Flying the Edge of America:
Victoria, British Columbia
On this leg of their trip good friends drew Julia and David
away from America into Canada. When they left Port Angeles the
skies were clear, but as the forecast had predicted they soon
filled with clouds. Julia and David had only to climb up to
4,000 feet to make the short 20 minute flight over to Canada, so
they were able to stay below and clear of all bumpy clouds.
The runway at Victoria International Airport is very wide and very long
as it accommodates commercial jet traffic. The tower controller gave David
permission to land long. This meant he could fly down most of the runway
before setting down, making their trip to the parking apron take less time.
It was the first time he had taken the airplane out of the USA, and it was
the first time he had gone through customs with it. Both experiences went
It was hard to ignore the glaring difference between Victoria and Port
Angeles. Julia and David had crossed over 26 miles of water and arrived in
Canada, and they had entered a whole new world. Victoria is a thriving town
with lots of restaurants, shops, and people walking on sidewalks. The harbor
was lively with all sorts of boats; some of them were very expensive looking
luxury yachts. The waterfront was busy with artists and craftspeople selling
their work at market stalls. Julia and David celebrated making it into
Canada with a delicious lunch, and a glass or two of exceptional Canadian
wine. Julia had the feeling that it would have been impossible to have the
equivalent meal in Port Angeles. Something told her that the height of
culinary delight in that town would be the usual iceberg lettuce,
thousand-island dressing, coleslaw, and fries.
Present day Victorians (I mean the people who live in Victoria) seem to
love flowers. There were hanging baskets filled with all sorts of plants
hanging from every lamppost in the town, and then there was Butchart
Gardens. The place was an old quarry that was turned into sumptuous gardens
filled with flowers of every imaginable kind. One charming spot, where Julia
and David stopped to have their picture taken, was an area that had a pond
and water fountain surrounded by colorful flowers and rocks. Julia noticed a
raccoon wandering among the flowers and then disappearing in to what looked
like a small cave. What a lucky raccoon to live in such gorgeous gardens,
with a fountain to wash his food in. Apparently, raccoons are fastidious
creatures that like to wash their food before partaking. Talk about
location, location, location; it was prime raccoon real estate.
Continue the adventure, in my next excerpt from
Flying the Edge of America.