I consider myself fortunate to have lived in this little corner of the world for my entire life. People are sometimes shocked when they learn that I've never stayed outside of the PNW long-term, since isn't that what we all want as kids and teens? To escape our place of origin? I've traveled a bit to other countries and other parts of our own, but have never stayed away longer than a few weeks. This is home, plain and simple.
This doesn't make me feel like I've missed out on much of anything. It's not like I have a monitor cuff on my ankle that will shock me if I leave... and honestly, I don't want to. When I was 16, I thought I was going to end up in the big city (though that big city was Seattle, which is still part of the PNW pocket) and I was going to host a radio show on 107.7 The End or write for The Stranger or be in a band. All of my dream-life details were based on their cool-factor or hipness or how rebellious I could be in regards to my conservative christian upbringing. I guess I did manage it a little; I moved to the place where they sell ALL THE CRYSTALS! Woo-woo, indeed.
My technical home-town is only an hour west of here and Seth and I are out there every Sunday, running our errands at the stores that Port Townsend doesn't have before picking Silas up at his dad's house in the town between them. Yesterday we decided to leave a bit earlier than usual and trek out to Lake Crescent, about 20 minutes west of Port Angeles.
As a kid, I attended a yearly sleep-away camp that was run by our church at a facility on the far side of the lake. I can't imagine my childhood without this lake. So many memories are tied to such specific spots around its perimeter.
Of course, it wouldn't have been a proper roadtrip without some staged photos. I'm pretending to be a woodland creature of some sort, pricking up her ears to take in the sounds of the forest...
...While Seth surveys his kingdom. He looked at the mountains and the shining blue waters, the moss and fallen leaves and he saw that it was good.
I may have never learned how to swim, but the sheer amount of time I spent in and on these waters is very near and dear to me. I can't imagine what it would have been like to grow up landlocked, without the epic ocean, rivers, straits, and lakes of the Olympic Peninsula. Without a swirl cone from Granny's Cafe on our way back to town. Without walks along the waterfront and the pier downtown. Without ferry rides across the Puget Sound and drives along the Hood Canal. Give me water or give me death.
Do you feel the same way about the area in which you grew up, or did you run far and wide? Where are you now in conjunction with your hometown?