FTJ Does Vashon Island

One of the really great things about living here at Franke Tobey Jones is the fact that we are on the hill above the ferry to Vashon Island. If you are as old as I am, perhaps you remember the Betty McDonald books written in the middle of the 20th century about her life on the Olympic Peninsula (The Egg and I), Seattle (The Plague and I), and Vashon Island (Onions in the Stew). I was a big fan as a teenager. The Egg and I was made into a movie and that’s where the characters of Ma and Pa Kettle came from.


One of our favorite trips from FTJ is to go over to Vashon. It’s really an island with no bridges connecting it with the mainland, so you have to take a Washington State Ferry over.

Here we all are on the bus.

DSCN0643We got to the ferry loading place, and there were lots of logger trucks with us.


Finally, the ferry pulled in to the slip,


and we were loaded on. The cars get to load first, and then they put the trucks and busses in the middle. The folks who direct the loading are really careful to keep the weight balance correct, so the ferry doesn’t get too heavy on one side or the other. Even with the trucks, there was plenty of room as you can see looking back at the dock as we pulled away.


The water was as smooth as glass, although it was pretty cloudy and cool.


And before we knew it we were approaching the slip on the other side of the Sound. The ferry runs every hour and it takes about 15 minutes to do the crossing, and 15 minutes to unload and load again. On the way across, I saw several sea otters swimming, but I couldn’t get my camera up in time to take a picture of them. They looked just like logs, and by the time I realized they were otters, they would dive under.


Our first stop was an old country store.


It was interesting, with just about anything a farmer could want, from food to seeds to garden tools to clothing.


All kinds of “stuff”


There was “garden art”

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and plants.


After we had poked around there for a while, we loaded back on the bus and went to the town of Vashon which is located just about the middle of the island. There are lots of interesting shops there and an old Presbyterian Church.

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There were craft shops

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a historic building, housing a restaurant (it’s a restaurant, not a hardware store, contrary to its name),DSCN0696 DSCN0697some elephants on the roof,


and at least one interesting character. (Note the bare feet, even though it was 60 degrees.) He said he was reading Gulliver’s Travels.


After lunch at a pizza place, we returned to the ferry and waited in line for the boat to come in. During lunch it had cleared off and turned sunny, so the ride back was beautiful with the sound matching the sky for deep blue.

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As I looked to the East from the deck of the ferry, I was treated to the sight of Mt. Rainier drifting in what remained of the clouds above the Port of Tacoma.


And before we knew it we were back at the slip, and ready to drive up the hill, safely back to FTJ.




Picture 107

This photo is part of the Lenten Photo-A-Day Challenge.

Some of the San Juan Islands RISING from the fog on a ferry ride to Friday Harbor.

The lectionary passage that spoke especially to me today was from Psalm 145:4-6

4   One generation shall laud your works to another,
and shall declare your mighty acts.
5   On the glorious splendor of your majesty,
and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.
6   The might of your awesome deeds shall be proclaimed,
and I will declare your greatness.

Reflection Time

I saw this article from the New York Times today on Facebook.


When I was young (in the 40s and 50s and even into the 60s) we used to go to Little River Country Club in SW Arkansas. We’d go for the weekend, or for a week. It was an enclave of about 100 cabins with a golf course, and a club house, and the river to swim in, and places to launch boats for fishing. There were several of doctors and lawyers who had cabins there, and they were adamant that there could not be a phone on the property. In an emergency, someone could call the general store in Horatio, 7 miles away, and someone would drive out with the message. It was possible to really get away. It was even hard to get a decent radio signal. All that quiet is gone, now, and while the club is still there, I don’t think it’s used as often as it used to be.
Here are Anne, Mimi, Harriet and me in the river at Little River Country Club.
And here we are on the steps of Eagles Nest – one of the cabins at Little River.
I talked some yesterday about how Big Al and I really needed to be able to get to a quiet motel suite and decompress after time with the kids and dogs, so this article really spoke to me.
I think the need for quiet and time to just BE is one of the reasons I love traveling by train. When you’re on a train (particularly if you have a bedroom or compartment), the only thing you can do is look out the window, or read, or nap, or think. The world passes you by while you have a chance to live with your own thoughts.
This was basically my view for the whole two days there, and two days back when I went to UNCO11 last spring. I stretched my legs by walking to the diner for meals, and otherwise, I didn’t have to talk to anybody else the whole time, except the steward who made up my bed in the evening and put it back to a seat in for the day.
I’m dreaming now of when we finally sell the house (from my mouth to God’s ears). Then we’ll ship the car up to Tacoma, and we’ll take the train for 3 blissful days of relaxation and escape.
And once we’re there, we’ll be able to ride the ferrys out to the islands, where again, we’ll be able to just watch the world go by.