We’re home! We actually got home Sunday afternoon, but after 15 days on the road and 5180 miles, (That’s 8336 kilometers), we had a lot of unpacking and laundry to do. It’s not easy unloading sticks, rocks, t-shirts, sweatshirts and trash out of the car after such a journey.
We had great fun, and we actually went to places we have never been to before as well as the more familiar haunts revisited, and driven on roads I have never driven on in both familiar and strange
|Lake Christina in British Columbia|
|Canadian flag at the Roosville border crossing|
We got an early start and left Sunday afternoon and made 265 miles to Fargo, North Dakota. We spent the night there and avoided driving through St. Paul and Minneapolis in Monday morning rush hour to head West. Monday morning had us on I-94 and well into Montana, Great Falls to be exact, by Monday evening.
|Provincial Government, complete with totem pole on the far right of the photo.|
From there we traveled North through Glacier National Park and rode the Going to the Sun road before meeting the Canadian border at Roosville.
Our border crossing was totally uneventful and besides the showing of passports to the agent, there was no difference from the numerous times we crossed into Canada when we lived near the border in the very early 1990’s. I got a kick out of the question, “Do you have anything with you to protect yourselves?”
I answered, “No, should I?”
That response was greeted with a smile. I’m glad he had a sense of humor. We had no guns, ammo, plants or items we were going to sell in Canada.
|Mrs. Spadoman and Bigfoot are old friends. Who knew?|
We got to a town in Eastern British Columbia named Cranbrook and got a motel room. It was very hot, over 95 degrees, (That’s 35 Celsius). The room was cheap enough, and so was the old almost expired air conditioning unit. We did get some air to move around and got a good nights sleep despite the heat and headed out early the next day to travel on the Crowsnest Highway, British Columbia Highway 3.
|BC 3, Crowsnest Highway|
We were in the mountains the entire journey towards the coast and Vancouver. Beautiful vistas overlooking large expanses of fertile valleys, deep blue lakes, rivers plump with water and pine laden mountain tops. We stopped for the night with an easy 2 hour drive to Vancouver in sight, but we were sorry we made reservations on the ferry lines as we saw many roads that we wanted to take. We even missed a chance to meet a blogger friend from that way that hinted to us that there were not one, but two, great coffee shops in thew town near where she lived.
|We took time to smell the flowers.|
We did get to eat at a couple of great little cafes that we found along the way. I’ll write about there in depth later when I do separate restaurant reviews. One was the Dragonfly Cafe in Salmo, BC, the other was The Round Up Cafe in suburban Vancouver. I wasn’t aware of the Russian/Eastern European influence in this part of the continent. I had fried perogies, eggs and potatoes with Ukrainian sausage for breakfast, complete with sourdough toast and local jam.
|A shot through the sideview mirror in a tunnel, Vancouver, BC|
We took a ferry from Vancouver to Victoria Island and the Provincial capitol of British Columbia, Victoria and had a wonderful seafood dinner at Nautical Nellies where I satisfied my craving for raw oysters. We took another ferry to Port Angels, Washington, USA later that evening, just in time to see firework displays for the Fourth of July. On some level, we both wondered why we didn’t stay in Canada another night to avoid the noise!
The next morning, we traveled the Olympic Peninsula and took yet another ferry to Seattle after a great breakfast in Port Townsend at The Owl Spirit cafe. (Yes, this place made one of the top three that I will review in the days to come). In Seattle, we were greeted by a fellow I have known since I served in Vietnam as a young soldier. I hadn’t seen him inn44 tears. We have been in touch via e-mail for the past year or so. It was a delight to connect with him.
|A lot of places named Joe's or Joey's in Canada. I like that!|
Although we only spent 24 hours as a guest of my friend Howard, we came away feeling grand for the experience. We shared the highlights, and maybe a few lowlights, of out lives since we parted company in 1969. We made a pact to get together again, within the next year. Either at my place or his, or maybe in between somewhere.
|Raw oysters on the half shell with tabasco and lemon. A real treat for me.|
From Seattle, we traveled South through Oregon and spent the night in Grants Pass, a great town with great scenery and weather on the Rogue River. Found yet another fantastic eclectic eatery called Ma Mosa’s for breakfast. This one also made the cut as one of the top three.
|My friend Howard after breakfast at one of his hometown places. Friendships have no time limits.|
(Howard on the left)
We drove into California and spent the next 4 days at our lifelong friend’s place where I got out on one of Hal’s motorcycles, played music with Hal and another friend from long ago and visited friends and friend’s Grandkids.
|Actually a color photo taken in the morning fog along the Northern California coast|
It was time to go home as all good things must come to an end. Took us four days, with the last two being long drives, but that’s because we spent the first two days on the road towards home cruising through parts of Oregon, Idaho and Montana we had never been.
|Another business establishment with that great name!|
We made it, and vowed that next time we make a spontaneous road trip, we would make no reservations for any motels or ferry boats and would call our friends we were to visit when we got to town.
|My friend Steve with his new Fender Stratocaster 1962 reissue guitar.|
We took over 275 photos and several short movies that I have yet to edit. As I said, restaurant reviews are to come along with more photos.
|Catching up to a thunderstorm while traveling at sunset gave us this rainbow as we entered North Dakota|
Inn the meantime, It was good to get back out on the road. It has been a while. Health concerns have kept me from doing what I love, driving through the country, and now, through the continent. Did you know there is a whole ‘nuther country North of us? They use strange numbers to figure things out like kilometers, celsius and meters. How do I know this? I got a “courtesy” parking ticket in Vancouver because my vehicle was over three meters. (metres) in length. They have weird money too. Loonies and Twonies, (or is it tooneys?) Did you know they got rid of pennies?
|Canadian Sunset on the straits|
Peace to all