PNW2011 – Day 10

Aug 22, 2011 – One of these days I’d like to be able to say “and we were up before the crack of dawn”, but this wasn’t one of those days. Day 10 found us back on the road and it started with drizzle, and ended in a downpour. Along the way Louise nearly crashed but performed an awesome save, we sailed on another ferry, and rode through a solidly named town place, and finally lucked out with a great place to spend the night.

It was just after 10am when we started loading up the bikes in a light drizzle. We’ve had rain before, but not so far on this trip – this was the first precipitation. Packed up, we headed out into Victoria’s downtown traffic, on our way to the Sydney ferry terminal.

The streets were slick with the constant drizzle and of course cagers (cars) not really paying attention to driving – those factors combined to cause probably the closest either of us have come to a crash. A careless driver decided at the last minute to make a right turn so slammed on the brakes, causing us to also slam on the brakes. Louise used too much rear brake and bike’s rear wheel locked up causing the bike to skid sideways. In a great exhibition of coolness and skill, she let up on the brake, hit the gas and pulled it out! There were some choice words in the helmet I’m sure, but all was good.

We continued on our way to Sydney in light rain and drizzle, and the Zumo GPS led us to the ferry terminal. Where most ferries let motorcycles go to the front of the line and usually board first, this was the second ferry that left us to the bitter end – in the increasing rain. It was kind of miserable just sitting there in the wet. Well more so for Louise, she chose not to put on her Frogg Togs and so she was soaked. My Aerostich did great as usual, as did the Gerbing heated jacket. Eventually, after fussing about with a big motorhome, we boarded the MV Chelan, pretty much the last ones on.

When we went to disembark the ferry in Anacortes, Louise decided to put the Frogg Togs on over her wet jacket and pants. So while we had a couple of hours on the ferry to warm up, that was to be undone throughout the rest of the day. Once off the ferry we just had to stay on the highway, except that the highway took some jogs through some urban areas, still in the rain. There were some left turns in heavy traffic that were a little dicey, but we managed OK.

So we just kept going heading to a place called Concrete, so named for the concrete industry that used to be there. There were a couple of campgrounds that I had in mind, but we were getting tired and Louise was getting cold, so we decided to find a motel. my earlier research, and the GPS, indicated that there was a motel on the highway, but when we got there – it was closed!

Plan B showed up on a sign on the side of the for a Bed and Breakfast, on the other side of the river. We backtracked a bit and headed off down a side road that slowly seemed like it was going no where. According the GPS we passed it, but we both missed the sign on the road and wound up going a few miles down the road before I decided to turn around because it had to be back up the hill. I turned my bike around and because the road was narrow, I turned Louise’s bike around too. We chugged on up the road in steady rain and finally found the sign.

We rolled into the parking lot of a ranch/B&B and tromped into the reception room, dripping wet. There was a guy there already hemming and hawing about the last room in the place. He was greatly undecided because the available room did not have wireless internet available and he really wanted the internet.

Anyway, I went outside because it was kind of crowded inside, while Louise stayed and made sure the folks running the place knew we’d take the room, internet or not! She also turned on the charm, batting her eyelids at the guy or whatever, because after a few minutes he left and we got the room! It wasn’t in the main building though, it was a cabin down a road on the other side of the highway. Oh and breakfast wasn’t part of the deal for the cabins.

The cabin was actually awesome though – quiet, comfy, warm and just as we finished unpacking the bikes, the rain stopped! We made dinner, watched TV for a bit, then headed off to bed.

PNW2011 – Day 9

Aug 21, 2011 – We set off in search of breakfast this morning. The hotel breakfast the day before was underwhelming, so we hiked off into downtown Victoria looking for a place that Louise recalled from being here back in the spring. After much wandering around, we finally found one of the only places that was open, it turned out that it was the place! Finally coffee and breakfast!

Good thing I finally got some coffee …

Ian before coffee …

Ian after coffee – much happier!

Louise was pretty much unaffected by any lack of caffeine …

In the afternoon, we rode my bike to Fort Rodd Hill Park, on the west side of Esquimalt, the Pacific base of the Royal Canadian Navy. I had no idea this fort existed until Louise and Robert visited it back in March. You can find more information on Fort Rodd Hill Park at the Parks Canada website here. Here’s a few pics …

Part of the Fort Rodd Hill site is Fisgard Lighthouse …

We pretty much closed the park down, one of last ones to leave. After another relaxing night, we headed off to bed – tomorrow we were going to be back on the road!

PNW2011 – Day 8

Aug 20, 2011 – Ah sleeping in … So nice …. We got up, had breakfast in the hotel and wandered around downtown Victoria, I think. I don’t really recall and now after 10 months, Louise can’t really remember either.

We took a picture of us at the BC Legislature …

Later on we had dinner with Victoria residents Richard and Deb – Richard is one of my best friends from my Apple days. After dinner we simply chilled, relaxed and went to bed early.