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July 18- Port Townsend to Whidbey Island and LaConnor via Ferry

We woke up and took our time getting ready to pack up and leave.  It is a bright, beautiful sunny day, with temps in the 70’s. While I was playing some solitaire, last evening, my computer ran out of battery power before I could turn it off. I could not get it to work this morning, as neither my external or internal mouse would work. The computer was charged, but the program I was using had left a lot of problems with the computer.  Bob finally got it going, but for some reason it will not detect the internet. We re-booted numerous times, and finally restored it to a previous date. That still did not fix the internet problem, so I think we will be off to the Geeks! Bob also worked on the keyless entry. He had gone to walk the dogs and I heard the beep, beep and click. Good thing I was still in the motor home to open the door for him. So we have to be very careful about keys. He found a disconnected wire, but even with re-attaching it, the darn thing still is not working. It is still intermittently going beep, beep, click.

We dumped at the Elks Lodge, then drove the 4 miles to Port Townsend to board the ferry to Whidbey Island. We arrived early and cars were lined up in the waiting area for the 10:30 ferry. Our reservation was for 11:15. The worker came out to ask us if we had a reservation. Told him it was for the 11:15. Since the 10:30 was full he seemed relieved to hear that. He told us to stay exactly where we were, out on the road, in the first spot.

They loaded the 10:30 rapidly, so before they had even finished loading the 10:30 they were waving us into the ferry waiting line. We stopped at the “toll gate” and paid $79 for the motor home and car to cross on the ferry. That cost us less than if we drove around Seattle to La Connor, our destination. That doesn’t even begin to measure the stress of driving through all of that city traffic! Now we were the first vehicles in line 1, the large vehicle lane. They finished loading the 10:30 and it took off.

By 11:00 the next ferry was there and unloading. Our ferry was put into service in 2010, it was named the Chetzemoka. We watched the pedestrians, bikers, cars, then the motor homes and trucks drive off the ferry. We were the first to load.

We drove down the ramp and a woman told Bob to put his left tires in between the two yellow lines, and just drive straight across the boat. There was a guy at the other end directing him. We pulled right up to what was now the front of the boat. They loaded several 18 wheelers and a couple of smaller trucks behind us. Then they loaded cars in the other rows. Once they had loaded the cars to our right side, I jumped out and ran up the three flights of stairs to the top to watch the rest of the loading and to take pictures. There are two bridges on the ferry, so that they do not have to turn around, the captain, a woman, just moved from one bridge to the other. The ferry makes 35 crossings in a day, so they know what they are doing. Here they are loading some cars. 

We could not even feel the boat moving, the journey was so smooth. Karlie has been on a boat before, but this was Roxie’s first boat ride. Karlie was quickly bored, but Roxie, who is a very curious little dog, was fascinated, sitting on our laps, looking around the entire trip.

This frigate passed in front of us;

dolphins were jumping in front of the boat but I couldn’t catch a picture of them.  The other ferry passed us. This is the lighthouse we will visit tomorrow. 

The captain had to keep beeping her horn at fishing boats who were drifting into the ferry channel. The trip was only about 30 minutes, so when the announcements began, we told the dogs to go to the couch, they happily jumped down and went to their travel spots. They seemed to understand what was happening.

The docking process was rapid and smooth.

Do ya think that little netting could have stopped our 17 tons? They had put chocks in front of our front wheels, which they removed. We were quickly instructed to drive up the ramp, being the first to unload. When we were exiting the parking area, the signs said turn right. So we did. We should have turned left, as that was a shorter route, but neither Google maps or the GPS sent us that way. Everyone else turned left. We followed the GPS directions out to Rt. 20 and continued our drive north. Our route was a little longer, but a nice ride. A few miles up the road, the others joined behind us, as we had the green traffic light. The GPS said that we were going to arrive at 12:50. We thought she was wrong, but apparently not. There was a lot of traffic in Oak Harbor, where Rt. 20 turned left. Then we had to cross the bridge at Deception Pass. I will get pictures of that later, but I closed my eyes crossing the bridge. The bridge was built in 1935, is very high, over the water, and very narrow! EEK! We were glad that we only have to drive across it once in the motor home.

We continued into the town of Anacortes and made the right turn (east) continuing on Rt. 20 to the La Connor turn to the south. We entered the Swimsatch Indian Reservation. We drove about 4 miles to the Thousand Trails entrance.

Our usual way of entering a Thousand Trails is for me to hop out and register. Bob meanwhile un-hooks the CRV. Then I jump in the CRV and Bob takes the motor home to a parking lot. Bob joins me in the car and we run around looking for a site. Thousand Trails does not assign sites, although this park does a lottery for the water front sites. We are not going to bother with the lottery, as you have to be there at 10AM every day. In this case, we were heading directly for the full hook up sites. We found one, but Bob did not think we could get satellite in the spot. So we decided on a 30 amp/ water only site with a place to put the satellite in the field behind us. We will just have to conserve on water, so that we do not have to dump for a week.

We backed into our site, then ate a quick lunch, as it was now almost 2 pm. Then we set up camp. The dogs and I settled into the lounge chair and I read my book. Bob fiddled with the satellite until he was able to pick-up the signal. He then joined us with his book.

We decided to go out for a seafood dinner. Bob chose a restaurant in La Connor, about 4 miles away. We arrived in the cute town of La Connor to discover that they roll up the sidewalks on Mondays. So we drove to Anacortes, a larger town. Bob found a restaurant on his smart phone. In the Thousand Trails we have no Verizon at the motor home, although Bob found 3 bars on the water near the family center. The restaurant was a little more expensive than we would have liked, but the excellent meal made up for that! It was worth every penny! The soup or salad comes with the meal, and Bob chose this clam chowder.

He thought it was excellent, and he is picky about clam chowder. His first rule is that the spoon has to stand up in it!  He had the Copper River Sock Eye Salmon. I had the sauté prawns. This was quite possibly the best seafood meal we have ever had, to this point!   After dinner, we took a ‘loop’ ride in Anacortes out to look at the other islands. Unfortunately, it was still 2 hours until sunset.

We returned to the motor home, fed the dogs and watched some TV before going to bed.

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