An Aerial View

I’m sure that most people reading this have a similar reaction to mine when flying over bodies of water: “I could paddle that.” Our trip to Banff this past summer added an element for me when flying over the Cascades. I spent a good portion of my recent flight home from Spokane peering out the window, looking for glacial lakes. I found a couple, but I’m not sure if they have boat launches… or even roads.

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As we approached Seattle, the Puget Sound came into view. Even though it was a foggy day at SeaTac, I could still see the entire race route for SEVENTY48. And, of course, I looked for all of the landmarks I’ve previously studied on maps and from the water. There’s nothing quite like an aerial view of places you’ve paddled enough that you’re intimate with the shoreline.

I particularly like this next one, where you can see the Port of Brownsville. We spent many happy hours there this summer, at Tuesday Skills Practice with the Great Peninsula Paddlers. It also has Blake Island, Rich Passage, and Eagle Harbor – so many spots we’re familiar with paddling. Surprisingly, Restoration Point doesn’t look very sharp and Blakely Rock isn’t visible.

As we headed south (to turn around and get lined up for our approach heading north), I was able to see 5 sections of water lined up out my window: East Passage, Quartermaster Harbor, Colvos Passage, Carr Inlet, and Case Inlet. I enjoy picking out the islands we’ve circumnavigated and the waterways we’ve paddled.

You might think that seeing the Space Needle or even the town where I live would feel like home. But it’s really when I see these waters where I spend most of my free time that I feel that I’ve come home.


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