Day 142: October 21: Whidbey Island to Whidbey Island

Despite the fact that I woke up pretty early, it took me until about 11:00 to get on the road. After all, I had to eat breakfast, dry my tent, etc.

I rode into town for lunch in Coupeville. I was able to connect my computer to a phone line in a little information booth that provided a free phone. I found a place run by a Vietnamese woman at the end of the city wharf where I got a rice noodle and chicken dish. I continued riding down Whidbey Island, past small farms and some houses. Eventually, I'd gotten to the Whidbey Island Ferry terminal. I took the next boat, and arrived in Mukilteo at around 5:30.

I'd assumed that I'd be able to find somewhere to sleep, but wasn't prepared for how urban the area was. So I went into the local brewpub and asked around if anyone knew of somewhere to spend the night. I got one suggestion to go to a local construction site, but wasn't too thrilled.

While I was talking to the bartender, a drunk guy next to me said something about staying at his place over on the island. However, he was convinced that I was his friend Bill. We worked this out (apparently I look like someone he knows), and he re-stated his invitation. Not having anywhere else to go, I was seriously considering it.

Bruce didn't look too dangerous. But he was drunk -- and apparently, used to being drunk. He said that he had his car back on the island and that I could leave my bike at a friend's house.

We went back to Whidbey Island on the ferry, sneaking a six-pack on board. He almost got refused passage at the station, and I had to go back and buy a ticket because they wouldn't let me use the half-fare ticket he'd given me. Apparently he had half fare tickets because of some kind of mental problems (depression, alcoholism?).

When we got back we went to a little pizza place where I got a pizza and another beer. Bruce had some angry words with someone at the bar, but no fight resulted. I rode over to his friend's house while he drove his car. I locked up the bike while he had another beer. We took off with him driving, but the first place we stopped, he asked me if I would drive. This was a bit of a relief to me, but it was strange to be driving an old 3 ton Chrysler after four months on a bicycle. We did some riding around the island, seeing the sights.

We got over to his house (he is living with his parents), and I got to sleep around midnight. He had to get up about 5:00 to get to work, so he asked his father to give me a ride back to my bike.