Monthly Archives: July 2013

2013, Trip Six, The Northwest, July 30 and 31

Vancouver, BC, July 31

Fish ladders at Rocky Reach dam

Fish ladders at Rocky Reach dam

In case you were wondering, we made it through customs smoothly. It did take 30 to 40 minutes this time, which was the same amount of time for everyone else. Except, of course, those people who justifiably use the Nexus lane.

Tuesday morning we left East Wenatchee around 8:30 AM. Before driving to Vancouver, we made a stop at another Hydro electric dam. Rocky Reach dam has a fish ladder built into the facility. This was the first one we had seen. It has fish viewing windows where you can watch the salmon swimming upstream.

At sea walk, Stanley Park

At sea walk, Stanley Park

The fish ladder is constructed of 100 pools, each is one foot higher in elevation than the one before it. The viewing windows allow you to see the salmon fighting the current as they move back to their spawning grounds. We also walked over to the Museum of the Columbia which was housed in another part of the facility. It gave a very nice portrayal of geology, human development, exploration, and the impact of hydropower. Most of it was not new information and we did not spend a lot of time in the museum.

Totems at Stanley Park

Totems at Stanley Park

We finished the southern section of the south Cascades loop by taking U.S. highway 2 west to interstate 5. As mentioned in the previous blog, we drove over Stevens Pass. For a traveler today, Stevens Pass is mainly anti-climactic. It may have been the site of great efforts for the early railroad, but there is no marker or pullover, you just keep driving.

Our arrival in downtown Vancouver was delayed due to urban rush hour traffic. Lili, our airbnb host met us and led us to a close parking lot. We are in downtown Vancouver, close to urban amenities. We have a very nice one bedroom apartment with kitchen and living room-and bath. The building was an office building but was converted to residences 15 years ago.We spent the evening buying groceries, eating, running errands, and getting organized.

Sea walk

Sea walk

Wednesday we spent hours walking around Stanley Park. This large park is on a peninsula jutting out into the water and has a 5.5 mile seawall walk that we took. Since we had to walk to the seawall and back again, we figure today’s walk was a good 8 miles. Good??

Stanley park is a very popular walk/bike/roller blade location. The views switch from downtown Vancouver to industrial and marine terminals, to the Georgia Strait with 10 freighters waiting for their docking space to become available, and then the south side of Vancouver across more water.

Penguin looking cairns

Penguin looking cairns

The park also is home to yacht and rowing clubs, rose gardens, a zoo, etc but we primarily did the seawalk. On a portion of the walk, there was a collection of cairns, those rock “sculptures” that seem to be everywhere nowadays.

Vancouver is a city of over 600,000 people and a greater metro area of 2,500,000. We will be going to the Honda Celebration of Light at 10 pm tonight, held at English Bay, probably less than a mile from here. (More walking.) We will send those pictures as a separate post.

Ed and Chris July 31 6:30 pm

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2013, Trip Six, The Northwest, July 29

East Wenatchee, WA July 29

Chris proposed it. Chris completed it. Chris did not complain about it.

Portion of Apple Capital trail along semi-arid grass land

Portion of Apple Capital trail along semi-arid grass land

 

Crossing over the Columbia RIver on the trail

Crossing over the Columbia RIver on the trail

IT was the 11 mile Apple Capital Recreation walk, a loop along both sides of the Columbia River encompassing a wildlife refuge, urban landscaped walkways, and semi-arid grass lands connecting East Wenatchee with Wenatchee.

We started at 8:30 am with temps in the high 60s and finished at 2 pm with temps in the high 80s. The cooling breeze was gone within an hour or two.

A few stops were included. A PBJ sandwich for lunch stop. A detour, mileage over and above the 11 miles, into downtown Wenatchee for a milkshake and malt at the Owl Fountain Shop, and finally a stop at the new indoor market, Pybus Market.

Trail through wildlife refuge

Trail through wildlife refuge

 

Sculpture along urban portion of trail

Sculpture along urban portion of trail

The Owl Fountain Shop was started in 1898. The shake and malt were large enough to fill your old style fountain glass three times. No wonder I like malts more than a dish of ice cream.

The trail was well used by hikers and bikers. Not too many Spandex bikers, mainly recreational bikers. A large percentage used the trail for only shorter segments, except for bikers.

Landscaped urban portion of trail

Landscaped urban portion of trail

As you might expect, we were pretty proud of ourselves. For some of you, an 11 mile hike is minor but it still constitutes a major effort for us. It helped us that we did not have to worry about bears on this trail.

