It’s Saturday morning and I start the day with watching the highlights of the marriage of prince Harry and princess Meghan. I wish I had seen it live, but I didn’t think about it last night. Still it’s nice to see this real-life fairy tale. I check the ferry times to Seattle and update my blog. Angie makes a breakfast for me while I pack my bag. When the kids come out we play some more chess and watch television. I really don’t feel like leaving, but I know this time has to come. It reminds me of when I visit my family back home, I almost always take a train later than planned. So also now I check the ferry schedule, but then decide to forget about it and just hang out a bit longer. I plan to leave at ten thirty later this morning. I shouldn’t make it much later, because I still want to spend some time of the afternoon in Seattle. As I drive away, they yell at me “See you tonight!”. I laugh and wave goodbye. It’s really hard to leave again. I really wish I could come back tonight or just could stay longer, but this journey has to go on.
As I drive to the ferry I eat one of the cookies that Eva baked last night and they gave me for the drive. I think again about all the wonderful people I met during this journey and for a moment wish I could go back in time and do it all again. Then I remind myself that it’s not over yet and that I have one-third of the journey left in front of me. Another of my favorite quotes is: “Don’t be sad that it’s over, be thankful that it happened.” I have to remind myself of that from time to time. Feeling like this also shows me that traveling as much as I do is the right thing for me. It are the best experiences in my life.
I arrive at the ferry half an hour before it leaves and that give me enough time to get a coffee at the local Starbucks. I hope to visit the first Starbucks ever opened this afternoon in Seattle. The ferry costs a about 18 dollars and takes a little less than an hour. I’m excited for it, because I heard it’s beautiful to see the Seattle skyline from the water and there is a chance of seeing whales. When I’m on the ferry I grab my jacket and I’m thankful that I forgot it yesterday, that was a blessing in disguise.
The ferry goes pretty fast. Before I can read one page of a book we sail out of the harbor through the bays of the lake. It’s cold and windy on the outside deck, but also very nice. I think that the last time I was on a ferry was in New Zealand. Because we’re crossing a lake and not a sea, this ride is very stable. I go inside for a few minutes, but then I can already see the skyline of Seattle in the distance, so I quickly go back to the front deck. I don’t see any whales this time, but a man on the deck tells me they’re here in the winter. Maybe I should come back then. The skyline of Seattle is pretty, with the space needle as clear marking point. The experience of entering a city by boat is very different than by car. I’m not quite sure why that is. Maybe because you don’t have to think about traffic. You can just watch the city come closer every minute and the city looks much smaller from the boat. Crossing the water also helps me move to the next chapter of this adventure. By the time we’re in Seattle my mind is full of fresh air and the excitement of traveling is returning. Back in my car I still I can’t shake of the sadness of goodbye completely, but I’ve accepted that as part of the journey.
It takes about half an hour to find a parking spot in Seattle, but it’s fine because I already expected that. Parking downtown is very expensive, but just a few blocks away I find a parking spot that doesn’t cost so much. It’s only a ten minute walk to the famous Pike market. I was thinking of getting coffee at the first Starbucks, but there is a line of at least fifty people to go into the coffee place. I don’t mind waiting for my coffee, but I don’t feel like waiting in line for fifteen minutes or so. I walk further over the market. It’s crowded here, but in a positive way. Lots of tourists and the people at the market are laughing a lot. The main attraction is the fish place where they throw the fishes to each other when someone places an order. It’s nice to walk around here and see all the market stores. While walking at the market, I realize that I have my books with me in my backpack, so I can just as well wait in line for the first Starbucks and catch up with some reading. That was a great idea, because now the waiting doesn’t seem to take long at all. Just a couple of pages further and I can enter the first store of my favorite coffee brand. To be honest, it’s not that much different from the other Starbucks stores, but still it’s nice for a fan to visit this place. I walk further over the market. When I see the ferry at the water I’m tempted for a moment to take the ferry back to Olympia, but I decide to be strong and continue the journey North. I drive by the Space Needle, but don’t feel like stopping and going up. Instead I drive straight to North Cascades National Park.
It’s interesting how the weather often is a reflection of my emotions. Just when I decided that today might be the saddest day of the journey, it starts raining hard. I like it, it suits the moment. Then my attention is drawn by something else. The landscape is changing dramatically and soon it looks like Switzerland. High mountains covered by snow and green fields with trees. Like I said the other day, I’m not quickly impressed by nature anymore these days, but these view still amaze me. It’s a beautiful drive to the Cascades. At the entrance of the park is a campsite and I decide to go camping tonight. I park my car in an empty spot and put my cooking gear on a picnic table. I still have pasta and pasta sauce which I bought in the beginning of the journey, so that’s for dinner tonight. After dinner I walk around at the campsite and I meet two other campers who tell me about waterfalls not to far from here that are lighted with color lamps at night. I get into my car and drive to the place. It’s very beautiful indeed. I take some pictures and walk around and then return to the campsite. I’m not sure yet what I’ll do tomorrow, but I think I drive further east from here to Idaho and Montana.