Ferries, Trains, and Automobiles – Day 3

Today was transportation day! We ate a big breakfast at the Best Western Suites at 5:45 AM and then drove down to the ferry docks. The WSDOT website indicated that the wait time for the Monday morning ferry could be as long as 60-90 minutes. Since we didn’t want to miss our train to Portland, our goal was to catch the 7:30 AM ferry, if possible. If that ferry was full, we could still take the 8:45 AM ferry and make it to our train on time.

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Public Market Billboard

Miraculously, we were the next to the last car permitted to board the 6:20 AM ferry. We’d planned to visit the Public Market in Seattle if we were fortunate enough to catch the early ferry so now we had plenty of time to kill. When we arrived at the market, we watched vendors packing their fish (shrimp, grouper, salmon, etc.) on ice for the day’s market. The most fascinating part was watching them throw purchased fish to the back of their booths for packaging.

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Fresh Fish

Besides fish, there were booths selling locally grown fruit, vegetables, and flowers. After browsing through the market, we decided to buy a cup of coffee at the Seattle Coffee Company. We later stumbled across the original Starbucks, but we weren’t too disappointed because the line was all the way out the door and down the sidewalk.

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Market Mascot

On our way back to the car, we deposited our spare change in the large bronze piggy bank, which has become the mascot for the Public Market.

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All Aboard!

Ed and I dropped Joyce & Ron with all of our luggage at the Amtrak station, and then we returned our rental car. We walked back to the Amtrak station and boarded the Cascades train to Portland. Our three-hour train ride was pretty uneventful, but we were fortunate to get four seats with a table between us. We chatted, worked on our blog, and took a nap before arriving in Portland.

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Mt. Hood

We took a cab from the Amtrak station to Avis where we picked up our rental car. The drive out to Mt. Hood started with a traffic jam, but we still managed to make it to our hotel by 6 PM. After checking into our rooms, we jumped back in the car and drove a few miles to Trillium Lake – a perfect viewing spot for Mt. Hood. The wildflowers were in full bloom, but we missed the lake’s namesake trillium, which typically bloom in May and June. We decided to take the 2 mile trail around the lake before driving up to Timberline Lodge for dinner. In other words, we wanted to burn some calories before stuffing our faces:)

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Antique Skis

The drive up to Timberline Lodge offered breathtaking views of both Mt. Hood and Mt. Jefferson. Believe it or not, the mountain still had enough snow for summer skiing. Timberline Lodge was built in 1931 and resembles many of the national park lodges. We were lucky enough to get a table in the Ram’s Head Bar with a view of Mt. Jefferson.

We decided to try some local delicacies on the menu, including a cheese fondue with elk sausage and caviar. After dinner, we took a self-guided tour and watched a brief video describing the lodge’s construction and dedication by President FDR. Ed was fascinated by the enormous size of the hand carved hexagonal-shaped support posts, and we all were astounded by the fact the lodge was built in only 15 months!

After dinner, we drove back down the mountain to our hotel for the night.

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