West Coast Trip Day 5: Today I reflect on life. The simplicity of a flower and the complexity love. There are no conflicts or what ifs, there is only "us". We exist and co-exist, we are symbiotic. We look for ways to make everything better for the other. We love, we live, we laugh. We are not selfish, we are kind and we are...
Finally we got to sleep!! Oh sweet sleep... After picking up our cleaned catch, we headed to Nanaimo to St. Jean's fish packer, because 28 lbs of fish in a cooler for 4 days is not good. We dropped off the fish for vacuum packing, freezing and shipping. See you in 2 weeks Bob... You will be missed. Until we meet again, over batter and a deep-frier.
It was a hot one and the 3 hour drive to Victoria turned in 5 hours. We stopped in Chemainus to take pictures of the murals. A walk, coffee, 2 hours and several photos later we were back on the road. I haven't been to Chemainus in 30 years and most of it was as I remember.
Butchart Gardens is stunning and peaceful. Most everything was in bloom and the scent so sweet. We found a raccoon stealing apples from a tree, butterflies and dragonflies, and a place that feels like home. Nature welcomed us in but went about its business as though no one else was there. Simplicity in presence, a flower; complexity in design. Have you ever really looked at a flower, inhaled deeply and thought, how?, why?
I did. And thought... Just because.
We dined, we drank, we discussed life and the future. We reconnect every day and every adventure brings us closer together. I love you Mr. Ray.
Tomorrow we celebrate my Great Aunt's 100th birthday.
West Coast Trip Day 6: Today was a day of celebration of birth. The birth of our great country and that of my Auntie Bert. We came together as family to rejoice with cake and fireworks.
In 1915, Auntie Bert was born. She lives a life we could all learn from and strive for. Humour, harmony, joy and optimism. She looks for the good in everyone and lives to help and serve her fellow human, expecting nothing in return. She is 100 years young today and celebrated surrounded by family and friends... We should all be so lucky.
I love butterflies. The flit around frolicking in the air. In Victoria, they have a home in the Victoria Butterfly Garden. It was hot and humid in the tropical jungle. Patience is a virtue when it comes to nature. My mom taught me when I was young that if you are lost, just sit still and stay put. Eventually, everything thing will come to you. The same can be said for nature. If you sit still long enough, eventually something will find you and sit on you. Today I sat in the garden and a pretty little green parrot sat on my arm, a little turtle came to check me out and a butterfly landed beside me for a brief moment.
We also got to visit with mom this evening over dinner. We had a chance to catch up on the past and make plans for the future.
We ended the day in Victoria Harbour at the Parliament Building celebrating the birth of Canada Day. The sound track... CanCon Remix. Rush, Colin James, Red Rider and Neil Young we but a few. And there was a live band, probably local and they were pretty good. The evening was capped off with a bang or 2. Fireworks over the harbour reflecting off the water, a sea of people ebbing and flowing like the tides; an organic being of its own. Together we are Canada.
Happy Birthday Canada and Auntie Bert.
Tomorrow we are off to Washington and Oregon.
West Coast Trip Day 7: A new adventure begins. We leave Victoria today on the Washington State Ferry from Sidney, B.C. to Anacortes, WA. The ferry was reminiscent of the older BC Ferries boats of the mid-80's, Naugahyde, linoleum and minimal cafeteria offerings and nonexistent gift shop. The view more than made up for the lacking amenities.
The San Juan Islands are stunning. They seem to be an endless maze of rocky outcroppings, sandy beaches and mysterious coves. It is a wonder to think of how Capt. Vancouver and other explorers made their way through here. Homes and cottages now speckle the shores and mountainous seaside cliffs. Low tide reveals sandbars and clam digging spots perfect for a campfire. Wit ferry trip one of 2 complete, we head south from Anacortes to Coupeville to meet up with our next ferry to Port Townsend and the Olympic Peninsula.
The great thing about road trips is that if only the destination is fixed, the route can evolve as you go. So what was going to be a hard left to Olympia is now a soft right and westerly path along the seaside route Highway 101. It seems to me no matter where I travel in the USA, most things are a little less taken care of, not necessarily less cared for. A coat of paint, more junk in yards, a little more litter, a little more settling for mediocrity. It is strange to see such disregard from the people who are so passionate about their country juxtaposed against some of the most breathtaking, diverse and stunning landscapes.
We meandered our way through the forests and ocean vistas to Raymond WA. I can now say I have "Entered Raymond". While I thought it was pretty fun, someone else was not as amused. We tucked in for the night in a local skateboard park and we were surprisingly left alone. No kids in a park after dark... Wow!
Off to find wifi and Astoria, OR tomorrow
West Coast Trip Day 8: Always take the road less traveled. There are far more interesting things to see and experience on the side roads. Deer, Elk, Albatross, Seals, Cormorants, Smoky the Sheriff with his cheesy hat I thought only existed in Hollywood, vintage cars, turn of the century homes, artisans and great foods.
