Day 4: May 12th; San Juan State Park – Fort Ebey State Park; 40 miles

Ah, I had finally fallen into a deep sleep when I was abruptly awoken by a terrifyingly loud noise and bright lights. In a sleepy stupor, I thought it was a farmer’s tractor headed right for my tent! Ready to bolt out, my ears and brain harmonized and I recognized almost immediately the all too familiar unmistakable low gurgling sound of a Volkswagen Vanagon engine running right next to where I was laying. I am very accustomed to this noise, as that is the vehicle of choice my family used for road trips growing up. I looked at my watch and realized it was midnight and that a good night’s sleep was likely impossible at this point. After attempting to park for 15 minutes (I was about to go out there and park it myself), they killed the engine and my guess that it was a Vanagon was solidified. I recognized the sliding door slam immediately (I’m pretty sure I heard it slam more last night than I ever did in the almost 30 years I’ve known our Keane Mobile) and the sing song notes of the driver’s door opening with the keys still in the ignition. The owners were talking loudly (I guess they missed that quiet hours had started 2 hours prior to their arrival…..) so I decided to make my presence known by popping my head out of my tent in an aggressive manner, which looking back on it, was probably more comical than aggressive. Sure enough there was the van not 10 feet from my head! All my suspicions were true! Not really sure if they noted my presence, as they continued to talk loudly AND BUILD A FIRE. Ugh. But what I did notice were all the stars in the sky. It was overwhelming almost. I decided to stare at them for a while and caught 2 shooting stars and a satellite. Reason #48284 why I’m happy I got LASIK.

Well, enough about me complaining about the Vanagon people. I did eventually fall asleep and woke up a few hours later. As we were breaking down camp, we got an “ahem!” from the van folks – can you believe it?! It was almost 7am, when quiet hours ended. Apparently us talking between ourselves was more offensive than their obnoxious engine running right next to our heads. But I digress, for real this time.

We rode the 10 miles of more Appalachian type hills back to the ferry terminal. We made good time and had a delicious breakfast in town and walked around, making a stop at the farmers market. While waiting for the ferry we talked with a young man from Germany who moved here with his wife 6 months ago “just cause”. He was really sweet and really interesting to talk to. He has worked as a paramedic and a zookeeper and currently works on one of the islands as an internet technician.

During the ferry we did some planning for the next couple of days. We’re kinda itching to get out of Washington, so longer days are in our near future.

After the ferry we decided to bypass our original plan of just 10 miles to Deception Pass to add on 18 additional miles to Fort Ebey State Park. Before the ferry, we were fiddling with this plan and asked The German for his opinion. He said, “us Germans are very efficient. It’s a nice day out so you should take advantage go to the farther park.” Ah, perfect advice so we took it.

We passed through Deception Point quickly. It was insanely packed and traffic was a nightmare. It was seriously as busy as Yellowstone in mid July. We snapped some pictures and got out as quickly as possible.

The rest of the ride was not so great. We decided to follow google maps and not the ACA maps. We now know why ACA chose the roads they did. We were stuck on a pretty busy road without a shoulder for entirely too long. We rode on the sidewalk and eventually detoured to get ourselves off it.

The roads into Fort Ebey were nothing but hill after hill. The ranger who checked us in was super sweet and took us up a massive hill to the hiker biker campsite. Thanks Corey! We got to camp around 6pm, giving us plenty of time to shower and cook dinner. The sun doesn’t set around here till close to 9, so there’s lots of sunlight till pretty late.

Now let me tell you about this campsite. I don’t like it. It freaks me out. They stuck us in the middle of a Black Forrest type of unnerving setting with mossy trees all around us. Gives me the creeps. Especially when 100 meters up a trail is a beautiful open vista view area similar to where we stayed last night. And the bathrooms are 1/4 miles up the road after a huge hill. Guess I’ll be practicing getting ready for the JMT around here! But it’s only one night, right? Here’s to hoping Bigfoot doesn’t come trudging through our campsite in the middle of the night!

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