Vancouver Island and into the US
It was a beautiful sunny day when we left Vancouver. However, not for long! The fog rolled in off the Georgia Strait, and soon we were unable to see anything around us.
|Sunny as we leave|
|But the fog soon began to roll in|
Many of the Parks are self-register or choose-your-own-site, outside office hours. So we drove around and found a pull-through site while we waited for the office to open. There were several sites overlooking the water; however, they were booked for the weekend. Many of the people on the Ocean-front and the next level, the Ocean-view were there for the winter. We decided to stay where we were.
|Lots of prety Maple leaves...|
|Fog cleared about 5, that is the Mainland in the distance|
|But, fog soon came rolling in again|
For the future, note to selves: Don’t set up under deciduous trees in a windy, foggy, rainy, Pacific northwest rainforest, fall-climate. It was a heavy fog the first night dripping off the trees, combined with the breeze bringing the leaves down, it was a musical drumming on the trailer roof all night. The leaves were piled high on the trailer and solar panel, stuck on with the fog and rain. The sites behind us, back-in into beautiful fir-treed sites -not a leaf in sight!
Just up the road, we discovered one of the Island’s best kept secrets, Serious Coffee. They have coffee shops all over the Island, but only on the Island, and they make the best lattes and cappuccinos. They also had wifi, so we became daily patrons. John contacted his cousin, and we enjoyed a lovely evening catching up with western family. We explored Nanaimo’s harbour and downtown streets.
|Mural on a building downtown|
|It was fairly clear when we started out - looking through the gap|
|Then the fog started to come in - walking on the Waterfront Trail|
We drove north to see Qualicum Beach
|Tide was out, lots of seaweed and ground fog|
and inland to see Cathedral Grove. It was foggy and grey in Nanaimo and up the coast. When we got to Cameron Lake, the sun suddenly appeared,
|Fog at the end of Cameron Lake- We are in the SUN|
|Underbrush, moss on the trees|
|Some windfall, and tall, tall trees|
|Some trees are bigger than others|
|This is the tallest tree- at 76 metres tall|
Having had enough of the fog, we headed south. We decided to stay outside Victoria, at Weirs’ Beach RV Resort. We had a site right on the water, facing the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and backing onto the lagoon.
|Looking along the line of Waterfront sites|
|Run Around Sue|
|Looking up the beach|
|The lagoon behind us|
|The Strait of Juan de Fuga in front of us|
We spent several days in Victoria. What a beautiful city! The first visit was around the inner harbour.
|The Empress Hotel|
|The Inner Harbour|
|The Coho Ferry to Port Angeles|
|The fog rolled in by late afternoon|
|The big fir tree in front of the Parliament Buildings|
|North from Sidney Harbour|
|The sunset from Victoria, our last evening|
The days were getting cooler and poor weather was forecast for the next few days, so we decided to head into the U.S. We took the ferry from Sidney to Anacortes.
|Lined up for the Ferry. We were there 2 hours early|
|Boarding the US Ferry- much cheaper than the BC ferries.|
|The route of the Ferry to Anacortes|
|Maple Grove RV Park|
Then we had to shop. We could not bring any fruits or vegetables across the border, so we had to restock, but not in the quantities Costco offers. So Safeway became our store of choice.
We had booked a tour of the Boeing commercial jet assembly plant, just a short drive from Maple Grove. The tour was amazing. The hanger is about 8 stories high, with 6 separate bays. Generally an assembly-line technique is used. In one bay, three 777’s were in the last stages of being assembled. One was lengthwise having the seats and interior completed, and two were angled at the other end. In a separate bay, workers were using a completely different technique to assemble the 787. It is a modular assembly: one section of the plane is assembled completely on a platform, and then the whole platform moves to the next station. There is also an interesting series of displays in the Future of Flight Aviation Center with a lot of extra information on the history of Boeing.
|We couldn't take any pictures inside. The blue doors are the 6 Bays- each a separate assembly unit|
|Planes, in front of the paint sheds, painted and lined up waiting to be delivered around the world.|
The next day a dreadful wind and rain storm hit the area. A lot of areas were without power and had trees down. We were lucky- just more rain! So we stayed in until the worst was over, and then checked out Everett Mall and their LA Fitness.
Because there were still a number of areas without power, we decided to go to the Flying Heritage Collection. It is a fascinating museum with very knowledgeable volunteers. This museum traced War II through the planes used and the personal stories of men and women who flew them. It highlights some of the most important and iconic military machines of the Second World War. Each plane had a story attached and the history of that particular plane.
|Curtiss P40 Tomahawk|
|an example of the type of information|
|Russian MiG-29UB Fulcrum|
|the second building|
Our last day, we drove into Seattle and saw the incredible Dale Chihuly exhibition. Words can’t describe his talent and the beauty of his work.
|This is on a pedestal and almost reaches the ceiling|
|A Ceiling of Glsss|
|A Float Boat|
|Suspended from the ceiling in a Glass House|
|Looking through the Glass House to Seattle's Needle|
|Outside in the Garden|
|A part of the Outside Garden|
We then walked down to Pike Place Market, stopped at the first Starbucks [but the line was out the door, so we moved on],
|The Original Logo...|
|There is a string attached to the Monkfish- when someone came close to look at it, one of the men pulled the string, it moved and ...|
We continued south on the I-5 toward Mount St. Helens- our next stop. I-5 is a great freeway, 4 or 6-lanes divided, but, around Seattle, it often felt as if we were driving on cobblestones or a corduroy road!