So, one of the clear favorites from this adventure was a place called Puget Island. You will all say that you know where it is because, of course, it’s in the Puget Sound region. This is a natural conclusion to come to, and it is confusing… because it’s wrong (not unlike Victoria’s location on Vancouver Island, but don’t get me started on that one). Anyway, Puget Island is actually on the south end of Washington State…on the Columbia River just north of Oregon. It’s a 7.5 square km island with about 800 people living on it…and it’s connected to the tiny town of Cathlamet via a bridge.
Puget Island is the only location to which I returned for an extended stay during my year of travel. Packed full of fields and barns and cows and canals and rivers, it is by far one of the most beautiful places I have visited. Ever. During my stays there, I got into the habit of working as much as possible during the day and driving around in the early mornings and late afternoons to gawk at the unbelievable views. The lush velvet fields, the multi-colored boats, the broken down barns, the steamy-fog-filled mornings.
And the animals. The neighborhoods of animals. Horses, donkeys, cows, chickens, ducks, goats, sheep…way too many to list. The island vibrates with their sounds. I have missed those sounds ever since.
But perhaps the greatest charm of the island comes from the people who live there. A group of people who are incredibly warm and welcoming. Clearly aware that they’re living in paradise and eager to share with visitors. Along with folks from around town, I picked blueberries at sunrise, made brick oven pizza at the farmer’s market, and helped tend to my hosts’ organic farm. I attended dinners that felt like Fellini feasts…surrounded by dynamic, enriching people eating good food, drinking excellent wine, and engaging in interesting conversation until the wee hours of the night. I listened to music presented by extremely talented musicians and laughed in the company of like-minded friends.