Port Angeles, Clallam Bay, Victoria
Flying the Edge of America
Friday, July 4, 2008: Port Angeles, Washington
Looking back at 51-Juliet as she carried us to Washington.
We woke up in a motel in Astoria Oregon on the fourth of
July. It was so good to sleep inside for the night; we feel so much better
today after such a good night's sleep. Camping is fun but we have not gotten
used to sleeping in a tent yet perhaps things will improve as the trip
Port Angeles Video
One of the things we were very concerned about while on
this trip was the food we would encounter as we stayed in small towns. Last
night we had a pleasant surprise and found a Bosnian restaurant! It was not
the best food I have ever eaten but it was not what we were expecting. In
fact who knew I would have my first taste of Bosnian food in Oregon; a good
start to small town food in the USA.
Our B&B in Clallam Bay
Today we were scheduled to land at a visual flight rules
(VFR) airport in Sekiu, Washington. However,
the weather is still IFR so we had to change our plans a bit and land at
Port Angeles, WA an IFR airport instead; better safe than sorry I say.
Before the trip we spent a lot of time thinking up a
question to ask people. Seeing it is an election year we wanted a question
that might give us some measure of how people in America feel about the
future of the USA. We had many candidate questions but being that Americans
do not like to talk politics, in polite conversation, we needed a question
that would give us a feel for a person's views without alienating them. We
wanted to ask our question in California, but could not raise the courage
to, we wanted to ask it in Oregon, but did not get a chance to. However, we
got the opportunity to ask our question for the first time in Washington and
the answer revealed one for Obama. We hope to improve our poll's accuracy as
we get a larger sample. See sidebar for our current tally.
Two firsts occurred today. It was the very first time I
have landed my airplane in Washington State. The second was we turned our
first corner on our circumnavigation of the contiguous United States of
America. Think of the USA as a square, which it isn"t but just for the sake
of my explanation think of it as a square. Today Julia and I turn right at
the top left-hand corner of the USA. Our general direction of flight will be
easterly from now on until we reach the east coast.
From Julia: We left Astoria in more cloudy foggy weather.
At least, we had slept better in a motel than in the tent. The plane took
off into the clouds and we stayed in clouds for the whole two hours of the
journey. I find it is very strange and scary to be in a small space flying
up several thousand feet in the air, but having no idea what is around you
and trusting that the air controller is keeping you clear from obstacles
with their radar. And as we fly the engine noises change slightly, which my
rational mind knows is normal but my scary-cat mind thinks means serious
trouble. I find myself glancing at the instruments and expecting to see them
start whizzing out of control as the propeller sputters to a halt and the
plane spins into a violent descent. At that point, I decide to close my eyes
again and start getting back into my audible book or even worse valium.
Anyway, despite my terror, we landed without problem and
were able travel via the wonderful safety of a car to Clallam Bay,
Washington. It was a beautiful drive with lots of flowers and wild foxgloves
at the sides of the road.
Saturday, July 5, 2008: Clallam Bay, Washington
A view from the trail to Cape Flattery
Today we shared stories with other guests, staying at the
bed and breakfast, while eating our eggs. I always find this part of staying
at a guest house the most fun. Julia told me it reminded her of an English
novel where people were taking the grand tour and meeting each other over
meals. For me it is just interesting to get to know new people and sharing their
After breakfast we drove to the Makah Indian reserve
where we walked to Point Flattery which is the most northwesterly corner of
the USA. We flew over it yesterday but did not see anything as it was
obscured by thick billowing clouds. The view today was not too bad given
that it was pouring down with rain. The good news, the rain was not cold,
the bad news, it was really raining a lot.
Cape Flattery Video
From Julia: Later in the day it cleared and we walked out
through magical forest to a wild beach and back. This made us very hungry so
we re-visited the only restaurant in town for a second round of homemade
rhubarb and raspberry pie.
Sunday, July 6, 2008: Victoria, Canada
Here is a shot of one of the islands that make up Victoria.
We left for the airport early this morning and the skies
were looking clear. Once
at Port Angeles we quickly packed the airplane and were soon on our way to
Victoria, Canada to visit with my good friends Petra and Eric.
