Friday, May 2, 2014

Day 1 & 2 Adventures

Day 1 & 2

Vancouver to Bellingham to Port Hadlock

Let’s play catchup a little today.  Yesterday was introductions so I did not really get to tell you about the things I see as we go along so let me go back and recap for you.

First, I want to thank Christine, Jennifer, Philip, John, Mia, Terri, Paul, Jen and ALL the rest of the Canadian group that so openly welcomed us into their homes.   You were awesome!  Mia, your banana bread was amazing -  we are going to need that recipe.  And Alison, we truly never would have made it out of Canada without you, so Thank YOU! 

We started this journey at Flight Path Park at the end of the runway at the Vancouver Airport and meandered through the streets (some busy and some not so much) of Richmond and Surrey to get out of town.    Jerry, Alison and I had a tough time figuring out some of the directions and it was kind of nerve-wracking.  On the first day we (SAG) were so fast paced and rushing to find the next turn so the bikers did not miss it that we had no time to stop and smell the roses.  But we did see some interesting things from a car point of view that the bikers might have missed. 

One intersection we came upon had a good ole fashion speed trap, Canadian Style.  There was one officer on the corner with the radar gun and a queue line of cops around the corner waiting their turn to pull people over.  It was like a taxi line at the airport.  Good thing for the folks behind me because they probably would have earned a ticket on any other day!

One of the things I am loving about this ride is the people we meet and those that stop to see what we are doing.  I arranged all the overnight accommodations for the route and even the people I met on the phone have made a lasting impression on me and made this experience even more inspiring.  I love to talk to new people so I enjoy this part.  Anyway, I digress….(squirrel) We were stopped on the side of the road trying to figure out where we were going at one point and a guy just drove up, asked how far we were headed and handed us $20.  I love this gig.  I may not go home.

I got to go over a great big huge bridge but I am sure that my point of view was completely different than by bike as I could not stop and take pix so I missed the scenery (even though I went over that bridge 3 times as that was one of the times I got lost day #1.)

I’m not going to lie my Canadian Friends, I could not wait to get to the border and back to the good ole USA!  Not that there is anything wrong with Canada (C’mon Canada) but I was going through phone/data/email withdrawal!  Not being able to call Jerry or Alison when we were lost and only being able to text just added to the stress level. 

The border crossing was Beautiful.  I would know because I spent about an hour waiting there.  Peace Arch is a beautifully landscaped park – I do not really understand why because who gets to get out of their car there?  I guess it is like the queue lines at Disneyland…make it pretty and interesting and maybe the people waiting in line will not be so grumpy waiting.  I waited about an hour to get ‘home’ and of course, in true fashion,  picked the wrong line.  My line went to one station while the other lane split off into 3 check points.  Oh well, at least the park was pretty to look at.   

I also had time to realize I had somehow taken a wrong turn and ended up at the wrong border crossing.  I was supposed to be on the truck route and after looking around, realized it was probably not a good sign that there were no trucks anywhere near me–good thing I had an hour to figure out how (with Matilda’s help) to find the riders again who were about a mile West of me.  It actually was pure coincidence that I found them (Don’t tell them…they think I found them by design) but I pulled over to call Shane and rather than pick up, he knocked on the window!   Whew, back with the ‘kids’ again.

We stopped for lunch, and to give Jerry time to also cross the border, at a tiny pizza place in Blaine, WA. (“Blaine the Train is a Pain” – if you get that reference we should start a book club.) The afternoon ride had a few less turns but seemed to go On and On forever (and I was in a car.)  I kept telling the riders it was Just around the corner (because remember, we did not have mileage) and it was Definitely NOT just around the corner.  To get to our stop on Day #1, it was a long jaunt over a mountain and through the woods to Bud & Joyce’s house but it was Well worth it once we got there as it was right on Lake Samish.  What a beautiful location and what gracious hosts.    Thanks so much for your hospitality, Bud & Joyce.

Lake Samish- Our view on Night #1

Thank you Joyce and Bud!

Jerry and I have to spend a bit of time each night trying to decipher where we are going the next day so while everyone else relaxes, we are still hard at work trying to make it easier for everyone the next day.

I would just like to say how very impressed I am with the riders.  I was exhausted after a day driving, stopping and stressing but that is NOTHING compared to what our 7 riders went through.  I have no idea how they can do what they do and then get back on the bike the next day.  They are amazing!

Woke up the next morning and after a delicious breakfast prepared by our hosts, we were on our way.  I had the pleasure of some company in the car with me to start the day and it was a nice change of pace since I did not have to talk to (and answer) myself.  Things seemed to go a bit smoother as Jerry and I are finding our rhythm.  I go ahead and he drives Drag (stays behind the riders)

There is so much to pay attention to when driving…you have to make sure you not only give the bikers enough room on the road but that the cars behind you do as well.  You have to find a place to pull over that is wide enough and is safe for both you and the riders.  It cannot be mid hill or at the bottom of a hill.  And shade is key too.  So many things to think about.  And I have also noticed myself going well under the speed limit so I am also looking in my rear view mirror to make sure I am not holding up people behind me and if so, I try to pull over and let them by.   

We got to take the Ferry today and I LOVE boats. Had a little run-in with the lady selling Ferry tickets – she should NOT be dealing with people.  But the boat ride was well worth the frustration she caused.   It has been a long times since I have been on a ferry and I have never been the one driving onto it so it was a fun, new experience for me I was outside at the front of the boat playing “King of the World” and got to see some dolphins swimming alongside us.  The crossing to Port Townsend was way too short for me. I would live on a boat if I could. 

Carl & I on the Ferry Ride

The ride into Port Hadlock was mostly smooth after we figured out where we were going and our destination that evening was the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in Chimacum.  I have been ‘booking’ these overnight stays now for 2 rides and almost 100 nights of lodging and I have talked to people on the phone and had heard about the warm welcome but until you see what complete strangers do for you in person, you cannot really understand it.  Jim welcomed us and showed us around the church and they really just let us take over the basement. The generosity overwhelms me and brings tears to my eyes.  I thank you so much, Jim, for your time and it was a pleasure to meet you!

Day 2 - Thank you Jim!

We had dinner in a cool café tonight – it was Tom, Phil and Mary’s last night with us and we heard they had great pie!  Not all rumors are true but this one was!

See ya on down the road tomorrow!

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