Our trip on the Alaska Marine Highway (ferry boat) from Haines, AK, to Prince Rupert, BC, Canada, was wonderfully relaxing. We loaded the rig without difficulty, after I got to the correct boat (see prior note). Our stateroom had an outside window, so we could "see where we were" by peeking outside. Of course, we didn't really know, because the multiple-islands shoreline gave no clue of our progress. Nonetheless, it was a beautiful ride. We saw some humpbacks and porpoise, incredible numbers of birds, and a boatload of strangers with whom to talk, swap stories and become temporary friends. When the boat docked in Prince Rupert, we all hastened to our cars and trucks, waved a cheery good-bye to one another and then headed our separate ways.
Canadian customs was manned by a Kevlar-vested officer. He was curt, efficient and polite. He checked the serial number of my shotgun and never asked me about any damn bear spray! And with that we were off through British Columbia.
The drive southbound through BC was delightful. The weather was cooperative, although we did encounter some smoke on the second day of driving. Our feeling of "getting closer to home" was increased, also on the second day, as we encountered farms with row crops, lots of hay fields (with baled hay stacked in plastic barns -- bales that must have measured 4x4x8 feet!) and increasing numbers of neat and well-maintained villages. We hurried through BC for two reasons. One, we had scheduled a visit with an dear Army friend of mine, whom I hadn't seen in three decades. Second, we miscalculated some distances and had to make a very long day of driving on day two to get back on schedule.
We crossed the US border about 11AM on the 10th of August! With a big smile, the officer welcomed us back home. Our "search" of the rig was accomplished by driving it slowly through a huge detector -- it looked like the devices one walks through when getting to the boarding area of an airline. With that, we drove to Bellevue, WA, parked the 5th wheel, disconnected and drove to Gig Harbor. By the way, we did stop long enough to shower and put on clean clothes.
The visit with my friends, David and Linda, was truly delightful. He has white hair and a white beard, just like I do. Brenda was introduced and incorporated into the conversations easily -- one of her many talents is her marvelous ability to talk to people and show them her sweet, bouncy personality. David fixed us Sockeye Salmon on a cedar plank and it is definitely a recipe I'll try to duplicate once Bob and Sallie bring home some salmon. Reluctantly, we drove back to Bellevue and the camper -- a long, but satisfying day.
The 11th took us across the state of Washington to Fairchild AFB, where we will spend two nights. We need to rest, stock the refrigerator and clean us/clothes/camper. Washington state is gorgeous. Perhaps, we'll have to make another trip to see more of the diverse countryside. It has tropical rainforest-like western coast and desert in the west.
Enough, I need to get some RV repairs done.