Well a good hike like that deserves a nap afterwards and we did not deny ourselves. For dinner, we drove to Leavenworth, WA, a town, like many here, founded as a lumber town and served by the Great Northern Railway. Part of the effort made by the Great Northern in constructing its line to the West Coast involved a major pass west of Wenatchee and Leavenworth, the Stevens Pass.

Leavenworth WA

Leavenworth WA

 

Leavenworth, WA

Leavenworth, WA

The line was completed in 1893 and was considered an engineering marvel for its use of bridges and tunnels to effectively cross the Cascades. The Stevens Pass line was later replaced with a lower elevation line and is now the bed on which Highway 2 that we will be taking tomorrow to Vancouver is built. The pass has been the site for several deadly avalanches killing over 100 in the early 1900s when two trains were pushed off the track and killing three skiers just last year.

Leavenworth was a switching yard for the Great Northern and later the Burlington Northern. In the mid 1950s BN moved its switching yard to Wenatchee where trains were prepared for the trip over the mountains. Leavenworth began to deteriorate. The local government decided to try to increase tourism by re-making the town into a Bavarian themed community. It worked and is a pleasure to visit. We stopped at a German restaurant and had German food listening to live accordion music.

View from patio Sunday night

View from patio Sunday night

 

View from patio Monday night with increased smoke from fire

View from patio Monday night with increased smoke from fire

On the way home, we noticed a major increase in smoke. There had been reports of a forest fire south of Wenatchee. Evidently it has become much worse. We are including a picture from last night and one of tonight. Tonight’s you can not see the hills and mountains across the river. Glad we were able to take our hike when the air was breathable.

Ed and Chris July 29 10:30 pm

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2013, Trip Six, The Northwest, July 28

East Wenatchee, WA Sunday July 28

Working hard on this  post, Cascade Mtns and Columbia River in background

Working hard on this post, Cascade Mtns and Columbia River in background

As the sun sets over the Cascade Mountains, I am dictating/typing this in the town of East Wenatchee, Washington at the home of our airbnb host on a hillside above the Columbia River. It has been a warm day but the evening breezes are cooling it down.

It is not a long drive from Mazama to E. Wenatchee. We took our time and enjoyed the sights. As mentioned in yesterday’s post, we are in a valley area between the mountains. We followed the Methow River until it joined the Columbia River.

Lake Chelan

Lake Chelan

We stopped at an overlook at one of the other dams on the Columbia River. There are eight power producing dams in the state of Washington and they generate over 21,000 MW of power. Hydro power produces 50-85% of the power here and this keeps the cost of electricity low.

This valley is a major fruit producing area. They proclaim thenselves the apple growing capital of the U.S. Vineyards and wineries are around every corner. The irrigation makes most of this possible. Numerous fruit stands are along the roads. Since we will be entering Canada shortly, we pass by the opportunity to purchase any fruit.

fruit in the fields of Blueberry Hills Farms

fruit in the fields of Blueberry Hills Farms

There is another large and deep lake in this region, Lake Chelan, supposedly the 5th deepest at 1500 feet. Boating is a major recreation activity on the lake. A boat trip up the lake to a remote portion of the North Cascades National Park is available. We decided against it. It is expensive and most of the day is consumed by traveling up and down the lake-which is 51 miles long.

By one list, we have been to the 5 deepest lakes in the U.S. Crater, Tahoe, Chelan, Superior, and Pend Oreille (ID). Not all were on this trip, however.

Some of Grampa's stuff

Some of Grampa’s stuff

We explored the southern end of Lake Chelan and had lunch at a local fruit farm/restaurant, Blueberry Hills. Besides food, Chris had a great blueberry shake and I had a very tasty piece of apple pie.

Blueberry Hills is a family operation located on the original homesite of the farm. The Barn has been converted into the restaurant and decorated with items from Grampa’s shed. Think 200 pairs of old glasses. A tin can collection. Junk from old tackle boxes. While the “kids” run the place, Mom, Dad, and Gramma are in every day. We saw ’em.

We arrived in East Wenatchee, WA and are spending the next two nights here.

Quiet day.

Ed and Chris. July 28 9 pm

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2013, Trip Six, The Northwest, July 27

Mazama, WA Saturday July 27

Driving to Rainy Lake

Driving to Rainy Lake

A wonderful, relaxing day. The weather was pleasant up in the mountains and hot in the valleys. Plenty of sunshine. The area is dry, however, fire danger is high.

