Cortes Island to Washington State
Things got fast and furious after I left Cortes Island. I gave a ride to a really nice man from my seminar. He was trying to make it back to Nanaimo to catch an early ferry to get home for his wife's birthday, and I was ready to go, so we said our good-byes and took off early. We caught the ferry to Quadra, then drove to the other side of Quadra to catch the ferry to Campbell River. I was a little sad to leave Quadra again, and I would've liked to have seen Dave and Sally again. Quadra was a really special part of my trip.
We stopped at A and W to grab some lunch, and I was introduced to some kind of french fries that are served with gravy. He said that it was a French Canadian thing. They tasted great, but were a little hard to handle while I drove, so we took turns holding the steering wheel in between bites. . He was an interesting guy, had done a lot of work in medical research.
I got him to his ferry on time, and then I went and got a campsite at a commercial campground in Nanaimo. I was completely out of clothes, so the first order of business was hitting the laundry. Then I rented a couple of tapes, took them back to the car and slugged for a night.
I got up really early the next morning and got on the ferry that took me over to Vancouver. I had planned on stopping and spending some time there, but I got freaky about going through customs, so I drove on.The night before I had separated and organized every single thing that I had bought in Canada. I bought a lot, so I had myself worked up into a minor tizzy over customs, because I wasn't really sure what was duty-free and what wasn't. I started worrying over whether or not I even had enough money to pay duty on all the stuff. When I got to the border, I presented the customs guy with my itemized list, and he politely held back his laughter. He talked to me for a bit, took a quick look in the back of the van and passed me through. All that angst for naught.
I drove on to Everett, Washington and got a hotel room. I had 4 days to blow before Jord and Garth flew in. I caught up on my email and discovered that the Wet Westies were having an outing the following weekend in N.E. Oregon. Before I left Florida, I had subscribed to their mailing list in hopes that I would be able to hook up with some other VW nuts on the road. It was perfect. Garth was complaining about taking time to travel up to Tofino, which was my original plan, so we'd take it easy and cut down on the driving. I emailed Jim and Lisa Arnett, who were incredibly gracious about extending an invitation to join them.
I picked up Jord and Garth at the airport in Seattle and we headed straight tor Catherine Creek State Park in Oregon. When I first contacted Jim, I didn't realize just how far it was from Seattle to Eastern Oregon. I guess my brain hadn't shifted back into thinking mode after all that time in the isolated north. We drove and we drove and we drove and, finally, about 7 PM, we hit the park. Jim and Lisa were there with an assortment of kids, along with a few other vans. We made our introductions, hung out around the campfire for a while, then setted down for the night. We were all whupped.
The next morning, Garth took some of the kids into town for supplies, and I hung out with Lisa. Jim had gotten a call the night before from a stranded BusPerson, so he took off to see if he could help. The rest of the day busses straggled in from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. It was fun to see everyone's busses, and I checked them all out. And I missed my Westy.
We had a great weekend with everyone and they invited us to join them the next weekend at their outing in Drain, Oregon. We weren't sure what we were doing or where we were going, but it sounded like a plan.
We took off Sunday afternoon and Garth, Jord, and I spent a delightful week camping. On the way to Drain we stopped and got a hotel room in Sisters, Oregon. Friday, we hit the Sand Dunes, got a whiff of the Pacific, and drove through the rain to the Crandall's house. They have a space on the back of their property that is set up for camping and they collect Volkswagens. Nifty Volkswagens. We pulled in after dark and were surprised to find that we were the only ones there. It worked out great, because it gave us a chance to get all settled in before anyone showed up. Again, we awakened in the morning to find that some vans had pulled in during the night.