On Saturday, October 8, 2011, I drove Washington State Route 160 over hill, dale, and sea.
State route No. 160:
A state highway to be known as state route number 160 is established as follows:
Beginning at a junction with state route number 16 in the vicinity south of Port Orchard, thence easterly on Sedgwick Road to the Washington state ferry dock at Point Southworth; also
From the state ferry terminal at Point Southworth via the state ferry system easterly to the state ferry terminal at Vashon Heights; also
From the state ferry terminal at Vashon Heights easterly via the state ferry system to the state ferry terminal at Fauntleroy.
So here we begin, in south Kitsap County, at a junction with almost-freeway SR 16. The sign points ahead to Port Orchard and a ferry. One, we did not see.
The legal description specifies Sedgwick Road, and that's where we are. SR 160 used to be further north through the heart of Port Orchard, but that was really too slow and curvy a road to get to the ferry dock efficiently. But then again, 15 mph going up a hill behind a logging truck isn't all too speedy, either. This photo is at the halfway point of the road, just past the Long Lake community and north of the eponymous body of water.
We continue due east through forests, fields, hills, and valleys for a couple miles till we curve down to Southworth and the Sound. The road portion of SR 160 is at an end. Now we get a ride!
The Vashon-bound vehicles board the ferry first, circling around inside the empty ferry to face backwards on the starboard side. Then we Fauntleroy-bound passengers drive aboard and fill up the port side. The center of the ferry is almost empty, reserved for the cars boarding at Vashon. Once all are aboard, we shove off. Blake Island is ahead. Shortly after I took this picture, we reversed engines and executed a two-point turn. (Not a three-point turn, mind you, because this boat has two fronts! Starboard becomes port. Fore is aft. Oh, the madness!)
The sun glints off Puget Sound. The sea breeze wafts against my face. What a day to be out on the water! The MV Tillikum arrives at Vashon just before us, from the other direction. We slowly pull in beside it at the next slip. Cars get off, cars get on. The ferry fills up. Many more people boarding from Vashon Island than Southworth. But then again, you don't need a boat to get from Southworth to Seattle. A peninsula is not an island. This dock, by the way, is where SR 160 would intersect with SR 339 (the ferry going to downtown Seattle), if that ferry was actually a state-funded automobile ferry instead of the county-funded passenger ferry "water taxi" it currently is. How can it be called a state highway when it's financed by King County? Sounds like the equivalent of a county road to me.
After a long while, we leave Vashon Island. No turnaround this time. Chug across Puget Sound. Clouds, sun, sea. It never rains in Seattle.
Seattle approaches. Quiet Fauntleroy is about to get busy. SR 160 comes to an end. You must proceed on city streets from here.
A great fall day for a drive and a boat ride!