June 17th, 2017: We left Victoria on a late afternoon ferry as the sea planes landed around us. Victoria was cool – intriguing, beautiful, rich with culture, and we were sorry to have only had time for such a tiny taste of Canada.
Canada was in the midst of celebrating its 150th anniversary and, as part of the celebrations, was generously offering a free national parks pass good for the whole of 2017. We had applied for one and received it before our departure on sabbatical; our plan had been to spend perhaps a week in Canada, aiming for Banff which we had heard was utterly stunning. But despite moving along almost daily, we realized halfway through our sabbatical that our Canada plans weren’t going to happen unless we skipped great swaths of what we were currently passing – and everywhere we went was just too good to pass through unexplored. Furthermore, getting Katie into – and back out of – Canada would be no small feat, nor small cost, so driving Rocinante across the border for just a couple of days had not seemed worth it.
So we contented ourselves with our day in Victoria, and the exploration of greater Canadian would have have to wait for another trip. We would look forward to that.
Up in the meadows in Jasper, Alberta, two men and four ponies on a long lonesome ride… To see the high country and learn of her people, the ways that they live here, the ways that they die. One is a teacher, and one a beginner, just wanting to be there, wanting to know.
– Cold Nights in Canada, John Denver
18 miles out of Port Angeles on the way back to Aunt Pat’s house, we took a small detour via the high road to Hurricane Ridge. It was breathtaking, like standing on top of the world. The mountains of the Cascades were spread out all around us, snow topped, skirted in deep green forrest, and holding up the clouds and the deep blue sky.
A few hours later we were back with Aunt Pat. While we had missed our dog dearly, it turned out that quickly following our departure the day before, Katie had settled in, certain we were never coming back and deciding that life with Aunt Chicken would be just fine, thank you. Even so, when we appeared at the door the following day she managed a rare wag and that endearing expression ringed with corn chip ears which so clearly communicates, “I love you, and I’m so glad you’re back! I would have gotten off the couch sooner to come see you, but I was just so comfy…”
Hanging out with Colin’s awesome Aunt Pat was one of those things that was just too fun to hurry along, and she had scoped out a great day in Tacoma for us: the Festival of Sail.
A double-dozen tall ships and a 6-story tall rubber ducky were moored (does one moor a giant rubber ducky?) in the Thea Foss Waterway. We spent the afternoon boarding two-masted schooners and other sailing vessels reminiscent of centuries gone by, exploring gorgeously appointed berths and galleys, talking to sailing couples and rubbing the bellies of their four-footed shipmates.
CATCH A GLIMPSE • STEP ABOARD • SET SAIL
GREATEST SHIPS OF YORE
“TACOMA — The world’s largest rubber duck has floated into Tacoma and will be on display along with the tall ships this weekend at Tacoma’s 2017 Festival of Sail…”
We walked the Chihuly Bridge of Glass and ended with a drink fit for such an occasion and place: a salty spiked cider warmer. Super Aunt Pat sure knows how to do a day right!