Spring arrives! For 10 minutes.

If you're a mud wrestler, Dash Point State Park is the place for you.

Springtime has been utterly miserable, cool, sunless and dreary. The sun appeared yesterday, bringing people out in droves.

I'm among them. I head to Dash Point State Park (free parking!!!!!) and melt in the joy of sinking bare feet into warm sand and tepid Puget Sound water. Tepid in this climate is tantamount to boiling.

And no jacket!!!!!! That is a treat!

I follow time at the shore with a stroll.

Through thick forest. I stand silently a very long time simply watching the massively tall skinny trees sway and listening to one creak like a door in an old house.

I greet babbling streams:

And berries … most still underripe  … a handful ready for bears, were there any, and birds:


Oh, and mud, did I mention the mud? Lots o’ mud. And why wouldn’t there be? If it’s not raining here, it’s gray and threatening showers 90 percent of the time!!! The ground, especially forested, never dries out.

So lots of the hike requires negotiating mud puddles. Thick, deep puddles.

One woman returning warns me as we pass: "It's really muddy up there. I slipped." I can see that. She's covered in mud. I glance to her footwear: zories. "Not the best shoes," I quip, then turn my attention to negotiating this:

I arrive here. Am duly warned:

Heart Attack Hill's not nearly as bad as all that. More like Heart Beating Slope:

Must've counted four benches along the trail – for weary hikers? The difficulty of Heart Attack Hill is exaggerated, methinks.

I circle back to the starting point and select a second trail:

It reads Easy and it is. A couple benches also along this trail. Never seen so many benches along trails!

I finish off the hike seated in a forested wooden deck with a warm Tecate (yech!) surveying the engraved declarations of Jimmy and Sally forever. Ah, to be 16 and brimming with passion and hope again!

Today it's back to you guessed it, if you're a regular reader:

Gray

Wet:

It ain't Heart Attack Hill that'll be the death of me, it'll be this gawd-awful climate!

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