the trio of johnsons dropped me off at the ferry terminal in downtown victoria this morning. i am leaving the island. after pulling my cash from my canadian bank account i hopped on the ferry headed south for port angeles, washington, with no real way to get to where i needed to be after that. today was also my official leaving of canada and i turned in my work permit documentation upon boarding. i no longer belong here.
i was ready to test faith again today. maybe not test it, but i was ready to put faith in the forefront of my limited perspective and therefore be ready for anything to be revealed. this morning i was getting on a ferry in victoria, bc, bound for the olympic peninsula with no idea how to cover the additional 82 miles to port orchard, washington, where my friend parker's mom could pick me up. the 10 a.m. sun was bright and warm and i had my backpack and a yellow rolling duffle bag. all these things greatly excited me.
'there's no easy way,' said the direction man at the information booth on the ferry. 'there aren't any buses that go straight to where you need to go. if you hop these county transit buses you might be able to make it by seven.' i wrote down the series of departure times and bus numbers on a page of my green, back pocket notebook: port angeles to sequim to port townsend to poulsbo to silverdale to bremerton to port orchard. 'most people just cut across the puget sound on a ferry if they're on the way to seattle,' he said. 'and most people are on there way to seattle from port angeles.'
he gave me a white sheet of paper with washington's major highways crudely copied on one side. i thanked him and returned to my seat and memorized the highway routes and tucked it in my pocket as a backup plan.
i was faced with a familiar situation after disembarking, breezing through customs, and stepping back onto american soil- do i go left, straight, or right? i went right for a bit but stopped. i went back and started going straight from my origin. 'hey, my bank.' i was halfway down the block to deposit my canadian money when i stopped. no- back again. i went back to the curb across from the stream of vehicles now streaming off the ferry through customs and unfolded the white map of paper from my pocket. i'd written 'seattle?' in black marker on the blank backside. cars drove off, mostly elderly vacationers in their nice cars and straw hats. i tucked my long hair under the green coal beanie and continued to hold the sign out and tried to look friendly enough. suddenly a small, four door audi quattro pulled up and i recognized the young couple as passengers from the ferry. 'we live in seattle,' they said. 'get in.'
their names were glen and andrea and work as an artistic glass blower and in an office, respectively. they're probably in their late twenties, i guessed, and glen's blue eyes reflected in the driver's mirror and between his thick black hair and an equally dark beard. andrea was in the passenger seat and had blonde, long hair. of course i wasn't heading to seattle, but i'd written it on my paper because to get to that turnoff point would mean getting through the little trickling highways of the olympic peninsula. we talked about mountains and music and alaska and other places any of us had been during the drive that went by surprisingly fast. sixty-two miles later they dropped me at a bus stop in poulsbro, washington, before their turnoff for the ferry and puget sound and seattle. 'there's a little mexican restaurant a block up if you have to wait,' glen said as he shook my hand. i thanked the two of them and they refused money saying that it was on the way and that they always pick up hitchers. i let them know that i'd been praying for the right hitch hike to happen and that they were a literal answer to prayer and had become a clutch part of the story of the adventure. they thanked me back. i thanked them again. then we parted.
i had a forty minute wait and went to the mexican restaurant where eight dollars bought a satisfying and surprisingly large meal that was even complemented by my two good winter friends rice and beans. hey guys, good to see you again down there. so glad you're not alone this time.
from poulsbro i hopped a series of city transit buses. the first ride cost two dollars and they gave transfer tickets at each stop so i wouldn't have to buy another.
after few buses and one more short ferry ride over to port orchard i was in contact with parker's mom as planned. all in all this disconnected journey only cost about twenty eight dollars including lunch. not bad for having left canada that morning with a little bit of faith, even less money, and no plans. i don't know what else to say but i'm always thankful and amazed.
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