This past week I was on vacation in Washington State. Visiting family in Southern Washington, on a small island only 7.5 square miles, called Puget Island. It is full of farm land, prairies, waterways, and beautiful scenery. The steep peaks of Oregon can be seen from the back yard and the rolling hills of Washington from the front. There are cattle, sheep, chickens, greenhouses and orchards throughout the island. It is truly clean living at its best.
People up there can live off the land, probably almost entirely if they wished too. Take a short drive across the Cathlamet bridge and you are into dense forests filled with pine trees two hundred feed tall and ferns so thick you can barely trudge through them. There you will find deer and elk a plenty. It’s bow season now so we took a day and headed into the morning woods to stock deer with a badass compound bow in tow. However, with two California girls tagging along my brother found it difficult to hunt one down and we returned without any catch.
Later it was off to the Columbia River, just a short drive away and we were launching our boat into the glassy harbor. We jetted across the ice cold river cruising over the waves and avoiding the large carrier ships headed to Portland. The shore line was dotted with fisherman wading in the water griping tight to their poles. You could feel their anticipation, waiting to hurl salmon out of the water by their line. Oh, and the smoked salmon...there is nothing like it. It melts in your mouth with a rich buttery finish. Best, in my opinion, when eaten alone with a glass of white wine perhaps.
Each Friday there is a small Farmers Market just across the way. We arrived to be greeted by the smell of wood-fire pizza and acoustic Jonny Cash tunes from a two man band. The market was small with just a dozen vendors or so, but it didn’t lack in offerings. There was local beef and lamb, fresh goat cheese, heaps and bounds of produce, freshly baked bread, and local raw honey. I purchased these grapes that were to die for. Thick sour dark purple skin and a soft center that tasted like honey. We bought goods for that nights dinner and the coming days snacks. However, all of our bounties were quickly gobbled up by the end of the evening...with a house of nine people tasty food doesn’t last long.
The rest of our days there were occupied with long bike rides around the island and evening walks on the beach. That land is filled with riches...although not ideal for everyone to live in year around...it is most definitely a needed respite from the hustle of Southern California. It reminds me why I choose to live a clean and natural life...simpler living is refreshing...with no need to worry about the toxic lifestyle cities and suburban areas breed. I look forward to further visits to the hidden Washington island and eagerly await my return.