Poulsbo, Washington, and boarding the ferry to cross Puget Sound

Thursday, September 12

I lock up the Best Little Trailer and drive out of Falls View Campground.  The crew and I are going on a ferry ride!  The sky is clear and temperatures are predicted in the low 80s.  This should be a perfect day for the ferry!

The plan is to take the Bremerton ferry to Seattle.

Originally I thought we’d ride the ferry from Port Townsend to Whidbey Island.  However, I decided against that because reservations are required and it’s a busy terminal.

We pass through Quilcene on Highway 101 and head northward.  Then Highway 104 takes out southwest where we drive the floating bridge that goes over Hood Canal.

“This is going to be a great adventure!” 

I glance at the crew.  Spike stands on the bench seat looking out the side window.  Bridget has taken a liking to the passenger seat lately.  I reach over and stroke her cheek.  “Your first ferry ride, Bridge!”

I turn right onto Highway 3 and head south.

By the time we reach Poulsbo fog has moved in! 

Well, it will probably burn off.  It’s only mid-morning. We have plenty of time.

Many Scandinavian immigrants settled in Poulsbo, especially Norwegians.  This heritage is reflected in its architecture, shops and murals.

1-P1070231I park the PTV in a public parking lot.  Then I take the crew on a quick walk-around so they can do their business.

1-P1070230I leave them in the PTV and set out on foot.  It’s going to be a physically demanding day, especially for Spike, so I want them to conserve their energy, maybe take a snooze.

1-P1070238I stroll by coffee shops, bakeries, tea shops, art galleries, clothing stores (expensive!) and salons.

1-P1070232I walk the street that goes down to the waterfront park.  Houses hug the shoreline of Liberty Bay.


A lady about my age comes by, carrying a container of coffee.

“Excuse me.  Are you local?” I ask.

“Well, sort of.  I grew up here and now I’m back for a few days.”

“Do you think this fog is going to lift or is it an all-day thing?”

1-P1070233She tells me it will be mostly gone in an hour or so.  I explain my intention of riding the Bremerton ferry.

1-P1070235“Why don’t you take the Kingston-Edmonds ferry?  You’re practically there already and it’s a lot easier.  Both terminals are smaller and it’s a nice ride, about 20 minutes both ways.  It’s my favorite.  Back in my college days I rode it all the time.”

1-P1070236At the PTV, I open up the laptop, turn on the air card, and read about the Kingston ferry.  That’s what we’ll do.  We’ll park the PTV and just walk on.  That’ll be more fun!

Route 104 brings us into Kingston.

It funnels us right down to the waterfront and before I know it we’re approaching the ferry booth.  Wait a minute!  I don’t want to take the PTV on the ferry!  I tell this to the lady in the booth and she explains how I can circle around and find a public parking lot.  Whew!

Public parking is $3 for up to 12 hours.

I let the crew out of the PTV.  We’re all very excited!  The ferry horn blows, adding to our sense of adventure.  I insert three singles at the self-pay kiosk, and we proceed to walk the block and a half to the terminal.

Several vehicles are lined up in preparation to boarding.

1-P1070239I’m glad we’re walk-on passengers. 

1-P1070240A long ramp leads up to the ferry.  Bridget and Spike walk ahead of me, side-by-side, sensing where we’re supposed to go.

1-P1070241“Isn’t this exciting, guys?  You’re big-time travelers now!”

1-P1070242Next post . . . We ride the ferry and Spike soaks in Puget Sound!


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39 Responses to Poulsbo, Washington, and boarding the ferry to cross Puget Sound

  1. Dixie says:

    Hi Sue! I’ve really enjoyed following your trip to the PNW! Gorgeous pix!–I’ve been so busy all summer here trying to downsize after retiring in march.Can’t wait to get back to Az. next month(for our first full winter!) Hopefully we can take several trips from our home base in Az. and explore some of the places you’ve been–I’ve been taking notes!! Stay safe and have fun! Hugs to the PUPS! Dixie

  2. That area looks charming! And a ferry ride, what fun for you and the crew! Eager to see the next batch of pics 🙂

  3. kgdan says:

    You were sooo wise to do the walk-on! I think you would have been overwhelmed to arrive right in the middle of Seattle with the PTV. It is extremely congested and crazy there. The waterfront is fun to visit, however. Hope you get to Pike’s Place—a really fun place (tho’ a bit of a climb from the waterfront).

  4. Phxkayaker says:

    Love your water pictures today!

  5. DeAnne in TN says:

    I’m curious to see what happens with the pups when you get off the ferry. We dog lovers want to know.

