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Face it. Many people in the west have had to battle smoke and wildfire for weeks. Even months. Those things stole our summer from us. Now, it’s cool in the mornings and you might need a sweater in the evening. Colors are changing. Not so much with freezing temperatures but endless weeks without any moisture. I don’t expect a big fall colors show like last year. So even though the calendar doesn’t agree, I think summer is over.

Luna and I got out of the car at the trailhead this morning and I was reminded that my brain is still in summer mode. Fortunately, in my car, I had a light jacket and some gloves to get me started up the trail. It did warm up after we got to the lake and the changing colors are beautiful.

This joyous occasion was held at Skalitude Retreat Center in Smith Canyon, not far from Carlton. The natural setting was the perfect place for the rustic decor carefully chosen by the couple and their good friends. It was also perfect for camping, lawn games, playful puppies and high energy children. Celina and Jacob chose to have their ceremony in an aspen grove with a handmade backdrop adorned with rosehip garlands. They walked to the site together, ahead of their friends and family. In the spot they chose, their loved ones created a unity circle out of stones they carried. The loving couple pledged their vows to each other in the circle with their three month old puppy at their feet. The vows were written on birch bark collected by one of their friends. All of their food was locally sourced from farmers they know. It was an amazing day.

Click on the first image to see all of the images as a slide show.

 

This is not a regular post for myeverydayphotos.com. My website, teripieper.com is having some issues that I just can’t deal with during this busy time of the year. So you can expect to see more wedding photos here til I can get it resolved. Maybe by November!

Our valley has been inundated with wildfire smoke off and on for over forty days. This week is particularly bad with an inversion trapping all of the smoke and holding it down throughout the day and night with no relief. A person, or a dog I suppose, should be wearing a mask whenever she ventures out in it. Otherwise, she ought to just stay inside and be grateful for air conditioning and a tightly built house.

Dogs don’t understand this and they want/need a walk each day. Here are a few images from this morning’s walk.

Odlin County Park on Lopez Island is a delightful campground with 31 camp sites, some right next to the beach. We enjoyed campfires til the last night when a fire ban was instituted by the county fire marshal due to high fire risks. We can relate to that and did not complain. The sandy beach is great for going barefoot and beach combing. The dogs found some sticks and two tennis balls so they had everything they needed to stay busy when they weren’t napping. Our friend took Ken fishing for escaped Atlantic Salmon. See this article  and this one too for more information about this non-native species. And then he loaned us crab gear so we could catch and eat dungeness crab!

Life was very good to us on Lopez Island. No doubt, we will return!

Our campsite at Odlin Park had plenty to offer however we did manage to drag ourselves away to enjoy some of the highlights around Lopez Island. It’s pretty small – only about fifteen miles long and maybe seven miles wide. That doesn’t leave much space for public lands and trails. There are several nice beaches and some require a healthy walk so that limits how many folks get out to them each day. Vistas from high bluffs have views from the Olympics to Vancouver Island to Mount Rainier and Mount Baker.

Lopez is one of the San Juan Islands. There are many tiny islands in this archipelago but only four of them – Lopez, Shaw, Orcas and San Juan – have ferry service. They exist in a rain shadow meaning they get very little precipitation, just sixteen inches per year. Water is a scarce resource on the islands so most folks don’t have green lawns and trails are dry. Weather is mostly quite pleasant.

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