Sunday, August 12, 2012

In Which Many Places Happen

On Wednesday, went with EW to Neah Bay. She spent two happy hours in the Makah Museum, then we went on to Hobuck Beach. There were gulls, and quietness, one intact sand dollar, one passing eagle, and one dead bird (a gull). EW lives in the desert. All our greenness and damp air and oceans and so on, including grey skies and bits of rain, are very pleasurable for her.

Hobuck Beach, August 8, 2012. Sand dollar, Dendraster eccentricus (Click for larger image.)

On Thursday, a very full perfect day. Over we went on the ferry to Victoria. Ferry was late on account of thick fog, was foghorning itself along for 3/4s of the trip until popping out into the sunshine, then got stuck behind a huge double barge full of dirt (huh?) on its way into the Inner Harbor, then when finally the ferry could move it went too fast and failed to stick its landing, had to try a second time to line up the ramps correctly before we could debark.

Houseboats in the Inner Harbor, Olympic Mountains on the skyline across the Strait, Victoria, BC, August 9, 2012 (Click for larger image.)

For these three reasons we lost nearly an hour of our planned time in the Royal BC Museum, which turned out to be ok with me because I had become disoriented and claustrophopic in there and had to go outside, even though the First Nations artifacts were amazing, mural-sized vintage photos are a whole different experience from seeing the same ones in books, and the dinosaur exhibit was also terrific.

T Rex, Royal BC Museum, Victoria (Click for larger image.)

Then we trotted off to our reservation for high tea at the Empress Hotel, EW's lunatic desire. Finger sandwiches, scones, little tartlets and other fancy desserts, all on a three-story stand and much tea and faux Brit elegance at vast expense (EW's expense). You put the milk in first if you are having proper British tea. And of course you let the waiter pour to refill your cup. EW got up, refilled her own cup and put the milk in after. The waiter pretended to reprimand her. 'M.I.F. is the rule. Milk in first.'

WC fetched us from the curb in front of the hotel after tea, and off we drove west along the shore to an easy-access beach. This was carefully planned by me: Wednesday we drove west to Neah Bay and back on the Olympic Peninsula shore of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and Thursday I wanted us on the Vancouver Island side, looking back across to where we had been. The weather cooperated. West we went to French Beach Provincial Park, admiring the other side across the blue water all the way along. EW and I took off our shoes and got our feet wet, then she flopped out for a nap on the cobble shore while WC and I sat on a log and discussed my health. (Sigh.)

French Beach Provincial Park, August 10, 2012 (Click for larger image.)

Leisurely indirect drive back into Victoria proper, and an impromptu early supper in WC & PW's sun porch, pizza and leftovers of our Empress high tea goodies. It was fine. They dropped us off at the ferry terminal early and went home to presumably do something more sensible about their dinner, and EW and I had a happy time loving the Victoria harbor and all its activity. Sea planes, water taxis, the Clipper setting forth, etc etc while we waited for the ferry, which was again running a little bit late. We sailed for home. A brass band on a small boat paralleled the ferry as we departed the harbor, giving us a mariachi serenade. We waved and cheered for them. Woo hoo. I mean, really, whatever gods orchestrated this day outdid themselves. A waterborne mariachi band sendoff?

It would be sort of terrific to live on a houseboat and let the water taxi deliver your groceries, no? (Click for larger image.)
Mariachi Send-Off in the Inner Harbor (Click for larger image.)

So Friday we went up to Hurricane Ridge. Conditions were against us. The air was thick with Asian smoke again, as it was a few weeks ago; you could barely even see Mount Olympus; also the road to the Hurricane Hill trailhead was closed for paving work. By necessity we stuck to the trails near the Visitor Center, and managed to have a tiny bit of Lupine Heaven even in the flat smoky light.

Bailey Range & Mt. Olympus behind, in smoky air, August 10, 2012 (Click for larger image.)
Lupine Heaven on Hurricane Ridge, August 10, 2012 (Click for larger image.)

Saturday we went to Rialto Beach. See next post.

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