Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Trenton Airshow

This past weekend was my first opportunity of the summer to go and visit great friends Keith C. and Sandie L. They live in the town of Trenton, located on the beautiful Bay of Quinte.

The town of Trenton is the home of RCAF base Trenton, which began in 1929. It is also the home of the Royal Canadian Air force Museum. Canada has a very impressive history in aviation. One that all Canadians should be very proud of.

The July 4th weekend would be an exciting weekend in Trenton. As the base would be host to a large airshow, which would celebrate the 100th year of flight in Canada.

On Friday the 3rd of July. I had a relatively easy day at work delivering my mail route. I was finished my lunch and on the road for Trenton by 12:30. I arrived at Keith's and Sandie's place before 3pm. On arrival Keith and I went to visit his father. Colin C. lives in the small hamlet of Ameliasburgh. It was nice to visit with Colin, and also to visit his historic homestead.

On a weekend trip for me to Trenton. It has become a tradition, for Keith Sandie and I. TO dine out in the small town of Stirling. Located in Stirling in Jimmy's Pizza and bar restaurant. On Friday and Saturday nights. This eatery offers and all you can eat roast beef buffet, with great salad bar for the very low price of $10.95. The price is low, and the quality is high. You will enjoy your meal there if you get the chance. Jimmy's can be found at 2 West Front, Stirling, Ontario. Right across from there famous creamery.

Saturday was an eventful day. Some garage sales after breakfast, Keith helped a good friend to teach a scuba diving class. Keith left me his car, and I received the directions and met up with Keith, later in the morning.

Lunch was another great country Ontario eating experience. Keith and I wound up in Carrying Place and enjoying a terrific hamburger lunch at George's. This hamburger joint offers California style homemade burgers. Without the expense of traveling all the way to California. George's can found on Highway 33 in the village of Carrying Place, where highway 33 meets Mathie Rd.

Then it was time for us to have our fun at the Trenton Air Show. The weather was good, and It was a real enjoyment being there. The highlight of the show for me. Was having the chance to see a F-86 Sabre Jet fly. It was just the second time I had the pleasure to witness one take to the skies. A vintage flying museum,located in Gatineau, Quebec, named Vintage Wings. Was responsible for having a F-86 Sabre restored to flying condition. The F-86 is painted in the colors of the Golden Hawks Canadian aerobatic team. This team was entertaining crowds back in the 1960's. Long before the Snow Birds were formed. This classic airplane has been named "Hawk 1"

The other thrill experienced at the show. Was having the chance to have an on board tour of the Avro Lancaster. The Lanc did make an appearance at the Trenton Show. It was part of the static display. I will post some excellent pictures of being aboard the Lancaster. This airplane was the workhorse of the RAF during world war 2. There are only two airworthy Lancaster's left in the world. Our Lancster is based at Canadian Warplane Heritage, located in Hamilton, Ontario.

I would like to thank all involved in Trenton for putting on an excellent airshow, and for Keith and Sandie for making me feel at home, at there home.

Also I would like to thank Keith for shooting some excellent pictures and video from the airshow. The airshow pictures have been posted.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

reflections and thanks!

Well my journey to the Pacific Northwest is history now. It is time to reflect on the experience, and to give thanks that it happened. There is always so much excitement and enthusiasm prior to the trip taking place. Then it is all over too quickly. However it is the great memories from the experience that will last for years to come.

The trip was a good taste of a how fantastic a place the Pacific Northwest region is. It is a very prosperous area in North America. A place of tranquil beauty. Which is difficult for other areas in the world to equal or succeed.

My fondest memories from the whole adventure were. My day spent over on San Juan Island. Enjoying the Deception Pass Bridge. The drive from Seattle to Westport. All my time spent in Oregon. The drive up to visit Mt. St. Helens. Also my day enjoying Stanley Park in Vancouver was very special.

For this trip to take place I would like to thank. Al and Christine for going to the Pacific Northwest and encouraging me to go. I would like to thank West Jet airline. For treating my like a somebody, and not just like a number. I would like to thank Wonderful Washington State, and Beautiful Oregon for treating me so well, and making me feel at home. Also I would like to thank Karen who develops my pictures at Shoppers Drug Mart. Thanks Karen for being there for me, when I mess up using the photo developing machine. You do a great job to preserve my great memories.

