I’m paddling a kayak in the sunshine, fighting the choppy blue waters of the Salish Sea, and I can’t get a Backstreet Boys song out of my head.
I’m a self-proclaimed indie music snob, which has allowed me to turn my nose up at boy bands for most of my life. But recently they’ve found a weakness and invaded the inner sanctum of my hippocampus. I blame my 7-year-old daughter, Grace, who, for the past few weeks, has been begging me over and over again to play a heavy rotation of Backstreet Boys music videos on Youtube.
Now, I’m staring into the bluest of blue skies, enjoying a salt water spray on my face and humming “I Want It That Way.” This was hardly the soundtrack I envisioned for my first kayak camping trip on the Cascadia Marine Trail.
I shake my head, put my head down and give it all I have to give; I’ve got a ways to go before landing across Rosario Strait on a rocky Cypress Island beach.
Anywhere for you
During the summer months, my friend Brian drives around with his kayak strapped to the top of his Subaru Outback at all times. The thought being that he may find himself near a body of water at any moment and, if the feeling catches him, he can drag the boat down, slide it into the water and paddle out into peace and quiet.
I have three kids at home under the age of 10, so it’s a freedom I envy. When Brian asked me if I’d like to accompany him on a kayak camping trip to Cypress Island in the San Juans, I jumped at the opportunity. The fact I didn’t own a kayak was a mere formality.
We look up the tide conditions and plan for a mid-June trip, crossing from Washington Park near the Anacortes ferry dock over to Cypress Island. We’ll camp on Cypress Head, which juts out from the east coast of the island like the shape of my heart.
First, I need a little practice. A month before the trip, I join Brian and his friend April for a trip to La Conner to get some time in a boat. We meet Bob Meade,…