Reflections and images from my travels

Archive for June, 2018

The Push!

Oh my, the morning comes too quickly. It is Friday June 1 2018 and 3:10 AM. I just went to sleep four hours ago! There was simply too much to do this week and I did work the afternoon shift the day prior finishing in the office by 7 PM. Why I chose to do that is another matter.

I get up and finish packing. The original plan was to get up at 4:30 AM and leave by 6 AM. It’s never easy to leave. There always seem to be crises at work prior to leaving on holidays and many domestic things to arrange. Why I am always surprised by this fact remains a mystery.

The house is in order and I start driving by 6 AM. It’s the only time Calgary is quiet as I stealthily escape.

I stop in Canmore for breakfast at Beamer’s and also pick up some lunch for the road. This will not be a leisurely tour but a goal directed drive. I have to get to Tsawwassen ferry terminal in Vancouver to catch the last ferry at 9 PM to Swartz Bay. Thank god for coffee and iTunes playlists! I sing along to the tunes and drive.

Lunch is in Revelstoke BC and is enjoyed on a patio with my third latte. I notice an interesting sculpture and take a few pictures.

It has been a very long time since I drove to Vancouver. I remember it being my very first road trip as a young teenager with my best friend at the time Richard. It seems like another life as I continue to drive.

It is road construction season on the Trans Canada and I endure a few single lane stops on the Coquihalla Highway. I am making good time until I hit Abottsford BC. The traffic! Stop and go for about an hour but thankfully just volume.

I arrive in Tsawwassen early 2 hours before my ferry departure. Made it! Tsawwassen has changed. When I was last here I was on my way to cycle the Gulf Islands with Anna and I remembered it being surrounded with pastoral farmland. Now I am walking through a huge mall killing time. Progress? I grab a nice sushi dinner in town and make my way to the ferry terminal.

The ferry leaves on time. The journey takes about 90 minutes and I arrive exhausted on Vancouver Island Swartz Bay at 10:35 PM. 1011 km and about 14 1/2 hours travel time. My trusty GPS directs me to Pat and Richard’s house. I’ve arrived.

I went to medical school with Pat so many years ago. She had just retired to the island. Her husband Richard (there are many Richards in my life) is still working in Calgary and commutes regularly back and forth. They have gratefully agreed to put me up for 2 nights and let me keep my truck on their property while I cycle in Washington state. Thank you….thank you.

It is so good to see them. Genuine hugs followed by animated conversation catching up on each other’s lives. The Pinot Grigio is pulled out and polished off and before we know it is 1 AM. They have a beautiful place but it is hard to appreciate it when it is so dark and I am delirious with fatigue (no, not alcohol).

Pat has a golf tournament the next day so I will spend the Saturday with Richard as well as touring the North Saanich. Exhaustion and sleep envelope me.

Hello again…….

I know….I know! It has been almost three years since I posted anything new on this blog. What can I say? Life has been busy with work and in general.

I have been traveling less, but, finally decided to get away. Years ago I played with the idea of cycling the Olympic Peninsula. Almost two decades passed and this was the year to finally do it.

The Olympic Peninsula is the large arm of land in western Washington that lies across Puget Sound from Seattle, and contains Olympic National Park. It is bounded on the west by the Pacific Ocean, the north by the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the east by Hood Canal.

I will drive to Vancouver Island and stay with friends for 2 nights. I will explore a bit around North Saanich and then pick up a few last minute supplies before catching a ferry to Anacortes WA. I will then tour three of the San Juan Islands before heading back to Anacortes and then riding around the Olympic Peninsula. I will eventually end up back in Anacortes and will then ride up and back into the North Cascades. Yes, I will go back to Anacortes (I can’t stay away) to catch a ferry back to Sidney B.C. and will overnight with the same friends before I join up with another friend to spend several days on Pender Island before driving back home. Whew……that sounds exhausting!

The majority of time I will cycle-tour self-supported and solo. Just the way I like it! Besides, I cannot seem to convince any of my “mature” friends that this is a good idea.

Packing is always interesting. You need to bring enough but not too much to avoid cursing up those steep hills one always encounters on islands. I thought I was ahead of the game by almost finishing packing one week prior to departing. That work week prior to departure was, of course, crazy. I had to finish packing the morning of leaving. Why not, I was up at 3 AM Friday June 1 2018 after going to sleep 11 PM the night prior. Yikes! That 12 hour drive to Vancouver Island was going to require “latte power”.

Join me to see what transpires. It’s always interesting.

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