I look forward to the next time I can get away, and create some more great memories, visiting a special place in our world.

Friday, June 12, 2009

My day in Stanley Park!

Well I have arrived back in Canada. I hit the boarder at 10 am. It was easy and not a hassle getting back into Canada. When I arrived in Vancouver I stopped at a nice park, and chatted with a local man.

The decision was made. I was going to spend my one and only day in Vancouver, in Stanley Park.

Here is the information on Stanley Park.

Stanley Park is a 404.9 hectare (1,000 acre) urban park bordering downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. It was opened in 1888 by Lord Stanley of Preston, the Governor-General of Canada.[1]

It is more than 10% larger than New York City's Central Park and almost half the size of London's Richmond Park.[2] The park attracts an estimated eight million visitors every year,[3] including locals and tourists, who come for its recreational facilities and its natural attributes. An 8.8 kilometres (5.5 mi) seawall path circles the park, which is used by 2.5 million pedestrians, cyclists, and inline skaters every year.[4] Much of the park remains forested with an estimated half million trees that can be as tall as 76 metres (250 ft) and hundreds of years old.[5][6] There are approximately 200 kilometres (120 mi) of trails and roads in the park, which are patrolled by the Vancouver Police Department's equine mounted squad.[7] The Project for Public Spaces has ranked Stanley Park as the sixteenth best park in the world and sixth best in North America.[8]

Being in Stanley Park was a great experience. The disadvantage was that the weather in Vancouver today was fantastic! No humidity, not a cloud in the sky, and temperatures around 26 Celsius. So the bike path that circles Stanley Park was very crowded. Also you had to share the path with roller bladder's. I arrived in the park at 11 am and was lucky to find a place to park. An all day parking pass was only $8. That is the only thing that was cheap in Vancouver. It is a fantastic city. However the downtown area is very congested, and not very suitable for exploring by bike.

A good tip when you visit Stanley Park as you should. Show up with food and drinks. They defiantly rip you off on the price of concessions. I did bit the bullet and paid $4.75 for a hot dog. Has the world gone completely mad, or is it just me?

I rode my bike over to the water front, that is very close to Stanley Park, and grabbed some dinner. No luck, I paid a high price, and again got no satisfaction. I tried a local microbrewery beer. It was O.K., it gets no better rating then that.

Just before 7 pm. I decided to make my move and head back to Vancouver airport. I had my very nice Hyundai car to return. When flying defiantly leave yourself lots of time to make your flight. On a holiday, you want to avoid stress. So you can enjoy yourself. It is now 9:34 PST. I'm sitting here at gate A2, waiting for my flight. I will finish this post tomorrow at home.

It is now just before noon on June 14th, EST. Everything went smooth with the return trip. However I felt I was overcharged by the airport parking lot. It was only a little more then $10. But is the principle of the powerful that take advantage of the helpless, that gets me upset. A taxi I guess would have been the better choice. However using a taxi to the airport is also an expensive proposition. The rip off there is that regular taxi's cannot pick up at the airport. Only limousine service can. So the limousines get away with charging the customer double what a taxi would charge.

Anyhow I made it home in one piece. The whole experience was a very great one. Lots of good memories of visiting; Puget Sound, and some of the wonderful islands, located in the sound, the state of Oregon, and the wonderful scenic river valley drive, the drive around mighty Mt. Hood, the drive up to Mt. St. Helens, and the tour in the Boeing factory. I will get my pictures from the trip developed today, and can't wait to post the pictures.

The Boeing 787, a dream almost come true!

Of real interest on the tour was the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The first test flight of this revolutionary passenger aircraft is imminent. This airplane is mainly made out of plastic composites. Which are stronger and lighter then any know metal parts. Also they have a longer life, as they are corrosion free.

The plastic composite material makes this aircraft much lighter then a traditional made aircraft of similar size. This means the 787 consumes 20% less fuel, compared to traditionally made airliners. This also gives the 787 a much longer range. Making this airplane very environmentally friendly.

Also the Boeing 787 is very passenger friendly. Because the airplane is made of materials that will not corrode. The humidity in the aircraft can be increased to more comfortable levels. The lighting system will automatically adjust, to real time standards, during a flight. Also the window shades are a thing of the past. The windows are larger, and the specially treated glass, can be adjusted by the passenger to be completely clear or completely dark, or anything shade in between. Also the pressurization on the airplane won't be as severe as a normal jetliner. Allowing more comfort for the passengers. Also the flying life of the Dreamliner will be longer then conventionally made aircraft.

