There's always something to do and see on these trips and
today was the day we planned to head up to Canada. But first
we wanted to see the Northwest GWTA's Drill Team do their
stuff. We got a "seat" early (photos 1 &
2) and waited while they marked off the street, measured
distances, cleared people back from the curbs, did some practice
maneuvers, and generally got ready for the show (photos
3 & 4). I was impressed.
A couple of things crossed my mind while I watched these
eight riders on GL1500 Goldwings do their stuff (photos
5, 6 & 7). One revelation was, "I didn't thing
those big suckers could turn that tight." The other was
the fact that half the team were women, one of which must
have been all of 5' tall, weighed about half of what I weigh,
if that much, and she was making that big Wing turn and twist
like it was a Honda 250. It will humble you friends. So much
for sex role stereotyping.
After the show, it was time to say our goodbyes and get on
with our trip. You always hate to leave your kids and especially
your grandkids, but even us retired folks have to finish long
trips before the weather changes. We headed north to Canada.
Now we've been remarkably lucky on this trip, no rain. But
as we got about fifteen miles north of Anacortes, we started
to pick up, first sprinkles, then some bigger drops. We pulled
off into a fish market parking lot and put on our rain gear.
That's all it took, the rain stopped and as we got closer
to the US/Canadian border it started to get warm. Go figure.
That's the northwest, I guess.
As we got to Blaine, WA, the furthest Northwestern town in
America, Linda snapped some shots from the back of the bike
of the flags, the peace memorial, the peace park entrance,
and the border check in (photos 8, 9,10, 11 & 12).
There were five lanes of traffic trying to check into Canada
and it took us about 45 minutes of waiting in line to get
through. The process is they check your ID, ask if you have
any guns, how long you're going to stay, where you're going,
and then they determine if they should pull you aside and
check you thoroughly. We were lucky; they accepted our answers
and let us through. Of course, by that time, I was sweating
a bucket from sitting in stop-and-go traffic for all that
time, but hey, we were in.
Next stop, Vancouver. We took Hwy 99 north for about 50 kilometers
(31 miles) and rode at 100 kilometers per hour (60 mph). It
was great fun converting metric to the American system. This
type of thing lets you know immediately that, even though
the place looks a lot like America, it's a foreign country,
with different laws and customs. The countryside is at first
dryer than I had expected but as we got closer to Vancouver,
you could see the mountains in the background.
We arrive at the Sands Best Western and settle in on the
top floor, number five, with a great view (photos 13,14,15,16).
I've included several shots from our room balcony of the city
and the bay, one at 5:00, when we arrived and at 10:00 at
night. It takes a long time to get really dark up here.
We head out to explore some of the city close around us before
stopping for dinner. This sure seems like a young persons
city. They are everywhere along with lots of eateries, and
dessert shops to cater to the crowds. I think it must have
something to do with the beach being so close by. At any rate,
Vancouver is a beautiful city if you like big cities. Tomorrow
we will take a ride around Stanley Park and then head east.