a motorcycle journey 2up

Friday, June 25, 2010

Ferry Ride South - Haines, AK to Bellingham, WA

Days 22-26 - June 21- 25, 2010

The Alaska Marine Highway Ferry didn’t depart from Haines until 7:00 pm, so we had almost an entire day to burn up in Haines. Considering that we had gotten to Haines the day before super early, we had already kind of exhausted any sort of entertainment options that were available. We went and had a Breakfast Bear-ritto and biscuits & gravy for breakfast at the local bakery. The food was fair, and the price is what you would probably expect from somewhere that tries to make an entire year’s income in about 1/3 of the time. Went back and loitered around our campsite, doing laundry, showering, and generally wearing out our welcome. Then finally loaded up the bike and headed to the local grocery store.

Shopping while hungry is a dangerous thing. Shopping while hungry with the knowledge that you are going to be on a boat for four (4) days is down right insane. You have totally forgotten the fact that you are on a motorcycle that is already packed to the max with your current livelihood bungeed to all horizontal surfaces. Storage and transportation is not an issue for you at the moment - you just really need to find the aerosol cheese. The end result is a grocery bag full of way too much food for 2 people considering the length of time you will be on the ship. But, not just any grocery bag. It’s on of those eco-reusable bags because you are sort-of an eco-conscious hipster (if you disregard the fact that in your daily working life (coatings applications) you probably release more V.O.C. a day than you could make up for in a lifetime of using said eco-reusable bags).

The Result:

(Plus all the food already stored in the side cases)

Anyhow, we had lunch overlooking the water and poached some internet for a while until the signal ran out.

Then we decided to head to the ferry a mere 5.5 hours early.

We weren’t the only people who discovered that there wasn’t too much to do in town:

In line waiting for the ferry boarding we met several great people that we would hang out through the duration of the trip. Brad, John & Ruth Ann, Tom & Wayne, Harley guy and Son (we didn’t actually get these guys names, and after a certain length of time of talking to these people, it kind of becomes awkward to ask their names - sorry).

(pic from Brad)

All were from different parts of the Country, and most were headed home, but we all had the same delusion that the ferry ride would be a spectacular and remarkable thing - almost like a cruise but with primitive lodging accommodations. *Again, I think the weather played a big part in our overall opinion of this.

So, we board the ferry.

Priority one, set up and duct tape down the tent to the deck.

Leaving Haines:

In hindsight this would be some of the best weather we would encounter on the ride down to Washington.

So we are camped out on the “Solarium Deck”, not under, as it is prohibited to set up the tent under the covered portion. The covered portion is reserved for the mass of people who will be camping out on the plastic lawn furniture. It was a bit surreal - like a homeless shelter at sea.

The next few days were uneventful. The clouds lowered and it spit rain all day.

Killing time:

The rest of the days were spent passing the time either by conversation, informative (uninformative) programs, sleeping, and attempting to eat as much of the excess food you brought as possible because there is now way it will fit on the bike and you would truly hate to “waste” it.

Something to ponder:

I would say overall the ferry ride was a bust. It was nice for a day, could have been better (*assumption) if the weather was nice, but it really made us eager to be on the bikes. I think it really re-enforced my dislike of not being able to be in control of my schedule.

A vague description of our route home:

We will be heading over to the Olympic Peninsula and then down the coast of Washington and Oregon. We will head inland in both states at some point to visit Mt. St. Helens (WA) and Crater Lake (OR). Then it will be down into Northern California to visit the Redwoods. A turn east across Hwy 50 will take us through Nevada, Utah, and into Colorado. A visit to Mesa Verde Nat’l Park in Colorado, then head south into New Mexico. We are planning on being in Roswell, NM on the 4th, and then onto home. Keep watching, something’s got to break, right?


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