All these great improvements should help to keep airline ticket prices down or prevent increases. The 787 should also help to eliminate the effects of jet lag. Let's hope so. I can't wait until the dream has come true!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Everett, the home of Boeing!

Today I made the decision to skip going back to Seattle. I just wasn't in the mood to visit a major city. After enjoying all the fantastic places of peace and beauty that I have been to. Can you blame me? I decided to do the tour at the Boeing factory, which is located in Everett, Washington. Everett is located about 30 miles north of Seattle.

I made a reservation before I left the Motel 6, located in Centralia, Washington. I made the reserved for the 2 pm tour. This way I could have a relaxing day. Before I head back to Vancouver tomorrow.

It was another good decision for this trip. I arrived in Everett around 10:30 am. The drive went well. I decided to enjoy an early lunch. I found a gourmet hamburger restaurant. The prices were cheap. So I gave it a try. I was a very good meal. I enjoyed a Hawaiian hamburger, served with fries and a drink for only $7. That's real cheap, considering today's high prices and the quality I received.

I then found a great place to hang out in Mukitelo for awhile. The weather for this day, like this trip has turned into a beautiful one. I found a safe place to park my car. Then I pulled my Dehon folding bike, out of the trunk for assembly. It was the first time I had ridden it. Since I suffered the flat rear tire, during my visit to Bainbridge Island. Happy too say the bike is back in good ridding shape. I didn't ride far. However I had a chance to relax and enjoy a nice spot overlooking Puget Sound. The view looking into Puget Sound is one special memory from this trip, that I will never forget. When I rode back to my car. I enjoyed my last homemade coffee. Made possible with the help of my micro camping stove. Then I was off to visit the Boeing factory.

I arrived just after 1 pm. Again I had a chance to enjoy the bright sunshine, and enjoy the view of Paine Field, which is the home of the Boeing facility. They assemble the Boeing; 747's, 767's, 777's and the new 787's at this location.

My tour began at 2 pm. First they show a 6 minute movie, on how important the advancement of flight has improved the quality of life on our planet. Well it has improved the quality of my life. That is for sure! Then it was onto tour the big factory.
Here is some valuable information on the Boeing facility located at Paine Field, in Everett.

Located on the northeast corner of Paine Field, it is the largest building in the world by volume at 13.3 million m³ (472 million cu. ft) and covers 398,000 m² (98.3 acres).

The tour was very interesting, and well worth the $15 cost. Our tour guide name was Christian. He gave a very good account of himself. There was almost no reason to ask any questions. He was that good of a guide. The most impressive part of the tour was having the opportunity to take a look into this mammoth facility. It like a town under one roof. The facility has no heating or cooling system. However it does have air purification systems, and a system to distribute and circulate air from the ceiling to the ground. This system was put into place. To avoid high humidity developing in the building, and also to prevent rainfall from naturally occurring.

Security does not allow anyone to shoot pictures or video during the tour. That is why you won't see any pictures from inside the factory,on this posting.

I found my motel 6 location. Checked in, and then went out to fill the car up with gas for the drive back to Vancouver tomorrow. I then had a badly needed nap, and then headed out for dinner. I decided to try a famous Seattle eatery for my final dinner in Washington, State. Ivar's Seafood has been a Seattle and Washington State tradition since 1938. This restaurant is famous for it's clam chowder. I must agree it is very good, and one of the best I have every tried. For the main course I enjoyed a very nice fillet of salmon, served with garlic mashed potatoes, and asparagus spears. Also the sour dour rolls they served, were also very much appreciated by me. The last dinner of the U.S. part of my trip was by far the best. We will see if I can out do this meal in Vancouver tomorrow.

Mt St. Helens. The Gateway to Heaven or Hell?

Today was my day for visiting one of the most infamous mountains located in the Cascades mountain range. The mountain is named Mt. St. Helens. This mountain is infamous for erupting on May 18, 1980 and causing all kinds of havoc in the Washington State area.

