(I've also added a few irresistible pictures of our final sunset in Victoria, on the eve of our departure)
We were up bright and early this morning to say our goodbyes to B&D, who are staying on in Victoria until later this week; they don’t fly home to St. Louis until Friday, yet they will actually get home before we do.
We had to be at the ferry dock 90 minutes before sailing time in order to clear US Customs before even boarding the boat. Of course we managed to get lost (again) in Victoria and arrived just in the nick of time. It was a sold-out sailing this morning, with plenty of Ironman competitors included in the mix.
After Customs, we were more or less ‘in jail’, i.e. confined to a secure area, until the time came to drive aboard. The cars were packed in like sardines in a can, and it was difficult to even get doors open, or to walk between vehicles without knocking mirrors. You have to leave your vehicle on this ferry; there is no option to stay down in the hold. So everyone piles upstairs. We found seats in the dog-friendly lounge. Soleil and Arwen were less panicky this time, but still quite clingy, and Arwen climbed onto Tim’s lap a few times and gave him a face-wash, much to the delight of other passengers.
We left a sunny, warm Victoria (the city was sparkling this morning, and all the prettier for it, compared to how it had been under the rain yesterday) and crossed the 37 km of Juan de Fuca to arrive in a dreary, cool, rainy Port Angeles, Washington. The rain did clear off as we drove eastward, and the travel gods were kind to us in and around Seattle – we made remarkably good time and didn’t face any serious bottlenecks.
Just outside of Seattle, we stopped off at a beautiful dog park, where we met up with a photographer friend – another one of those ‘imaginary friends’ I’ve met online but never before in person, though it feels like we’ve known each other forever. It was great to see J in person and spend some time with him, and the dogs adored him too.
Then we were on our way again, with four hours still to go to Spokane. The first hour went through beautiful mountainous terrain, then we made a dramatic drop to the magnificent Columbia River, and once we crossed that the terrain became rolling prairie. By this time, the rain had cleared away, and we had a bright blue late afternoon sky with feathery clouds – it looked simply stunning crowning over the endless fields.
Door to door, we had 12 hours of travel today, albeit with some down time on the ferry. But it didn’t feel like a long day, with all of the different surroundings to enjoy, as well as the breaks we took and of course the people we shared time with.