Thursday, July 23, 2009


Day 23: July 19, 2009 – Portland, OR to San Juan Islands, WA
It’s off to the Islands we go!

A few time obligations had us waking a little earlier than usual to make our way toward Seattle, Washington where we planned to pick up our dear friend Mindy and let her hitch a ride for a small fee. Before leaving, we were also attempting to work out a minor detail when one hopes to visit an island, Ferries – times, fares, locations, etc. Having gleaned the basic information online and having discussed various options once on the road, Melissa made a few phone calls to the various Ferry ports and got everything pretty well worked out for their days on the waves.

With some challenge, we made our way onto the streets of Seattle and with help we made our way to Mindy’s most current home and our pick-up location for this dear friend. She said good-bye to the friends she had made while in Seattle, working with a Prison Ministry/Campus Crusades. She was heading an hour north of Seattle to meet up with her cousins and it was easily within our route, so we happily offered to give her a ride so long as she would share with us her most recent life’s story. We learned, as we had suspected that she wasn’t so sure what she would do now that she was living back in the states and done with her Seattle project, maybe work for Campus Crusade staff, maybe find mindless work in Rapid City, SD or Laramie, WY (just kidding, Melissa made that part up).

Having caught up on Mindy’s life and welcoming her into ours we were required to leave her in Sedro-Wooley, WA and say good-bye. From good-byes and the mainland we headed toward Anacortes, WA to board the 5:05 Ferry and make our way across the water and into the San Juan Islands. We enjoyed the view of Northern Cascades, approaching islands, the potential peak of Mt. Ranier and the Olympic peninsula as we journeyed to our first island “getaway”. From the Ferry dock in Friday Harbor we headed around the windy highways and found ourselves entering the home/farm of Ken and Deb, CouchSurfing couple extraordinaire!

Based on Ken’s CS profile, we knew that he was a Tofu Farmer, Chiropractor and fisherman of sorts, little did we know how many trades he was truly a jack of. We arrived at their slightly unkempt place but were warmly greeted by Ken and introduced to a couple of WOOFing CSer’s (Working on Organic Farms) and a bicyclist CSer who had been staying with Ken anywhere from a couple days to a couple weeks. Within moments we felt as if we had become a part of this cheerful and welcoming family; being offered home-made hooch, a place to pitch the tent and personal guides to Lime Kiln State Park for a guaranteed sunset and potential whale watching.

Tent staked in the ground and goats having also been introduced to their nights neighbors we made our way to the State Park with Erica and Andrea – two of our newest family members. The park itself was pleasant; great rocks off the coast, kelp beds, a small lighthouse and a setting sun. Unfortunately, it was not the perfect ambience for the infamous Orcas which often frequent the spot. The four of us admired the sunset and attempted to keep warm before making our way back to Ken and Deb’s place where the party was just about to begin.

While we’d been out, Ken had prepared a pizza with the help of a local student who is studying/working at the University of Washington Marine Labs, Ben. The homemade sourdough crust was piled high with mushrooms, pepperoni, tofu, peppers, sauce, and cheese – possibly or likely even, homemade cheese! Clock ticking, pizza cooking, we were introduced to Christina and Allie who also work for the labs and spend a significant amount of time with Ken and Deb. Melissa offered a hand in rolling pie crust for the wild cherry pie that would finish off their meal of homemade pizza. After two giant slices of the most delicious pizza and much conversation while the pie baked we finally were able to enjoy a slice of the most amazing pie we’ve eaten in a long time!
Stuffed to the brim with good eats we were ready to make our way into the tent said our prayers and drifted to sleep. Earlier in the day, a goat had been using our tent as a slide, so we said a small prayer that the goat wouldn’t scare us out of our wits should he decide to slide again and were in turn able to enter peaceful rest.

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