Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Ferrytale

August 1st.

Back in Washington for a handful of days.

Headed South from Bellingham on a perfectly crisp morning. 
Driving down the I-5 corridor at sunrise.
Black pines laced with swirling golden mist, passed silently overhead.

A favorite haunt. 
The valley that announces home.

Parked at a friend's and ran almost a mile to catch the dawn ferry to Vancouver Island. 
Running late. Large backpack. Sundress.

Fortunately, I was rescued by a sweet, old Granny. 
"Hi, dear. You look like you are in a hurry...and you aren't wearing good walking shoes."

Ferrying through the San Juan Islands.
On my way to see my favorite Canadian and Norway travel companion, Tegan Ringham
Warm but bitter coffee. Shining shoreline.

Opened my book and out spilled a note and dried Swiss wildflowers from Sarah
Cherished birthday reminders.

Reading the last paragraphs left of a thousand pages. 
As I hunched over the few remaining lines, a lanky teenager leapt over my backpack.

"You look bored." said the boy (William, I found out) 
I wasn't. Highly engrossed in my book, rather. 

"I'm an awkward person." Will said, pushing crooked Ray Bans up the bridge of his nose.
"Oh, that's fine!" said I. All the better for delightful conversations, my dear.

So, I asked him all my best questions. The traveling ones, first.

William lives in a cabin, enjoys boat building,
and would travel to Romania, if he had the chance.

Behind me sat the Pennsylvanian roadbiker. 
He was trying to eat his entire stash of fruit before we sailed into Canadian territory.

We swapped road-trip stories and tips on Woofing and hiking Hurricane Ridge.

When I was a little girl, I used to believe the San Juans were, in fact, the islands of Japan. 
That is until someone pointed out that we lived on the shores of Bellingham Bay. 
Not the Pacific Ocean.

You can imagine, I was quite disenchanted.

However, I did hear mysterious tales of an island inhabited by wild African animals.
The magical Spieden Island on the edge of the Puget Sound.

"Are those...AFRICAN Antelope?" asked the old man in a grey mustache.
"I didn't think our ferry was going that fast!"

Arrival. Customs. Huge embrace from Tegan and Shane.

We went out to lunch for the most beautiful salads.
Much to the pleasure of Tegan and I.
And the compromise of Shane.

Exploration of Victoria and a visit to the Outdoor Store.
Long drive to Nanaimo and the entrusting of honest stories.

Tea time. Silly.
Waffles with (our favorite) brunost for Middag.

 PJs. Blankets. More tea. Hot Fuzz.
Coziest guest room. Sound sleep.

Veggie frittata under the towering tomato plants in the sunshine. 

Then it was time to go home. 
Drove South to Victoria. Josh Garrels and the windows down.
Greek dinner on the dock.

Tegan is a gem. 
I don't think there is another human on the planet who has seen me through such a range of embarrassing, infuriating, and awe-inspiringly gorgeous memories. 

From food poisoning in Nepal to the glistening ceilings of Arctic caves.
 I never would have made it through last year without her companionship, humor, honesty, encouragement...and frequent tea-time commiseration.

Homeward bound:
I slept in the puddle of soft sunlight spilling through salt soaked windows.

Golden hour ferrying through international waters. Soft stained sky.

Islands disappearing in the milky twilight hour.

Beckoned home by the shimmering home lights on the lake.
A bright bald moon rising over the thick forested mountainside.

Bellingham, I have fallen under your spell. 
Is it truly time to leave, again?

1 comment:

αуℓα said...

haha that's MY house you ran from! so sad that i missed you.

i still miss you.

tegan seems like a lovely gal, i hope i can meet her someday. :]

lots of love, you.