Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Highway to a Wedding

At the beginning of our trip, I was convinced it was not to be...the signs seemed contrary to our having a smooth journey. We were turned away from the Port Angeles ferry (we hadn't made reservations) and had to re-route to Sidney.

Upon boarding the Sidney ferry, the gentleman who was directing traffic forgot, for a moment, that he was motioning our vehicle forward and looked elsewhere. We hit the car ahead of us. Bang!

To add insult to injury, the man held his hand up towards us, after the accident had occurred, and said....This means stop!... then disappeared. It would have been helpful if he had given us the Stop sign, before we hit the car! There was no damage, other than to rattle Gray and I just a little more. We had not eaten, as I had forgotten the scones, and we were a little growly. Life was beginning to seem more than a little unfair.

But we ate...with each bite our sense of adventure re-awakened. We were far behind in our schedule now. It seemed time to relax into the journey that awaited us.

But the border crossing was less than pleasant. We were not welcomed into the US...rather the inspector used obvious tactics to find out if we were who we said we were...going as far as telling us our names didn't sound Scottish or German. So what, I thought, we're Canadian, at any rate. But eventually, when he tired of the cat and mouse game he was playing, he let us through. And that was a blessing.

I have heard of hassles far worse than the little one we had. How different from years ago, when there were smiles on the faces of the border guards. How sad it was to feel like a potential criminal, when it was just a holiday.

But we kept our balance, working hard at communicating our desires, as we travelled through Seattle and Tacoma. Rain started to fall in increasing torrents. Road pictures became impossible to take; hence I have used these photos from later in the trip.

We took an exit into Olympia and found the Spar Restaurant that Jerr introduced us to, way back when. We found a hotel, one of dozens close to the Parkway. Things were going well. Food under our belts once again gave us energy to haul our bags, this time in pouring, pelting Rain, the first Rain we had felt for a long time...to our room.

The bed felt as if it were a slab of iron. It was and still is, the hardest bed I have ever had the misfortune to sleep on. But full of good food and great spirits, we laughed and asked ourselves...how bad could it be? We had both slept on the ground, on carpets and bathtubs.

We forgot how many years ago that was.

As we tossed and turned, trying to find a comfortable spot, we finally started to giggle...giggles which turned into uncontrollable laughter. We rehashed the day, finding the humour in it. From the Port Angeles ferry worker, who didn't like the colour of our car, the Sidney ferry worker who directed us into the backside of the vehicle in front of us, the duty free employee who told us we could take as much merchandise into the US as we wanted ( a lie, given to two innocents), to the border guard who insulted our heritage and made us feel unwanted...and now to the iron bed...all of it was dissected. Laughter took the frustration away.

We slept, a little. A hot shower took most of the aches and pains away, and we were ready to face a new day.

A new day and the highway...we faced a full four or five hours of driving to get to Jerr and Melissa's home, where the wedding was being held. We shopped a bit, made sure we ate on time, having learned our lesson of not eating properly the day before, and beat the Rain.

Rain, which had not fallen in months, was creating havoc on I-5, slowing traffic and creating accidents. One TV commentator mentioned that people had forgotten how to drive in the Rain; certainly it had been a long time. But the Rain was behind us. We hoped to get to our destination before the storm swallowed all of Washington, and we did.

Now it was time to join in the preparations for a wedding that might or might not occur in the pouring Rain.

Jerr and Melissa had worked hard to make their property, which lies in a Nature Conservatory, look well-groomed and beautiful. Jerr was still fighting moles, which insisted on building mountains on the lawn, in split seconds, it seemed. But the view of the Columbia River and the lake which the property lays beside, was without parallel. It was wonderful to be there...it always feels to me as if I have come home.

We had travelled a long way to join in the happiness these two friends so surely deserved. The next post will describe the events of the weekend wedding, where Gray and I joined with family and friends in celebrating an occasion that brought tears to my eyes, more than once.


  1. WOW! Quite an adventure you had just getting to the wedding! I'm glad you both arrived in one piece, and the car in one piece, too.

    Thanks for stopping by and leaving a word of encouragement. I really appreciate that.

    I voted for you today on BLOG VILLAGE.

  2. An amazing trip you had. Glad to see you and the car arrived in one piece.

    I suppose with all the things happening in the States and in the Middle East it has made Border personnel very jumpy if not paranoid.

    Looking forward to news on the wedding.

  3. An adventurous trip but memorable. Where is that re creation of Stonehenge??

  4. Stay tuned for the post on Stonehenge, Dave.

    I felt loneliness and longing there...a very spiritual place.

    And Jackie...yes, border patrols are jumpy these days, with reason. It was sad, though, to remember happier, more carefree times and notice the difference between then and now.