For many, 2020 has been a rough year. I’ve been very lucky, in that my main hardship was being largely confined to quarters through half the year, first by an invisible virus, then by a blinding pall of wildfire smoke that enveloped Seattle. I missed my chance to get out for a summer cruise, but I was able to make a brief restorative escape with my smallest boat.My coracle, FAERIE, is just 54″ long and built to be a folding tender for HESPERIA, one of my camp-cruising boats. She was never meant to go far, just from HESPERIA at anchor to shore and back. She’s neither fast nor seaworthy, so to take her on a cruise of her own, I needed to find a placid body of water scaled to her diminutive dimensions. Through satellite images, I searched the area north of Seattle, and I knew all of the small lakes I found—none of them held much interest for me except for a pair of ponds I had never seen before even though the park they were in was less than five miles from my home. I had passed the park’s west side by bicycle and by car countless times and years ago watched my daughter play soccer on its east side. The ponds were so well hidden by the woods that I had never caught a glimpse of them.On a cool, overcast Tuesday morning, I packed a lunch, put FAERIE in the back of the truck, and headed for the park.

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