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15 April, 2008

Island Truck Trek

After all the years in Hawai`i, the concept of driving from Island to Island was strange. (I lived there before the Superferry was foisted.) Puget sound's fjording tentacles are bridged, as are some of its island channels. This shot is looking northeast through Deception Pass, so called because Vancouver expected it to be another inlet, but the "peninsulas" on either side turned out to be Fidalgo (left) and Whidbey (right). Fidalgo had gotten there with Quimper a couple of years before Whidbey helped Puget explore while Vancouver attended to paperwork or something. Fifty years later, the American arrived under Wilkes, who tried to rename Fidalgo after Admiral Perry, but it didn't stick.

This shot is from the bridge, where state route 20 crosses at a dizzying height above the pass. Most frightening photo for me in a long time, much sketchier than leaning out of a helicopter over Nu`alolo. You walk out onto this span, cars going by making the deck shake and the railing is below my center of gravity. And then a truck goes by shaking more. I tell myself just to breathe, that if people fell off the bridge that often the access would have been shut off, but the view literally pulls me in, and the wind is at my back, and I walk back carefully.
Because I was too shame to crawl.
Walking back to the truck, a small convoy of semis towing pre-fab homes went by. I would have soiled myself if they had come by when I was on the bridge.

Driving south along Whidbey: cool forested heights, sun-drenched fields, tourist communities, military suburb, farms, RVs. Just seeing the Route 20 strip, with Cypress Island fresh in my head, focusing more on getting to the ferry, I don't do the place justice. Just passing through.
Getting back to the mainland on the Kitsap Peninsula (because no, not all the place names refer to interlopers of European descent), you hop off Whidbey about halfway down at Keystone. I was four cars too late to fit on the 3:00 trip, and so inherited an hour and a half to walk the little beach next to the landing, looking at pretty pebbles. I'm easily entertained that way. This outpost would be a good place for some eats, but a couple of vending machines were all there was to be had. So good thing there were colorful rocks.
The F150 nosed into the front row for the cold, clear passage to Port Townsend. Squeezing out of the driver's side door next to a vanpool of workers headed back to Kitsap, I went to the top deck to look around. Of course I'd forgotten the map, so I really had no idea what I was looking at geographically, but there was an eagle and other birds aflight and afloat. Wind-wriffled water whipped up a haze that rendered my snapshots nothing more than that. Sweet air was reward aplenty, and olfactory memory may yet outlast digital bits.

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