Week 2 – Hartstene Island aka “Paradise Found”

October 20, 2008

We spent the weekend at Hartstene Island (alternate spelling: Harstine Island) where we accepted the daunting task of actually finding trash in a place where the locals dub their island as “Paradise.”  It’s a different kind of Paradise than I’m used to seeing.  Being from Hawaii (Paradise #1), I first saw Seattle as cold, rainy and indifferent.  After living here for awhile and with Ben’s adventurous spirit I am now able to call Washington State “Paradise” as well (Paradise# 2).

Of course the differences could fill many-a-blog, but the similarities are what are so interesting.  On both islands you take for granted the “Aloha Spirit.”  Everyone waves to each other, whether it is on bikes, cars, or walking on the road…and if someone doesn’t wave back, it is then deemed okay to whisper “tourist” and roll your eyes. 

Another similarity is respect for the “Aina” (the land).  Jan (Ben’s beautiful mom) was insistent that we would not be able to pick up one bucket, much less two in their Paradise.   We always take a walk along the beach anyway when we’re there, so we just brought our bucket just in case.  We passed velvety baby deer wandering along the driveways and noticed how dog-like seal faces truly are as they bask so contently on the docks. 

At first we fought over each tiny little scrap of Styrofoam that we could find washed up along the shore.  In fact, nearly everything we picked up off the beach was something that had washed ashore from somewhere else.  Even with the three of us, it took over an hour to scrounge up two buckets worth of flotsam and jetsam. 

Two weeks and four buckets later we are still very excited about our little experiment.  We hope to hear from future bucket heads!




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