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A guide to not waiting at "The Waiting Place"

Taking our car onto a ferry these days means resigning hours…literally hours…of our trip to the ferry lines. No fun. A great way to go and, surprisingly (or maybe not so surprisingly in reality), one few people actually make happen is taking a bike instead. A bike shunts the whole process of waiting in the line and trying to time when to arrive at the ferry terminal so you make the chosen ferry time. I also have to admit I feel a bit smug as we head to the front of the line, get off first typically and never have a chance at missing a ferry because it is too full. Perhaps that is just me.

Two weekends in a row we experienced the ferry. The previous weekend we drove onto the ferry going out to Lopez. We wimped out due to the weather…forecast. That decision cost us 4 hours of waiting in the ferry line on Lopez to come back and 2 going there. Six hours of ferry time stuck in “The Waiting Place” where we’re just waiting for a ferry to come and get us.

This past weekend my family and I and another family did a small bike tour. We parked the car at the Anacortes ferry terminal and took the bikes and trailers across to Sydney, BC. From there we rode down to Victoria where we had a house rented just a short distance from the harbor…and it turned out just a block away from a great cup of coffee(Moka Coffee House on Cook St. for those interested). As we exited the ferry we were first to go through customs because bikes do that. As the cars lined up in The Waiting Place to go through customs we took in the view of the water there in Sydney, exchanged pleasantries with pedestrians and got ready for the ride south.

Going back home on the ferry played out in the same way. First on the ferry. First off the ferry. A few minutes and customs were cleared. Rode to our vehicle past a long line of cars waiting to get through customs.

Back to bike touring. For me the bike represent a freedom I do not feel when I drive. For me driving is not fun. Riding a bike is fun. Always has been and always will be. The ride down to Victoria was super fun and relaxing. About as simple as riding the bike to Larabee but a bit further. Very little traffic.  Mostly trail. Great places to stop along the way. Flat. And, of course, great views. A simple and great way to travel without any stress from the ferries, traffic or border waits. Pretty much a win all the way around for me and my family.

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