Chuckanut Drive

Have you heard people wax poetically about the Pacific Northwest?

Nine months of rain is a fair tradeoff for summers like this: sunset over the bay with the San Juan Islands off in the distance. Peeking behind low cloud cover, you can see the faintest glimpse of the Cascade Mountain Range.

This footage was shot from a scenic drive near Taylor Shellfish Farm. If you're in the area and get a chance to day-trip outside the city, Chuckanut Drive is the place you want to be. This 9 mile stretch offers incredible island, water, and mountain views. Along the way, you can pull off at Taylor Shellfish, grab some oysters and take in the splendor. Pack a cooler with wine, and you've got the makings for a perfect lazy day, Northwest-style.

From this vantage point, I ran into a real character named Bob Jones. He came to visit in 1974...and never left. With a minimalist lifestyle, he refuses to work in the summer and is often either kayaking or summiting the surrounding mountains (he's climbed over 300 at current count.) We talked about his energy-efficient geodesic home and the day everything he owned was stolen by hikers. He gingerly turned the conversation to conspiracy theories...and grew animated talking about what a crazy lot bear hunters were. Spending the bulk of his time in the woods, he assured me, there were plenty of bear hunters. "I can spot them a mile away! We nod and say hello, but it's best to just keep on walking. Those guys are crazy!"

On the night this film was shot, Bob was recovering from a shoulder injury...and aching to get out on the water. He gave me a look through his spy glass and talked about the flow of currents. Out on the horizon, a small boat bobbed on the water. What about the shoulder injury? He was exploring a nearby abandoned military base, fell into an unmarked crevasse.....

In lieu of a panoramic shot, I tested the video capability on my camera. The landscape is so stunning, I had to share. Above is my very first attempt at video....I didn't even know I had audio. That's Bob in the background, jonesing to get out on the water.