At the start of our journey we crossed over the head waters of the Columbia River on our way to Vancouver. Today we crossed the bridge from Washington State to Astoria, Oregon where the mighty Columbia reaches the Pacific Ocean. We saw it grow from a mere trickle to a span of 2 miles or more. Astoria is a fishing, shipping and cruise port with old world charm and in need of a power wash and a coat of paint.
We visited the Goonies' House and the school in Kindergarten Cop. The Goonies is Mr. Ray's favourite movie. We also toured the Oregon Film Museum, which has all sorts of movie memorabilia from different movies filmed in Oregon. Benji, Free Willy and Short Circuit were also filmed in the area.
Onward to Cannon Beach. We woke up in socked in fog but by the time we reached Cannon Beach the sky's had cleared and the sun burned off most of the remaining fog. Haystack was still shrouded in mist from the offshore fog bank rolling in. We watched surfers and surf fishers, dogs rolling in dead seagulls and families frolicking in the ocean. The mighty Pacific is awe inspiring indeed.
Yay!! Tillamook Country Smoker factory outlet, retail smoked meats on the cheap. Ice cream at Tillamook Creamery and wine tasting at the Blue Heron French Cheese Company. We have wine and cheese and smoked meat!!
It seems like everyone here is a tourist from elsewhere. Most of whom cannot drive. There was a left hand turn from the right turn lane, a blown red at 10mph, someone straddling both lanes, u turns, speeding logging trucks, lane changes sans indicator, road rage tag with a boat and a speeding Mariocart impersonator going Mach 2 crossways through a parking lot. Surprisingly, the best driving was on Vancouver Island, as long as you aren't in a hurry.
The odometer rolled over 320,000km on the old RAViolli somewhere between Raymond and Astoria. She burns a little oil, can't go very fast up hills, kinda cramped to sleep in and the windshield wipers have malfunctioned but all in all a decent little adventure vehicle. Though I am looking forward to FUGU's arrival.
Now to find a patch of sand to sleep on and start the drive home tomorrow.
West Coast Trip Day 9: The end of day 8 brought us to the tiny village of Oceanside, OR. We watched the sun set, explored a tunnel in the rocks, held hands walking on the beach and watched dogs chase seagulls. There were seagulls fighting over a crab dinner and people gathering around beach fires. It would seem sunset is a big event here, locals and tourists alike flock to the shore's edge to play in the day's last light.
We packed our mats and sleeping bags down to sand and curled up to sleep. Venus and Jupiter shown brightly in the fading light and night 3 of the full moon rose over head. No Milky Way for these adventurers to explore. We cuddled under our blankets and fell asleep to the wash of the wave retreating to low tide.
We woke dew covered, warm, refreshed and shrouded in ocean mist. First light peaking over the mountain to light the waves and burn off the fog also woke us slowly from our cocooned slumber. Song birds sang, seagulls foraged for clams uncovered by the outgoing tide, salt scented air roused us to life and a fierce need to pee.
After breakfast we stopped at Meares State Park and Lighthouse. You can see seabirds nesting, whales migrating, seals and sea lions rearing their pups.
Next stop on the drive towards Alberta was the Bonneville Dam and Fish Hatchery. Rainbow trout, Salmon and White Sturgeon education and conservation. It operates year round and releases 70 million fish annually.
The coast was drier than usual but still temperate because of the ocean. Driving inland things changed to hot, dry and desert. Terrain turned from slowly browning greens to straw, dirt and browns. Hot was getting hotter with no reprieve in sight. California's draught seems be reaching in to Oregon, Washington and BC. Evidence of just how hot it was was literally burned in to the landscape. The temperature hit 115F, or 45C as we passed through the wine and orchard belt. It feels standing in front of an industrial forced air blower.
I guess I shouldn't be surprised Walla Walla smells like an armpit. Tomorrow concludes our adventure Spokane to Calgary. Maybe we will find some July 4 celebrations here in Spokane.
West Coast Trip Day 10: The Final Day. On the road again at 7am to beat the heat. It's already 82F in the Spokane Valley and forecast triple digits. Another day of standing in front of a blast furnace for those folks.
Idaho was a pleasant surprise. Very clean, yards are taken care of and homes are painted. While I haven't seen a potato plantation yet, there is a lot of farming and the coastal draught doesn't seem to have arrived. At 9am it is only 71F, there is a cool breeze and everything is fairly green. Idaho seems nice. I look forward to spending some quality fishing time here.
Temperatures continued to drop and by the time we hit the Crowsnest Pass it was on 50F/10C. Looks like rain to the north and we are still lacking in windshield wipers.
The drive is winding down but the adventure never ends. I really want to move to Vancouver Island but I need a plan and I've been told "Fuck It" is not a plan. So we will be looking at ways to purchase property and rent it while we figure out jobs etc.
— with Ray Fairweather.
As per normal if your are here , you're looking for pictures and as per normal my old PC is a shit, to follow in the Photo 2015 thread..