“Dad, this is boring.” Henry ate those words about 30 seconds later when a seal popped its head up just 30 feet from our kayak as we made our way north along Lopez Sound. This was the culmination of the long-anticipated father-son kayak camping adventure, which included: a twelve-mile roundtrip paddle from Fry Lodge Mud Bay to Spencer Spit State Park, Henry’s first night in a tent, raccoons in the perimeter, and some very sore Fryman muscles.
With the kayak fully loaded with our gear, we had no room for fire wood, so Kristine kindly offered to deposit a load of wood at our campsite. It’s nice to have a support team. The scenery during our paddle to the Spit didn’t disappoint. Besides the seal, we saw starfish clinging to rocks, jellyfish stranded on beaches, and crabbers racing to their pots. It took us under two hours. Henry was a great navigator (if not great paddler), asking me every five minutes, “Captain Fryman, are we on course?”
After making landfall at the spit, we fetched a cart to transport our stuff to the campsite up the hill. As we returned the cart to the trailhead, Henry pointed to a car and insisted it was our minivan. I assumed it was wishful thinking, knowing that mommy/home-sickness had probably set in by now. Then I saw the driver duck down. It turns out Kristine and Ruby had been spying on us since we’d arrived. It’s a good thing Henry and I had decided to abandon our plans to ditch camping and instead hit the Tulalip casino. Though it felt like cheating, it was nice to get a visit so soon into our trip. And as a bonus, Kristine set up our tent.
The rest of the camping trip went about as you’d expect: long hikes, probing dead jellyfish on the beach, lots of rock collecting. And my having to carry Henry the last half-mile of a hike when he was convinced he’d come into contact with poison ivy. Oh, and a family of raccoons’ foiled attempt at pillaging our campsite. All in all, a perfect kayak camping adventure. And anything but boring, right Henry?