I had to run into Oak Harbor yesterday afternoon, and on the way up the highway, heading towards Sherman Hill, I looked out over the Prairie and noticed that the fog was laying low over the strait, blocking the passage between Whidbey Island and Port Townsend. I had heard the ferry horn blowing all morning long, and it was a dark morning. THe kind of dark morning that you know must have clouds, but you cant see them. I Love the summer fog. It lays in wait out on the water, just waiting for the sun to get a tad bit higher and make the land warmer. Then it will thicken up, and slide slowly in, like it is trying to catch you unawares.
There is a stand of trees on a hill between Coupeville and Fort Casey, up on the bluff about 100 feet higher than the beach. The prairie reaches the beach just North of there, and that is where the Fog sneaks in first. It reaches it's fingers up and over the top of the trees like a giant monster reaching up from the water to grab the stand of trees and hide them from view. Then the fog will slowly, ever so slowly creep onto the land, and cover the road, and the houses it encounters. When you drive into it, it gets so dark and thick, that you would think that you were in another world. Everything turns dark grey, and you can not see. You must turn on your headlights, not to see but to BE seen!! It turns very cold, and creeps right under your skin.
As you continue your drive into the fog, you suddenly start to see the light at the end of the road. Soon you have driven right through it all, and are back in the sunshine again. When you turn to look back at the fog, it is slowly creeping back away from you, to head back down to the water, and lay in wait for the next time.
As we get farther and farther into the summer, the fog will get thicker and thicker at night. And will blow in from the water just as the sun starts to go down. We call it Nature's air conditioner. Usually hits on the hottest days, and then cools off the nights so that you can sleep.
As you lay in bed at night you can hear the horns of the ships out on the strait, blowing their mournful sounds, and letting others out there know that they are out there too. Hard to feel lonely with all that company...