Today is Ash Wednesday the first day of the Holy season of Lent. Christians around the world observe the next 40 days in preparation for the the Easter feast and to celebrate the forgiveness shown by God by sacrificing His only Son for our sins. For struggling, inattentive Catholics like myself that means, “how will I let myself down this year?” I was going to ignore Lent this year or maybe try to get my ass to Church one of these Sundays but instead I have given up Diet Coke for Lent. Holy Hell what have I done?!
I. Have. Given. Up. DIETCOKE!!!
I will be wandering in a Diet Coke desert for 40 days and I brought it upon myself by telling Annie if she gave up Facebook, I would give up DIET COKE. I’m on the verge of scratching my own face off and then will move on to the faces of my coworkers, especially the one who just told me while sipping her coffee, “if it bothers you this much, you probably should be taking a break from Diet Coke anyway.” She’s Jewish and she’s giving up meat for Lent because she thinks it will be “fun”. Leave it to a Jew to define deprivation as fun. She also said that she had to eat the sausage she has for lunch, and she’ll need to eat meat when she’s in New Orleans next week, and…. I told her, “Welcome to Catholicism.” We Catholics are full of qualifiers.
For Christmas my boyfriend and Gift Giver in Training (he gave me the coat that started this whole mess) gave me a weekend at the Saratoga Inn in Langley, Washington on Whidbey Island in the Olympic Peninsula or I think it’s there. It’s up in the northwest of Washington in the Puget Sound. I just looked at a map and I think it’s an island between the Olympic Peninsula and the mainland of Washington. Anyway it’s a four hour or two Diet Coke drive from Portland, although it seems like much longer. Have you ever driven with someone who’s a horrible passenger? Who is jumpy and squeaking out advice every mile of a ride? Who flinches every time a truck drives by or the median seems too close? Who grabs at the door or slams on the passenger side brake all the time? Don’t you hate that? I know Deren does but he is very patient with me.
We (meaning Deren with the constant help of my advice on his driving technique) drove for hours up I5 and then we had to take a ferry over to the island. Deren also had to deal with my fear of drowning in a shipwreck for the approximately 12 minute ferry ride. He reassured me that I could swim if need be and that there were plenty of life jackets on board. And to his point, we were never out of sight of land.
Whidbey Island was featured in the February issue of Sunset magazine. I ripped out the article on Whidbey Island weeks ago when I first received that particular issue. I kept the page out on the kitchen counter and showed it to Deren so we could discuss all the great things were would do on our Whidbey Island weekend. The #1 thing the article said to do was to “Gaze at Land and Sea” by taking the Bluff Trail 3.2 mile hike.
I packed my Merrell hiking boots that I have used once a few years ago to go snowshoeing, which I really enjoyed. Deren and I planned on going hiking on the Bluff Trail. Sure the plan was foiled a tad when we arrived and I realized I had left the Sunset page at home on the kitchen counter. No matter, if the island was featured in Sunset magazine, the natives must know about it.
Deren talked to the front desk lady at our B&B and she told us where to find Double Bluffs. It took a lot of driving around and one failed hike attempt at Trustland Trails (please see photo below)
I wore my hiking stuff and I looked cute. My problem with hiking is it’s just walking in the woods so you see a bunch of trees and a dirt path and moss and rocks. We saw a big pile of horse hockey, as Sherman Potter would say but we did not step in the hazanga as my father would say. If I want to walk in the woods, I can do that at home. Tryon Creek is steps away.
After first failed hiking attempt, we found Double Bluffs which was double stupid. This is Double Bluffs which is not where we meant to go but it’s where the woman sent us.
I guess this is pretty if you haven’t seen beautiful northwest beaches before, like the one below that I’m not identifying cuz I don’t want everyone going there, okay!
So the bottom line is I don’t get hiking. I just don’t get it. I’d prefer to walk somewhere where I could see pretty homes or shops that have things to buy in them (some people call that sort of hiking “shopping”. Tomato/Tomahto.)