We had breakfast at the restaurant here. Unlike the cabins we stayed at in Lyman Utah back in May, this area is functioning. A family reunion of 39 people has taken many of the units and the restaurant for dinner Friday and Saturday nights.

Rainy Lake

Rainy Lake

 

Snow creep at base of front tree

Snow creep at base of front tree

Breakfast was open to all though and wonder of wonders, the milk was very cold and I got refills free. What a great way to start off the day.

We went for a hike to Rainy Lake. To reach it, we had to reverse course and go west over Washington Pass again. Rainy Lake (see picture) shows multiple mountain features; lake, cirque, waterfall, glacier, forests and mountains. Like winning the lottery!

This trail had a short description of ‘snow creep”, a term we had not heard of before. Evidently, in certain forests the snow exerts down slope pressure on trees, causing them to have a slight curl or bump in the trunk. The picture gives a better understanding.

Suspension bridge on trail

Suspension bridge on trail

Our second hike took us along one of the community trails along the Methow River. A suspension bridge had been installed for crossing the river, wide enough for the horses to cross from the several ranches offering horse back rides in the summer.

Where we are staying is not part of the national park, or the surrounding national forest. Mazama, etc are located in a wide, high meadows area. The Methow Valley is “the” winter cross-country ski area in the country. The Cascade Highway west of Mazama is closed in the winter. Cross country skiers enter from the east and have over 120 miles of groomed ski trails. The snow is usually light and powdery.

Store in Winthrop

Store in Winthrop

Our third hike was a short one to a nice waterfall. It was north of Winthrop, the more “urban” town in the area. We had a pleasant ride through the valley to get to the portion of the forest with the waterfalls. Horse ranches were abundant. THe fields were dry except where irrigated-which was frequent. Without the irrigation, the hills reminded us of the Santa Fe area; high desert, dry, rolling hills with mountains in the background.

Winthrop has re-themed itself as a western, cowboy town. The area had been home to mining which did not last real long. Access to the area has been difficult since it was settled. A friend of the founder, both graduates of Yale, wrote the book the Virginian. The old TV series was loosely based on the book and some of the scenes from the TV series were shot in Lone Pine, CA (back in Trip 4).

Dinner was in Winthrop at a Mexican restaurant and then an ice cream stand watching the world go by. Just a pleasant day overall.

Ed and Chris July 27 10 pm

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2013, Trip Six, The Northwest, July 26

Mazama, WA Friday July 26

We are guilty. We committed the ultimate crime. We will always be embarrassed about this day.

Leaving Tasawwassen

Leaving Nanaimo

Friday was another driving day. We left Campbell River around 7 AM for Nanaimo to catch the ferry to Tsawwassen, BC south of Vancouver. The ferry seemed larger than the MV Coho, was on time, and the ride over was easy.

We are coming up to the border. (Okay, this is going to sound like a lot of alibis becuase it is.) Signs along the highway indicate that truck traffic for the border crossing should take a specific route. The signs also indicate a 80-90 minute wait at the border. That must be for the trucks, right? I mean, 80-90 minutes to cross the border?

Now, we have done two border crossings so far on this trip. In North Dakota on our way to Winnipeg and in British Columbia on our way to Idaho. Both of those took 3-7 minutes in line and in discussion with the border people. This included the admission and inspection of the bear spray we were carrying in the car. (Bear spray okay, people spray not so okay.)

The signs also indicated three lanes to go across the border. The rightmost lane was kinda empty (there was a rise in the hill leading up to the border and we could only see a little ways ahead. We debated, should we get in the right lane? Was there a reason it was emptyish?

Well, two other cars zipped down the lane so we got into the right lane. NOW, the signs read right lane duty-free shop and Nexus lane. What the hell is a Nexus? Why is there a multi block long line in the two lanes to our left? By now, we were well past where we had been in line and there is a solid wall next to us of cars. We could not get back in most likely, who would say Oh, sure fella, hop in here.

Diablo Lake along North Cascades scenic highway

Diablo Lake along North Cascades scenic highway

We had one last opportunity. As we got real close, there was a kind of opening similar to payment at a toll booth where people are backed up and try to switch lanes from cash to Easy Pass. I actually rolled down my window and asked a neighboring car what a Nexus was and did we need something special to be in this lane. He had no idea. It had taken us maybe, at most, five minutes to reach this point.

