Thursday, July 23, 2009

Island Hopping

Day 24: July 20, 2009 - Friday Harbor, WA to Duncan, BC, Canada
From feast to feast

The early morning greeted us with the call of a rooster and with the butt of a goat sliding on our tent. Can you say excitement? The rooster crowed at least three times before we woke up and the goat attempted to climb and slide on our tent at least two times. Eventually, the animals and our bellies won out and we got out of our sleeping bags and headed into our hosts home where we were offered a cup of hot tea (home grown and dried comfrey chamomile) and homemade sourdough pancakes smothered in goat yogurt, honey and cinnamon – a breakfast fit for royalty!

Between our hosts and our guests we were informed of the best way to spend our last few hours on San Juan Island, given a hunk of homemade Gouda cheese and sent off. Since we were unable to spot any Orcas last night we decided to try our luck in the new day and made our way back to Lime Kiln State Park. Gazing into the vast blue we saw nothing. Making the most of the location, we took a small hike down toward a bay where we enjoyed the sound of waves against rock, pushing and pulling them in and out of the depths. Having been told to visit south beach before disembarking from the island we made our way toward the road so we could see this other popular sight. However, just as we were walking the trail we noticed others with their eyes locked on the horizon. We joined their gaze and soon spotted the fins of orcas which we had so strongly desired to see. For thirty minutes we then watched to whales as they swam through the currents and through our line of sight. Nothing can quite compete with the joy of seeing something you have been anticipating for many days and weeks, even before arriving at said destination.

Thrilled with our sighting we made our way further around the Island making a pit stop at the Historical Park/American Camp and continuing to Friday Harbor where we would board the ferry. After paying our fare and parking Navajo we wandered into the downtown area enjoying some fresh seafood and a little shopping.

The ferry made the trip with great success and Mike was able so spot a few seals while Melissa worked on the blog updates on Microsoft Word. We drove off the ferry and awaited Canadian Customs which we had been told was a simple process and nothing to fear. However, when you look as sketchy as Mike and I do nothing is as simple as it ought to be. We were asked to park our car and wait for the officials to come inspect our car. Standing in front of our car, we watched as one officer looked in our cooler and then proceeded to open one of our toiletries bags. Things were now getting a little personal. Before we knew what was happening, the officer had Melissa’s toothbrush in hand scrubbing down the handle! Without the slightest explanation, they returned things as they were and thanked us for our time and patience and sent us on our way into Canada.

Bewildered by our BC welcoming, we figured out our way toward Duncan, BC where we had some CouchSurfing hosts awaiting our arrival. We enjoyed the green landscape of British Columbia, quickly remembered our metric conversions and picked up a hitchhiker who informed us that BC was great for hitching. Having dropped Randy off at his desired location we continued up the Island until we parked in front of Nick and Diane’s place. They greeted us warmly, offered beer and wine, introduced their daughter and led us to the dining room table where we enjoyed the most delicious pesto rotini, seafood salad and apple pie a la mode.

We shared CouchSurfing stories, discovering that this couple has only been on since May and are so far, having a wonderful experience! They offered a bit of education on Canadian culture, health care, and the education system. We offered tea, they accepted and we sat and enjoyed some of the best America has to offer: Let’s Do Tea. Struggling to keep our eyes open, Mike and Melissa retired to bed – a bed that our hosts described as the Princess and the Pea bed – complete with three mattresses stacked on one another.

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