Greetings from Chesterman's Beach near Tofino BC where yours truly is ensconced for the next week. A week of reading, walking on the beach, a bit of running too, climbing around in the rain forest, eating and sleeping, and other vacation-y activities. Oh yes, my time to re-enter the fray at the Learning Factory is drawing closer and some course prep is probably in the offing. But mostly I just want to relax away from the normal "stuff" at home and the only way to do that is to get away from home ("staycations" may be cheaper but they don't have the charm of getting away) so . . .
Got up early to finish packing and to take J (the pooch) to Roscoe's Ranch, the holiday camp where she stayed when we were in Argentina last year (she loved it). She was not happy that we were leaving her, as usual, but was also much calmer.
Buzzed up the I-5 to make the 12:45 ferry out of Tsawwassen to Duke Point. Not much traffic at all although am I alone in thinking that the freeway on-ramps in the Bellingham area are abrupt? Traffic was popping up rather alarmingly and at speed. It was nice to see the park in Blaine where Team 120 started off the Ragnar Relay.
Five minute wait at the border. Yep, it was as advertised. Did we need our passports to get into the great Canadian South West? Nope. Did we get searched? Nope. Were we pleasantly surprised? You bet! Will we get the third degree when coming back into the great American North West? Probably. We'll see if we have to take off our shoes to get back in.
We pulled into the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal having just missed the earlier ferry and had a bit of a wait. After walking around and stretching a bit, we had a fairly mediocre crepe in the ferry terminal (hint, you know you are in trouble when they pull a crepe pancake off a pile rather than making a fresh one). Then reading a bit, Sky Coyote a novel by Kage Baker, and a bit of a nap before we pulled onto the Coastal Inspiration bound for Duke Point on Vancouver Island.
Wow! What a ship! Brand new and so comfortable. M's second experience on a BC Ferry and this time she was favorably impressed (a couple of years ago we had a much smaller boat that was not as well-appointed). I never got a look at the whole of her though, except through someone else's pictures.
Lunch? Egg salad sandwich and fries for me and a salmon salad for M, all while sitting watching our progress through the forward gallery windows.
The crossing was very calm with not a lot of wind. After a tour of the decks we settled down to read, look out the window, and doze.
The drive out to Tofino was pretty smooth although we did have a fair amount of traffic in Nanaimo (so many stoplights on the 19). I noticed a silver Subaru wagon with both Hillary and Obama stickers on it. As it went past I glanced over and could swear that one of the Deans from the Learning Factory was inside. Stopped for gas in Port Alberni, 1.35.9 per litre. Actually ALL the gas stations in the area had gas for 1.35.9 per litre. M mentioned that there must be some regulation and such unanimity would be unlikely in the US (something about competition).
And then the drive got really interesting. The road from Port Alberni to Tofino is rather steep and curvy. It is possible to drive faster that the posted limits, at least it was today as the pavement was dry, but it took all my concentration to negotiate the curves and hills, some of which reminded me of a rusticated version of the vertiginous setting of To Catch a Thief. Spectacular lakes and mountains (still patches of snow too). We'll make sure to take pictures on the way back.
We got to our B&B, Chesterman's Beach B&B, just before six and R and D were waiting with a home-cooked spaghetti dinner and local champagne (ah, em, "Sparkling Wine") followed by a nice walk on the beach, some unpacking, and chat. It is very dark out tonight, the sunroom a sort of oasis of light, and I can hear the tide coming in.
Not sure what what we will be doing tomorrow. Sleeping in is probably in the offing and maybe a bit of a run. We'll see. This is, after all, a vacation.
Today has been a bit grey and cold but we are told that that the weather will turn for the better, temps in the 70's. I am hoping to see a sunset or sunrise like THIS.
You got it!