AT LAST – SUMMER!
DECEPTION PASS STATE PARK
We planned, many months ago, a weekend of camping to honor the Mothers in our family. We snagged a very nice site at Deception Pass State Park in the Forest Loop, a section of the park that has electricity and running water in each site, with many sites able to accommodate larger RVs. A word of advice: make plans to camp in ANY Washington State Park very early in the year, and get online to get your reservations. The exception to this rule is for mid-week camping, not including any weekend nights.
We waited out the weather all spring, a little concerned since our previous 3 trips had all involved packing up the trailer in the rain. But Mr. Weatherman delivered, and how! We arrived Saturday May 12 and got set up under brilliant and clear blue skies, with temps in the upper 60’s to low 70’s, perfectly ideal for 5 adults and 2 grandkids. We even found 2 trees exactly 10 feet apart that accommodated setting up our new hammock, and boy did we appreciate that.
We took a very nice, easy hike down to West Beach, a little over ½ mile, and enjoyed some sand toy fun and kicking back. We walked back at dinner time, made a cheery fire, barbecued some sliders, and got the kids bundled up to take in the sunset, which didn’t disappoint with a spectacular show over Lopez Island. A perfect opportunity for Greg to get some silhouette photos for the annual Marks Family calendar. Simon got into the act, snapping what seemed like hundreds of shots with Dad’s old Canon SLR. His Dad uses a technique to “bracket” shots with 3 exposures, having a better chance at getting the right one. And Simon picked up on that, snapping 3 shots for every try, although they aren’t brackets, more like duplicates. But what a pro! He takes some amazing shots for an almost-five-year-old!
Sunday, actual Mother’s Day, arrived to a whole group of really well rested family, which we were glad to see because it was the first time camping with a full load, especially 2 small ones. But it all worked as planned, and we made a giant breakfast with pancakes, sausage, eggs, Canadian bacon, OJ, Bailey’s in the coffee, and leftover flan brownies (thanks Andrea!).
We took advantage of the beautiful day and drove up to Pass Island, that little rock between the 2 bridges over Deception Pass. Watching the rising and ebbing tide push all that ocean through the narrow gorge never fails to fascinate me, and bunches of boats were fighting their way through, from small outboards to the Victoria Clipper. Very cool.
After lunch, Grandma helped the little ones make some special dinosaur cookies for Simon’s impending birthday party at Science School. He turned 5 on Monday, and treated all his schoolmates at the Pacific Science Center day school to some of Grandma’s finest, frosted, Dino Fossil Cookies.
Post-cookie-making, we took a ride out to West Beach and set up camp on the small beach area at the far west end of Cranberry Lake while Greg and Rachel inflated and launched the paddle boards. With the warm sun, and the flat water, it was a perfect day to commune with nature and take a tour of the lake. Simon and Samara took turns swimming in the shallow beach and hitching rides on the boards with Mom and Dad. And Grandpa kicked back in his beach chair to take it all in, very very relaxing. There were at least 2 goose families with newly hatched broods in flotilla formation cruising the same end of the lake as the beach.
Deception Pass SP is a great place to camp, whether you have a hard-sided rig, or a tent. There are 2 separate loops, with the Forest Loop more oriented toward RVs while the Lower Forest Loop is a mix of tent and RV sites. All of the RV sites have power (50 Amp) and water, while the tent only sites have access to water nearby. Online reservations can be made, and should be made very early in the year; the reservation system https://washington.goingtocamp.com has photos of each site to help you decide which is just right for you. With recent raises to rates, state parks are becoming similarly priced to private campgrounds, but only a state park can offer a better wilderness experience!
As always, H E R E ‘ S T I P P Y!