I left Banff today 🙁 I actually had to backtrack to Canmore to pick up a jacket I left at the climbing gym. Then I found the library in the climbing gym, so I stuck around and finished up my blog, then headed out of town. I was tempted to stay, as the weather was starting to warm up and I already missed my new friends. But the road was calling.
I made it to Revelstoke resort around 6pm. Only to realize I should probably fill up on Diesel before bed, so back to town I went. The town pops out of nowhere and seems to disappears just as quick!
The mountain is hard to see from the base area but the one night free RV parking was easy to find. I got back late so did not meet any of my neighbors but was glad to be in a legal spot for a bit! I cooked up a veggie burger and some dumplings for dinner 🙂 Then off to bed.
Skiing today at Revelstoke! Oh boy Oh boy! A bluebird day and warm! Well warm to me! High of 25f felt like summer 🙂
Revelstoke is a cool mountain only three lifts but loads of terrain and side country, with beautiful views! The snow was not great as it had been windblown, sunbaked and frozen! Although that didn’t stop me from hiking and skiing some chutes and playing in the trees. The trees seemed to have the best snow as thats where it was all blown into! A few more days of warmth and the skiing would have been great. Regardless of the conditions I had a great time exploring and ripping it up!
After a great day skiing, I packed up, chatted with a few neighbors and hit the road. I was not sure where I would sleep tonight but hoped I to find something between Revelstoke and Vancouver. I ended up parking in a Petro Canada gas station on the outskirts of Cashe Creek BC.
Ruh Roh! Milou won’t start. This issue is getting worse. Luckily I am in a good spot to look into it. I wiggled wires and banged on the starter and tried a few other things for a couple of hours. I called a local parts store only to find my starter was exorbitantly over priced given they had to import it from the US 🙁 I asked a passer by to try and turn the key while I hammered on the starter but still no luck. Feeling defeated I started to walk back into town where the Gentleman who helped me said there was a machine shop.
Well the machine shop look abandoned and no one was around, but not too much father down the way was a large truck repair shop! I wondered in and announced myself. A few mechanics looked up at me but said nothing.. a bit of cold shoulder. So I walked into the office but found no one… this is strange I thought. I went back out into the shop and a man asked if he could help. I explained my situation and we got to chatting. He was a really nice guy and I could tell he was a character. He started drawing on the dirty garage window, explaining to me that I should just jump my solenoid with a wire and a screw. Then he went digging through all the tools and junk on his bench until he found a wire and screw for me. I only sort of followed what he was saying but he gave me a wire and a screw to jump it with and off I went. Well the wire did not help me much but his encouragement was just what I needed to motivate me. I probed around with the screw and my multimeter, then I cleaned up some terminals and tried her again and she fired up! We are back in action! I need a new starter!
I drove back over to the shop to return the wire and thank the man (his name was Chuck). I couldn’t find him at first but then saw he was in the office. I started to tell him what happen and he was all excited but then got a phone call. I waited for him to be done. He got off the phone and our conversation went like this
Chuck – “So you’re Happy!?”
Me- “Yeah I am, thanks for motivating me to figuring it out!”
Chuck-“Good, F**k off then” he said with a sly smile
These are the type of people that make adventures worth it! He was so great, I had to get a picture with him!
Well after Milou and I were running we continued on our way. I was going an around about way to Vancouver. I wanted to drive over to the coast then down. So I cut across on 99 then down through Whistler, Squamish then to Vancouver! What a cool drive through the mountains. It was a bit of an adventure, as it started to snow! One mountain pass I went up to 4400ft then down to 700ft. I had to stop and take a break to let breaks and transmission cool down a bit. I felt like I was driving through the Alps. I can only imagine if it was clear how beautiful the views would be. As I approached Squamish the clouds cleared and the views were stunning as I cruised the coast! I made it to my hotel by 4pm. I had decided to post up in a cheap motel, so I can easily explore the city. I went on walk tonight and to explore a bit of North Vancouver. I found a pretty cool dog park on the banks of Vancouver Harbor. Lots of happy dogs, a beautiful sunset and I put my hands in the salty pacific water for the first time!
Another beautiful sunny day! I woke up and spent the morning organizing a few things and tending to personal hygiene etc. Looked at the map and started to plan my day. I was about an hour and half walk to down town Vancouver, via Stanley park. Stanley Park is an island between Vancouver and North Vancouver. It has a lot of history and was absolutely beautiful. Big tall trees, steep cliffs down to the ocean.
