Orcas Island: 2nd Bell Hang

Leaving Vancouver

After our 2nd attempt at crossing the border proved successful, our first being hindered by an outlawed Aloe Vera and contraband avocados, we gleefully headed south through Washington to Anacortes. A small town sitting on a windswept peninsula jutting out into the pacific. Here we parked up for the night by a small fishing harbor to await the morning ferry to Orcas Island.

The next morning was pretty wet and wild so we made sure to pick up some rubber bands to give us the option of wrapping up the bell knockers to damper them if necessary in high winds. The crossing was rough and the icy wind cut right through the many layers we had coddled ourselves with. The San Juan Islands were scattered throughout our route, little cabins and boat docks peeking out of the densely wooded shores every now and again and my mind pondered the hardy, lonely souls dwelling within. Upon arrival we followed the only road out of the village, willing our route and next steps to present themselves. Enchanted Forest Road caught our eyes and after a few spontaneously chosen turns, we ended up in Moran State Park. We later this 5,000 acre learnt this was the very first in Washington, donated to the State by a wealthy land owner Mr Robert Moran.

Mountain lake was where Ariel came to a halt and we decided to camp out on a little peninsula, site 133, by the waters edge. Only a few other visitors graced her shores and we had the place to ourselves, I guess unsurprising on a wet day in December. We started out on the beautiful trail that hugged the banks of the 4mile circumference, ducking before fallen fir trees and drifting through mossy carpets of undergrowth. The water lapped gently towards us in greeting and, crystals in hand I was led forward, clear in the mission to find the next bell tree.

Both walking at our own pace we came back together upon reaching the northern shore where we were struck by the powerful presence and majestic limbs of an ancient Red Alder tree. Immediately, I was filled with a clear knowing that this would be the marker of our 2nd grid point and guardian of 3 more crystals which Nathanael placed wordlessly at the base, nestled between her protruding roots.

It was windy, too windy to risk the bells and so we completed the lake loop, had a roaring campfire and cuddled up in Ariel, trying to keep warm, emotions running high, hoping for calmer conditions the next day.

We were greeted by an eerie, misty stillness upon waking. A low fog hung amongst the tree canopy, muffling the sounds, a heavy melancholy air permeated the air. Luckily Nathanael was keen and motivated, as all I felt like doing was hiding under the covers. We trekked out back to the tree with the first 11 plus a broken bell which we intended to leave in another tree. Upon hanging it was clear that they were calling out for the other 11 and so we set back up the path to collect them, originally thinking we would hang only half. A number of times we paused on the banks as we reached a clearing where the sound rang out over the lake, reverberating and echoing. From far away it was reminiscent of a group of church bells tolling for Sunday prayers, right out there in that landscape, the effect was mesmerizing. Eerie really the best word for it. Upon arrival with the 2nd 11, the bell tones seemed to transmute and lighten, and by the end they were all cheerfully clanging away . One bell was damaged in a slippage and it started to make an awful clanging sound. We decided to switch it out for broken bell, he was now part of the clan!

We sat, we met a few passers by, we listened and once again I felt every part of my being relax and melt. I feel healing is magnified during each hang and the more presence I bring to each interaction, the more peaceful my mind and body become.

We de-installed once the wind whipped back up. Felt very grateful for the window of opportunity  we had been provided with and a sense of deep serenity and knowing. What beautiful work but my, it was a tough walk  back to camp with the double loads.

We left Orcas later that afternoon  on an even rougher ferry crossing with the rain pouring down on us all night as we heading south to Bend.





2 thoughts on “Orcas Island: 2nd Bell Hang

  1. Hello! Dan and I were out hiking when we came across this lovely display of bells. I was quite taken with what you were doing. It was wonderful to meet you and we felt so fortunate to have experienced this installation, altho quite temporary. We video’d it and posted on our FB page. Mine is Vicki Leimback.
    Safe travels to you both and thanks for sharing.



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