Departing from the south end of the island, the less-traveled Vashon-Tacoma ferry between Tahlequah and Point Defiance is a step back in time and a welcomed respite. The M/V Rhododendron chugs across the south sound with the charm of a child’s vintage pull toy. Heading home after a fine time at a friend’s open house, I took the pole position on the car deck of my favorite ferry, the aforementioned Rhododenron (which unfortunately is to be decommissioned soon). Exposed and just inches about the water, my trusty, rusty beater was elevated to king-of-the-world status on the vessel’s bow.
The 15-minute movie that is the crossing is best experienced in 3-D, outside and in the elements. I bundled up, grabbed my camera and braced for the chill of a maritime breeze. The moon welcomed my arrival, Mount Rainier bid adieu after tucking itself in under a glow of pink, and the warmth of a day sustained me. Other drivers and passengers safe in their sealed cocoons, leaned downward, focusing on the duties inherent in a portable handheld device. I was tempted to tap on a couple windows and point to sky, for when beauty is parked right outside your window, it’s only polite to look up.