Posts Tagged ‘vacation’
Alison and I headed up to Deception Pass State Park for a last-minute overnight camping adventure. We’ve gotten in the habit of going on overnight camping trips through the summer (OK, this is our third one!). Even one night of camping is enough to clear out the cobwebs from a full week of everyday tasks and drama. As soon as I arrive at a campsites I shut off my phone. This time I had Once of Runner with me to pass the time.
Deception Pass is on Whidbey Island, about 100 miles north of Seattle, WA. It was a 90 minute drive. There are two routes to get there, one involving a ferry (shorter by distance and more scenic, but more expensive and time-consuming considering the ferry ticket and wait times) and the other by driving around to the top of the island and down to Deception Pass. We choose the latter route.
There are over 300 campsites, with all the basic toilet amenities you would expect. 2/3 of the sites can be reserved ahead of time, and many of those sites have great peek-a-boo views of the water (one of the straits just north of Puget Sound). The other campsites are decent, they do not have great views, but there is plenty of privacy since the sites are well spaced out with plenty of plant overgrowth between the sites. There is a well-stocked convenience store just before entering the park in case you need provisions.
There are several of beaches nearby (just a few hundred meters) from the campsites with sandy shores, calm water, driftwood to lounge on and also a large lake (Cranberry Lake) where folks were fishing and canoeing. We saw quite a few stand-up paddle-boarders and kayaks. In theory people also swim in the water here, but it was too cold for that when we were there. Trails also meander through the park for those who like to get in some trail running or hiking.
For $31 ($21/night for the campsite and $10 for two bundles of wood) – this is a highly relaxing and fun way to spend the weekend for less than the cost of a trip to the movies. Oh yeah, for dinner we made gluten-free mac & cheese & s’mores.
Sometimes I hear or read something that makes my jaw drop and puts all the problems and nagging things in my life in complete perspective.Today was one of those days.
Driving home from work today, annoyed at the traffic on my short 5 mile commute – and dreading my impending 5 mile run in the cold pouring rain…… NPR played a story about Shin In Geun.
He is, as far as we know, the only prisoner to escape from the horrid (and rarely talked about) political prison camps in North Korea. He was born into the camp, and lived there for 23 years…under the most extreme conditions.
He has been free for 7 years now, and The Guardian has an amazing story about him. It boggles my mind that these camps have ever existed…but is even more disturbing to think that in this modern-day and age…they STILL EXIST. The US State Department estimates ~200,000 people are in North Korean labor camp prisons right now.
Blaine Harden, an author and journalist, has just published a book about Shin’s ordeal – “Escape from Camp 14“. You can find articles and interviews about it on his website and get it on your Amazon Kindle now.