So we stayed in our Nexus lane and prayed for divine forgiveness.

View from Washington pass scenic overlook on North Cascades scenic highway

View from Washington pass scenic overlook on North Cascades scenic highway

We reached the border and it is a Canadian checkpoint, not U.S. The guard is unsmiling as we fumblingly explain we had no idea what we were doing and thought we were in the wrong lane. He quizzed us as to where we were from and why did we think there was such a backlog in the other two lanes we did not take? Our answers did not impress even me but he gave us a warning and let us go through.

2nd view from Washington pass

2nd view from Washington pass


So, I guess we line jumped. Or maybe are now partners in crime. Still feel embarrassed about it.

On the good side, it saved us at least an hour in time that we had not projected to have to spend. AND it appeared that the entry into Canada at this point seemed simple and short so our return to Canada next week should not encounter a problem. AND our final re-entry to the U.S. will be in rural British Columbia into Wyoming – hopefully a simple situation. AND I will never do it again.

The rest of the drive to Mazama was pleasant. We are driving the North Cascades Scenic Highway which was only built in 1972.
We passed Mount Baker, a massive mountain that looms on the horizon like Mt. Ranier did further south.

Our cabin in Mazama

Our cabin in Mazama

We made a few stops at overlooks and short hikes to scenic views. We are staying at a small cabin in the woods so we wanted to make sure we checked in early enough to find the cabin. Mazama is more of a gathering along the highway than a town but there seems to be a sense of community here. Local artisans and food growers and community built walking trails. We ate at a restaurant down the road that is into using local foods as the trend is nowadays.

I had hoped that we would have an Internet connection that would allow us to watch the two Sarahs’ hockey scrimmage but it did not work well enough. Bernie was kind enough to send us several video texts of the scrimmage though. Go Sarahs! Glad that Bernie, Tony, Kathy,Heidi and Jim were able to watch and support them.

I looked up Nexus today. Besides the smartphone, Nexus is a process for expedited entry between Canada and the U.S. It seems like you need to go special hoops get a card. Obviously most of the people in line had not done so. This experience helps explain why we are not excited about international travel.

Ed and Chris July 27 5 pm

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2013, Trip Six, The Northwest, July 25

Thursday, July 25, Campbell River, Vancouver Island, B.C.

Full moon over Georgia Strait

Full moon over Georgia Strait

Today was a relaxing day. We took life a little easier. We walked along the harbor and watched the ships go in-and out. We visited the visitor center, gift shop and gallery. The gallery had a small but interesting display of embroidered art that presented spaces in an almost 3D mode.

BCP-45 at Maritime Heritage m useum

BCP-45 at Maritime Heritage m
useum

There is a small maritime museum. A volunteer gave us a tour. The main claim to fame for the museum is the BCP-45 which has two important historical firsts. British Columbia Packers was one of the largest fishing and cannery companies in the British Commonwealth employing people of numerous ethnic groups. However, for many years, Japanese Canadians and First Nations people were only allowed to work the boats, not own them.

'Appys and Cheesecake for lunch

‘Appys and Cheesecake for lunch

BCP-45 was commissioned by BC Packers in 1927. Its first claim to history is that the BCP-45 was one of the first fishing boats to be owned by an aboriginal (First Nations), starting in the ’40s. Its second claim to history is that from 1972 to 1986, a depiction of this vessel appeared on the Canadian $5 bill. When the boat was retired from service it was donated to a museum in Vancouver.

The boat and its captain fished these waters and the community was justly proud of it. Volunteers spearheaded by the local Rotary built a beautiful museum and spent three years authentically restoring the boat to its original condition. Today it appears in mint condition.

The Boom Booms at spirit Square in Campbell RIver, BC

The Boom Booms at spirit Square in Campbell RIver, BC

We had lunch across the street from the museum at Appys & Cheesecake. This local store serves appetizers and cheesecake for parties and catered functions but also has a retail component. A wide variety of cheesecake “poppers” are available for dessert. Sort of like tapas, a smaller size cheesecake serving that was just right for lunch dessert.

Another walk and future trip planning highlighted the afternoon.
A small public space by the hotel was the site of an evening performance by “The Boom Booms”, a band out of Vancouver. The crowd was large and appreciative. We had an evening repast listening to the music.

