August 04, 2004

Victoria to Seattle

August 4, 2004



Coffee on our porch in Victoria.

Final thoughts on Canada. My overall impression is VERY positive. B.C. is beautiful, vast and varied. We were warmly welcomed everywhere we went. Travel is easy and camping is very plentiful.

Here are a few items to consider before you travel in Canada.
1.Fuel prices are very high, even after the conversion.
2.There is no free camping. Canada does not have the equivalent of BLM land. Average cost per night of camping in a provincial park $17 Canadian.
3.The conversion essentially results in a 25% discount on prices. (.75 cents U.S. = $1 Canadian), however the prices are inflated in large part, so most items are as expensive or more than in the U.S. The exceptions are mostly in services, for instance helicopter tours seem cheap by comparison and restaurants can be a good deal.
4.Liquor prices. The cheapest 12-pack we found was $22.00 Canadian.

These observations are not intended to dissuade anyone from visiting our neighbors to the north, they are just some of the realities. Again we thoroughly enjoyed our time there.


We think we could definately live in one of these "house boats" in Victoria.

As to where we will be spending the winter… we don’t know. We visited the immigration office in Victoria to find out about working holidays- not available to Americans- or temporary work visas- no go. Finally we asked about the possibility of our purchasing some sort of business there. The immigration officer, who looked remarkably like Bull from Night Court, informed us more or less that we weren’t wanted. Then he photo-copied our ID’s to keep on record should we ever try to circumnavigate the system, thereby eliminating our ability to plead ignorance in the future.

This was pretty much what we expected, but we had held onto a bit of hope, which has now been dashed, shattered into so many broken pieces as it were. The idea of spending 3-4 months in one place and not being able to work at all is bothersome. While a year of no work may sound fabulous to many, I enjoy having a task to complete, and working is a way to meet people and immerse yourself in a community. Not to mention that some extra money would help to prolong our trip. So basically we have some thinking to do on the subject. There are many fabulous ski areas in the states where we could get part-time jobs and life might be easier, or more fulfilling, or what have you. Fortunately we have about 5 months to figure it out.

Alright enough of that, we spent 3 days total in Victoria. Mostly we rode our bikes around town and checked out the sights.


We attended afternoon tea at the Ellis Historic House, we toured the house and enjoyed their croquet field while eating scones. We ate at a fabulous Thai restaurant and probably clocked about 35 miles of bicycling during our stay. Sunday afternoon we boarded the ferry to Port Angeles, Washington. Once back in the states we headed for Seattle and our dear friends Jim and Barbara Pender.


The Penders driveway made a nice home base for two days of Seattle touring. We visited the locks, the fish ladder and Pike Place Market.


Famous fish thowing market at Pike Place


Flowers are ridiculously cheap here, and so pretty.


Required fruit shot from the market.


We needed an oil change for the truck, we found a Jiffy Lube that would take us but they weren't quite tall enough, here's how we got in :)





After our long days of sightseeing we pummeled the Penders over and over at Euchre and had a fabulous time re-living the good ‘ol days with Jimmy.

From there we headed south to Puyallup to visit my Uncle Bob. Since we have not had an address for two months now, my family sent my birthday gifts to uncle Bob’s house. Mom and Dad, thanks for the pretty picture book and cousin Heather came through with the t-shirt pictured below.


Can you read it?? It says “I’m blogging this” HA!


Here are my cousins, Heather and Shannon last month on the Great Wall in China. What a jet-setting family we are.

Uncle Bob said those magic words that bring that special light to my husband’s eyes. “Dan you wanna use my power washer to clean your camper?”


So now we are heading towards Mt. Saint Helens in our shiny, shiny truck. From there we will be spending a week in Oregon.

Later that same day…We are now camped at Hood River Reservoir high above Hood River, OR. This camp spot is free and very nice. Out free camping guide wasn’t very specific on distances, so I will be. It is about 25 minutes out of Hood River on a paved one-lane road which is not super well maintained. On our way here we visited Mount Saint Helens which even 24 years after is magnificently impressive.


Spirit Lake at the base of the volcano.


Mount Saint Helens from the southeast.





We also swung through Stevenson, WA and were treated to throngs of windsurfers and kite boarders on the Columbia. Then we went to The Carlson Hot Springs. This place is so cool! But get there soon if you want to see it like we did.


The whole place is being re-built. Currently it is a building divided into two bath houses, men’s and women’s, each bath house is filled with claw foot tubs which are filled for you with 120 degree mineral water which you can cool down to your desired temperature. You get to soak as long as you like and when you are done you get a hot wrap to relax you even further. During the week all this costs only $12 per couple! What a deal.

After our soak we paid .75 cents to drive a cross the really narrow and somewhat frightening toll bridge from Washington into Hood River. Finally as we were cresting the hill into this campground a big black bear ran across the road not 20 feet in front of us.


Yet another magnificent day for the Goddards.

5 comments:

Jacq said...

The teacup in your first picture is the same china as my mother's :). It is called Brigadoon and is no longer made by Royal Albert in England.

It just seemed interesting as I've never seen it anywhere other than at my mothers.

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