Hi all, Dianne here. One of the many things on our to-do list while visiting the Olympic Peninsula was to take a ferry over to spend the day on nearby Whidbey Island. The main attraction (for us) was to do some awesome hiking, so our hiking buddies Bandido and Tequila came along with us.
We packed lunch and water for ourselves and the dogs, hopped in the car, and made our way to the Fort Townsend ferry dock.
Never having taken a ferry before, we simply drove up to the toll booth and paid our fare. The attendant asked if we had a reservation, but when we said no, she simply took our money and waved us into a waiting lane. Our timing was impeccable, because we practically drove right onto the ferry (meaning we were the last people aboard) and we were off.
I walked to the front of the ferry to snap a shot of Whidbey Island as we made our approach.
The trip to Whidbey Island took about a half hour. They very efficiently unloaded once we reached the dock and we were soon on our way, ready to explore.
This truly was one of the most unusual (and best) hikes we've ever taken. It starts off in an agricultural area (with beautiful views).
|That's Mount Baker in the background|
|It smelled SO GOOD!|
|Hey, Mom! Check out the View!|
Roger had me and the "kids" pose with a dead log on top of the bluff, with Puget Sound as a backdrop.
We followed along the high bluff for a while and then the trail made a steep decline down a sandy hill to the beach.
|Did I mention it was a tall bluff?|
By this time we had hiked almost five miles, and we still had two miles down the rocky beach to get back. (We hiked a longer version of this hike than most people do because of where we started it).
Oregon. They are narrow, with lots of rocks and downed trees that have washed ashore. We collected a few pretty and/or unusual beach rocks to add to our collection....
On the way back we also saw an eagle perched atop a dead tree scoping out the beach below.
Finally after making it two miles down the beach, we took the spur trail back to where our car was parked at Prairie Overlook. On the way we passed more beautiful agricultural areas...
By this time we were all starving. Roger and I were especially hungry, because the day after Kaia left we started a 7-day diet plan. (I'll explain more about that in our next blog update). There had been no trail mix, almonds, cheese, summer sausage, or other of our usual carry-along trail snacks, only water. All we had eaten this day so far were bananas and skim milk, and the days before that had been nothing but fruit and/or vegetables. Here's what we packed for lunch so that we could stay on our diet plan that day:
|Water, Vegetable Soup, and MORE bananas! |
We drove into a little town to get phone reception, and Roger called right away to make reservations.
After working his way through the phone tree, he finally got a person on the end of the line who informed him that the ferries were all sold out until 7:00. Needless to say, we booked it right away! We were so thankful that the young woman struck up a conversation with us, or who knows when we would have made it home.
Another "bucket list" item for me while in the Oregon/Washington area was to stop at one of the ubiquitous drive-through coffee shacks that seem to be everywhere in the Pacific Northwest.
So far this trip I hadn't made it to one. But with grumbling stomachs we decided to cheat a bit on our diet and have a skim latte. The barista was a perky little thing, and fixed us right up.
From there, we continued on to Coupeville to be sure to make it for our appointed ferry time. We were supposed to be in line 40 minutes ahead of the scheduled departure time. I made fun of Roger because, true to form, we arrived way early.
The procedure is to queue up in a special lane along the side of the road leading to the ferry terminal toll booth.
These cars in front of us had shown up early to try to get one of the few spots set aside for those without a reservation. When we got nearer to the toll booth and they asked if we had a reservation, we were plucked out of line and sent to the front of lane 1. What was really cool about that is that when it was time to drive onto the ferry, we had the primo spot in the front row, with a wide-open view of the crossing! The early bird really does get the worm. They even chocked our front wheels to make sure we didn't roll out the front during the trip if anything went wrong.We just leaned back and enjoyed the view!
The ferries allow cars, trucks towing boats, motor homes, and even semi tractor-trailers aboard, as you can see in this photo taken out my passenger window of the two lanes next to ours:
When we arrived back at the Fort Townsend ferry dock, all of the passengers who had walked aboard congregated in front of our cars so that they could walk off first. There was a group of motorcycles to our side who also got to disembark before the cars. It was interesting for us landlubbers to watch the whole procedure.
By the time we drove back to Sequim it was starting to get dark. The doggies were sacked out on their hammock in the back seat, and for a moment I thought we might have to carry them in like we used to carry our girls when they were small.
|We love to hike!|