On our way out of Portland, we stopped at the home of R, the well-known baseball writer who Allan had met at Powell's. By sheer coincidence, he had some research materials that he was looking to re-home -- on the exact topic Allan is currently working on! Amazing! This took us to a lovely-looking Portland neighbourhood called St Johns, across the St Johns Bridge. (No apostrophe. Must be related to Grants Pass, Oregon.)
This lawn sign was outside R's home.
When we stopped for gas, coffee, and tea, the counterperson asked me if I would like a free banana. I was like, "Sure, and... what?"
He said: "When you buy a drink, you get a free banana. Coffee? Free banana. Energy drink? Free banana. Coke? Free banana. Hot chocolate? Free banana." He said about 10 of these. Responding to my surprise, he said, "Free is a taboo word these days." I said it was great to give away a healthy snack -- and it seemed like he had never thought of that (the healthy part).
I went back to the car with my coffee and banana, told Allan about the bananas, so he came out with his tea, banana, and a donut. Poor Allan never got to Voodoo Doughnut, his second favourite place in Portland, so a gas station donut would have to do. That's what happens when you spend your whole day buying books! Technically he could have gone to Voodoo after our dinner at St Jack -- their downtown location is open 24/7 -- but we ate a lot and the thought of donuts was unappealing, even to Allan.
The drive from Portland to Port Angeles is pretty interesting. Passing (what appears to be) giant pillars topped with folk art, which we see when driving for Oregon family visits, I finally looked them up: the Gospodor Monuments. Because this is America, where even driving hazards are praising Jesus.
At roughly Olympia, you leave I-5 for the 101, and wind your way through Olympic National Forest to Port Angeles. It's a beautiful drive, through tiny remote villages, with beautiful views of water and dense forest. I was surprised to learn that the water is Hood Canal. Surprised, because I was looking for a human-made canal, but Hood Canal is clearly a natural body of water, and way too big to be an actual canal. It's a natural waterway -- a large fjord, one of the basins of Puget Sound, and part of the Salish Sea.
On the drive, we passed a hand-made sign for "Weatherin' Heights", a drive-in movie theatre, a giant sculpture of a moose made of car parts, an oyster farm, and the tiny hamlets of Potlatch, Quilcene, Hamma Hamma, Lilliwaup, Skokomish, Blyn, and Agnew, among others. We (finally) ate the delicious leftovers in our cooler, which included sandwiches of prime rib roast, bleu cheese from Rogue Valley Creamery, and albacore bruschetta from Gumba. Those are some serious leftovers!
We arrived in Port Angeles in perfect time to wait for our ferry, cross to Victoria, then wait a very long time to clear customs. You haven't lived until you've been trapped in a car with my partner complaining about having to wait. It's a good thing I like him so much.
The beautiful Coast Victoria had upgraded our room to an even more beautiful king suite with a water view. There was also a personal greeting card and some baked treats waiting for us in the room. The room was (is: I'm there now) so lovely, and all I wanted to do was get in my pajamas and enjoy it. We've been planning to eat sushi in Victoria -- literally talking about it for weeks -- so Allan picked it up and we ate, read, and relaxed in the lovely room.
The upgrade also includes breakfast -- not your typical free hotel breakfast, but a real meal in the Blue Crab -- so we're skipping our usual brunch at Jam Cafe. That would have been unthinkable, but after a week of nonstop eating, we can deal with it.
Plans for today: driving, shopping in Campbell River, more driving, and... puppies!!!! We can't wait to see Cookie and Kai.