Sunday, May 24, 2009

Bloggin’ from B.C…

The Gig is up…

Kris, also known as my Gig Harbor Electronics Expert, came through big time on Friday. I had the precious capacitors in hand and was sitting down to lunch on the harbor with Kris by 1:00 pm. Of course her daughter thought something sinister was going down and questioned her Mom on what the parts were for, whether I was involved in some international car theft ring, and was I having a master key shipped to someplace other than my own address. Elizabeth thought she had an open and shut case when the UPS guy handed her a small box from a company called DigiKey doing business out of Thief River Falls. Go figure.
Anyway, another fortunate detour. I got to finally meet Kris, drive over the new Tacoma Narrows Bridge and went to the Gig Harbor Post Office to lighten my load by about 40 lbs. Two large boxes on the way to Golden Hill, Cat!

Our Neighbors to the North…

Would you believe that even with all the detours I managed to cross the Canadian border ahead of schedule? Actually, I don’t really have a schedule, but if I did I’d be ahead of it. I crossed at the Sumas border crossing into British Columbia, and as I approached the border I realized I was third in line. Now I’m foolishly thinking this is going to be like driving into Mexico for lobster in Puerto Nuevo. Wrong.

I approached the friendly looking border official with all my forms completed in triplicate, my non-resident insurance ID card, my registration and, of course, my passport. Then the questions started. She asked how long I was going to be in Canada. I told her probably a couple of months. This was not a good answer. Their issue is that hippie freaks in VWs come from California all the time and try to blend into the wilderness. I assured her that I was not yet a hippie freak, so we moved on.

I think that little exercise was just a warm up. More questions:

Do you have any knives? Yes. Three. Two steak knives and a dive knife.
Do you have any restricted firearms? No.
Are you in possession of any child pornography? Holy crap. No!
Is there anything you want to share with me before I search your vehicle? Ummm, no?
Do you plan to perambulate during your visit to Canada? Frequently.
Do you have any alcohol in the vehicle? Yes. Four beers in the fridge. Help yourself.

She seemed satisfied with these answers and told me to have a seat. She then proceeded to thoroughly search Stella from top to bottom. If it hadn’t been for her opening my trash bag full of dirty laundry, I might have been there for another hour. She sent me to the cashier with all my stamped forms to pay the $25 fee. A small price to pay for visiting what is sure to be an amazingly wild place.

My Fave Five…

1. Dave Arbaugh’s Seven Seasons Seasoning.This was a parting gift from my neighbor Dave, and I have to say I’ve used it at least once every single day since I left. A perfect addition to the Westy Kitchen.

2. My Yokohama Y-356 8 ply tires. I bought a set of six (four on the ground and two spares). They may not look pretty but they were made to carry the weight of a Westy.

3. Campgrounds under the purview of the BC Provincial Parks Department. The cleanest campgrounds in North America! It looked like a display at Sears Home & Garden.

4. Listening to the NBA playoffs on XM while sitting outside Stella by the campfire in the middle of freakin’ nowhere.

5. Not having to get a BCS at the BCBC (translation provided upon request).

Last night’s view…

Here’s a snapshot of the view I enjoyed through my windshield last night.

I was camped at the eerily quiet Green Lake campground. As important as Memorial Day is, I have no complaints that it’s not a Canadian holiday. The place was virtually empty! Thanks for all the great comments and for following my northerly progress. Polar bear pictures coming soon. I promise! Next stop Prince George, B.C.


  1. Very cool!! Beautiful picture! I need a bigger picture of you with that fish!! I know what #5 means.... scary but glad you put that on your favs list... hehehe... Love the blog! Oh and I am keeping in email contact with Cat, =)

  2. Best place on earth, pffft who do they think they are!!

    Glad you got to meet the Sis. Watch out for the Mounties you hippie!

  3. Nice blog! Yes, those Canadian border patrol peeps are tough. However, based on my unofficial KT Gall"down" poll (as oppose to Gall"up") on my recent entry, they are getting younger and prettier. Did one of the questions involved Cuban cigars? Oh, my bad. It's legal in Canada.
    Safe travel my friend.

  4. Coupla things: So I passed on the link to your blog to Neighbor Dave of your 7 Seasons Seasoning Shout-Out. Do I get any Good Girlfriend "points" for that one? Also, you said in your post above that you were "not yet a hippie freak" so I'm wondering what that means. We are all probably wondering what that means. When do you, then, become the hippie freak? What will the sign of the change be?? Lastly, I'd like to request that when you do your first Barbershop impression, that you post a photo for us on your blog. I'm sure you dear readers don't know that you are planning on handling your own haircuts while in the wild....Photo please??


  5. I am in AWE of the picnic table....Did you stain it when you arrived? Did you build it? LOL It looks fabulous, not like any other picnic table I have ever seen. There isn't even any bird crap, or mouse droppings or dirt! Did you photoshop that table in?! I am amazed! Glad you and Stella made it through the border. PHEW! Now on to hippie land... :o)

  6. by the way, that last comment was from your electronics expert in gig harbor...i kinda forgot to sign.:o)

  7. Any more Sasquatch sightings?? Nicole :)

  8. Keep posting the blog; very enjoyable to watch your progress through the creative writing and great pics. There is a sense of actually being there, which I suppose is the whole idea. As to "hippie freaks" I once knew a guy named Tepee John who had the whole enchilada: a tent, long hair, long facial hair, beads, hash, moccasins, a dog, an "old lady," lived in the mountains, you name it. These days he is the well-known principal of a hugely successful charter school for students who are "different" and don't "fit in" at a regular school. Wears a suit and and tie now. Ain't life grand? Lokedog

  9. Hey Pete, thanks for "Seven Seasons" shout out. This is the first time the product has gone international. Keep on rolling, I look forward to good stories. peace.