  6. Rita from Phoenix says:

    I did government audits in Bremerton and had to cross from Seattle on ferry and take the rental car on. They only have so much room for vehicles so have to be there early to ensure vehicle is on the ferry. I traveled a lot while working and one summer I was gone from AZ all summer…sweet. Covered the states of WA, CA, CO, & AZ that summer. I was there when they had their strawberry festival…delicious foods I sampled. BTW Utah had their peach festival last weekend…sista Sue brought home peach preserve, peaches, and peach taffy. I’ve been eating two peaches at noon…so juicy and sweet. When I travel thru Utah, I bought peach favored salsa…it is soooo good! I love your photos…towns look like story book villages. The pies in NW are stock full of berries..they don’t skimp on berries! The water is also so sweet too. I have friends that live in Forks and Victoria Island who participate in ocean going canoe gatherings…they come from all over Bella Bella, Alaska and some Canada. Have fun and enjoy every minute of it. Glad you’re taking lots of photos…you’ll never tire of looking at them. I go back to some of your older blogs just to remember and look at the pictures…a story book indeed and thank you for sharing. Can’t wait to see your next blog!!! So excited!!

    • Rita from Phoenix says:

      You probably could publish your blog into a book. I’d certainly love to have one.

    • PNW Alison says:

      Rita, I’ve seen the arrivals of the canoes several times. The whole canoe jorney event is so great, the way the canoe building lasts all year and often participating is a life changes people’s lives. I bet you’re friends have some amazing stories.
      I hope to go to Bella Bella in the next few years.

  7. Carolyn says:

    When I was there last year, I couldn’t make up my mind which ferry to take either… I got in the lane that would NOT let me get out of it … had to go to the … gatekeeper? CRS … whatever it was … I was on the outer lane! I said no I didn’t want to go on the ferry… I had planned on just really getting information … I didn’t see the ferry building and got in the wrong damn lane.

    the woman sighed said go straight turn left …. she blocked all the other lanes … and I went left and through a gate and me and Homer’s (m’van) tail went wherever it was I ended up. I got into those predicaments A LOT..

    talk about looks! I drove across sideways looking out my wide window mouthing … I’m soooo sorrry.

    haaaa… LOVED Poulsbo and a great bakery there and ice cream … oh, me I’m loving seeing you go where I went and seeing it all over again. The entire State of Washington is just stunning.

  8. Chris says:

    Did you all see that photo of the retro-looking blue and white motorhome? Nicely restored, it appears. Anyone recognize make/model/year?

    Chris H

    • DeAnne in TN says:

      I noticed it–very cool!

      • Barb says:

        I noticed it too! We are ‘Rolling Oldies’ and um… I have my 4th trailer coming home today! We have our 68 Silver Streak and now an unknown year Lil’ Loafer will be my new project. These two I will keep… but that LL needs a coat of paint, she is camo right now. 🙁 Cute as can be though…

    • Jeannie in WA says:

      Hi Chris,
      It looks almost like a Dolphin or Chinook camper on a 64 Chevy. I’ve only seen pictures of these.

  9. Sue says:

    I love your pictures too.

  10. Caroline near Seattle says:

    Love the photo of your 2 adventurers ! And they really do look like they’re ready to take on the world.
    Reminds me of trips with my dogs on the ferry to Vancouver Island. I liked to camp there every summer for a week. I had a large G Shepherd and a blind Rottweiler. The Rottie was a little nervous on the ferry; balance was important to her and the motion of the ferry really threw her. She soldiered on tho. I’ve taken my current dog on the smaller ferries to Whidbey Island … a little nervous at first but he got used to it. He’d rather be sitting in the car though; he’s not adventurous! Can’t wait to hear how your pups managed. Wonderful photos; you always manage to capture the essence of a place.

  11. PNW Alison says:

    Sue your photos really captured the essence of a quiet morning in Poulsbo. Also, perfect pics of a big part of the ferry experience: the wait in the loading lanes. Hope you had a great day, I know the sun came out.
    BTW where do you get your info about reservations on the ferry to Whidbey? No WA State Ferries have reservations. There is a ferry from Pt Townsend to Victoria BC that might require them though. Sounds like you made a good call by going Kingston to Edmonds though. Can’t wait to hear about it, the suspense is killing me!

  12. Hello Sue and crew! Love hearing about your new adventure! I am so thrilled that we will soon be “fulltimers” too!! Although for now we will be tied to hubby’s job until next summer. We will be living aboard our “little house” (A.K.A. travel trailer) and getting used to the new smaller size. Thank you Sue for showing my doubting husband that this lifestyle can be affordable!! Enjoy Washington!!