The only discord to the two days was the extremely poor Internet connection at the hotel. Not only was it slow, but it kept disconnecting. My patience was tried again but seems to have won out-barely. Now we get to observe the Internet service level in the North Cascades National Park-our next location. I am not holding my breath.

Ed and Chris July 25 11:30 pm Finally uploaded July 26, 9 pm

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2013, Trip Six, The Northwest, July 24

Campbell River, BC July 24 Wednesday

Part of World in Motion mural in Chemainus

Part of World in Motion mural in Chemainus

Wednesday was a driving day. We were traveling from Victoria to Campbell River, a town of about 35,000 on the Georgia Strait. This is the water passage that connects Vancouver with Alaska and is taken by many cruise ships as well as ships connecting the island to the mainland. Forestry is still big in this part of the island. Campbell River is a large fishing port, especially for salmon.

Native Heritage mural in Chemainus

Native Heritage mural in Chemainus

wall mural in Chemainus

wall mural in Chemainus

Thanks to the recommendation of our Evergreen hosts in Victoria, we made an intermediate stop in Chemainus. This small town was devastated in the 1980s when its large lumber mill revamped to be more efficient but cut employment dramatically. The town re-positioned itself as a tourist location with the help of artists.

There are 41 wall murals located around the town, depicting its history. We walked to see most of them, it was a great day to be out and about. Chemainus now has numerous restaurants and artists’ galleries. Wednesday is also farmers’ market day.

Chemainus wall mural

Chemainus wall mural

The murals show the town’s ties to First Nations, to Chinese laborers that worked the hard jobs in early years, to various industry scenes, to artists, and to scenes of normal day to day activities. We were quite impressed.

Campbell River view of local ferry, Georgia Strait, and BC mountains on mainland

Campbell River view of local ferry, Georgia Strait, and BC mountains on mainland

We continued on local back roads to our lunch location, also a recommendation from our Victoria hosts. The Crow and Gate pub has only been around since 1972 but it was one of the first to build outside urban centers. It sits amidst a series of small gardens and is very relaxing.

The pub was busy and we shared our large outside table with two couples who had returned from a 2.5 month motorcycle visit to Europe. We seem to be encountering a number of world travelers as we do our own travels which pale in comparison to other’s experiences.

On our way to Campbell River, we stopped in Nanaimo. This town is a major ferry hub to the mainland. Our ferry trip on Friday will leave from here. We looked up the ferry site and that was a wise decision. There are two ferry departure points, about 15 minutes apart. The back road we had taken into town did not have any signs pointing to our ferry so we had to get directions from the people at the first, wrong, site.

Once we had checked out the ferry site, we drove on to Campbell River. About 10 days ago we had changed our overnight lodgings to this town from another one about 100 miles further north. Campbell River is a little more lively and less distance to reach and to travel back to the ferry Friday.

Marina in Campbell RIver

Marina in Campbell RIver

We arrived early enough to walk the harbor area and just sit and enjoy the view. Later on, we went out to see the full moon. We had some Internet connection issues which allowed me to be awake at 12:30 and spot a cruise ship sailing along the Georgia Strait.

Ed and Chris July 25 8 AM

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2013, Trip Six, The Northwest, July 23

Victoria, BC July 23

We began the day with a change of pace by going for a bike ride. Chris found a bicycle rental store, Coastal Cycle, that was within a block or two of the Galloping Goose trail. The trail goes from Victoria out to Sooke. The portion of the trail closer to Victoria is paved, so we concentrated on that section. It is an old railroad bed and the hills were not too steep.

View from galloping goose trail

View from galloping goose trail

The trail was well used and offered views of the water, the highway, residential back yards and forested sections. We met two couples from Vancouver that had taken the ferry over to Vancouver Island (remember Victoria is on Vancouver Island, Vancouver is not) and were doing a three day ride out to Sooke.

We spent about two and a half hours riding before we had lunch at a pub established in 1855, the Six Mile Pub. Chris treated herself to an “Intergalactic Root Beer Float”. When she ordered it, she asked me to share it with her. When she tasted it, I got to watch her.

At Six Mile Pub

At Six Mile Pub

After lunch, we drove to downtown Victoria and toured the Royal BC Museum. This museum is highly rated and while we enjoyed it, we both enjoyed the Glenbow Museum in Calgary more. The Royal BC had a special exhibit on the race to be the first explorer to reach the South Pole. Roald Amundsen of Norway won, Robert Scott of Britain was second. Unfortunately, Scott and part of his team perished on the return trip to their base camp at the ocean’s edge of Antarctica.

