Some of my experiences are post-worthy, others but note-worthy:
A few small steps. I was visiting Seattle, staying with “Radical”, from Everything, All at Once. We drove from his house to the Northgate park-n-ride to meet “Snow” (from that same post), whose bus arrived just as we approached. Just as we greeted each other, our express bus to downtown pulled up, one of the new (at the time) ones with middle doors opening onto a low platform, hardly a step at all, so welcoming. We sped along the express lanes, commuter traffic stalled in both directions. A few blocks to the ferry terminal and we stepped onto the boat just as they closed boarding behind us. I wish I could say that we saw orcas, but alas. I note that it is a habit, when I visit Seattle, to ferry over to Bainbridge, walk through the local park and on to the Harbor House pub, where they have a great selection of local microbrews, with an often outstanding brew on the rotating tap. Along the way we enjoyed one of my favorite sights, kingfishers hovering and braying and diving. The reverse journey was similar: onto the ferry and sailing with hardly a wait, then immediately onto an express bus back to Northgate, evading the afternoon commute.
The greatest shit story ever told. I had to go. Not just that: I was going to go, whether or not. No sooner had I besat myself (no “h” there, whew!) than it started. All by itself, then kept going, with no effort on my part. Going, and going, and going. “This will be stupendous!”, I thought to myself, wondering whether to investigate any of the long-expired magazines in the little holder alongside as I waited out the proceedings. Imagine my astonishment when, expecting to spy a glistening coil, I crouched around and gazed bowlwards: nothing but water! Imagine my further astonishment, after performing the initial cleaning gesture, when there was no debris to be seen! I commended myself for that on what must partly be due to a healthy diet, and concluded that a single cohesive “rope” must have emerged, navigating over the “P” trap to dangle unsevered, dragging the whole mass sewarwards once it detached. For some reason not everybody loves to hear me brag about this, so I hereby take it out on the internet.
Stormwatch. As related in House of Baloney, soon after moving to Seattle for college I ended up sharing a house in Wallingford, befriending especially one of my housemates who was part of a network of environmentalists. A few months after moving in, they invited me to go hiking with them in Olympic National Park. I was lucky enough to have the loan of my parents’ small orange Datsun pickup, and could thus transport the gear. These folks evidently did this fairly frequently, as they had a routine: stop at the Port Angeles ranger station to get permits and check conditions, then hit the Safeway on the far side of town for supplies. You had to know about that Safeway because as you leave town it looks pretty dead and at first you’d wonder whether you’d be stopping for last minute groceries in some expensive store with no selection farther out on the Peninsula. Hours of driving, then a few miles up the Hoh. Flat hiking amid giant moss-covered cylinders, the sky moss, the ground moss, moss enveloping deadfalls and boulders. At the Happy Four a great widening of the river allows you to walk well out into its summertime bed, away from the forest. That first night, moonless, cloudless, I gazed into the sky. I had never been so distant from light pollution. But no! A band of cirrus! An approaching warm front and its attendant rain? Wait! The clouds weren’t moving. Could it be? It could only be! The Milky Way! I had never seen it! I wasn’t knowledgeable enough then to have the kind of epiphany I had at Granite Lake, but I certainly felt the novelty and emotional impact.