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July 6, 2018

Orcas to Seattle by car takes about 5 hours. Forty minutes from Doe Bay to ferry, even with a reservation it's best to get in line at least 30 minutes early. The crossing is a delight, then the drive from Anacortes to Mt. Vernon is barnwood, followed by the usual I-5 slog. Latter stretch is broken up by Smokey Point rest stop, often staffed by volunteers like Dennis here. Snacks and coffee are free (donations accepted). Business was slow--lots of cars but few customers. When he asked, I told him I was from New York, originally. "I've never been back east," he said, meaning he'd never been there. I found that an interesting turn of phrase that casually embodied the history of white settlement--his ancestors had migrated from a mythic back there once in the long ago. It's the kind of linguistic artifact the folks at A Way with Words might deem fit to explore.