me: Oh, Internet – you wouldn’t believe the day I had!
Internet (this is the part I imagine): Really? Tell me.
me: Well, I started by breaking our new mower three different ways at once, and had to drag it back to the barn across half a field of waist-high grass.
Internet (still imagined): That sounds awful!
me: It was. And the Danger House remediation is going fine – electrical repairs mostly done and all, but when the carpet cleaner was done, the house smelled like something you’d use to preserve lab specimens. Gave me enough of a headache that I just left all the doors open and got a room in town for the night.
Internet (as above): You poor dear!
me: Yeah. I decided it was time to take a “mental health day.”
Internet: Good idea.
Of course, in the objective world experienced by everyone else, the parts of this dialogue performed by the Internet are replaced by a vast, gaping silence. But since the Internet is my imaginary friend, it gets to say exactly what I want it to. And I took its imagined sympathy as approval to skip out on the farm this morning and take the Coupeville Ferry over to Whidbey Island.
Now, the Coupeville Ferry doesn’t actually go to Coupeville; it just takes you to Keystone Landing, over the hill and about five miles of road south of its ostensible destination. Some day I may find someone to ask about that. But those five miles of road follow lovely rolling hills and offer constant diversion: driftwood beaches, prim Victorian houses, fields of wildflowers and fields of freshly-tilled farmland.
The weather was forecast to be gorgeous, so I left the car in Port Townsend and rode my bike down to the ferry (Internet: “Good idea!” me: “Thanks.”). The mountains were out, the wind was warm, and the sky was damned near iridescent. The miles just flew by.
Coupeville itself is frighteningly cute. Frighteningly so. Front Street takes up about two blocks with bakeries, bookstores and tchotchkes shops stilted out over the clamshell-encrusted beach. At the end, there’s a lovely old wharf with educational displays and inevitably awesome coffee.
Because I. Can’t. Stop. Talking. To. Strangers. I picked up a recommendation from a shop proprietor suggesting I venture eastward in search of “Rhododendron Park Road.” Again, worth it: winding paths through beautiful, mature woods springing from (unsurprisingly) a thick carpet of Rhododendrons.
Another detour took me around Crocker Lake, along Driftwood State Park, and through miles of wildflowers in bloom. I was in a substantially better mood – and pretty damned exhausted – by the time I coasted back into the ferry terminal.
Tomorrow I’m going to see about that mower.
I sure miss Washington. I envy you in the adventures you write. Someday when I quit making my money selling DNA mad scientist equipment I’ll retire and buy a big farm next to yours. In the meantime keep writing this stuff— it reminds me that there is bigger and better out there to be had. Keep on living the dream. And I hope we can hook up soon. Let me know if you are flying into Columbia soon… :)
Awww – thanks! Yeah, I am looking forward to having enough time up here to actually do some local flying; haven’t been to Orcas or Friday Harbor in 25 years…
What a lovely area. My daughter Kelly lived in Bellingham years ago, but I never made it up there. Thanks for the pictures and musings.
You learn lots of great stuff talking to strangers. And the jigsaw puzzles just add to the sense of time passing ever so slowly by… each moment to be savored. Your writing, David, evokes many such moments. Grateful for your perspective.