On many different levels, our final full day in Victoria started slow and gained momentum.
B&D were up and out of the house between 4 and 5am, to get to the half-Ironman start line. The forecast had been predicting an 80% chance of rain, but fortunately the arrival of the rain got pushed back to 10 or 11am, allowing B to complete the bike portion of the tri on largely dry roads.
I did a free-form run, on no planned route, since the place we are staying is very close to the Ironman course, and I didn't want to encroach upon those roads while the race was going on. So I discovered a bit more of the neighbourhood, including a short trail along the waterfront, bordered by people's back yards: one of the yards had a gate with a sign on it saying ''chemin de merde de chien''...I wasn't exactly expecting to come across French in B.C., but that one made me smile. Obviously there's a bit of friction about between home owners and dog owners who use the trail.
When I got back from my run, I took the dogs out for a walk (and picked up after them), along a sidewalk bordering part of the Ironman course. I watched dozens of bikes whiz by at speed, including a pack of about twelve who had to take sudden evasive action when a white cube van decided to back into a driveway, blocking 80% of the road. I had no idea that Ironman does not close the roads to traffic, nor even cone off a lane or part of a lane.
Tim and I then drove into Victoria, via a swap meet/flea market that Tim wanted to check out. It began raining at this point, and honestly the weather made Victoria a bit of a disappointment, at least in terms of photography. We did however find Munro's books - yes, that Alice Munro - and that was my big wish for the day, to make a pilgrimage there. We also found Chinatown and the famously narrow Fan Tan Alley.
When we got back, B&D had just arrived back from the triathlon. B was tired and hungry but in remarkable shape.
We spent a couple of hours just hanging out, and I opened my birthday presents. Then we all went back to the same beach Tim and I had taken the dogs to yesterday, and it was even more deserted today. We let the dogs play in the water while we beachcombed for pretty stones. Then D pointed out a bald eagle, high in a pine tree, that was being dive-bombed by a crow. I only had my 24-105 mm zoom of course, but I did manage to get a few photos at least. Seeing an eagle had been one of my hopes and wishes for this trip, so I was beyond thrilled.
And now we are packing up the car ready for an early departure tomorrow morning to begin the first leg of our long journey home. We will be getting the ferry back to Port Angeles, Washington, and crossing Washington, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota and a bit of Michigan before crossing back to Ontario at Sault Ste Marie. It will be a fairly straight, no-detours, no tourism trip home, but I'll still be taking pictures out of the car window!