Day 25: Driving to Whidbey Island, Washington

The drive from Portland, Oregon to Whidbey Island, Washington was full of bridges. The route took me through Seattle, during rush hour traffic. I gotta say, Seattle traffic is almost as bad as Los Angeles traffic. I hit traffic just south of the city in Tacoma, then again near the downtown Seattle area, and again just north of the city.

After being stuck in traffic for an eternity, I desperately needed to find a restroom and somewhere to eat. I was thankful to find a nearby Target, but panicked when I thought my car wouldn’t fit in the garage, so I eventually parked across the street in the bank parking lot. Praying I wouldn’t get a ticket or pee my pants, I raced through the structure until I finally arrived at Target.

Feeling much better after using the restroom, I got a sandwich to-go, and a few items I needed. My car was safe and sound, so I was relieved. I hit the road and ate on my drive. The GPS directed me to take the route that first went to Fidalgo Island and then crossed over to Whidbey Island. Once I left highway 5, the terrain turned to farmland. Then all of a sudden, I came across a huge bridge so I stopped just before it, took some pictures and started walking on it.

It turns out the bridge is called Deception Pass, a very popular tourist site that is on the National Register of Historic Places. I walked a little bit across the bridge on the narrow path. To my right was an insanely high drop to the swirling ocean below. To my left, cars raced on the other side of the wire handrail. Looking down at the swirling waters made me dizzy so I turned back to my car.

I continued on to Whidbey Island and arrived at my Airbnb in Oak Harbor around 8:30 pm. The Airbnb was a house in a residential neighborhood and I had a room with a shared bathroom, shared kitchen, and shared living space. Barry, the owner, met me and showed me around. Barry was in his late 50s, had gray hair with a gray mustache, and was around 5’9”.

Barry asked that I take my shoes off upon entering. We walked around the kitchen as he showed me where I could put food in the pantry and refrigerator. He rents out three of the five bedrooms on the second floor. Each room has a name assigned to it – my room was called “Sage”. He had designated space in the pantry and refrigerator for each room.

It wasn’t clear if Barry was married, divorced, or widowed. There was evidence of a wife, but he didn’t mention her and said “It’s just me here” and I wasn’t sure if he meant for good, or just at the moment. Barry said one of the other rooms was also rented out to a lady who was there for a family reunion but “she doesn’t sleep on the ground.” Apparently, they were all camping and she didn’t want to so she spent time with them all day and slept at Barry’s at night. Barry explained that she wouldn’t be home until around 11:00 pm.

Barry showed me the laundry area and one of the rooms upstairs that was not being rented out because he wants to repaint it and fix it up a little. For the time being, he placed an ironing board and a desk for shared use. Barry’s room was also upstairs but he had his own bathroom.

It was late so I decided I’d just do laundry, which was down stairs. It was a little awkward because Barry was at the computer down stairs so I kept passing him as I went to the laundry area. My bedroom door didn’t have a lock on it, so I had to trust  that he and nobody else would take my stuff.

Click here to see a 2 minute video of the drive from Portland to Whidbey Island.

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Post Edited By: Misty Kosek

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Published by Christy

I quit my corporate job and sold my house in Los Angeles so I can travel and write. I grew up in St. Louis, MO and moved to the Los Angeles area after college. I worked in the business world for 15 years. Follow along to see pictures and hear stories of people I've met along my journey so far - driving to Alaska.

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