Friday, August 18, 2017
Judy told me to Buzz’s suggestion driving to Seattle or Vancouver. Go up 101, then head east to Olympia. She said the road is windy and small, but very pretty, so that’s what I did. I was off to pick up Kelly at the airport in Vancouver at 12:00 Saturday. The road winds through little towns and then through the most magnificent duck marsh I have ever seen. It goes for miles and miles. There is a national wildlife refuge, but I couldn’t stop, as I had a long day of travel. Once I got on Rt. 5 it was busy with traffic. Then right through the middle of Seattle in stop and go traffic.
At the border, a lady asked me all kinds of questions, where I was going, how long I was staying, and were we going to sleep in the trailer. She asked about bear and pepper spray. I told her I had thrown them out at the last gas station. She said you can bring it in if clearly marked as bear spray. OK
It was pretty tough driving the trailer through Vancouver to the campground in West Vancouver. I stopped along the way and stocked up on groceries and wine. Once at Capilano Campground, I parked right next to another Airstream. I was still trying to wiggle the truck into a tight spot when a car stopped in front of me and a lady said, “You can’t park there”. I asked where else I was supposed to park. “Well you can’t park in front of our Airstream”! I told her it is my Airstream, and hers is on the other side of mine. Once parked, the very nice man came over and apologized. He said it was a 2018 International Airstream they had just bought. We chatted about where to go in Vancouver and what to see.
On Saturday morning I took a practice run to the Airport. At 7:00 in the morning, traffic wasn’t too bad, but the route takes you right through downtown and then a Chinese part of town. With narrow lanes I wondered if I would have enough room, but there were big buses running in front of me. Delivery trucks were doing OK, so I guessed I could make it. The airport has a nice cell phone waiting area where there was plenty of room to turn around.
By 10:00 I thought I had best hook up the trailer and get going. Traffic was now busy with stop and go in front of the bridge next to the campground. It was a bit nerve-wracking, but I kept looking at the big busses and trucks that routinely travel these busy streets. Happily, I arrived at the cell phone area and there was plenty of room. The airport was a busy place, even on a Saturday. I had to get my phone set up for roaming in another country and be ready for any phone calls. A young, tall oriental man came up, marveling at the Airstream. He thought it was so cool, and walked all around it. I opened the door and told him he could go in and look around. “Wow, really?” Then he asked a whole bunch of questions. He was so enthusiastic, I didn’t want to put him off, but I was starting to get nervous about the time. After a bit, he thanked me, wished me well and headed off. I was just getting the phone set up when another man pulls his car over next to the trailer, gets out with similar curiosity. In his early 40’s and Armenian descent, he worked as a crane operator for an oil company. He wanted to know how much an Airstream cost, where I was going and how the solar system worked. He was picking someone up too. I looked at my watch. 12:10, but no message from Kelly. Finally the handsome gentleman got his call. We shook hands and he was off. Finally I got a call from someone I didn’t know, wondering why he was calling me. It was someone Kelly had asked to call. He had lost his phone.
Driving through the busy pick-up lane, I wasn’t hard to spot. Kelly waved and headed into the street with his bags.