Wooly mammoth at Royal BC Museum

Wooly mammoth at Royal BC Museum

One of the other exhibits had displays relating to the history and development of British Columbia. BC has had problems dealing with racism, having violent anti-Japanese and anti-Chinese riots and discrimination.

Buskers in front of Empress hotel

Buskers in front of Empress hotel

Asian immigrants were not given the right to vote until after World War Two. Our female speaker yesterday at the Parliament tour who touted women getting the right to vote around 1917 did not mention the denial of voting to other sections of the population.

British Columbia has still not settled land issues with the First Nation tribes. The other provinces have come to grips and worked out arrangements, BC still has a ways to go.

We walked around the harbor area, stopping in at the famous Fairmount Empress hotel but decided not to eat there since we would have probably spent our entire trip budget there.

Once again the weather was great and we returned to the scenic ocean drive and enjoyed the view of the bay. When we returned to our Evergreen hosts, we had to beg off much discussion since we realized that the biking used different muscles than hiking and we were bushed.

One random tidbit that has not been researched. It appears to us that the Canadian electrical codes require residential bathroom light switches to be located on the wall outside the door before you enter. This has been a consistent feature in our Canadian hosts home. It might be a new requirement in the US but we have not observed it before.

Ed and Chris July 24-25, 12:30 am (Internet issues again)

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2013, Trip Six, The Northwest, July 22

Victoria, July 22, Monday

Garden. Flowers. Garden. FLOWERS!!!!

Butchart Gardens was the big deal today. But not the only deal.

One of many 1932 Ford coupes coming off the MV Coho

One of many 1932 Ford coupes coming off the MV Coho

The 8:15 A.M. ferry from Port Angeles was our mode of transit to Victoria. The MV Coho has been plying the 23 mile route between the two cities for fifty years and carries passengers and vehicles. The passage takes 90 minutes plus you have to arrive about an hour beforehand.

British Columbia parliament building

British Columbia parliament building

An unexpected bonus came before we got on when the Coho docked in Port Angeles and began discharging its load. The first vehicles out were a large number of vintage Ford deuce coupes. Evidently every three years a rally is held in Victoria and hundreds of the 1932 Ford coupes show up. It was a surprising and pleasant experience as many of them are dressed up for show. The ones on the Coho were returning to several stateside locations.

Two character actors on the steps of Parliament building

Two character actors on the steps of Parliament building

The ride across was smooth but picture-taking was basically non-existent. The marine layer of clouds was at water level until just outside of the Victoria harbor. It lifted as we landed.

our first stop was to tour Parliament in downtown Victoria. The provincial legislature was in session so we did not see the two chambers. Before the tour, two actors portrayed early Victorians. For our presentation, the first woman elected to the provincial Parliament and the architect of the building were the speakers. They gave a quick history of the province through their act. At one point, they asked the audience a question about the importance of 1871 and I (Ed) was bold enough to volunteer the (correct) answer. (1871 was the date of confederation of Canada.) There is some retention left in my memory cells from the numerous museums and talks we have heard.

Butchart Gardens

Butchart Gardens

 

Butchart Gardens

Butchart Gardens

We drove a scenic road along the waterfront but the fog had returned and made the scenery hidden from us. We stopped in a part of town called Oak Bay (think Highland Village or 50th and France). We walked the Main Street and had lunch at an English pub.

Refreshed, we moved on to Butchart Gardens. They are wonderful. There was a conference in town of perennial plant growers from around the world and they spent much of the day at Butchart. We talked to a gentleman from Modesto, CA who said for many of them, Butchart was like going to Disney World. The garden is so unreal due to the number of annual plants that are changed throughout the year. None of the growers would recommend such a high percentage of annuals as compared to perennials. But the flowers are beautiful and he was taking his share of photos.

Butchart Gardens

Butchart Gardens

 

Butchart Gardens

Butchart Gardens

We (Chris) asked staff later and they responded that the Garden has over 1,000,000 annuals. Annuals are 60% of the plants, perennials are 40%. Total staffing in the summer is 5-600 people with about 70 of those doing horticultural work.

The gardens are privately owned. The original owners and founders were drawn to Victoria from Ontario and were cement manufacturers. (Cement, not concrete. I am sure you know that cement is but one ingredient in the making of concrete.) The limestone used in the manufacture came from a limestone quarry he owned. As the quarry was depleted, his wife (a chemist and involved in the business also) started making plans to convert the quarry into a garden. As time went on, they expanded the garden’s area and passed it on to their children to run.