While walking over the Lions Gate Bridge, I looked over the side and saw a really cool sea path road that was right level with the ocean. So as soon as I got to the island, I headed down a steep path to check it out. Being a lazy American, I decided to take a side path and drop onto the sea path earlier rather than follow the long winding path. I climbed down some roots and dropped onto the sea wall road. I looked back and noticed a fence across the path but didn’t think too much about it and continued on in the direction I had intended. The path is really cool looking, old concrete and stone, beautiful views. The ice had covered the cliffs in a thin layer, just enough to make it sparkle. I started to notice that no one was around. How strange on such a beautiful day.. but I kept on just the same and as I rounded the last corner I saw another fence and realized I was locked on the inside of the closed sea wall. Oops! Well good thing I can scrambled up some rocks and hop a chain link. I did it quick before anyone on the other side noticed and I continued on my way 😉
The rest of the park was beautiful, and I wound my way towards the down town. I walked along the harbor and looked at all the expensive yachts. I noted the pure imbalance in wealth with the homeless on the shore and these giant yachts floating empty and polished. I thought about all the things that cause such great imbalance in this world. Two extremes in the same place happening at the same time.
All along the board walk were these really cool plaque’s that told about different conflicts, natural disasters and people of importance that have happened in the area. Vancouver seems to have a rich history that was very interesting to read about! My favorite was about the inventor Phil Nuytten from Vancouver, who invented the Newtsuit. The Newtsuit is a hard scuba diving suit that has rotating joints and allows you to move around deep underwater with little affects of pressure on the body!
I spent the rest of the day watching the sea planes land and take off from the harbor, reading in a café and exploring more of the city.
My friend Marty from up in BC got me in touch with one of his friends and we had made plans to get dinner on Granville Island. A cool little tourist/industrial island off the coast of Vancouver. Deanna (Marty’s friend) and I had a great night telling all sorts of stories about traveling and making lots of jokes at Marty’s expense. After dinner Deanna was nice enough to give me a ride back to my hotel which I was very very thankful for! I had put in about 21km (13miles) of walking in that day and I was not looking forward to the 1hr 45 min walk back to my hotel. Tomorrow I head for USA.
Woke up early today, because I wanted to get on the road and I knew Milou’s starter was going to fight me. Sure enough she would not start, but after banging on the starter and arcing across the terminals with my carabiner key chain. I got the solenoid unstuck and she started up! Hooray! The house keeping staff was very curious about why I was laying in a puddle under an ambulance in their parking lot but they finally understood when I did a small cheer and Milou was running! We were off again! And I am not turning her off till I get to the States!
I was not looking forward to the boarder, as I know the US side can be a bit more thorough. I also needed to convince them to let me keep her running for the entire time. Well sure enough I was stopped and they asked me to turn her off. I pleaded to keep her running and informed them of what a pain it would be to have to deal with a broken down ambulance in the middle of the busy boarder lanes, so they agreed to let her purr away. They asked some questions and wanted to take a peak inside. The boarder was very busy and the agent could not figure out how to open the door so he sent me to the search area. I waited in line for awhile, no one seemed to be working, I was pretty appalled about how little care the Agent’s took with the travelers :/ but maybe it was shift change and they would all be back soon?… Milou was still puttering away in the parking lot with an agent holding on to her keys.
Eventually someone called my name and they explained they were going to search the vehicle. I wished them luck and headed back inside. 20 mins later they were done, didn’t find anything, Shocker! They didn’t even look in all the compartments. Seemed like a big waste of time over all, but oh well boarder security is not my field ;). Next up Bellingham to get a new starter!
I called ahead to an Auto Zone and put a new starter on hold! Half the price of the one in CAD! Laid down in yet another parking lot and had it changed out in about 45 mins. WOW does that make a difference. She really zingggsss to life now!!
I use to work for the sister company of one thats located in Bellingham, WA and had some old coworker/friend still there. I texted them thinking they would be at work but then soon remembered it was Saturday… I was able to meet up with one of them and his family at a local Fred Myers just to have a quick hello!
Then back on the road heading to my college friend Anthony’s (Twon’s) house in Sequim which is located on the Olympic peninsula. This was a beautiful drive and I even took a ferry! It was so great to see Twon and meet his wife Morgan and daughter Nyneve. Twon and I went out to a local restaurant and caught up on old times. We then hung out after the bar closed in Milou so that we didn’t wake the little one! Pretty nice to have a mobile living room!
