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Sunday, September 17, 2000

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The ferry to Friday Harbor

I slept good last night after all that walking but woke up with sore calves from all the hills. I am always up before Mike and Lauri are, at least on weekends. On weekdays Mike's up early and even beats me when I'm on vacation. I checked my email and enjoyed a cup of coffee on the porch, watching the golfers. They work so hard at relaxing!

We decided to take the ferry to Friday Harbor in the San Juan Islands. We were going to drive up the Anacortes and take the ferry from there but then decided to take the Mukilteo ferry to Whidbey Island and drive up the island on WA-525. Since this was Sunday we got on the ferry as we drove up. After work, during the week, the ferry lane is backed up for a few miles along Mukilteo Speedway which leads down to the ferry dock. I'd never seen a lane that long just for cars waiting to get on a ferry.

It's so exciting to drive on a ferry. I'm always amazed at how many vehicles they can get on. It's just a quick trip to Clinton and then we drove up Whidbey Island, which is the largest saltwater surrounded island in the continental US. The things you learn on vacation. It was a very nice drive on a winding road through a lovely green landscape. About half way up the highway became WA-20 which came across from the Olympic Penninsula.

At the north end of Whidbey Island we crossed Deception Pass, named by Captain George Vancouver in 1792 because he was very upset that there wasn't an opening to the northwest passage. The bridge is amazing and is in two sections with Pass Island in the middle. We stopped to take pictures and climbed down a little. The currents through here are vicious due to the tides and we could see a boat struggling in one direction and little boat just moving along in the other direction. This is a state park and would be a great place to camp. We saw a lake a little further on that was nearly at the level of the road and it seemed a bit strange as we had just left the sound many hundreds of feet below.

Finally we reached Anacortes and had to run from the parking lot to catch the ferry. We were running late and the one we caught went directly to Friday Island instead of stopping at the other San Juan Islands. Mike and Lauri settled in with books and I ran around using up several rolls of film. I love ferries. This is the closest I've been to a big boat. One day I would like to take a cruise.

I was glad I brought a warm jacket and a knit cap as it was already getting cool on the water. We were at Friday Harbor all too soon and walked around town a bit and then got some supper. I had fish and chips again and it was good, again. I was nice talking with Mike and Lauri as we looked out the window at the harbor.

It was starting to get dark when we headed back and we watched the sun set over the islands and then I tried to take more pictures of the lights in the harbor and the ferries passing us that were lit up like jewels. Finally we saw the lights of Anacortes coming toward us. What a great ride.

We went east on WA-20 to I-5 and back home. I got schedules and maps of ferries for the whole area and would love to live in a place you could travel by ferry.

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(c) Rachel Aschmann 2000.
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