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Gifts from the Heart

August 20, 2013

Washington – Thursday, August 8

Tula and I took a short walk around the campground, then I made some oatmeal (complete with blueberries, walnuts, cinnamon and nutmeg) and packed up. We walked another mile down by one of the beach area before leaving the state park. I wanted to find out a little more about the ferry system throughout Puget Sound, and managed to get a human being on the phone, and he explained the different routes and times. I made a reservation to take the ferry from Whidbey Island to the Olympic Peninsula part of Washington mid-afternoon, knowing there were later ferries in case I missed my time.

After I was set with that reservation, I headed south on Whidbey Island toward the town of Oak Harbor, where we got out for 2 1/2 miles of walking by the water. Oak Harbor was settled by the Dutch, and there’s a windmill in one of the parks. I walked along a boardwalk, and then came across a concrete version of a Fred Flintstone car – hmmm! I continued on to Coupeville, where I was going to make my donation to the Gifts from the Heart Food Bank, which serves central Whidbey Island. They are not open every day, but their website said non-perishable foods could be dropped off any time at one of 5 different places in town. So I went shopping for non-perishable goods and got cereal, oatmeal, spaghetti sauce and pasta, canned pasta, mac and cheese, and canned chicken and tuna. Then I found the Whidbey Island Bank, and one of the ladies showed me the box that was set out for donations. It only had a couple things in it – I added all my shopping bags and overflowed the box!

At this point, I figured I was going to miss my ferry, especially since the ferry dock was quite a ways outside of town, but I drove down there anyway, and squeezed on at the last minute – if I hadn’t had a reservation, I would have had to wait for the next one. They’re very efficient at loading the vehicles onboard, and it’s a wonderfully convenient way to travel around some of these towns that surround the Sound – very reasonably priced, and it saves many miles of driving around the long way. The ferry I was on was taking me to Port Townsend, and it was about a half hour trip. Dogs are allowed in most areas on the boat except the enclosed level that serves food, so I took Tula up to the sun deck and she was a little unsure of the rocking motion, but found her sea legs quickly. The trip was over quickly, and I drove off the ferry into the town of Port Townsend, where we got out and walked about 1 1/2 miles through the historic part of town, and out by yet another marina. Port Townsend was one of the biggest towns in the area in the 1800s, and there were lots of big old Victorian homes and buildings to look at as I walked around.

Then I headed west along the waterfront to the town of Port Angeles, where I decided to stop for the night. The next small town was far away around the peninsula, and both the motel and campground there were full, so I figured I better stop while I could find a place. After I got checked in, Tula and I headed down to the waterfront, where we found a bike trail, and walked 3 more miles to finish off our walking for the day. Port Angeles can be a busy place – it was quiet this time of day – but the ferries run back and forth between the U.S. and Canada, so there are customs and immigration offices by the docks, and a number of freighters and pleasure boats out – it’s all about the water in this town!

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