Butchart Gardens

Butchart Gardens

We spent several hours touring the site and admiring the flowers. We finished up with a light repast before meeting our Evergreen hosts in Victoria. Despite an early start to the day, we were awake enough to talk with a cup of tea and enjoyed our opportunity to meet them.

Ed and Chris Tuesday July 23 9:30 pm

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2013, Trip Six, The Northwest, July 21

View from Hurricane Hill

View from Hurricane Hill

Sequim, WA July 21

Olympic mountains from Hurricane Ridge

Olympic mountains from Hurricane Ridge

 

Hiking at Hurricane Ridge

Hiking at Hurricane Ridge

 

Hurricane Ridge

Hurricane Ridge

I forgot to mention,, Sequim is pronounced Skwim. Luckily Catherine Sweeney made us aware of this prior to arriving here Saturday night.

This was our fourth and last day in Olympic National Park and we focused on the mountains today. The morning in Sequim started out cloudy and we had to guess whether the clouds would be dissipated at our destination. We took a chance that they would be and concerned about Sunday crowds in the park, we headed for Hurricane Ridge first before visiting the lavender festival some more.

Wildflowers in Olympic  national park

Wildflowers in Olympic
national park

 

Wildflowers

Wildflowers

Our luck has been very good weather wise and today did not disappoint us. Hurricane Ridge is at 5200 feet, Sequim maybe 100 feet. The clouds started to dissipate as we began the climb up the mountain. Of course, our luck was not perfect. We were “fortunate” enough to practice our patience as we drove the 17 miles to the top behind a van going 5-10 miles per hour below the posted speed limit of 35 mph. The van saw no reason to pull over and let others pass so we enjoyed the view which was now cloud free on the mountains. (Clouds still socked in the ocean area.) But we did make it up to the top more quickly than the bike riders.

a cirque-bowl shaped depression caused by a glacier

a cirque-bowl shaped depression caused by a glacier

The highest mountain, Mount Olympus,is “only” 8900 feet but still has snow and glaciers. As with all of the mountains we have visited, pictures clearly show the decrease in glaciers, particularly in the last 30-40 years.

View from Hurricane Hill trail

View from Hurricane Hill trail

The wildflowers here were abundant. Which were spring flowers and which summer was not clear to me, I just took photos of flowers and will sort out details later.

The mountain hike traversed several ridges. Chris remarked that one should break out in singing Edelweiss from Sound of Music. She mentioned that to a family walking near us and several of the daughters did just that. Sounded pretty good.

We hiked on Hurricane Ridge and Hurricane Hill. The views are of the mountains, the valleys, and the ocean. On portions of several trails, I had to deal with vertigo and step back from the trail’s edge as the downward slopes are steep.

Leaving the mountains behind, we returned to Sequim and visited the lavender fest. There are huge quantities of various lavender flavored and scented products; drawer liners, sachets, bath salts, misters, soaps, etc. Sorry, but we did not buy anything to give away to our friends and relatives. We did have some local ice cream. Chris tried a sample of lavender flavored ice cream but chose strawberry instead for her cone.

Beach at Dungeness Wildlife Refuge

Beach at Dungeness Wildlife Refuge

We did not see any lavender flavored hot chocolate but since we had tried that in Santa Fe when we visited Jude with Sarah and Deb a few years ago, we clearly knew that was not a winner.

Our next destination was the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge. This has been around for 100 years and is right next to Sequim. Part of the refuge includes the longest natural sand spit in the U.S. There is a lighthouse at the end of the spit but it is a 10 mile long hike out to it. We were advised not to try it today since the high tide was coming in and we would be trapped or worse. Shucks, that 10 mile hike was the highest hope for the day! We had to settle for a one mile hike to the beach and back. You can feel sorry for us. This short walk had the highest concentration of mosquitoes we have experience yet this year-although the flies were pretty thick on Hurricane Hill.

Dungeness spit

Dungeness spit

Dinner was at a local restaurant and then we returned to our hosts to do a load of wash and more discussion. Interesting people who have an active life and gave us lots of ideas for own future and how to stay active once this year is over.

Monday we are up early to catch the 8:15 ferry to Victoria, British Columbia.

Ed and Chris July 22, 6 am

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