Week 5 – Coupeville, WA

What a great week of beauty and adventure! It was also the week of our first international trip together (Canada totally counts). Our RV mileage was minimal this week as we took the motorcycle for the significant distances, our gas tank thanks us.

20160608_201456Week 5 started with mostly work stuff, no need to bore you with those details but Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday were largely spent at the Port Angeles library working on getting our website built (it’s up and functioning, much to Jim’s delight!!). There were a few exceptions to just working straight through, however. On Wednesday evening, around 7pm, as we were finishing up at the library, Jim suggested that we head up Hurricane Ridge to watch the sunset (the previous night had a stellar sunset that we sadly mostly missed). We put on what we thought were warm clothes for the trip up the mountain on the motorcycle, Hurricane Ridge is 5,242 feet in elevation and we started at sea level.20160608_210520 As we started up, a thick cloud started to come over us, making it harder and harder to see in front of us the higher we climbed. We were beginning to think we wouldn’t be able to see the sunset or
much of anything from the top, when suddenly the clouds opened up and it became crystal clear, blue skies. We were actually above the thick, white cloud now, looking down on it…it was really quite magical! We continued to ride to the top when we looked over and saw a black bear drinking from a stream! We pulled over to get some shots and video of him with the GoPro, he was mostly unfazed by our presence so we stuck around and watched him for a bit (from a safe distance!). As we got to the top, we started to see patches of snow on the ground…it became obvious that we were not dressed for how cold it was at the 20160608_210957.jpgtop! But we pressed on and as we parked, we saw two deer frolicking on the side of the road. We wanted to walk a bit further in from the parking lot in hopes of catching the sunset, it was just so unbelievably picturesque in every single direction. Gorgeous colors in the sky, green trees, lush fields, and so many creatures of the woods…Jim even went right up to a deer to take its picture and she didn’t seem bothered by him in the slightest.

Part of the reason we were working to get so much done mid week was to be sure we could enjoy our weekend away in Canada. Friday morning, we got everything we needed for the IMG_20160610_165311weekend packed up into the motorcycle and took Bertha to a spot we found to park her for just $5 a day. We were running nice and early and even stopped for a cup of coffee while we waited for the ferry…only to realize that Heather had forgotten her passport! We were sure there was no way we’d make it but we darted back to Bertha’s parking spot in record time, grabbed the passport and arrived at the ferry dock 6 minutes after our scheduled departure. By some kind of extreme luck, they were delayed in loading up and hadn’t left yet, so we made it on! Phew! We had a lovely 90 minute ferry ride into Victoria, BC (with a nice nap included) before arriving around 3:00 in the afternoon. The trip to Canada was two fold, well three…one was to see some of Heather’s friends whom she met nine years ago in Europe and has continued to stay close with. Two was to attend and volunteer at the Ironman 70.3 race on Sunday, and reason number three was simply to see Victoria since we were up in the area as it was. Upon our arrival in Victoria, we did some sightseeing of their local Fisherman’s Wharf, grabbed some lunch, found a local pub to grab a couple of beers, and then headed over to Mel’s house around 7:30. We met up with Mel, Candice, Mel’s husband Ian, and their one year old little girl, Camryn. The evening was filled with sangria, take-out Thai food, laughter, and lots of catching up.

20160611_130257Saturday was girls day for Heather. She took off to the day spa with Mel and Candice for the day while Jim stayed at their house to do some work, go for a long run, and scope out the race area for the next day. The spa was such a treat! It was a luxurious place with three, very warm and relaxing mineral pools. The girls sat by the pools for a few hours with views of the sound from their chairs. After a few dips in the pools, a snack, and some mojitos, they enjoyed the eucalyptus sauna and some long showers before lunching back in downtown Victoria. This trip also coincided with Mel’s birthday weekend, so after lunch we stopped at the grocery store to pick up supplies for an evening backyard barbecue. A group of really fun, wonderful people came over for the party; it was night filled with delicious food and a lot of fun.  20160611_192256

Sunday morning came earrrrrlllllyyy, especially after a night of laughter and a few beers. We set the alarm for 4:30am to get up and head to the Ironman race. The sun was barely up as we loaded the motorcycle and set out for Beaver Lake (with a stop at the iconic Canadian coffee chain, Tim Horton’s). We were there before the race started and were able to chat with a couple of Jim’s friends and watch the race gun go off. We spent the day there cheering and watching the fastest people come across the finish line (they’re seriously incredible to watch). The race course was beautiful and it couldn’t have been a better day to be a competitor. After the race, we stopped for a nice lunch and then headed back to Mel’s for a IMG_20160612_203547nap and a shower. We loaded our stuff back up on the bike and said our goodbyes to catch the evening ferry back to the US of A. We arrived back on our side of the water around 9pm and hurried back to Bertha…only to discover that her batteries were dead. Both the generator and the engine battery were completely dead. So Jim headed to the 24 hour Walmart to grab a jump box and once again rescued us from being stranded!

Next week we head up the WA coast, thanks for following along!

Total RV Trip Miles: 2,722

 

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