Distance: 9689 miles
Hi Everyone, sorry I didn't blog yesterday but I was driving a good chunk of the day and I was trying to get to Kent & Missy's house in Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island. I managed to get there a little after 4PM and was warmly welcomed by Missy and her daughter McKenna. They helped me drag out my tent and tarps and lay them out on their yard to dry out (more on that later). I was able to get a nice shower and do my laundry. Kent came home and we had a great dinner of grilled Salmon. We sat around the table and talked well into the night with only occasional forays into nerd talk with Kent. 😊 It was a truly a great night and I wished I had more time to spend with him (especially if I could have convinced Kent to take me up in the Bonanza (or was that a Bombardier?) and let me have a hand at the yoke). THAT would have been sweet!
After a nice night and a hot breakfast, McKenna and Missy saw me off. Thanks so much guys For your hospitality!!!
So anyway, that's why I never had a chance to blog yesterday. Sue me.
To recap, the day before yesterday, I left Smithers and trucked it on down CR 16. One noticeable difference in the road from the day-before-yesterday's blog comment was with the traffic; the traffic was noticeable heavier and in fact remained so and even got more congested the further south I went. At Prince George I picked up PR 97 and travelled all the way down to PR 99 which goes through Whistler. It was starting to get late and I needed to find a camp. I drove a quarter of the way down 99 and came across Marble Canyons State Park. I zipped into the camp grounds. Very nice.
As usual, while I drove I have been in one constant rain storm. It never stopped. When I got on 99, the rain tapered off to a drizzle so finding Marble Canyon was serendipity! I found a great site, paid the fee (honor system) and just started setting up camp. Rain started picking up so I started moving faster. Too late. Much much too late. The drizzle became a torrential down pour within the
space of 30 seconds. I couldn't see it was coming down so hard. Sigh. I was committed now, so my first priority is to get the tent up and sealed to minimize water inside the tent. In that I was actually somewhat successful but, unlike the day before, I just didn't get water down my back, I got completely soaked. My rain poncho was more of a distraction as it was flapping in my way as the wind gusted through the trees. So, in a very manly and macho manner, I ripped off my poncho, whipped back my hair in a Fabio manner and proceeded to setup the rest of the camp. All I needed was to have Kim, soaken wet, clinging to my side as we both do Blue Steel towards the camera. Rrrrrrorr, nice.
Back in reality, I am now freezing ass cold and soaken wet. I am also trying to get my rain tarp setup in the gale force winds (maybe a slight exaggeration here). I do finally get the tarp up but I had a problem in that the only area I could set the tarp up in the trees, was over a 4 foot
There's a legend behind this entire mountain range about a group of warriors caught out in the snow and the hunkered down from the storm and became the range. The tips of the mountains are supposed to be the heads to their lances.
drop which ran down the middle of the tarp coverage area. Unfortunately, the tarp wasn't big enough to properly cover either side. It would just have to do. I dragged out my stove, stand and camp chair and precariously perch them by the drop edge. You see, all I want is to get some water boiling so I can make 2 chicken soup in a cups for my dinner. Nothing fancy, just something warm I could get in my stomach. I get the water boiling grab a cup and since have no where to set the cup I hold it gingerly in my hands. I then proceeded to pour boiling water on half my hand. Ouch. It hurt so much that I can't use the right emoticon or words in this blog if I want to keep my blog PG; so I won't try. My knee jerk reaction was to throw the soup across the camp where it spilled everywhere (so much for keeping the area clear to prevent bear incursions). I jump up and down, sailor swearing while thinking that Maddie's curse caught up with me! I went to the car and thrust my hand into the cooler filled
Deception Pass - Whidbey Island
There's actually two bridges. The other one is on the left behind the trees.
with ice water and let my hand stay there for 10 minutes (the kids and I have an ice water challenge that prepared for this plunge) while the rain drops kept falling on my head. I took it out and it hurt like the dickens but I had to finish up my meal so I could crawl into the tent. I finish making my other cup of soup and some hot cocoa and downed 3 aspirins. I also moved my wedding ring to my right hand since I figured it was going to swell up. I followed my boiling hand by cutting my thumb when I grabbed the axe by the head. I honestly thought the head was dull. I was only using the axe as a tent mallet. I do some more sailor swearing grabbed my sleeping stuff and a towel and jumped into the tent. I try to dry everything with the towel and then change into my jammies. Now it wasn't so bad. Kinda of cozy actually with the rain pounding outside. I was generally dry and comfortable. I laid back and am about to go to sleep when... damn. I forgot to go to the bathroom.
The next morning (yesterday) it was still raining but now it's just a light drizzle. I look at my hand fulling expecting to see second degree burns on half my hand. What do you know? Nothing. I mean it was perfectly fine. I don't get it. I can't believe my quick thinking saved me from a bunch of painful blisters. I have a trial theory and that is I was a few thousand feet up and the boiling point is lower (with less pressure, right?). Since the water boiled at a lower temperature it did not have the caloric impact as it would have at sea level when it hit my hand. Thus I was saved from a painful burn. Hey it's just a theory.
I packed up camp and finished driving down the Whistler/Squamish highway and went through Vancouver to the border on PR 5. No incidents at the border, no cries of bandito or any other stereotypes. I breezed on through after they asked like 3 questions. I went down SR 539 to I5 and then Burlington. From there I get on SR 20 into Whidbey Island and the great time I had with the Peckenpaughs (peck-an-paws no idea of any nationality). Squirrel!
I took off this morning from their place and following Missy's instructions promptly went the wrong direction and missed the ferry. I'm not sure if it's Missy's fault or mine but I find it easier to always blame someone else (jk Missy jk). The nice ferry lady (haha - I want to see her wings) told me to go down the islands to Mukilteo and ferry across to Clinton then travel down I5 to Edmunds and take the ferry to Kingston. Which I did and is where I am writing this blog currently.
The plan is to get on the 101 and loop completely around the Olympia peninsula, visit my friends the Cullens in Forks and continue on south. I'm going to drive the 101 all the way down the coast to somewhere in northern California before I cut east to head back home.
P.S. It's actually warm here in the Puget Sound area with little clouds. First time I've been warm this entire trip.
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