July 17, 1997
Vashon Island, Washington, USA
It was a beautiful day, and I seemed to make good mileage until I got half way down Vashon Island. The wind came up, and paddling became no fun all of a sudden. By 4:30pm I was tired, and didnt feel like pushing on any longer, so I decided to pull out at the next place that looked suitable. A few minutes later, I was on the shore pulling my kayak up nicen high, thinking I was going to be there for the night. Above the beach was a little field. It like looked the ideal place for me to camp for the night. To make sure that it was okay for me to stay there, I went up to a house above the field to ask permission.
An older lady in her sixties came to the door, and after I explained my situation to her she said, "Well, if I let you Ill have to let everyone else!" I knew I was dealing with an idiot as soon as she said that, so I told her who I was and what I was doing again. "Well maybe you should go ask my husband," she suggested, "he is at a cottage a few properties down the shore." I wasnt about to waste anymore time with this lady, or her husband... "Dont worry about it!" I said, "Ill find another place." I cannot stand people who cant think for themselves.
I paddled for another half hour until I found the next place I could pull in. There were many lawns to camp on, but there was nobody inside any of the homes. Finally I found a naked couple outside in a hot tub. "Sorry to bother you folks... but would you happen to know when any of your neighbors will be coming home? I need a place to pitch my tent, but I dont want to get anyone upset if they come home and find me on their lawn." "Our next door neighbors to the left wont be home tonight - you can sleep on their lawn", the woman replied. We talked for a bit, and I told them about what I was up to. They mentioned that they have been kayaking for several years now as well, and have done some paddling around Ellesmere Island, Baffin Island, and Belize. John and Linda asked me if I would like to join them for supper, and I accepted of course.
After setting up my tent, I walked into their home and was enchanted to find an assortment of Haida and Inuit wooden face masks, as well as various other pieces of art work. Being somewhat of an artsy-fartsy person myself, I was impressed to hear that they had created many of the pieces themselves. Linda gave me a short tour of their art work around the house, then offered me her shower. "Ive been there..." she told me.
While I was in the shower, I became aware of two huge spiders above my head. When I got out of the shower, I noticed several other large spider webs above the mirror, and the toilet, with spiders maintaining them. I notified Linda about it later. Her reaction was, "They dont bother us... so we dont them. Beside those little guys put all that work into making such beautiful webs... it would be just a shame to ruin them." I had never before heard a woman talk that way about spiders. It was a refreshing new perspective.
We sat outside on their patio feasting on hamburgers and corn on the cob with white wine. I wasnt getting bored of the combination at all. I spent the rest of the evening catching up on my emails.