Heather, still is on this trip, however as she posted 2 back to back blogs, my spirit of one-upmanship compelled me to go for 3 blogs on the bounce. Which I guess is an issue if you prefer her storytelling, in order to preserve my already inflated ego I will not be creating a poll for this.
After the ‘island that shall not be named’, we crossed the first international border of the trip. As I now have one of the blue Canadian passport thingamajigs it was a very pleasant experience almost bordering (#punning #iamusemyself) on the boring. The lodging for that night was anything other than boring, it is a place I have wanted to stay for a long time.
We crossed into Port Angeles, WA at around 9:30pm, a quick check of the GPS and we established our destination was a short 15 minute drive from the ferry we had just disembarked. Our late arrival was not an issue, this vast modern establishment greets guests 24/7. We pulled into the huge parking area, found a suitable spot and parked up, headed inside, the sliding automatic doors swooshed open and a simple blue and yellow colour scheme lay before us. There didn’t appear to be a lot of other guests, just one or two milling about. We approached the check-in desk, the charming grey haired lady welcomed us with a smile and confirmed that this Wal-Mart was indeed RV friendly and we were welcome to spend the night on their parking lot free of charge.
Camping in a Wal-Mart parking lot made it on my bucket list the instant I heard that it was possible, the free accommodation and dichotomy of people that Walmart offers for people watching*. We were not the only people taking advantage of Wal-Mart’s hospitality that evening, there were a few others bedding down for the evening, and when we peeled back our Velcro windows in the morning we saw a worrying yellow ticket on our neighbours’ windows. Heather ventured out to investigate our ticket situation, I however stayed in bed as I knew this was my idea and if I had cost us a ticket, it was better if I was laying down for the news. See below for what we found from the local county sheriff.
No ticket and props from the po-po was a pretty awesome way to start the day. We spent the morning cruising through Olympic National Park, we did a brief hike around the Cedar Rapids Loop, then next stop Seattle, or more precisely Jed’s place.
We met Jed 8 years ago, in fact we went on honeymoon with him, well he was on honeymoon with us. Crickey that sounds a bit “brother husbandish”, I feel like I may owe a little bit more of an explanation. Heather and I took a 1 year honeymoon, the first 4 months were on an overland truck driving through Africa, independently Jed was also on this same truck, a love of beer, travel and football soon bonded us, though communal overland travel is the drizzling shits**
Ok so we have established Jed is not a “brother husband”, he is however a pretty organized dude, so for the couple of days we spent with him we tuned out our travel brains and subscribed to Seattle according to Jed.
Our first night got off to a little stutter start when the cruise Jed had planned turned out to be fully booked, in fairness the girl behind the counter looked more surprised than he did that it had sold out. What followed was an awesome impromptu tour of Seattle, it really pays to have a friend that is a history buff. We capped the night off in the most ‘Merican way possible with burgers at The Lunchbox Laboratory, there may also have been a couple of craft brews involved.
Day two of Jed tours kicked off with a rather lovely walk through Seward Park and Alki Beach, then it was off to the Freemont Solstice Parade, via the eclectic store that is Archie McPhees, I am not sure what more to say about this other than drop in if you are in the neighbourhood.
The parade was an expressive affair, in this instance you can take naked as expressive, it kicked off with a bike ride, naked. What I expected was a few people letting it all hang loose ‘butt’ what we were treated to were hundreds of cyclists with elaborate body paint. Almost instantly you forgot that they were naked and were captivated by their creativity***. The actual parade however was a little underwhelming, don’t get me wrong there were some high spots, take the animated Giraffe for instance, but compared to body painted Teenager Mutant Ninja Turtles it kind faded into the background.
What do you do to top naked folk? You go on the boat cruise that was sold out the night before. The views back to Seattle were stunning with Mt Rainier in the background. The trip took us through Puget Sound and into Elliot Lake. Not ‘sounding’ better than painted boobs, right? Wrong because we passed by where the Deadliest Catch boats are moored, and we were able to see the Wizard as captained by Keith Colburn, yes I am a DC geek. Crab fisherman is right up there in fall back careers that I probably couldn’t do.
We topped of our visit with Jed at World Sports Grille, essentially an adult arcade, our tour guide descended into a zombie killing machine, and I turned into a bit of a drunken mess. Thanks to Jed for showing us an awesome time.
Oh yeah the deaf skateboarder from the title, dude tried to cut in front of me when I was getting on the post cruise bus, Heather shouted to warn me (he didn’t hear), I got mostly out of the way but still ended up nailing him sending him flying. But all is well that ends well, I was unharmed…..So was he.
* that is polite speak for redneck watching.
** if you really want to you can read more on the before JFDI page of the blog.
*** yes this is line I am sticking too