Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Four Thumbs and a Straight Crossing

I got a comment the other day that made me pretty giddy.

"...I am going to be at [my father-in-law's house] with my 8th grade class... Monday (tomorrow) through half the day Wednesday. Come play with us!...If we see you in Friday Harbor after, we can also hook up - or just surprise us and show up somewhere, sometime!"

So I went with the surprise option.

Monday I had a guest coming so I couldn't make it there then, but it was going to work out on Tuesday.

Tuesday morning I went swimming, did some cleaning, ate way too much guacamole (is there such a thing as too much guacamole?), and then went to the ferry.

I love a life that requires me an hour on the ferry to go visit a friend.

So this friend I was going to be visiting, this human, is not just anyone - she's Mrs. F (I know I should call her by her first name, by now, but it's sooo hard to do after so many years of her being Mrs. F. I've known Mrs. F. for as long as I could know someone. I grew up going to her family's home and visiting the vacation home on San Juan Island. So much of my childhood involves Jerrie. To this day, I still try to spend at least a week or two at their home every year. I love this family.

The idea that she was only an island away got me excited and eager! It was going to happen!

Afternoon got later and I felt tired and had a bit to do but passing up on this opportunity just wasn't going to happen.

I caught the 3:50 ferry which takes around an hour and 20 minutes to get to Friday Harbor, San Juan Island.

When I got there, I started my trek up the road to where I hoped I would find a good hitch spot. .9 miles out of town, I stuck out my thumb. Two cars passed and then I was picked up by a kind girl in a truck, Genevieve. I told her where I was headed and she let me know I was going the wrong way and quickly drew me a map and drove me to a road closer to where I was headed.

The sweet thing about hitchhiking is that you don't really need to know where you're going or how to get there - the drivers can usually tell you.

Next I got picked up on Douglas. I put out my thumb, two cars passed, and, once again, the third one slowed down and picked me up and set me down at the main road that would take me to my destination.

My final ride was from Tony who wore construction-orange and had a bandanna adorning his scalp. Totally sweet man. When I told him I was going to, "the Cape," he told me that that was where he was going and was able to drive me all the way to my destination, right to the driveway.

Three thumbs for a 10-mile trek - not bad for a small island.

The longest I waited for a ride was a minute and a half. Islands are generally super easy to hitch on and wearing a dress doesn't ever hurt, either (well, it can -- but it can also help, oi).

I walked up the steps, asking the eighth graders on the porch if Mrs. F. was there. They told me she was inside.

Oh! Oh! I did get to surprise her and it was lovely!

We went out the backyard and talked about things that I would consider most important in my life right now. She got right to the point and asked the right questions and my mind was spinning around for a few loops. It was one of those conversations that I'm afraid to have with the wrong people.

This was our favourite beach.
View of Lopez Island across the Straight of Juan de Fuca.
We walked out to the old place where I used to play with Ian and Zack. They would load us up with Kern's Nectar and sandwiches and the three of us would march to the beach and hang out all day, just the three of us (all under the age of 10). Across the Straight of Juan de Fuca we could see Lopez Island and my favourite place there, Shark Reef.

So sweet.

The time we got to spend together was pretty brief - we had to leave within an hour and ten minutes, or so, so I could catch the last ferry of the day back to Lopez Island.

I still love riding the ferry. I curled up on the bench and rested after a dinner of quinoa salad. I love riding on the ferry. I love that it's a part of my life right now. It's one of the finest forms of transportation (along with trains and bikes and dirigiberbil - hoorah for 2002) I believe.

The sun was starting to set, making everything golden. I was on the MV Elwha, a 47-year-old floating wonder (2,813 gross-tonnage, yo!) and feeling safe and so sound, so sound.

When I got back to Lopez, I realized I hadn't told Megan, who was going to be picking me up, the correct time for the arrival of my ferry - I was off by about 40 minutes. Therefore, I started the trek home. On the walk, a couple picked me up in their automobile - the fourth ride of the day.

After a minute, we saw a car coming down the road and they asked if it was my friend's.
"It is! Stop the car!"

I dashed out, they signaled her, and I was home within minutes.


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