Mt. Rainier and Lenticular Clouds - Dec. 2008 copyright: JMM

August 3, 2007

Vancouver Island by Land and Sea


I left Bonney Lake at about 6:30 a.m. on Tuesday, July 24th. It was pretty overcast, as you can see here, right before I crossed the Tacoma Narrows Bridge on my way to Port Angeles. Port Angeles is located on the Olympic Peninsula, on the Strait of Juan de Fuca (that would be "Fyooka" not "Fucka", a pronunciation mistake I made once as a child. Once.). That part of Washington gets far less rain than the rest of the state, because the Olympics act as a "rain shadow" for storms coming off the Pacific Ocean. I arrived in Port Angeles at 9:30 a.m., well in time for the 12:45 pm ferry. So I had time to walk around a bit and I found this mural of the old ferry Kalakala (pronounced "kuh-LAH-kuh-luh"), in it's heyday. This poor ferry has fallen into major disrepair and has been hobbling around Western WA looking for a permanent home.
Here's my car, first in line for the ferry! I drove on first and was parked right in the prow of the ship. This was all well and good until I went back down to the car as we drew closer to landing. They park all the vehicles, including huge motorhomes and tractor-trailer trucks extremely close to each other. When I arrived back at my car, I found myself in a very claustrophobic situation, crammed in the front of the ferry with all the other vehicles behind me.

Here comes the Coho, fresh from it's morning run from Victoria to Port Angeles! The ferry pulled up and did a 3-point turn so that the rear of the vessel was facing the landing, so that cars could enter and exit. However, you can see what looks like an indentation in the ferry, at the front, and that is where cars drive off to exit the ship, once in Victoria. I have a better picture of the Coho, taken from the Inner Harbour, which will be posted later.

Bye-bye USA, see ya in a few days! Looking east/southeast at Port Angeles and the cloud-covered Olympic Mountains. The trip across the Strait takes about 90 minutes and I did take some pics of the water and the Olys, but I'm only posting "the best of the best" photos. Be thankful I am doing that or else you'd be subjected to all 480 photos I took!

Arriving in Victoria at about 2:15 p.m. It was a lovely trip across, the highlight being when the Captain made an announcement that there was a humpback whale several hundred yards off the starboard side; my head whipped around and I saw it's back disappearing under the water. Humpback whales are a rarity in the Strait and in Puget Sound, so this was quite a thing. The whole time I was in Victoria, I kept hearing that the humpback whale was hanging around a lot. I spent a good portion of the trip over chatting with a lovely family from Florida. There I was in my shorts and tshirt, and there they were bundled up, complaining of the "cold wind"....which I found quite refreshing.
After I dumped off my crap at the Holiday Inn, I headed right back out again, at 3:30 or so. My first stop was to Craigdarroch Castle, a beautiful home built by coal mining magnate & robber baron Robert Dunsmuir. The home is still furnished with much of the Dunsmuir Family's original belongings and furniture. The woodwork inside is to DIE for, but unfortunately it was just way too dark inside to shoot photos that would have come out halfway decent. The castle is about 4 stories, with killer views from the upper floors. What got me is that the maid's quarters was about twice the size of my bedroom at home!!

This is just one example of the magnificent stained glass windows at the castle.

My next stop in the late afternoon was to scenic Dallas Road, which runs along the southern waterfront. This is a statue of Terry Fox. Terry was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba and raised in Port Coquitlam, BC (a suburb of Vancouver). He lost his leg to osteosarcoma in 1977 when he was just 18. In 1980, he decided to run "The Marathon of Hope" to raise money for cancer research. He began his journey in St. John's, Newfoundland, dipping his leg in the Atlantic Ocean. His hope was to run 26 miles a day, all the way to Victoria, and dip his leg in the Pacific. Unfortunately, after 143 days, he was forced to end his run in Thunder Bay, Ontario when it was discovered that the bone cancer had spread to his lungs. Terry Fox died in June of 1981.

Mile Zero of the TransCanada Highway. Beacon Hill Park.

This was a lovely little path that led down to the water, off Dallas Road.

It was such a beautiful afternoon!! That's Washington across the water, still cloudy.

These guys looked like they were having a lot of fun. They were parasailing off the clifftop on Dallas Road, but I couldn't see what they were tethered to. All of the parasailing I've seen in the past involves a boat towing the person in the parachute, but I think they were catching thermals, like birds do. I would loved to have tried it.

I saw this energy drink at the local supermarket when I went to pick up some water and snacks for my hotel room. Of course being the completely immature person that I am, "Beaver Buzz" cracked me up so I had to buy it, in "Saskatoon Berry" flavour (for those unfamiliar with Canada, Saskatoon is a city in Saskatchewan). I only wanted this drink for the can, but I did taste it first and it was not "Dam Good" at all. It was quite foul, in fact.

The sun sets on my first day of vacation. Shot this from my hotel window. I think I collapsed into bed at about 9:30 or so. I needed lots of rest because Day 2 was to be action packed!


  1. Hmmm,methinks there is a toy on called that and if there isn't...there should be!

  2. Bryde - ROTFLMAO!!

  3. Beaver Buzz! It's a wicked Fuca...

  4. Great pictures, and you tell a terrific story to go with them.

    Could those guys be hang-gliding rather than parasailing? Then you just run off the cliff untethered and try to steer yourself round with thermals, like you described.

  5. 'Here's my car, first in line for the ferry!"

    NO DEAD STICKER??? I'm shocked and appalled...

  6. Lizzzard4:54 PM

    Was soap involved in the mispronunciation ???

    Great photos and thanks for all the details on the trip. It really makes it come alive for me.

    I got your card earlier this week and the postage was appalling- please tell me that GST included. I think cards from Rome cost less!

  7. Mark - my rear license plate frame has dancing bears and says Grateful Dead, and on the far right rear window is a SYF w/ the State of Maine in white instead of the lightning bolt.

    Liz - Believe it. Everything has gone up significantly, including postage. Their dollar is nearly as strong as ours now.

  8. Oh My Gosh...I remember Terry Fox.

  9. I stand corrected!


    That was the Bay Bridge, BTW...

  10. i remember Terry Fox.

    the sunset pic is absolutely fabulous.

    you really have your stuff together, JoJo. I wish I had the talent and ingenuity you possess.