We checked out of our hotel room at noon which was the very last minute. It was another warm day especially to do more road walking. Since we decided to do the rail trail in order to connect our steps we had to walk towards Burlington. I quickly thought we made a mistake and should of stuck to the official route as the day was spent on pavement. We walked against traffic yelling to each other over the sounds of cars. This is when I wish I wasn’t a strong believer in connecting my foot steps. We passed lots of garbage and people staring strangely at us. We came to Highway 20 and before a long road walk again hundreds of cars we stopped at McDonalds for a caffeine rush and empty calories. It was nice to be in the air conditioned building, but the thought of the upcoming road walk was frustrating. If we would of stayed on the trail, we would be walking on active logging roads, private property crossings, and few campsites. Everyone ahead of us that we know took a hitch to pass this section. After our snack, we headed towards Burlington on Highway 20. There would be breaks in traffic thanks to red lights that allowed us to chat. Try finding a spot to pee on Highway 20… enough said. It wasn’t a fun experience, but a guy waiting in traffic was excited to see two PNT hikers. At least one car in the thousands we saw today knew what we were up to. We hustled onward about 6 miles to gas station where Peter came to pick us up. We met Peter and Charlie at the Goat Haunt Shelter in GNP. That was day two of our thru hike. They are a father and son team who started out hoping to finish the PNT this year, but a family emergency forced them off trail. They live in Burlington and reached out to offer us a place to camp for the night. We had a lovely time with their family. They cooked us a delicious meal and we shared trail stories over drinks! It was so much fun to catch up. They updated us on the group ahead of us and we realized we would never see any of them again since they have car support to skip all the road walks. Looks like it is just the two of us. Again, this trail would be miserable solo since everyone takes the rides over the crappy parts. Luckily, my partner and I have the same style, but if he wasn’t around I might have caved to peer pressure. But most likely I wouldn’t. We stayed up late chatting before we retired to our tent in their backyard for the night.
We shared a lovely breakfast with Peter’s family before packing up and heading back to the spot we left off. We continued along Highway 20 and walked over a bridge. We came to a casino with a well positioned port-a-potty. It didn’t smell too well, but did the job.
We continued walking along a paved two lane road towards the town of Anacortes. It was nice to be on a less busy road. We crossed a bridge over Fidalgo Bay where we stopped to have a snack and take in the sights. There were lots of options for food in town. We were craving Thai food so that is where we went. We ate in a tiny restaurant and drank lots of water. One of the harder parts of road walking is finding useable water sources that aren’t too polluted. We did pass a small gas station and store where we grabbed a drink and ice cream.
We linked back to the trail and joined a bike path then a nice section of trail. We were in search of a campsite, but nothing looked good. We continued along to Deception Pass State Park. I loved hiking over the bridge with numerous tourists giving us strange looks. All the road walks drain me, hurt my legs, but they lead you to popular tourist destinations and back to a trail that gets you far away from the sounds and scents of society.
We paid for a hike in/ bike in campsite. He ran to the store to grab a few beers and snacks. We happily enjoyed using a picnic table and having a place to call home for the night surrounded by other hikers and bikers.
Today was the first time we got to hike along the water. We left the campground and followed the shore along Puget Sound. The trail was marked trespassing allowing if walking through. It was a very pleasant morning walk that felt gentle on the feet and the smell of the salt water. The trail then turns on a paved road past many cute homes and fields of flowers. One local knew what we were up to and said that we were crazy. The trail then joined a major road as cars zipped by us at high speeds. I easily got sick of counting all the pieces of garbage thrown out of car windows. We passed an ice cream stand that wasn’t open yet before turning onto a much less busy road. We took a break in the shade off of the road. We had a snack and a woman stopped to ask if we needed help. A few minutes later a man drove by us, backed up, and then asked what we were doing. He told us not to camp there or litter as I explained we were just taking a break as it was 10am. It was an odd encounter so we quickly left. I’m pretty sure that vehicle drove by us again 15 minutes later. I just want to be on a trail! Oh wait this is the PNT. We walked around a military base for some time as cars zipped by us again.
A car pulled over to ask if we needed anything. We got to met Ultra Pedestrian and OBAL (one badass lady). They whisked us off the paved road and into town to a Taco Bell. They are well known long distance hikers who document their adventures on social media. They prefer the less traveled paths and never take hitches into town. They believe in foot travel only. We had a wonderful conversation and shared adventures before they dropped us back off on the road.
We walked past some a large military golf course before joining a section of trail that led back to the water. We walked past many homes as people waved at us as they ate burgers and drank beers. The trail then connected back to the road where we saw seal crossing signs and very expensive houses for sales that will someday be in the water. We walked towards the town of Coupeville and the “Happy House” which is run by a lovely wife and husband. Rebecca and John know how to take care of their hikers. We had a lovely bedroom with the most comfortable bed, best shower of the trail, and even better home cooked meals.
Today was filled with delicious meals, careful campsite selection for the Olympic National Forest, and relaxation. We never left our location at the “The Happy House.” Rebecca and John are such a lovely couple that goes out of their way to help out hikers. We spent a long time looking at the ONP map and selecting campsites. It felt so nice to simply relax at a home. Hotel stays are nice, but this restful day was one of my very favorites. Thank you two so much for your kindness! ❤️
It was difficult to leave the “Happy House”, but the last section of the trail awaits us. We said our farewells and began a road walk towards Puget Sound. The trail walks along a bluff then dips down steeply to the sandy shores. We slid down a bluff to reach the bottom and got sand down our pants. It was a beautiful and clear morning. The trail then climbed back up to a bluff with stunning views and lots of day hikers. We walked along a rode before heading to the ferry station. We walked up to a counter where cars drive up to buy their tickets. We purchased a ferry ticket from Coupeville to Port Townsend for a few dollars. My first ferry crossing of any trail as I wished they had a PNT sticker on the ferry. We choose a table inside where we sat down. I enjoyed going outside during the ride and looking back at the bluff we had just hiked. What a wonderful adventure we are on. Before I knew it, we had docked and were waking in a new town. We stopped for over priced Mexican food before exploring the history of the town. What a fun plan! I had reached out to trail angels who allowed us to crash in their guest room. We explored town before heading to their home where I was able to wash all the sand off my body. They have a young dog that I enjoyed playing with. We made a few phone calls to catch up with family and friends while relaxing for the evening. The Olympics are waiting for us, but we still got lots of paved road to go to get there.