almost wet and we didn't have a tarp. We spent quite some time like that silently trying to enjoy. There I was wondering what happens if we get sick when suddenly Tarun asked do you want to go for the Inn. It was what I just wanted him to ask. I was scared but not that much, I was more uncomfortable and just too cold too enjoy.
We spent a comfortable night in a European style lodge. Next morning the story was the same. Rain was pouring but we had slept well. We came back to our tent and decided to go on a little hike around Cascade Lake. This hike kept up to its promise of being very picturesque. We even saw some mongoose swimming in the lake. When we came back we again sat to meditate after which the only thing we could think of was food. We moved our stove to a shed where restrooms and showers were. Tarun made some veggie burgers for the breakfast and I made tea. This was really fun. As we enjoyed these burgers and tea, another family in the same campsite told us about another shed literally two steps away. We both looked at each other and wondered why did we not spot it before. It would have been perfect for cooking and even spending the night if we wanted to. Nevertheless, we used it to light our own fire, basked in the heat till it was burnt off. Then we packed up our tent, washed all the vessels and headed for our hike.

In all the fun of camping we had left for ourselves very little time for hiking. Although it was almost 4 hours, it was less as compared to the distance we had to climb. More than 4 miles up to Mount Constitution. When we started we assumed it would be round trip and were happy about that. The climb up was very steep, although we did not realize it until the next day (when our legs spoke to us) :). But the weather then was a charm, we liked hiking in the rain. As we were climbing both of us had moments when we thought that this was it. We also met a mountain biker who told the top was only about 15 minutes from there only to realize later that he must have told us the biking time. We walked for 30 minutes after that and found a sign which said that the top was still more than 2 miles out. There we decided we would probably need another trip here to finish the hike and we turned back. The hike down was steep as well and almost completed it running. We made it to the car and JIT (just-in-time) made it for the Ferry back to Anacortes.

Orcas Island was a small town that deserves another visit in a better weather, just to appreciate the real beauty of nature. And of course we didn't make it to the top of Mount Constitution leaving us longing for more.