(July 9 – written by Nancy)
Well, today was the day we had to say goodbye to Canada, beautiful Victoria and our great Warmshowers hosts and head back to the US.
Yesterday we had another great day exploring the city. We visited Craigdarroch Castle, where one of the early wealthy Victorian families made their home – a beautiful house which is slowly being restored to the condition it was in when the family was at its peak of wealth in the late 1800s. Unfortunately the family’s ultimate fate was that of many wealthy families – family discord after the death of the patriarch, with the resulting breakup of the family fortune and disintegration of the family. Money doesn’t equal happiness, as they say…
We felt like we walked 10 miles yesterday – up to the castle, back down to the water, around the bay and then back up to the place we were staying. All fun though, and the sun was shining brightly so it was a great day for a walk. We stopped for fish tacos at Fisherman’s wharf, and made our way back into the city proper to find another coffee shop to test out. We were treated to a great lamb stew for dinner at John and Jane’s house, friends of our Warmshowers host. We went out for dinner with them on Friday night to a great restaurant, so we felt like friends by Saturday night and had a fun time talking politics, healthcare, socialism and all kinds on non-bike related things.
This morning our Warmshowers host Don made us homemade blueberry pancakes for breakfast – the perfect send-off for us. As Dave mentioned in an earlier blog entry, Don was standing in for Ruth and Gordon, the other residents of the house who are the Warmshowers members, and by all measures he was a great host. We really enjoyed our time in Victoria, and meeting Don and David, and John and Jane made us feel like it was more than just a pass-through visit.
We arrived at the ferry terminal about 9:30 and bought tickets for the 10:30 ferry to Port Angeles. There was another couple there on a tandem that we talked to a bit – they were from Denver and were planning to ride to Seattle, then do the STP (Seattle to Portland) ride and then ride from Portland to Missoula to complete a section of a cross country trip that they had done from Missoula to Florida earlier. Ferry photos follow.
The ferry ride was 90 minutes or so and very calm – no bands and no medicine was needed. I just went out on deck for a little bit to get some fresh air but really had no problems. When we docked in Port Angeles it felt a bit cold with the wind blowing from the west (just the direction we had to head!). We wandered town a bit, stopping at the Visitor’s Center, a Verizon store which was unfortunately closed on Sundays, and then a great little cafe in town for lunch before we headed out to the Elwha Dam RV Park, about 6 miles west of Port Angeles.
The RV park is very nice, with nice owners. We also found a “clubhouse” with a proper camp kitchen – that is a fridge, stove, kettle and place to wash our dishes. We are hoping that this is a USA or at least Washington standard and we’ll see more of this going forward. They also have a massive list of things “to do” on their camp map. It’s so nice to have nice hosts and a positive list of things to do, rather than the more familiar list of things to not do. Costs are about the same as in Canada but we no longer get the automatic 25% exchange rate discount.
We have mapped out about 7 days to get us to Portland, where we will have a break to spend some time with family before the next leg. We are looking forward to the ride around the Olympic Peninsula. It is supposed to be quite beautiful, and I think we have lucked out with the weather forecast as it seems to show no rain for the next week. I am hoping we might see some farm stands along the way – it’s always my goal when we come to the Pacific Northwest around this time of year to eat as many berries (of whatever type are available) as possible. So, I am hoping to have blue/red-stained fingers from here to Portland. And, I expect we will have some nice seafood to add to the mix as well…
Also, the Port Angeles Verizon store was closed on Sunday. So we have no mobile SIM and will be relying on RV WiFi for posts. I’m not sure how reliable they will be in coming days.