Six months had passed since I last set foot on Orcas Island. Too long.
Halfway through a five-day stay, I can say the restorative qualities of this place are once again at work.
It’s 1 pm on a tranquil Sunday. The on-and-off misty rain is off for the moment and I’m enjoying the jazz music of Heather Keizur, a Portland vocalist who Performs at our neighborhood block party every summer.
Lori and I arrived on Friday, knowing we would overlap with our youngest son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter for two days. They packed up and left today at mid-morning to catch the ferry back to the mainland, leaving us to enjoy the tranquility of our cabin for the next three days before we, too, return home.
Yesterday, I joined Jordan, Jamie and Emalyn on a 4.2-mile hike in Moran State Park. (Lori stayed behind to meet with a handyman who was coming up to finish a job at our place.)
It was a nice respite from the urban routine and the first time I’d been out to Twin Lakes in a long, long time. It’s an easy hike, following the western shore of Mountain Lake and then a spur at the north end of the lake.
You’re at 1,100 feet elevation when you arrive between the two bodies of water, but it’s not like it’s a vertical hike. The drive up Mount Constitution Road brings you to a parking area next to Mountain Lake and the well-groomed path has only modest ups and downs.
Even on a short hike — an hour out, an hour back — it was enough to awaken the senses. Cool, fresh air. Still lake waters. Humongous, overturned tree stumps. An occasional breeze whooshing through the trees. Snow melt tumbling over rocks.
And in spots along the trail where we paused for a sip of water? Absolute silence. The kind where you almost feel guilty disrupting the stillness to resume your hike.
Moran State Park has five lakes — Cascade, Mountain, Summit and Twin Lakes. I still haven’t hiked around Summit Lake, but I can vouch for the beauty of the others.
With this most recent hike, on the eastern flank of Mount Constitution, it was wonderful to reacquaint myself with Big and Little Twin Lakes, a couple of jewels.