Tuesday, September 4, 2012

DAY 14- From Ferrying to Camping...

I tried to break myself of the Island lifestyle by trying to get up earlier.  I had reserved a spot on-line for the 10:15am Coupeville to Port Townsend Ferry.  To make sure I caught my first ever ferry (yes, another first), I managed to set my phone alarm for 6:30am.  I figured better early than late for my first ferry ride.  So, I’m putting my bags and what not by the front door getting ready to take them out to the car.  Next thing I know Mariah (the cat) is laying on my stuff and meowing at me.  It’s like she was saying “Take me too!”  It was too funny because the whole week, I’ve been staying with my hosts (Jean & Walt) this affectionate cat vied for my lap anytime I have sat down anywhere in the house.  Jean kept on teasing me about taking the cat with me when I leave.  So here is this cat rolling around in my gear as I’m trying to get ready.
Photo- The cat that wants to come along?

I said my goodbyes and headed from Oak Harbor to the ferry dock in Coupeville which is about a 15 mile drive.  I checked in for the ferry about 45 minutes earlier than the time.  I was the first car in the first line, and ended up being the third actual vehicle on the ferry.  I told the gal when I checked in that this was my first time and if there was anything I needed to know.  She said no; that I just needed to follow the directions of the ferry employees. 
Photo- I took as I was driving onto the ferry.

I pulled the car on; following the waves and hand signals of the ferry employees.  I turned off and locked my car; then, headed up to the upper deck with my camera.  It had been very foggy on Whigby Island earlier this morning but had been lifting pretty well at the dock.  Well, as we got further out on to the water the fog seemed to just sit there.  I never did really get to see much of anything while on the actual ferry ride. 
Photo- The only view from the ferry while crossing.
Photo- My first sighting of Port Townsend.

My first sight of the town of Port Townsend was through a mild low lying fog.  As we get closer, there’s an announcement about preparing to dock and look out!  It’s like a stampede down the stairs to the lower deck.  Oh, did I mention that there was a great deal of non-American tourists?  There were Oriental and German too that was spoken.  I heard quite a few others that I couldn’t figure out what language they were speaking.
Photo- Outside of wood boat building school.

Off the boat we all eventually went following the universal hand signal signs from the ferry employees.  I took a quick right into the center of Port Townsend and found a parking spot within a few blocks.  Then, I just jumped out of the car and explored.  Port Townsend is a port so there were an emphasis on the boats with a few marina areas, boat suppliers, and even wooden boat builder’s school; which unfortunately because it was Monday Memorial Day the shop was closed.  It looked like they had an area where you could watch them at work.
Photos- Of water front area of Port Townsend.

Their waterfront street is filled with cute shops, quite a few galleries and also eateries. The people seemed very friendly.  There was a cross section of bicyclists, variety of sailors, uptown chic, and hippies.  It was like anything goes and I didn’t seem to be out of place at all.  I stopped for lunch at this cute little restaurant that was French inspired that was tucked away about 2 blocks over from Waterfront Street.

Next, I was off in the car heading west on highway 20 trying to find where it hooked up with highway 101 that goes to Port Angeles.  I got a bit confused when I got in a turn lane and had to figure out my way back to where I should have been.  They seem to be fond of turn only lanes where you don’t really know that you are in a turn only lane until the last minute, and if you can’t get over… well, you figure out something else.

On the way to Port Angeles, there were many discoveries.  Among the first discovery was a community called Discovery Bay which was a picture perfect bay lined with picture perfect homes and businesses.  It was like looking at those realistate ads in real life; a little too perfect.  Next, I went through the town of Sequim which is an area that has a great deal of lavender farms; unfortunately I’m about 3 weeks too late to see them in their full glory.  Just outside of Sequim, I turned off to see the River Bridge trail/Dungeness area.  I guess that this a unique area because it has one of the wettest climates but within about 2 mile distance you go from extreme wet bridges to the driest spot in Washington state which is a mini desert.  There were people bird watching and bicycling throughout the area.  Also, the river trail that goes over the wooden bridge continues from Sequim to just outside of Port Angeles; a good 16 miles away.  I also got to see the John Wayne Marina along the way.  I had to stop there!  Because when you grow up in Iowa and find out John Wayne was born in Winterset, IA... well, let's just say, it's one of those claim to fame type local things.
Photo- River Bridge area with plenty of activity.
Photo- The John Wayne Marina.

Before I got to Port Angeles, I took a left to the KOA campsite; yes, another first!  It was my first time at a KOA campsite and also my first time with just me by myself camping.  There was no relying on someone else to set up the tent or start that campfire; it all fell to me.  And I’m happy to say that I managed it pretty darn well.
Photo- My dinner that I boiled water for.

For dinner, I managed to get a roaring fire enough to boil water (Yes, I can boil water!) to add to the pre-packaged camp meal of 3 bean chili and to put in my brand new never been used French coffee press.  I was getting some real strange looks from other campers with the French press or so it seemed but maybe they were just looking at me because I started a roaring fire to boil water?  For dessert, I had a snack pack butterscotch pudding.  I waited till the fire was almost out, douse it, and got in the tent.  Oh, did I mention that I reserved a campsite with electricity?  I then went into my tent and watched a movie on my computer until I was ready for bed.


  1. Great pics Jeanne! Congrats on surviving your first solo camping expedition :)

  2. Thanks Di! I kind of surprised myself with managing it. More pictures to come!