Stranded In The Southland

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Bainbridge Island and Olympic Peninsula

After hanging out for a couple days with various pals in Seattle, we took the Bainbridge Island Ferry from Seattle over to the island. We had fantastic views of the whole city behind us as we pulled out, and, of course, all the fun of being on a boat on the water. I'd taken the ferry a few times before, but it was still a delight for me, and M. was simply delighted with it as a first-timer.

I don't think I've ever done the car ferry thing, so it was special fun to pull on and get the car settled in and watch the other cars pull in. I mean, I think that once was enough, and it's rather more convenient and fun as a pedestrian, but it was still geeky fun.

I have such fond memories of other ferries -- when I was maybe four, we took a ferry out to North Carolina's Outer Banks, and some nice lady offered me some of those radioactive-orange cheesy crackers with peanut butter. I still love those crackers, while objectively realizing that they're pretty horrifying. Strangely enough, that's about all I remember about the trip, other than a general enthusiasm for the whole thing.

Anyway, we had a great evening with some friends, then drove out the next morning heading for Portland. Since we had some time, we zipped north up past Port Gamble in order to drive US 101 along the Hood Canal (which is not really a canal, it's actually pretty much a fjord).

The whole landscape was totally new to me, especially with all of the green everywhere. Clearly, there's a bit more water available here than I'm used to. We zoomed past what appeared to be a Bald Eagle perching on an old piling, but we eventually managed to pull over and check out the clam and oyster beds and see a seal bopping around in the water. The shoreline was so different, with rocks everywhere and not much sand to be seen at all. Yow.

We were both excited to stop in Shelton for some fried oysters. I hadn't had oysters since I was a kid living in north Florida (well, maybe an oyster slider or two)!

Post-oyster, I could remember why I hadn't eaten any. They tasted pretty gritty, like they still had a bunch of sand in there. I seem to recall that this is just the oyster thing, and that it's not a fault in the preparation. Oh, well, it was fun to try again.

We zipped down the rest of the way to Portland, trying to delay getting on I-5 as long as possible, looking out for features mentioned in the _Roadside Geology of Washington_. I'm not too sure that we spotted many, but it was fun.


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