The Northwet

9/10 – 9/16

All caught up on cleaning, organizing, and everything electronic, we set out for a couple weeks of fall camping in the Northern wettest part of the country.  (I am not a fan of wetness, I can smell mildew from a mile away on a towel that’s been cleaned twice!)
Have I mentioned how cold it is already?  My little fleece is working overtime for sure!
Being in Glacier National Park didn’t help, maybe driving Going To The Sun Road will.
Not much.
We kicked around Glacier for awhile, bought Tom’s Dad an antler knife for his birthday and Tom wanted to take a picture with the knife-maker.  Oh, we don’t know the knife-maker, he just wanted his Dad to think we did?  So he picked out a few guys he thought fit the bill and I took their pictures together.
That night we listened to another Ranger Talk, If Rocks Could Talk, but I can’t remember what they were saying.

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Glacier National Park’s namesake
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Going To The Sun!
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Going To The Sun Rd. is very long. We stopped at McDonald Lake for a bit.
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Look at all these rocks under this water! :O
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I asked Tom, “What were you thinking here?” “This is a nice little log and a nice little lake.”

The next day we ran some errands and set off for a hike on John’s Lake Loop, but we missed the trailhead and settled on the next one we saw, Trout Lake.  Quite different than the original, this trail was 4 miles in and 4 back, with a huge hill in the middle.
After that, the most exercise I’ve had in months, I spotted the most perfect looking little swimming hole and HAD to get in!
Did I mention how cold it is already?
I stripped down, jumped in, and back out before my brain even had a chance to tell my heart to stop beating!
Refreshed, we drove and drove until we hit the Pacific time zone then cozied up in this cute little steakhouse before hunkering down at HoJo’s in Sandpoint, ID.

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Keep on Hiking…
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See the little green spot under the bridge? I mean, how could anyone resist?!
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The cozy steakhouse, isn’t it cute!?

The next day we drove and drove to get to the Seattle area, 7.5 hours away. (A stark difference from our anticipated 3 hour drive!)
It was a pretty drive and I got to get some yummy, in-season WA apples.
We finally arrived to the ferry in Mukilteo, WA around 6pm and met Tom’s friend since grade school, Scott.  Together we rode to Whidbey Island where we’d be staying with Scott, his wife Karin, and their super cute daughter, Lulu.  You may remember Scott and Karin, our hosts in Sayulita back where it all started, they witnessed it all unfolding 🙂  For me, one of the highlights of our arrival was receiving a big bag of new undies and a super cozy sweatshirt that I had ordered a few weeks back, Happy Birthday to me!

Little did I know Tom had planned a special Birthday weekend for me and we set out in the morning, destination unknown to me!

Traveling by ferry is an odd experience.  All the islands in Pugent Sound are connected by ferries, which sounds convenient but it’s still a form of public transportation; meaning if it can go wrong, it will.
Friday we arrived on time for the 3:30pm ferry to Orcas Island, but it was canceled so we had to wait in our spot for the next one at 8:30pm!  Luckily for us we carry everything on our backs so we were able to wait the 5 hours quite comfortably in our “living room” with our full kitchen HAHA!
Near 10pm we arrived at Doe Bay Resort; we set up and went right to sleep.
I slept in on my Birthday then we walked down to the cafe for brunch.
This place is awesome!
The grounds are really pretty and they have a huge garden that supplies the cafe.  Tom told me he arranged for us to work in the garden on Sunday in exchange for the night free. Yay!
The cafe is ridiculous!! OMG.
Whatever isn’t grown in their garden is still fresh, local, and organic.  And they are not kidding when they say, “delicious”.  It’s a good thing we are only paying for 2 nights of camping because I can already tell we’re going to break the bank at this cafe.
Snuggled in my new sweatshirt, I wandered off to the empty yoga studio and spent some time zenning out to the peaceful view of the bay.
What better way to cap that than with a naked soak in the hot tub?
I love this place.
We found our way back down to the cafe for dinner where we enjoy the chef’s tasting menu.  6 courses and a few margaritas later I was beyond thrilled with my birthday surprise!  What a perfect day and night!
I slept like a baby until it was time to wake for work at 9.

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Happy Birthday Girl 😀 New cozy sweatshirt and an organic breakfast of french toast zucchini bread – a discovery I recreate all the time!

It was rainy and cold.
I put on my sweatshirt (wishing it had a fur liner), my rain coat, boots, hat, scarf…
We picked weeds for a bit but I really didn’t want to be there.  Luckily we all were gathered for a seed-saving class when the rain got a little heavier and we got to sit under a tarp until Noon.  I decided we didn’t need to go back out after the class and that a half day’s work off our camping fee was better than none; I didn’t care how much it cost, I wasn’t going back out into that cold, wet garden!  After a long hot shower we found ourselves back at the cafe, then we took shelter in the lounge for the rest of the day.   We sandwiched dinner in between hot tub soaks and had a good time relaxing at camp.

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Hiding out from the wet and cold. You can only spend so many hours in the hot tub.

In the morning everything was soaked through and through.  I abandoned all my plans of yoga and showering and found my way to the yummy coffee and baked goods at the cafe where we settled our tab – OUCH!

We refreshed with clean laundry on our way back to Whidbley, got turned around and didn’t end up back at Scott & Karin’s ’til almost 9pm!

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We’re all just waiting around for the laundry
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Sunset on our way back to Whidbley

The next day we got started in on the painting and deck building Scott had been too busy to do himself.  We spent 4 days working and the nights visiting until we had to move on from the increasingly wetter and colder weather.  Scott & Karin paid us a nice chunk of money for all our work and I was a happy camper to see the bank account looking a little fatter.
Always tough to say goodbye to these two, but the tent mattress couldn’t hold any more humidity so we’ll have to plan on sunny times together in, say, Sayulita!

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Working is fun when you don’t have to!
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OK, I can see why Scott and Karin live here!

We took a couple more ferries over to Bainbridge Island to visit with Tom’s Mom’s best friend, Carol, and found camp on a beach not too long afterwards.
Cold and hungry the sound was deafening – wet pasta noodles hitting soggy ground – my heart broke as I saw our dinner covered with dirt.
Tom did his best to remedy it but as the rain came down harder we decided on oatmeal and retired to the tent for the night.
(I absolutely love getting up into the dry tent and cozying up with Tom for a movie!)

In the morning we packed up the best we could with everything being so wet still.  I can’t imagine people live like this!  Granted, they have roofs that don’t need to be folded up every morning, and heat; but I couldn’t wake up for work every dreary day, I’d go mad – as it is I am almost there now!
It’s time to start seriously moving South.
We caught our last ferry to Seattle and after an awesome lunch at Homegrown we attempted the Pike Street Market.
Oh hell no!
Just way too many damn people there this sunny Saturday morning.
After an hour of pushing and shoving through the market we made our way back to the truck and as we were sitting in an alley consulting the GPS a lady approached, as Tom waved her past, she started yelling that we were “damned to hell for the use of motor vehicles and personal hand-held devices”!  Of course, this is Tom’s cup of tea, he loves chatting with the kooks, he tried but she was way too gone to have any fun with.

I’ll leave you with the parting words for this city as scribbled in my journal,
“Goodbye Seattle, you crazy bitch.”

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Our 6th and final WA ferry.
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I guess I’m glad I can say I was there, but mostly glad I don’t ever have to go back! (Except for the flowers, I’d go back for those beautiful bouquets!)

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