Sunday, August 30, 2009

SIDE TRIPS part twelve—The Orcas Hotel

Construction for the Orcas Hotel began in 1900. It has since been restored to reflect that Victorian Heritage. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

They gave me the key to room two.

It had open windows with a view over the Ferry Dock and was furnished with antiques.

The rocking chair was designed for someone just my size. I wondered if I could make it fit in my car. A handmade quilt covered the brass bed and a photograph of a young woman in shades of gray hung on the wall. The shared bathroom and two showers—clean and plenty of hot water-- were down the hall. Octavia’s Bistro downstairs served seafood and steak. I recommend the shrimp marinara with Portobello mushrooms. I learned Octavia was the old innkeeper. She ran the place for about 40 years. Her friendly ghost is said to haunt the place, walking about at night.

I wondered about the identity of the lady in the photograph in my room.

I spent some of the evening working on a watercolor sketch of the ferry landing and Shaw Island across the channel. The big boats came and went, but they looked enough alike to serve as a model for my painting. The bed was comfortable and I was soon asleep. Alas, in the night I had to make a trip to the loo. Clutching my room key in my hand; I made the LONG march down the hall, barefoot and wearing my big tee shirt and pajama bottoms. I tried not to think of Octavia. The wallpaper pattern on the walls reminded me of something. At the end of the corridor a single light was SHINING. I turned the corner half expecting to see two little girls.

“Come play with us.”

“Come play with us…foreveerrrrr.” But there was only a very clean bathroom with polished white fixtures. Back in my room I lay awake in the big bed. The night breeze lifted the lace curtains and ruffled the tassels on the lamp.

It seemed I was just drifting off to sleep when I heard a voice that sounded metallic and far away. “All drivers bound for Anacortes, please line up in lanes one through five. One through five please.” (Photos of The Twins borrowed from Stanley Kubrick and Stephen King’s movie, The Shining)


Linda Sue said...

Oh My GAWD! a haunted ferry landing! You are SO brave!
The painting you did is absolutely wonderful- stunning as usual- you are SO good- give your own f-ing workshop and charge a bunch of cash! So, did that little bit o sleep cost you more than a bag o paints???

fifi said...

agh! Scary!

I just watched Don't Look Now for the first time, so I would have expected a little girl in a red raincoat!

How on earth did you sleep?

lovely painting too.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Oh Leenie - I so wanted that voice to be a ghostly echo from the past. It was an enthralling read - lovely photos too - and I had really got into when, then the whole thing was broken by that metallic voice. Lovely writing!



Anairam said...

I always sleep very badly on my first night at a new place. I worry about things like: will I be able to escape if there is a fire? / was the landlord leering at me or is that weird tic just a genetic thing that he can't help? / why did I forget to check the statistics on murder and rape in this area? / is that funny noise a rat or an intruder and which of the two would I prefer? So I have great empathy for your sleepless night, Leenie. I notice you also watch too many scary movies. We must stop it, we will probably sleep much better. PS The sketch is lovely - I can see why you decided that the course was unsuitable for you.

Anonymous said...

That sketch is wonderful! Why are you listening to the likes of "Mr.L" the art tutor you mentioned in a previous post, when it's you who should be running workshops!! Unlike his classes, no-one would be rolling their eyes - too busy focusing on your interesting subjects and technique! I totally agree with Linda Sue's comment. Great post too - I really enjoy seeing the American Colonial style of furnishing, and I liked those spooky bits. An enjoyable post, taking me to places so unlike South Australia- thanks Leenie.

Linda Sue said...

NEENER- will you be participating in the word of the week? I think you ought- I won't say "should" because your spirit would rebel..

Laura said...

What a great book this would make, I want to read more....very nice touch with the two girls...kind of gives you goosebumbs....

DayPhoto said...

Oh, goodness! I thought your really did see those girls!

I love taking trips with you. Someday I'll get to see in real life, but for now this is just wonderful!


Janie said...

I was a little spooked by the Shining reference and photos!
Glad you made it through the haunting.
The ferry landing painting is beautiful.