We woke up to light clouds on our last full day on Lopez. After a light breakfast we decided to drive around and see some of the places that hold a lot of memories for us. First we stopped by Shoal Bay on the north end of the Island where I visited my Aunt's house "Batten Down" almost every summer of my youth.
Across the bay from my Aunt's home, in a cove at the base of a tall cliff there used to be a Salmon farm named "Aqua Sea" where I spent almost three years hoisting nets during my early twenties. It was cold, wet, brutally hard work, but a great time just the same. I was working with half a dozen other twenty year olds from five different states and we had a blast; working hard and playing hard on a tiny little Island. It was also during these Aqua Sea years that Jerani and I met. The cove in which the forty five net pens used to float is now a small marina and it's weird seeing boats moored where I used to farm Salmon.
We then drove over to the property Jerani used to live on. Her family moved onto the Island from Seattle in the seventies to get away from the big city, and kind of went back to the land. They first lived in a tent and a teepee as they hand built a round house and stone barn. Jerani moved to Lopez right before entering ninth grade, and she quickly talked her parents into getting her a horse which she rode all over the Island. She graduated from Lopez High School with a class of eighteen, and lived the life of a small town country girl with all the benefits and drawbacks that come with that lifestyle. Jerani's family didn't have electricity during that period so instead of watching TV she grew up reading by kerosene lamplight. Her life was decidedly different than that of a normal teenager, but that certainly wasn't a bad thing. The round house her father built has since had a second level added to it, but the overall character remains the same.
We looked out at Swifts Bay from the bottom of their old driveway, and noticed a sort of common theme her on the Island which is "unusual" mailboxes.
Another mile or so down the road we drove into Spencer Spit State Park, where we were married in an outdoor ceremony years ago. We had wanted to drive down to the spit but in the ensuing years the park has closed off those roads down to the beach and have centralized all the parking high above the beach with absolutely no view of the water.
There was a five dollar day use fee to park, which we were in no way interested in paying, so after snapping a couple pictures of a yearling deer we continued on our way.
We spent the rest of the afternoon just hanging around the cabin, reading, blogging, and just doing what you do on Lopez. Life here is much slower than on the mainland, and you start to see that you need to accept that and adjust. Slow your roll.