Smile, You're on Live Cam

Trip Start Jul 08, 2006
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Trip End Sep 03, 2006


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Flag of United States  , Washington
Sunday, July 30, 2006

Whatever in the world made us so sleepy? Was it our high-ridge walk by the snow-pods, the chill wind, or, just everything we've been doing since we left home?

Andrew was practically snoring from the back seat. By the time we got to Sequim, my eyes threatened to close. I couldn't drive like this. Pull over, buy some gas and a big old icy Coke. No ice? No receipt for cash? "I can't ring up a receipt till you're done pumping your gas," the woman said. I'm grumpy, no, just plain pissed. It's going to take a giant Hershey bar to get me over this. I pull to the edge of the parking lot and swallow chocolate and asparthame till I'm sure I'm awake. Andrew snoozes on.

Now I can drive! I zipped past the woods and bays where John Wayne used to keep his boat, started up the rise of a hill. I've seen eagles here before. Not today. Instead, thunder cracks and the rain starts to pour. The back windows are down, a camper is in creep-mode just ahead, and my windshield wipers can barely keep visibility.

ANDREW WAKE UP AND ROLL UP THE WINDOWS! WAKE UP NOW! He's jolted into action. But even crabbier than me. "Uhhhhhhh" is what I hear. But, the windows are secured.

A tally slip? What the heck is a tally slip? The flashing sign warns me that I can't get onto the Kingston Ferry without one. Where do they come from, exactly? I drive all the way into Kingston to observe what other ferry-waiters are doing. There's a uniformed person handing out blobs of paper. I turn around, drive two miles back down the road, and get in line at the side of the road. Moving slowly.

Andrew is still too sleepy for conversation. Ah, the dreaded cell phone will come in handy now. I call my Dad, in Alabama. We have our Sunday evening chat. He tells me a joke. I talk to Opal, my step-mom. I ask her if she's ever heard of a tally slip. "I've got to GET one, I'll let you know what it looks like, oops, gotta go, I'm here."

The uniformed person at the side of the road hands me a little strip of paper, and the line continues in downtown Kingston, a madhouse of ferry angst. Will we make the next one? That's the question on everyone's mind. Pay the fare, get in line, YES! We're scheduled NEXT!

I call Andrew's Dad to let him know we're getting close. He spots our car via the online live ferry cam. Go stand by the black truck and wave at me, he commands. We stagger around the vast parking lot of sunburnt SUV'ers with radios blasting and dogs barking, tired, so tired. What is a ferry-line anyhow? Just a bunch of weary wanderers waiting to be somewhere else.

And then we board.

The ferry is heaven. Mt Rainer to the south. Mt Baker to the north. The Seattle skyline. The blue water. Nothing in the world could bother us now. Andrew chews on his ferry-fare hotdog, as blissful as me.

Ah, what a country.
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