Ocean Family Road Trip

Fidalgo Island and the Olympic Peninsula

Seattle was exhausting, noisy, dirty, traumatizing for the kids. It was time to get the hell out. We’d been there one day.

Boondockers Welcome is this wonderful online directory of fellow RVers willing to let you park in their driveway or on their land for free. I received an email back from Karl saying yes, we could stay. “If we’re not home when you arrive just park next to the garage, there’s a power outlet, water, and here’s the wifi password…”

They lived on Fidalgo Island, across the Skykomish bridge, about 2 hours north of Seattle and on the waterfront. At the end of the lawn there were hundreds of blackberries on the little path, and at the end of the path there was a tall bare tree, home to 2 bald eagles. We arrived and Karl rowed the crab pots out.

The pots caught 5 huge dungeoness crabs and we were eating them 20 minutes later. They were fresh in the true sense of the word and not fresh like a waiter in Omaha, Nebraska will tell you, “all our seafood is fresh.” What they mean is freshly defrosted. I hate to name names but, Alex Houston. This crab meat was so deliciously fresh that it didn’t need garlic or butter.

We stayed 3 nights with Carl and Karen and as we were leaving Karen commented on how my girls were “very well behaved, not like American children.” I didn’t really believe or think much of it until after I went to the Port Townsend visitor centre with Ellie, the next day.

The elderly lady working there approached me, gently touching my arm and saying through clenched teeth with her eyes wide “does your daughter like icecream?” “It’s 9am!” I yelled. “Ssshhh, no, there’s a great icecream shop in town I want to tell you about,” nervously looking over her shoulder at Ellie. She delivered the infomation like a junkie telling me where I could score. Geez lady, my kids can know there’s an icecream shop in town and not get one, without having a meltdown. Maybe Karen was right.

I really liked Port Townsend and wanted to spend another day there so we parked the night at a wilderness conservation area just outside of town. I got up early, had coffee, picked and ate blackberries (again) and wandered down the path to a stream. I stood there for awhile, staring off into space like I do, probably frowning. And then and there a big salmon gently swam up next to me. Then another and another. I’d never seen one in the wild before, and here they were, spawning in this small gravel creek. I was the only soul around, bearing witness to this miracle. And to think we were going to park the night at Walmart.

Transition days are what I’ve come to call days where we move from one place to another and do errands like laundry, supermarket, dump station, gas and water. There’s a lot of waiting around, they can be boring for the kids and stressful for us.
After 3 idyllic days at beachfront hobuck resort on the mokah indian reservation, we had a particularly stressful transition day in Forks. All we wanted was to set up camp and cook dinner. We drove to what we thought was Willow Creek. Found a nice camp spot but wanted to check out what was further down. We drove 30 minutes more to down the bumpy gravel road to a dead end so turned around to go back to the good spot we originally found. We parked and started to unpack when we found that a gentleman had shat in the middle of where our tent was to be set up. It could be an animal’s, maybe a bear’s?!” said one of the kids hopefully. But I’m pretty sure a bear doesnt wipe it’s arse with napkins from Starbucks. Inspired to share, I made an Instagram video about it. Disgusted, we moved on.

We Found the wonderful Minnie Patterson campground but we’re still confused about where Willow Creek should be, where we really wanted to go, next to water. Pat pulled out back onto main the road, I was absorbed with the map. “Here! Just give me the map!” Pat drove with one hand holding the map and steering with the other. All of a sudden we heard a black SUV’s horn blaring at us and flashing their lights. Ahhhh! We were driving down the wrong side of the road!! Pat swirved to the right side and said “whoops, la la la.”

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