Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Victoria, BC, to home
The original plan was this: get up early and take an early ferry over to Vancouver Island, drive around, see the sights, and possibly take a late ferry back to the Seattle area.
Ahh, the best laid plans. After first leaving my cell phone in the Vancouver hostel, necessitating a 15 mile trip back to get it, and then discovering a flat tire, which turned into buying 4 new tires (I really needed them anyway)...I was considerably delayed! So, while waiting for the ferry, I called a hostel in Victoria. They had beds available, so the plan was made to stay there.
When my ferry arrived, I detoured to see a small winery, where I ended up buying a bottle of rhubarb wine-because where else will I find that?! Then I checked into my hostel and walked around Victoria, stopping in Chinatown for a tasty meal. But, after my "Tired" post, I napped from about 7 to 10 before getting up to read, check email, and go back to sleep.
The next morning was another one of plans not working out! I woke up early (5 or 6), packed up again, which was pretty easy because I never really unpacked, and set aside some time to drive around outside Victoria and see the coast. The 9:30 ferry left for Port Angeles, west of Seattle and right near Olympic National Park-perfect! The guy at the hostel advised getting there at 8:30. After a scenic drive and walk, and breakfast, I was at the ferry terminal by 8:15.
By 10:00 the ferry still hadn't arrived.
At 10:30 I got the okay from the U.S. customs lady, and the ferry finally arrived.
At about 10:50 I found out that it was full, and another one wasn't scheduled to come until 3:30. Now what? I got my refund and drove to the terminal that goes to Vancouver, which leaves every hour. After waiting in line a bit longer, boarded that. I talked to a really nice woman from Nova Scotia, she was all about talking U.S. politics-all the Canadians love Obama! They're also very politically aware, since our elections impact them so much.
After that, it was all driving. The flaw in this plan was that I hit Seattle (after a long line at customs) right at rush hour!
At this point, I considered my options. I originally wanted to visit the coast and take my time getting back home. However, at this point, I was tired, my bank account was hurting (4 new tires and $6.80 a gallon gas will do that-yes, that's how much $1.50 a liter adds up to), and I didn't want to sleep in a bunk bed or tent! I was also feeling a little overloaded, and like going somewhere new was starting to be a chore-and that's no way to travel! Long story short, I decided it was time to go home. Thus started the marathon drive!
That night I drove through all of Washington and most of Oregon, stopping for a snooze at an Oregon rest area. The next morning, I drove through the rest of Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, and finally home! It was a loooong day of driving! Now, I am home, sweet, home, enjoying the luxuries of my own bed and bathroom, washing machine, coffee pot....ahhhhh!
Despite being tired toward the end, it was a wonderful trip, and I thoroughly enjoyed all that Canada has to offer-what a beautiful country, what kind citizens!
Here are some totals:
Miles driven: 3,960
States visited, US: 7
New states for me:1
Provinces visited, Canada: 2
National Parks: 1 in U.S., 2 in Canada