Friday, July 1, 2011

The strawberry scented ferry

It's the start of fruit picking season, and around here, that means strawberries. For you non-Oregonians, you don't know what you're missing if you've never tried an Oregon strawberry. Sorry Californians, these are the best berries on the face of the planet. Anyway, I digress. Since the ferry crossing is surrounded on both sides by farmland, it's not surprising that we probably get three times more farm workers commuting than office (or any other non farm) workers. Usually they come across in the biggest vehicles possible--15 passenger vans, SUVs, mini-vans, packed with workers. I worked the WL ferry for the first time in 3 weeks yesterday, and it was the first time I'd seen the strawberry pickers going home. Their hands are all stained deep red from the berries. A few of them got out of their cars, and their shirts and pants were coated in red. After a few full boatloads of red-stained hands, I noticed that the air had a distinctly strawberry scent to it. Keep in mind, there were no berries on board, just berry pickers, tired from a long day of back-breaking work. It was really cool, smelled great, and for some odd reason, reminded me of a strawberry scented record album I had when I was a kid, that played Strawberry Shortcake (the doll) music. ack!

In case you didn't know, the Grand Opening for the BV Ferry is next week! Wednesday July 6th at 3pm on the Marion County side of the river. There's a ribbon cutting, probably some awkward speeches by the commissioners, drawings for free ferry cards, and pops and cookies. The boat will be closed to vehicle traffic for a few hours, but there'll be free rides for pedestrians (though pedestrians are always free). I'm looking forward to it. Should be fun. I hope to see some friends out there, too!

I know I haven't been posting a lot lately, but I've mostly been working odd jobs. I've spent whole days working on spreadsheets, doing the accounting for the tolls on the boat. Today I went up to Portland to apply for my coast guard license (which, once I get it, will actually make me a captain) and to drop off a binder at the marina where the new boat was made. Other days have been spent doing super random stuff, with lots of spare time to sit with the books I need to study for the captain test and study. I'm looking forward to being back on the boat full time.

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