Jul 14, 2007

MOUNT VERNON, Skagit Valley, Washington – Car intact, I ring my parents, who live in Arizona now. Ellen, la mamma, answers.

"I'm headed for the ferry terminal in Anacortes. Route 536 West goes by Roozengarde tulip farm, then dead-ends into Highway 20, no?"

"How would I remember?" she asks. Not unreasonably. My family left the valley about eight years ago. I haven't driven this stretch in 13 or 14 or maybe even 15 years...

"We lived here so long," I whine. "It's in the DNA ... The road seems right."

"Why didn't you Mapquest?"

"Cause I'm a highly trained professional?"

"Your cell phone's expensive, I'm hanging up now. You'll work it out," she replies with impeccable mom-logic.

She's not wrong. Like a salmon, I squirm, unerringly, to native shallows.

Saltwater and cedar.


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