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Monday, September 06, 2010

Awesome Weekend

The rest of the story:  This kayaking adventure was a purchased tour I found on Groupon.com.  It is a site that you join (free) and they have daily coupons for mostly half off of things.  Most of it is restaurants, spas, fancy coffee, tea, spices, etc.  It's a way for places to advertise and get you in the door.  But, the day I looked they also had this sea kayaking trip for half price up in the San Juan Islands with Crystal Seas Kayaking.  So, I bought the coupon and then suddenly was not going to be around here much longer.  That explains why I played hooky and ran up there.  This was the first time I was ever north of Seattle.  I basically followed the GPS to Anacortes, WA.  On the way up through Seattle it turned cold and rainy and dark.  I'm thinking that I don't have enough clothes with me, and, oh *^&% I forgot my sleeping bag and underquilt.  In my efforts to go lightweight and not bring the kitchen sink with me all the time, I was so proud that I didn't have but my hiking backpack with my hammock and tarp and my hammock stand and a small daypack.  However, I had pulled my sleeping bag out of my pack in my efforts to get ready for my cross-country trip, and I had been using my underquilt on the hammock in the house.  I made a detour to KMart and got a $30 what was described as a 15 degree bag.  I wouldn't trust it much below 40, and it's not ultra light, but it did the job.  Just a word of warning, I put WalMart into the search on the GPS and it routed me directly to...  a Sam's Club.  I don't have a membership there anymore.  However, the KMart was right next door.

On Thursday I had called up to Anacortez to find camping.  I was luckily directed to an out of the way place called Lake Erie Grocery who said they have 'camping spots' behind the grocery.  So, I followed his directions once I got up there, and after asking for further directions from a different grocery that was right where I expected his to be, I found the quaint place.  I was directed down the drive behind the grocery to find a spot.  I have kidded that with my hammock stand I can 'camp' in a gravel parking lot if I need to,and that was just what I found.  The view of the lake was really nice, but it was indeed a flat gravelish lot.  No worries on that count, but I still didn't have an underquilt for my hammock and it was chilly on the lake.  I decided not to set up my stand until I got back from the tour, and told them it would be late when I got back.  There was no sign of life down at the campsite, however it is a fishing camp with all manner of old trailer, RV, hut, junk cars and trucks and such sitting around the gravel lot.  I figured they were empty, but the next morning I noticed that some of the vehicles were newish and I saw a small dog in the window of one of the older RVs. 

So I headed out to find the ferry.  It had turned sunny as I got further north, and I was running early, so life was good.  The directions the wife at the store gave me to go the 'back way' to the ferry were as descriptive as her husbands had been.  In reality, she tried to take me right there, but the end part of 'just over the hill' didn't compute right.  There were no signs and the road headed towards town.  So, when I gave up and put 'ferry' into the gps, it took me to the wrong one.  A call to Crystal Seas and they gave me the address of the ferry for my GPS, and it took me to the correct one.  The fee to walk on the ferry was only $13 and change.  For both directions.  I took the pictures I posted while I waited, the enjoyed the 2 hour ferry ride through awesome Pacific Northwest country.  Once in town I had an hour to kill so I first got some ice cream at the shop right on the dock, then later walked across the street and tasted some blush wine at the wine store.  My tastes must be changing, or wine has changed.  Everything I taste seems so dry and almost bitter to me now.  Once I'm in Honduras I may need to do an indepth study of this subject.

On the van ride to the kayak dock I met two of the folks who were going to be on the trip with me.  We hit it off right away.  She has said that she will send me the pics she took of me in the kayak, so I'll post at least one later to prove I was there.  'Pics or it didn't happen...'  The trip itself was really nice.  Low key.  The kayaks were 2 person, and since it was alone I was with the tour guide, Angela, who was awesome.  The perk of being right there with her (besides the fact that I didn't have to paddle as much with her being young and fit and me, well, not being so) was that I heard all of her commentary.  There were 7 of us on the tour with her.  Basically we paddled up the side of the island for about 3 miles and back.  We saw a bald eagle, a harbor seal (who wasn't too happy about us going by him as he was drifting (litterally) off to sleep, various other birds and just beautiful scenery with Victoria, BC across the water about 8 miles away.  It was a sunset cruise, and indeed we had an awesome sunset as we paddled back to the harbor.  I am so glad I actually got out and did the kayak tour.

Back in town my new friends and I got Chinese while waiting for the late Ferry.  Once on board we went to upper salon(?) where we were almost the only ones up there and stretched out and napped on the trip back to Anacortes.  I managed to find my Jeep at 1am in the parking lot, and then found the grocery store camping lot.  I realized that I also forgot a flashlight (intrepid camper, that's me...).  All things considered I just put the seat back in the Jeep and crawled into my new sleeping bag while curled up around the steering wheel and gear shift.  This gave me new appreciation on how I need to pack the Jeep for the trip across the country next week, so it was all good.

So, now packing begins in earnest.  I've already made some mistakes (telling the person who subcontracted my packing and crating that I went with another shipper because I mistook him for someone else in the quote process for one, but he corrected me...) and I'm stressing a bit.  But, I am so glad I the trip up to the San Juan Islands in the meantime.  It has me totally excited to move to Honduras where I can get out and do things.  Not sure why I never felt like getting out more here.  I will make the effort once I'm down there to not be such a hermit.

Pictures of the kayak tour when I get them.  I made the decision not to pull out the camera much myself.

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