Pacific Northwest, seattle

A missed ferry, a lightning storm

It was getting late. OK, by late I mean it was 7:30 pm.

But, I had been driving for more than 100 miles that day — and, I was hungry and had to pee.

We had arrived at the Kingston Ferry Terminal after enjoying an afternoon at Hurricane Ridge and were hoping we’d catch the next ferry home.

“It’s going to be a close one!” the ferry terminal worker said to me as he handed me my receipt.

I was hopeful. I parked alongside many rows of cars. The ferry had just arrived and hadn’t even started unloading passengers, so I bolted to the restroom.

The car in front of me was super anxious and ready to go. The driver had their engine running despite the fact that the row next to us hadn’t even boarded yet. To our dismay, our row did not make it onto the ferry.

Bryce watched the Sounders match on his phone while angrily shouting at the screen. I guess we weren’t doing so hot.

By now it was fully dark and we started noticing lots of flashes of light in the sky.

It was lightning.

It was a lot of lightning.

When it was finally our turn to board the next ferry, I slowly drove onto the boat. The car in front of me was close to hitting a parked vehicle and our assumption was that they got distracted by the large flash of light directly above us.

I quickly parked the car and then we went up to the passenger area to get a good seat to view the show. At first we went to seats on the side of the boat but realized that the overhead lights were way to bright so it was difficult to see outside.

We moved to the front of the boat where there are rows of individual seats facing forward. The set-up is like a movie theater but instead of a movie screen, there are large windows.

We were in the very front row. As more passengers boarded, the area got pretty crowded. The lightning was very consistent and at least every 30 seconds there would be another flash in the sky. Whenever a really bright one struck, everyone around us ohhhh’d and ahhhh’d. It was as if we had never seen a lightning storm before.

But, honestly, I don’t ever remember seeing anything like this before. I have lived all 32 years of my life in Seattle and never experienced lighting like this.

(The storm lasted at least two hours because the University of Washington Football team’s game that night was delayed by two hours).

There were several brave souls who went outside onto the deck of the ferry in the pouring rain to capture photos and videos of the lightning. I thought about following their lead, but decided I wanted to stay dry and just enjoy the experience — without my phone.

The next day when I was telling my mom how we watched all the lightning from the ferry, the first thing she asked me was if I took any videos.

“Oh, that’s too bad,” she replied when I told her I didn’t. “You could have sent it to the news stations!”

Sometimes, some things are so incredible that you know you won’t be able to capture it through your phone. Also, I didn’t want to get struck by lightning.




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