Another incredible week in the Pacific Northwest! This is the last week we have in Washington as we head into Idaho first thing in week 7, so we had to make the best of it! Due to the extreme beauty of this past week, expect a few more photos in this week’s update.
We started the week in Coupeville, WA, a quaint town on Whidbey Island. After returning from Canada the previous weekend, we drove from Port Angeles to Port Townsend and took the ferry across the water to the island (putting Bertha on a ferry was a sight to see!). The ferry pulls into Fort Casey and Coupeville is a few miles north of there, they have a library so it seemed like a good spot to sit and get some work done for a few hours. Once the library closed at 6:00, we decided to head out for a run in our raincoats (there has still been a lot of rain up here, it was 55 degree as we headed out on the run…sorry friends and family in Arizona!). The run was incredible, one of the best ever (we never say that about anything haha)! We ran first down by the water and down the dock, then through the lushest, greenest farmland you’ve ever seen, alongside a rugged beach, and then into a forest where we saw a bald eagle…it had to be the most diverse run in only a 6 mile span. We then drove farther north to camp out in a Walmart parking lot for the evening, it was the most RV crowded parking lot we’ve been to yet. It was pouring rain and we spent the evening playing 90’s Trivial Pursuit over whiskey (Jim won in case you wondered who’s better at 90’s trivia).
The next morning we woke up knowing we’d be driving over Deception Pass within the first 15 minutes of our drive, so Jim prepared his quadcopter for its first use on the trip. Deception Pass is a state park that separates Whidbey Island from Fidalgo Island and the views you get as you cross the bridge are spectacular! The quadcopter got some great views, as we had it in the air two bald eagles came whizzing right by! We had high hopes of some amazing, award winning shots of bald eagles over Deception Pass but somehow one managed to avoid the camera entirely while the other was a little too far away to really capture in its entirety. Oh well, it was awesome just to see it with our own two eyes. From there, we drove further north to Anacortes. We decided this was a good place to set up in an RV park for the night, use some power and water and give Jim a much needed haircut. We chose the most affordable parking spot and it tucked us in between a row of Class A Motorhomes; it was a trip to see Big Bertha dwarfed by these guys! We did want to explore Anacortes a little and we realized we hadn’t taken our bikes out for a ride in a while. So we loaded up and headed west toward Washington Park, right along a wonderful little bike path. The park was beautiful and we were able to take the loop around the whole area, which again covered both deep, green forests as well as water views. It was a perfect day and a great ride but we had to cut it short as Jim’s poor bike was having some health ailments.
Thursday morning we decided to make it a day of adventure on Orcas Island. We moved Bertha out of the RV park and caught (by a hair) the 12:45 ferry over to Orcas. As you can imagine, the views from the ferry are pretty incredible by themselves. Once on the island, we found a great little cafe for a sandwich, a beer, and a little piano playing time for Jim. Then we took the motorcycle up Mount Constitution for 360 degree views of the San Juan Islands, it was truly breathtaking to see! With a little more time on the island (or a little better planning), we would have loved to have hiked up but flying down on the bike sure was convenient. As we were up there, we looked at our watch and realized the next ferry left in about 30 minutes…but we were at least 40 minutes away. We decided to try to make it anyway and raced across the island to the ferry terminal. We missed it. It ended up being the best thing that could have happened, we ended up finding a nice little grassy spot in the sun next to the water. We were able to just lay there for over an hour to watch the clouds and hang out with each other (our phone batteries had died as well, which was an extra bonus). We finished out the three hour wait by treating ourselves to coffee and ice cream…yes, both. By the time we docked on the other side of the water, it was almost 10pm but we decided to drive another hour north toward our next stop in Bellingham.
A few weeks ago, at the triathlon in Spokane, we met a really nice woman who had parked her RV next to ours (actually it was her mom’s RV and her mom who impressively leveled it on her own!). We got to chatting with her before the race and she had kindly offered us a place to park Bertha if we made it up to Bellingham, so we decided to take her up on it. We pulled up to her place on Friday morning, she was already at work but had left a key for us. As we walked into her home, we were awestruck at what a beautiful place she had! Her home is right on Lake Whatcom with stunning views, she also spent the past few years completely remodeling the place and it’s just gorgeous! We were also in awe of the fact she let two strangers into her immaculate home, part of us wondered if maybe she planned to murder us and steal our skin. We got Bertha all settled into her extra parking area and Jim wanted to get straight to work, so Heather headed out for a run. Right up the street from her home is a park of wonder and magic, it was such a pretty run complete with a waterfall! Truly, every turn in there was picture worthy and we could fill this entire page with just photos of this park! Myrna came home late that evening, just in time to join us for some tacos and a beer before bed.
Saturday was another big work day for Jim but Heather took the chance to spend some time with Myrna, she is definitely not a murderer, haha! She first took the both of us out to a lovely brunch at a little local cafe with a live banjo player (it was still pouring rain outside and Heather is learning that a hooded raincoat is standard issue if you want to live in the PNW). Heather and Myrna then headed for a swim at the indoor community pool and to Trader Joe’s for some groceries. The evening was spent over a truly wonderful dinner with Myrna and her neighbor Peter; we had mango jalapeno sausages, roasted potatoes, a delish fruity summer salad, and the most amazing homemade oatmeal cookies you’ll ever have in your whole life. Oh Sailor Jerry’s rum drinks - Myrna’s specialty!
On Sunday, Myrna was up at 6:00am to get in her 100 mile bike ride (she’s training to do a full Ironman next month!) and we were planning to do the entire ride with her. We got up early and Jim went to get his bike all fixed up for the ride, only to find out he’s going to need a bike shop to get it fixed. So Heather decided to join just the second half of the ride while Jim decided to spend the day working again. Myrna and Heather headed out for what was a 58 mile ride for Heather (106 for Myrna!); it was another stunning ride full of amazing views around every corner. Seriously, the Pacific Northwest has just been a mind blowingly beautiful place to explore! We started out through a forest that runs along the water, you can see the bright green moss everywhere and smell the freshness of nature in the air. We stopped at one of her friend’s houses to say a quick hello, they were outside working in their greenhouse (see photo, that is their backyard!!). The ride continues to a flat plain of lushness on either side and out to Samish Island, where you can feel the friendliness in the air. We made a stop at a little pastry shop for some of the most delish fruit danishes on the planet! Upon returning from the ride around 4pm, Jim was just beginning his run and getting out of the house for the first time that day. Myrna went straight to mowing her lawn (after riding 100 miles!), while Heather got started on dinner. Jim returned 18 miles later (he thought he could run the entire perimeter of the lake, but underestimated its vastness) and we sat out on the deck for a lovely dinner with views of the lake. The evening ended with s’mores in the backyard as the sun set, Jim even grabbed a great shot of the home with Bertha parked in the yard from the drone’s aerial vantage point.
One of the best thing about this lifestyle is the people you meet along the way - Myrna is someone we’ll never forget. She has the kindest, most generous heart of anyone you’ll ever meet. To invite two strangers in your home, prepare them meals, give them a place to park, shower, and do their laundry while expecting nothing in return. On top of that, she’s crazy smart, successful, adventurous (she lived in Antarctica!), and an independent badass. We consider ourselves very lucky to have met her and had the chance to spend the weekend with her. We kind of fell in love with Bellingham, other than the fact it’s a bit drizzly up here, it’s a place we’re likely to return to in the future. We really are going to miss the Pacific Northwest as next week takes us to new places!
Total RV Trip Miles: 2,934