There were two firsts for me as we made this flight: the
first was taking the airplane out of the USA to land in Canada, the second
was going through customs after flying my own airplane to another country.
Both experiences went very well and we were soon in our rental car and
driving into downtown Victoria. We enjoyed an excellent meal at a seafood
restaurant and we treated ourselves to two glasses of exceptional Canadian
Me and Petra
Petra and her friend soon joined Julia and me to take us on a quick tour of this
very beautiful city. After, a very elegant, high tea at the Empress Hotel we
headed to our bed and breakfast accommodation just across the road from
Petra and Eric's home.
Petra had invited us to stay with her but as I am very
allergic to dogs and Petra has three big dogs we elected to stay at the very
conveniently located B&B. Once settled into the guest house we joined Petra
and Eric for drinks and retired later very well lubricated.
Monday, July 7, 2008
Everyone in the sun in the flower garden
After an excellent breakfast at the guest house we left
with Petra and Eric to walk the very beautiful Butchart Flower Gardens. The
sun was shining full blast and there was not a cloud in the sky which made
the gardens and the flowers even more spectacular. We returned home to
Petra's house, picked up her dogs, and headed to the beach to take them for
a walk and swim.
Yes Petra's dog Vinnie is an amazing swimmer. Petra would
throw his ball way out into the waves and Vinnie would jump in after it
swimming out retrieving it and then diligently returning it back to shore.
After this we returned to Petra's home were Eric made us
an excellent Mexican meal which included two kinds of fresh salsas, BBQ
steak and chicken, homemade re-fried beans, and finally Petra's wonderful
Cesar salad. Much wine was consumed and Eric showed us his favorite movie
"Buckaroo Bonsai". I have to say Eric this was not my cup of tea; but each
to his own.
From Julia: Victoria is a pretty waterfront town.
Millionaires" boats line the bay, and next to the water artists and artisans
have stalls selling cool stuff. Victoria seems much more affluent than
Washington State's Port Angeles just a few miles over the water. David's
friends, Petra and Eric, and their dogs, Vinnie, Mario and Tiramisu gave us
a warm and doggy welcome. While we visited them they gave us lots of laughs,
delicious food, Canadian wine, and great company.
Looking relaxed in Victoria.
David continues to try polling people we meet and asks
them about who they think will win the elections. It was interesting that
the French couple we met in the B&B in Canada said "Oh we do not care; both
political parties are the same in America. There is no socialist party in
Tuesday, July 8, 2008: Cascade Mountains
The mighty Cascades
After another superb breakfast at the guest house we said
our goodbyes to everyone and returned to Victoria airport, packed our gear
into 51-Juliet, and made our short flight back to the USA landing at
Bellingham airport so we could be checked in by US customs. This was a
painless experience so we were soon on our way to Oroville-Scott airport
which is located on the USA/Canadian border. The flight went well and was
spectacular as 51-Juliet slowly climbed up through the snow covered Cascade
Mountains. We had to climb up to 11,500 feet to clear the mountains so when
we arrived at Oroville-Scott airport, which is at 1,200 feet, we had to
spend 15 minutes descending to land. After
unpacking the airplane we caught a cab to our hotel in town. The place was
not too fancy but it only coast $45 per-night and had free Wi-Fi, what more
could you want.
From Julia: We loved being in Canada. But we had to keep
to our schedule as the weather was clear for going over the Cascades
mountains. We set off for USA and the trip was amazing. I did not feel as
scared as usual because I was so distracted by the wonderful views of
mountains below. Our night's stop is at Oroville (or as we re-named it,
Horrorville). The place seems to be a modern version of a Wild West town; it
is easy to imagine Clint riding in on a horse to sort out some trouble.
there's not much choice of where to stay so we are in the only motel in
town. It's a bit like being in a David Lynch movie set for the night. The
good news is the sky is clear for our trip over more mountains to Glacier
National Park tomorrow. If all goes to plan, we will be out of here before
any gun fights break out.
Flying to Oroville and the Cascade Mountains