  13. Jean and Skip says:

    You are so close to us, in three weeks we’ll be taking the ferry to Anacortes Wa.
    I am also wondering how Spike and Bridget made out on the ferry, Louie would be scared spitless.

  14. Elizabeth says:

    Well, Sue, when you crossed on the ferry, and ended up in Edmonds, you were about 10 miles from us!! We love going to Poulsbo too. We go every so often to visit kin in the Port Orchard area. Lived there for 3 years oh so long ago. Gorgeous country.

  15. Kay says:

    Oh wow… you are now in my hood area!!! My Uncle lives in the area and I travel both those Ferry’s when I am “home”. My Favorite ferry is the Winslow. Think it’s my favorite because as a 3rd grader it was the one I rode the first time, and the most.

    We down here in Portland. Actually camped for free at the St V hospital while my sister in law is in the hospital recovering from a fall 48 hours ago in a campground over in Oregon City. She broke her femur bone and need emergency surgery. OUCH big time.

    By the sounds of things, Rowdy will become an Oregon Resident. He’s found new found love with the granddaughter and daughter. Her one cat will tell you, Rowdy is not welcome. I am a bit nervous of letting him become an Oregon dog… but at the same time, I just can’t break my granddaughter or daughter’s heart. They love him, too.

    Our visit to the Seattle area is not happening, as we are heading back Monday to Colorado hoping we will not find out home floating out to KS with all the flooding.

    Have fun, and hope you’re able to visit Market Street in Seattle … but go very early as it gets very crowded.


  16. Pauline says:

    What a quaint town!! I am like the rest of your followers…I love the pictures and enjoy so much traveling along with you. Your blog is better than any travelog show on the Discovery Channel. What an adventure you are living!!! Travel safely…I love you.

  17. What an adventure!!! Sounds like so much fun! NM and CO are experiencing 100 year flooding! 4 days of rain will do that in NM! Good news is Elephant Butte Lake looks full! We are safe and on high ground! Keep on keeping on Sue, we love travelling with you and crew! Oh… did anybody notice the cool older motorhome in line??? Loved it! Can’t wait to hear about the ferry ride!

    • Mick says:

      T orC made CNN, something about a flood shelter being set up. Hope your OK.

      • Thank you Mick, we are high and dry at the Agua Vista RV Park! But the downtown of T or C experienced flooding also some small landslides and falling rocks. Two lives were lost. Further south in Sierra County recieved the worst flooding devastation. Homes badly damaged, livestock lost, our favorite herb farm down there that sells local honey was devastated and had to close until next year when they can start over. The rain has stopped for the time being. However, we still have a lot of debris filled water flowing down the Rio Grande from Alburquerque to fill Elephant Butte Lake. The lake is now much higher, but not near capacity, so it should hold all the water coming in from up north NM where it is still raining.

  18. Max says:

    I just placed an order with Amazon through your link and am curious as to whether you will get credited for the sale. It was for 3 Landmann log grabbers.

    I really enjoy your blog and I hope my orders will benefit you in your travels in some small way. Thanks. Max.

    • Barb says:

      Max, I saw something I purchased come up — and now as it didn’t work out it will have to be credited back… it broke my heart! I feel guilty! OH WELL, I guess I order a bit from Amazon all the time… but still-sure enjoy knowing it keeps those wheels turning and that kindle of Sue’s burnin! 🙂 Can’t wait to see where in the world she goes NEXT!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you for the order, Max! I don’t see it on the latest orders report but that doesn’t mean I won’t get credit. It will probably show up in tomorrow’s report.

  19. gingerda says:

    What a neat town to explore. I love the pictures of the boats, in the fog.
    I’ve never been on a ferry. It sounds like fun.
    Ginger…Las Vegas

  20. Sherry says:

    Paulsbo is the best town my daughter worked at the bank there in 1997.We went to a tea shop right down from the bank. My granddaughter was born in Silverdale another nice little town.Try to get some smoked salmon while you are there.great stuff….
    Are you going to Pike’s market what a great place..hope the crew doesn’t get to tired .. enjoy!!

  21. m.l. says:

    hi sue,

    i’ve only been following your adventures for a little while. enjoyed all your posts so far and love to check in every couple of days to see what you and the crew are up to. but today, very excited to read your next post as i live in the town where the kingston ferry lands. i hope you had fun in edmonds.


  22. Michelle Flores says:

    That town is beautiful. My son is considering attending college at University of Puget Sound. He liked the size of the school and the town.

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