Sunday, June 22, 2008

Pictureless Camping Trip

I loaded my fully charged digital camera into my backpack before leaving Saturday morning for the San Juan islands.

I forgot it when we went whale-watching.

I took it out to take some photos of the ocean Sunday morning, and it said "batteries too low to take pictures".


Anyway...we had a really awesome weekend!

Saturday morning, I received an urgent email / text message from Daniel asking if I'd seen his phone. I hadn't, he missed the 9 AM ferry, and so I was wondering where the heck it was. He asked me if I remembered putting it anywhere, and I said I hadn't, that I had pulled some other stuff out of a pair of shorts before throwing them in the washer Thursday night, and that I had moved said stuff to the living room.

Long story short...he found his phone in the dryer. And it still works! Needless to say, I felt really dumb, even though my intentions to keep him clean were in the right place.

Anyway, so he finally got over to Seattle, and we drove on up to Anacortes. We stopped off for lunch at Applebees on the way (woo.) and arrived at the ferry terminal just in time to walk on for the express sailing to Friday Harbor.

I called Tori to ask for a pick-up at the ferry terminal, and she said Igor wanted us to wait there for an hour. Well, if we had less stuff, it might have been fine, but we had a cooler and assorted camping gear. So she picked us up in the truck, and we barely had time to quickly set up our tent before it was time to clamber into the available cars and get back to the ferry terminal for the whale-watching tour. Our entire party consisted of Chris & Melinda, Igor & Tori, Dave & Chiako, Ryan, and Daniel and myself.

The whale-watching tour was absolutely amazing. There are three resident orca pods around the San Juan islands - J, K, and L pods. That day, they had all apparently congregated together and formed what is called a superpod, so there were roughly 85 individuals in the area. We saw several orcas breaching, tail-slapping, and doing what is called "spy-hopping", where their head pops vertically out of the water a few feet before going back under. There were even baby orcas! (At least one. We possibly saw two). The two naturalist guides working the boat were pretty knowledgable (our tip was that we bought them a pitcher of beer when we saw them at the bar later on). We even saw a whale pee-pee! (The guide girls called it a "sea snake"- har har!)... Good Lord! I asked Daniel if he felt inadequate after seeing that.

Let's not even mention that the afternoon slipping into evening was beautiful out on the water, even if it was pretty dang cold out there! We saw a lot of the different San Juan islands, as well as various local wildlife - a bald eagle was the first animal we saw on our way out there. He was just hanging out, perched on the top of a dead tree. Huge and beautiful bird! I was very glad the whale-watching boat had binoculars to hand out to everyone. We also saw plenty of harbor seals, nesting double-crested cormorants (I believe they dive 100 ft into the water to catch fish?), seagulls fussing over a bait ball, and one of the guide girls pointed out a murre to me (a water bird).

After the wonderful boat ride out and back, we got back on land and immediately headed for the local Front Street Ale House, which also was a microbrewery. They had a couple of beers that piqued my interest - a pepper ale, made with several different types of chiles, and a sour cherry kriege beer. I sampled them both, and ended up going with the house hefeweisen. The pepper ale was relatively hot and tasted too "green" for me, and the sour cherry ale, while I think I would enjoy it on another day, was not hitting the spot for me that night.

By the time we got back to the campsite, it was after 11. I was sad to see that crows and/or squirrels had invaded the bag of marshmallows I had thoughtlessly left out on the table before leaving for the tour. Half the bag was destroyed! Anyway, it was late and half of us (Daniel, myself, Igor and Tori) went to bed.

I woke up at around 6-something Sunday morning. The sunlight filtering in usually tends to wake me up effectively (a reason I don't like blackout curtains - I like waking up early, so I don't feel like I wasted the day). Anyway, I went back to sleep till around 7. I got up, dressed, went to the bathroom, and came back to find Tori up. We boiled some water for tea, and I tried to knit but was too cold, so I grabbed a blanket Tori had thoughtfully brought with her.

After that, people slowly started appearing from their various tents, and breakfast began to be served. I tried to push my cookies off on everyone (dark chocolate, white chocolate, pecan, and coconut oatmeal cookies), because I do NOT want those in my house :), and then we basically ate breakfast while tearing down the campsite. I think we were all packed and out of there by 9:45 AM. Chris had fun burning all the burnable trash - we gave him all the food scraps + paper towels, things that are safely burnable. Ryan took off on his bike towards the ferry terminal, and the rest of us got into cars and drove.

After passing Ryan on the road, our cars arrived at the ferry terminal, and we just expected to be lining our cars up to get on the 1 PM ferry, but as luck would have it, we actually were able to board the 10:30 AM ferry back to Anacortes. Daniel and I were parked at Anacortes, so we took our backpacks out of Tori's truck and got in my car and drove back to Seattle. I tried to stop at an alpaca farm just south of La Conner (near the Tulip Festival), but their store was closed on Sundays :(. (I was looking forward to a fleece purchase!) We got back to Seattle, and had a little time together before he boarded the 4:20 PM ferry for Bremerton. After I dropped him off, I headed over to Tori's and grabbed the rest of my gear that I had left in her truck. I was glad to see Ryan safely home as well - I imagined they either had to wait for him to get off at Anacortes, or else Ryan drove his truck to the ferry and parked as well.

My only complaint about this weekend was that I wish we had spent more time out there! I can't wait to go back.

Next weekend, Tori has rented a yurt in Dosewallips, which is on Daniel's side of the Sound. He has duty on Saturday, but I'm going over to his place Friday afternoon, and then I'll just get up with him on Saturday morning and drive over to the campsite and spend Sat night there. He said he'd try to stop by the camp after work Sunday morning. :)

1 comment:

Quatzical said...

Sounds like a great adventure. Can't wait to see you in just about a month!