Published: October 20th 2008September 25th 2008
Oregon…another time and place. So far we have only visited California and if you measure the US by this then you get a very skewed view of the US. Oregon is a much more relaxed state and the pace of life is not so frenetic. In Eugene, we met up with a chiro friend of Malcolm’s, GL, who put us up on her lounge room floor of which we were really appreciative (far warmer and more comfortable than the tent) We went to this beaut little vegetarian restaurant called ‘Laughing Planet’…our stomachs were really thankful for some light food. I think a franchise of these could do very well in Australia. I was going to catch up with my cousin, Lynette, who also lives, or sometimes lives in Eugene but she, being a person of no fixed abode was swanning around in New York, so the closest thing was a visit to her place of work(just for the rellies) She is the customer advocate for a company in Eugene called Bike Friday who manufacture small wheeled, fold up bicycles. If you’re into cycling then they would certainly be a bike to look into.
Next day finds us in Portland where
we caught up friends who live at Lake Oswega. All this area is really beautiful with luscious green vegetation everywhere. After talking with our friend, Anne, I know why it’s green everywhere…it rains everyday for about 8 months of the year and here I was thinking this would area would be a really nice place to live! Will have to keep on looking although I must admit Australia is looking pretty good. Did a cool hike along the Horse tail trail and visited the Multnomah Falls, Oneonta Gorge and Bonneville Hatchery where Herman, the sturgeon lives. He is 60+ yrs and 10 feet long.
Went to a rummage sale at the local school….Lani was in seventh heaven. You could get a big bag of stuff for $5 and since she brought no winter clothes with her it was a great find. J,ust before we went home, all the books went out for FREE, so have stocked up on our reading matter....just as well we have a hire car.
Just a hop skip and a jump from Washington and you’re in Canada, that is, after you go through the border crossing. This border crossing took us an hour. I don’t
know why it took so long but the people just seem to be very unhelpful…must have something to do with being in uniform and strutting around looking macho.
With our trusty ‘TOM’ we managed to find our way to our friend’s place in North Vancouver, where upon pulling up into their driveway we found a very welcoming sign…’reserved for Australians’. It was lovely to catch up with them as the last time we saw them we were trekking around on ‘Uluru’ trip. We did a very quick tour around the Lynn Valley and Mt Seymour and Grouse Mountain area which is almost at their back door step. I wish I had ski slopes that close. This is the site for the upcoming 2010 winter Olympics. Somehow it just doesn’t look the same without snow.
Off again to catch the ferry to go to Vancouver Island to visit an old school friend, well not that old, same age as me, but a friend of long standing from high school days. We thought we had left enough time to catch the ferry but found we had missed out on boarding by about 40 cars so we had to wait another 2
hours for the next ferry. By this stage Lani and I are becoming very adept at finding free wireless so we were able to put this time to good use. Peter and Alison live in North Saanich which is a lovely little rural area. The house backs onto a 36 hectares regional park. So with a park at your back door, what do you do…you go for a little walk.
All too soon it was time to say goodbye. Back to the ferry again… I don’t know what it is with us and ferries. We thought we had left plenty of time to catch the 11 o’clock ferry and so had made arrangements to meet Lani’s friend from her China days and a chiro friend for lunch but once again we missed the ferry…by one car! This time we could only find an intermittent wireless connection so it was a rather boring 2 hour wait. It’s not as if you can drive back into town and come back later when the ferry is ready to leave. Anyway we have learnt just to go with the flow…by this stage it was too late to think about leaving Vancouver so we
dropped Lani with her friend and we went sightseeing around White Rock and Crescent beach then headed back to North Vancouver to visit our chiro friend.
As you will all have no doubt realised...I am a bit behind with my blogging but nevertheless I am plugging away at it....and just to let you all know...I am sitting at the camping ground in front of the tent by the light of my trusty torch wearing thermals,jeans, woollie socks and shoes, 98% windproof vest, a feather jacket,scarf and beanie and with a sleeping bag wrapped around me.....I know...bring out the violins! The temps for tonight should get down to about 36F (~3C) although it's feeling very much like that now.
There are more photos below