It’s been a few days since the last post and we have journeyed from Canada back into the United States, headed south through western Washington and now find ourselves in Tillamook, Oregon.
After almost two weeks of clouds, rain and cool temps today we actually saw and felt a bit of sunshine. it’s a bit surreal – I saw a heat map of basically the North American continent and while most everywhere was in a horribly hot red zone we were in the only green (cold and wet) area. Picking up from my last post, we left Lethbridge, BC and headed to Abbotsford, BC – close to the U.S. border and a nice place to stay for the night before we pushed on. The hustle and bustle of British Columbia was quite the contrast to the generally small town, slower pace of Alberta. We managed to spend the remainder of our Canadian money at breakfast (profusely apologizing for leaving more than half the tip in loose change). The border crossing was uneventful the next morning – we had a nice conversation with the U.S. border agent about Glacier National Park (he’d never been) and afterwards decided that we had been profiled as utterly harmless. Again, we realized that it really helps to have your documents all in order, but the Canadian customs folks were much more interested in Maggie’s paperwork than the American customs folks were.
Our plan was to follow the coast home as much as possible – but we failed to take into account how much of Washington’s coast is not accessible. We took a ferry from Coupeville to Port Townsend and headed toward Olympic National Park. Our plan had been to try camping but the bad weather followed us and it was rainy and cool so we spent the night in Port Angeles then continued on into the park the next day. Since we had Maggie our national park hiking was pretty limited so we did a bit of sightseeing at the visitor centers and continued on, stopping for the night in the small town of Raymond, WA where we spent the night in the town’s only dog friendly motel, the Golden Lion. Full disclosure, it was the ONLY motel in town. Weirdly enough the couple who owned the place had moved there from Long Beach about then years ago. The motel was an old school motor inn sort of place – all the rooms opened onto a parking lot courtyard. The owners had a lovely young lab named Elmer who was the official greeter and wandered around off leash and he and Maggie instantly bonded and spent a lot of time playing, running around the motel grounds and generally goofing off. Raymond was really charming – a walkable downtown, lots of small businesses, a lovely park along the riverfront, some good restaurants and friendly locals.
We left Raymond and continued down 101 and crossed into Oregon and actually saw some sunshine and ran into lots of crowds – every beach town we passed through in Oregon so far has been packed – campgrounds full, picnic areas packed. We are on a quest to see as many of Oregon’s lighthouses as possible and today saw (from a distance as it’s a mile offshore) the Tillamook Lighthouse. We plan on bagging a few more tomorrow and continuing our journey down the coast. Oregon state parks are more liberal regarding dogs so we’ve been able to do a bit more hiking with Maggie, which has been nice. Tonight we are staying in Tillamook, OR in a dog friendly hotel (the Shilo Inn) just down the road from the Tillamook Cheese Factory and the Blue Heron French Cheese Company. We opted to check out the Blue Heron as they did wine and cheese tasting (both were yummy and the mustard was excellent too). I’m not too optimistic about our camping opportunities going forward – the Oregon State Parks, like California’s appear to get booked ahead f time and fill fast. So between the weather and the summer crowds our camping plans are being thwarted. But we’ll see what tomorrow holds!