|Waiting for the ferry to BC; the|
blue bike carried us for miles. The
guy behind it is another rider.
|M/V Coho arriving in Port Angeles.|
We both discussed whether or not the weather was going to cooperate, but I think in the end, since the adventure was mostly about the motorcycle ride, Beloved really wanted to take it, and just deal with what we got.
Vacation was set for August 30, and fortunately that day did dawn sunny and bright, not too much wind, so the crossing over to British Columbia and Victoria on the M/V Coho from Port Angeles was easy. I had never been on my motorcycle on a ferry, so that was a new aspect of adventure for me.
|Leaving the U.S. and Port Angeles.|
|Nice view of the Olympic Peninsula, Port Angeles, WA.|
|Arriving in BC, passing the|
cruise ship docks.
Clearing customs, the officer looked at my passport with all the visas and pointedly asked me, "Are you planning to stay long?" I replied, from the back of the Harley, "Nope, just a week."
We must have made a curious couple to him since Beloved's passport was devoid of any stamps at all. So he stamped them both.
|Tudor Printing... a relative?|
We had days of sunshine and days of rain and days with both. But what we had the most of was lots of walking - over five miles each day! - and a very easy time together. Given that we have been on a couple of motorcycle trips and spent some time together, we still had not had uninterrupted time, day and night. Even the best of friends can get a little stressed being together 24/7, so it was a delightful surprise that there was practically no disruption.
Victoria has so much to see and explore and this time the Royal British Columbia Museum was featuring a display of gold from the Museo del Oro in Bogota, Colombia. There were pieces there that I was sure I had seen in Bogota. And the history of the gold rush in BC was fascinating.
|The famed Empress Hotel overlooks the waterfront. I had tea|
here once, but neither of us cared to go there this time.
We had lunch in Chinatown one day. That was an odd experience because neither of us could recall where we had eaten when there previously, so we ended up in a Dim Sum place that was clean and quick, but Beloved declared one of the dishes looked like something that had been pulled out from under a vehicle's oil change and tasted about like that, too. Not being inclined to waste food, he bravely consumed it all.
|A lot of Victorian-era homes have been restored here. Some|
are B&B's, but many are still residences. Pretty.
Finally after a couple of days of rain, there was a break and we rode the motorcycle out to the Harley-Davidson shop to buy some t-shirts and I got some leather treatment for my chaps that were still pretty newish.
That day there was a lot of construction and it was stop and go for two-thirds of the way there, so it took us almost an hour. Two days later when we made that same drive up toward Nanaimo to Ucluelet, it took us less than 20 minutes to get past that shop.
|My favorite shot... love the clouds, the reflections over the|
harbour in Victoria, BC. The little structures are on the
Fisherman's Wharf... very colorful during daylight hours.
|Victoria's Fisherman's Wharf lit up with early morning sunshine.|
Huge cruise ships make stops in Victoria regularly and one day we counted five of them at the docks. Fortunately we were not competing with those travelers for the geegaws, souvenirs or special trips.
|Approaching Lake Kennedy, about 40 minutes from Ucluelet.|
It was a lot of concentration for Beloved to watch the road, the oncoming cars and keep our two wheels under us.
When I later showed him the pictures I had taken along the way up there, he was surprised to see moments of sunshine captured. "It was a drive requiring a lot of my attention," he said. I replied, "I know. And you did a fantastic job of it, too."
|A little spot of sun as we passed Lake Kennedy on the way in.|
Good choice, because once you leave the outskirts of the city, the road narrows down and the frost heaves from previous years are still there to remind you of what a winter might be like up here.
That made the drive just a little more challenging, as if it needed more.
Lake Kennedy is an enormous inland lake. The photo I took as we were heading westward doesn't do it justice as it was a bit squally.
|Canadian Princess permanently docked in Ucluelet, BC.|
Just as we pulled into Ucluelet the sun came shining through all the clouds and stayed with us the rest of that day and the next!
|A couple of couples...|
It was delightful to sit in the sunshine and warm up.
|The one shot we got on our walk at a spot where there was a|
bench, but the walk down to the water looked a little bit
challenging, so we didn't take that path.
In fact, there weren't very many local people out and around, either.
We had to put a notice on our hotel door that we weren't interested in being awakened to go fishing at 5 a.m., and if there were folks going off to do that, we never heard them.
Breakfast the next day on board the ship was every bit as good as the earlier meal. And we had great service, too.
There was no real easy ocean access that we could find. As we were leaving the next day, we took the bike and tried to find a road to a beach, but there was nothing he dared to transit with only two wheels.
|Lake Kennedy on the return trip; a really, really pretty place.|
|Road repairs near Lake Kennedy.|
I imagine that going up and over those mountains
much later in the season that having frosty or icy roads is a real likelihood.
Traveling at 60 m.p.h. when the temperature is around 50 degrees is a chilling experience. I wore my chaps, but Tough Guy did not.
Even so, the sunshine rushing past my helmet, the smells of the fields and fallen leaves, the wonderful rush of being in the open will stay with me for a long while. It was a great ride!!
No surprise that he was pretty glad to get back to the heat of the city. And since we did not stop once on the return trip, except for gas, it was considerably shorter in time than it took the day before.
|Coming back into Port Alberni; part of the deep water inlet|
that made this city possible to be a true port of call.
|Approaching the outskirts of Victoria, BC.|
|This was the weekend for the "Classic Boat Show" and a|
pretty significant collection was available to walk through.
After a walk around the city for the last time on Friday, we opted for Greek takeout and caught one of the water-bug taxis back to 'home.'
We both agreed it had been a really good vacation, with only one scary time on some gravel... as a former motorcycle rider, I'd had a pretty disastrous dropping of my bike on gravel, so I am sure my own tension was conveyed when Beloved had to deal with it.
But it all ended very well... in some ways I wish we might have explored more farther north, but the weather didn't allow for that.
|Last night in Victoria, BC. "Red skies at night, sailor's delight."|
|The big guy in the leather jacket is my traveling companion.|
He was admiring a Chihuahua as he has two of his own. The
ferry ride back was cooler than our arrival, but the sun was
still much appreciated.