The journey from Seattle to Garafia is long. Too long, by the standards of some. But to me, it is exactly the type of thing that makes me buzz with life. From Seattle to London it is nine hours, three more to Barcelona. I spend one night in a monastic room in the leafy Eixample neighborhood, embark on a series of bus, metro and cab rides and board a final, four-hour flight. Finally, I land on the smallest and northernmost island in the Canaries—La Palma.


When the work week ends, we pack up Dave and head for the hills. In our PNW vocabulary, "hills" could mean mountains, islands, rivers, rain forest, canyons, valleys, ocean, inland lakes or ... actual hills. A top favorite on our weekend destination list is Lake Cushman, a particularly God-blessed corner of America and freshwater lake at the base of the Olympic Mountains on the Peninsula ...