This is part 2 of this little story. For part 1, click here.
The first day, google maps estimated I would walk 25 miles to get to my first Airbnb host. I was still thinking in hiking terms, so I started at 6AM thinking there was no way I’d finish before dark. It was strange walking around with a backpack in the dark. I couldn’t tell if people in Seattle thought I was homeless or just walking very far home from a bus. Eventually, though, I started to see people putting out signs for their coffeeshops or walking their dogs. As I got closer to the water, I saw people with rollerboard suitcases obviously just off a boat of some kind and fishermen drinking hot chocolate under a shelter. Getting out of the city center was a little strange, but eventually I found a bike path into West Seattle and got to the ferry dock.
I chose to take a route down Vashon Island because it looked closer to the coast, which usually means more scenic… right? The ferry to Vashon was leaving in 20 minutes when I got there. I walked past a bunch of cars and waited in a room with one high school age girl to board the ferry on foot. I went out on deck to look at the water. Amazingly for Seattle this time of year, the sun was out and the water was sparkling. Seagulls were everywhere. I stood in the wind for a while and then went inside to read my accidentally relevant book, Sarah Canary, which takes place, largely on foot, around Puget Sound.
When I got to Vashon Island, a man who had been standing next to me on the ferry dock offered me a ride into “town” (which obviously would have defeated the purpose of this trip). My Airbnb host was texting me offering potential routes. So far, everyone was being much nicer than expected. I decided to walk along the coast as long as possible before rejoining the main highway. I walked along some beautiful beaches and some vineyards which were closed for the season. I soon saw what everyone meant by “town.” It was a small, beachy town center with endearing public art and lots of boutiques. I stopped at a cafe, where I got a hard cider and charged my phone. My host offered a route hiking through the forest on the island to her house, but I decided to stick with the highway route because I didn’t want to leave the coast yet.
Whatever the other route was like, the small highway did not disappoint. I had been walking on sidewalks or bike paths up to this point, but now I was on a broad shoulder of a country road. It was a beautiful combination of beach-town and rural, with VW vans with crazy paint jobs, run-down shacks on beaches, and countless farmstands. I saw this awesome statue of Cool Gary, who is apparently a local legend.
By the end of the day, I was getting a little tired and leaning against a yacht club fence to take a break. Still, I hiked my 25 miles before 3PM and arrived at my host’s house. My hosts were an older couple who provided some welcome conversation and friendliness and their secluded rural home. They even treated me to dinner because I had no other real means of getting hot food. I fell asleep at 9:00 and slept for 10 hours, happy to be in a bed after a hard day.