Woke up to yet another blue bird day! Today Twon and I hung out with Nyneve while Morgan worked. We made delicious gluten free pancakes with just eggs and bananas. Need to remember this recipe! Then we headed down to a local beach and explored a bit before getting cold and heading to the playground. Morgan met up with us there and we headed off to a cool local eatery called Nourish that served lots of local meats and veggies that they grew on their farm.
After this we made the decision to drive out to Forks were their friend’s lived and see some more beaches and maybe even get out for a surf! The drive was about an hour and half and very pretty. We made it just in time to their friends Justin and Dylans house for dinner. Really nice people and who had some other friends visiting so we had a big nice dinner and enjoyed everyone’s company.
Woke, made a delicious cup of Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee. Morgan works for Four Sigmatic which makes lots of different Mushroom based products that are very good for you and help in many ways. Definitly check them out at your local health food store!
Everyone was still sleeping inside, so I cruised around the town a bit. I went to the hardware store and had some spare keys made, I as I had shut one in the door the other day. Interesting fact for all the vampire lovers, this is the town that Twilight took place.
I headed back to the house and people where awake and making breakfast. After breakfast we left Morgan to work and Twon, Nyneve and I went to check out 3rd beach in the town La Push. A really cool spot located on tribal lands. A beautiful walk through rainforest with big hemlock trees, then down to a sandy beach covered in huge drift wood and large rock towers in the surf. Imagine the scene from the Goonies looking out on the ocean. I believe this was the spot where they matched the coin up with the rocks. Pretty beautiful place. Nyneve was very cute on the whole walk. Climbing up roots, making fairy homes and picking the occasional fern.
Nyneve’s feet got wet, so time to go back and pick up Mom and head to 1st beach in La Push also known as just La Push. The Gang was tired so Nyneve and Morgan headed back to Sequim in the van.
The surf was low but perfect for me. So Twon suited me up in his old wet suit and booties and we grabbed our boards and headed for the balmy 43f degree pacific ocean. It was cold but I didn’t freeze. I drank some sea water, got thrashed a bit, sort of caught a few waves. I did a lot of paddling and as my arms got numb I felt as though I was just throwing lead weights into the water trying to propel myself forward. After a few hrs we called it quits and headed in to warm up. I think the hardest part of the whole day was trying to get my wet suit off! Definitely a trick to this, that I am not a master at. After drying off and warming up Milou. We had some delicious snacks and rehydrated with unsalted water and headed for Sequim. Made it home a bit later then expected but made some delicious veggie tacos and then hung out in Milou and solved the world problems before turning in for the night.
Woke up and we had a slow morning. I organized Milou a bit and made breakfast and hung out with Twon and Nyneve while we waited for the internet installation tech. Morgan and Twon recently moved, so they were just getting everything set up. We played with lots of blocks, made forts and all sorts of other fun activities. We even dressed up as pink flamingos with pink tutu’s, I am sure the internet tech was amused. Two grown men and a little girl all in pink Tutu’s as he opened the door.
The plan for the day was for Twon and Nyneve to take me out to their new land a few towns over, close to an another surf spot. The property was beautiful. Surround by Cedar trees, nestled deep in the woods with its own private creek running through it. A very peaceful place with lots of potential. It was fun walking the land and talking about all the possibilities.
After that Nyneve decided she wanted to head to the playground, so off we went down the road. As Twon and her played, I walked to the shore and checked out some cool tidal pools and views of Vancouver island.
We then headed back to Sequim and made some tacos. Twon and I head back out to Milou for what seemed to become a ritual of hanging in the van and discussing the world over some delicious tea.
Tomorrow I am off. Headed south to check out more of the coast.
Thank you Morgan, Twon and Nyneve for hosting me. Twon it was so great to reconnect and see the family and life you have created here. It is a beautiful place and a lot of fun. I can’t wait to see what you all do with the land! Thank you so much for taking me surfing, that was an experience I will remember for a life time, it was great fun and maybe yet another hobby/sport I can pick up. Morgan it was a pleasure to get to know you. I really appreciate the hospitality and the delicious tea samples you gave me, I soon will become a repeat customer! Nyneve you are the cutest, thank you for playing with me and sharing all your toys. I hope to see you all again soon!
One thought on “Mountains to the Sea”
I love reading your blog and going along with you on your adventure with Milou! I love the way you tell your story!!! XOXO Mom