I don’t know that I consider Nisqually a “trail”. Or a hike, for that matter. More of a walk. A mosey. An opportunity to listen to birds and breath fresh air. And if the tide is in? Even better. NYD morning the tide was in. Hugely in. But, I also knew that the masses would be descending upon one of my favorite places by 10 am. Who can blame them? So, at 7:30, at the husband and I lay in bed, I announced that I was going to Nisqually. He said, “Okay.” It’s one of my favorites. He gets bored by “the same” scenery. I forgive him for that misstatement (Nisqually is always different) and left him percolating a pot of coffee. Everyone had a happy morning.
I was in the parking lot a little after 8. There were about as many cars. I had hoped for less, but it’s a big property, I can dodge people. I strapped on my ever-present camera and set out.
I have to confess that I didn’t listen to the birds. I was plugged in. I’m currently listening to Erin Morgenstern’s The Starless Sea on Audible. I’m not usually a fantasy-type reader (listener), but I loved The Night Circus. I wasn’t sure about The Starless Sea when I first started listening to it, but it has completely sucked me in. I listened to it the entire time I was out at Nisqually, then came home and listened while I took down the Christmas tree. It’s a long listen…18 1/2 hours. I have eight hours left and may cry a little when it’s over. I may have to read The Night Circus again as comfort. Hopefully Erin will not wait another eight years before producing another gem.
I decided to do the whole loop at Nisqually, which is a little over four miles. It was a beautiful morning, I had no where to be and the only thing waiting for me at home was a large Christmas tree that needed to be taken down. I wasn’t in a hurry to rush home to that.
The most difficult decision was if I should start on the boardwalk in the forest or head out to the boardwalk over the delta. I decided to start with the delta for two reasons: 1. the tide was almost at it’s highest point, which always gives me a sensation of walking on water when on the boardwalk, and 2. the weather wasn’t quite clear. There were some dark clouds still swirling about and I hoped for some gorgeous skies as the grey mixed with the blue promising to pop out. I was not disappointed.
I kept my eyes open for eagles and other magnificent creatures. There were eagles on distant trees, but I always forget to bring binoculars. I always tell myself, “Next time,” and next time arrives with no binoculars. I passed a few fellow photographers with serious lenses (gigantic things intended to catch the tiniest feather on the breast of a duck), nodding in greeting. I’m sure they wonder who the doofus is with but a landscape lens out at Nisqually. I did have my 70-200 in my pack, but it’s got nothing on the power they’re packing. The power would be fun, the packing would not.
I reached the point where you must turn around this time of year as the very end of the boardwalk is closed due to bird hunting in the area. Which is a bit ironic because I think you could end up with a hiney full of birdshot on much of the boardwalk this time of year. I watched a camouflaged boat (which I couldn’t see because it was camouflaged) drift on the far side of the river and heard blammo-blammo-blammo-blammo-blammo-blammo, but saw no birds fall from the sky. When the enthusiastic gunfire started again I decided turning back might be a wise decision, particularly since I found myself questioning their accuracy.
The masses were descending upon the refuge as I reached the end of the boardwalk over the estuary. Hoards of families with children, eager to stretch their legs in the new year, were marching towards me like ants. I ducked past them for the refuge of the boardwalk in the forest, which is always much more lightly traveled than that over the estuary. I finished my loop under sunny skies, energized and ready to tackle that tree.