Mount St. Helens is most famous for its catastrophic eruption on May 18, 1980, at 8:32am PDT[1] which was the deadliest and most economically destructive volcanic event in the history of the United States. Fifty-seven people were killed; 250 homes, 47 bridges, 15 miles (24 km) of railways, and 185 miles (298 km) of highway were destroyed. The eruption caused a massive debris avalanche, reducing the elevation of the mountain's summit from 9,677 feet (2,950 m) to 8,365 feet (2,550 m) and replacing it with a 1 mile (1.6 km) wide horseshoe-shaped crater.[2] The debris avalanche was up to 0.7 cubic miles (2.9 km3) in volume. The Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument was created to preserve the volcano and allow for its aftermath to be scientifically studied.

The cascade mountain area is one of great beauty. I drove to highway 5 out of Portland north back into Washington State. Then I took exit 49 off of the Interstate highway 5 towards Castle Rock. At Silver lake there is a visitor center for Mt. St. Helens. Then I continued west on Highway 505 which takes you right to the Johnston Ridge observation area. The drive up into the cascades is incredible, and will take your breath away. I stopped several times during the journey up into the mountains, to take pictures. Still very evident is all the destruction Mt. St. Helens caused during her violent tirade, over 29 years ago.

The park rangers give talks about the eruption. Also they show an amazing movie. Which tries to to recreate the events of the eruption, and does a pretty convincing job. The Johnston ridge is named after geologist David Johnston who was observing Mt. St. Helens prior to the eruption. The ridge which is named in his honor, is located 5 and 1/2 miles from the mountain. When the eruption began his last words were; "Vancouver, Vancouver, this is it!" The blast was so catastrophic, just like the blast of an atomic bomb. David Johnson was killed almost instantly.

The only disappointment during my visit was that clouds, obscured the good views of Mt. St. Helens. So I never go very good pictures of the mountain itself. On the decent down from the mountains. I stopped and got a great picture of Coldwater Lake, that was formed from the eruption.

On the return trip down from St. Helens. I also stopped in the small town of Toledo, Washington. Which is the gateway to Mt. St. Helens. I do enjoy the small town experience. For those who follow in my footsteps. Here is a good tip. Have lunch or take lunch with you when your journey up to visit Mt. St. Helens. Because you can't buy any food on the drive up, or at the Johnson Observatory. However they do have a great pizza place located in Toledo. Sandy's Pizza is a great reason for visiting Toledo. The restaurant is located right across from the Toledo, Mt St. Helens mural.

Being up in the mountains is always an uplifting experience. Seeing Mt. St. Helens and learning the story of the eruption just confirms my thoughts that we humans are really not the controlling force behind the creation and destiny of our planet. Mother Nature is the boss! There is a much more powerful force that controls this world, that we exist on. To us humans what Mt. St. Helens did was catastrophic and a horrible act of violence. I see it another way. That volcanoes are just an portal for this planet. For the regeneration and creation of new life. After all, a volcanic eruption is the same as any female giving birth. Think about it.

The Mt. Hood Loop!

After I finished driving on the Columbia River scenic road. Now it was time to follow the advise of a very good friend. Ethan Allan S. Said "one regret from his visit to the Pacific Northwest was. That he didn't drive the Mt. Hood Loop." He advised me strongly to do it, during my vacation. Good advise! When you get great advise from a great friend. Always follow it!

You first have to drive to a town named Hood River. From there you drive highway 35 south. That drive take you in behind Mt. Hood as you reach an altitude of about 4000 feet. It is about 40 miles from Hood River to arrive at the Government Camp, located on the south side of Mt. Hood. From that point you switch to Highway 26 west in the direction of Portland. It is about 53 miles back to Portland from here. Also the drive is almost completely downhill from here.

The whole experience was a complete joy. Again it will be difficult to describe this experience in words and pictures. I can say that Mt. Hood rates with the great mountains of this world. It is the proper symbol of this wonderful place that is called Oregon. Oregon is a special and wonderful place. I already have the dire to return here again one day.

On the drive down the mountain. I stopped in a town called "Sandy". There I found a good restaurant, and enjoyed a nice Chinese dinner. Also they had a Goodwill store. There was treasure to be found there. I purchased a working pair of Bose headphones for $7 and a nice pair of biking gloves for $4. What a fantastic day it has been!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Oregon and the Columbia River.

I woke up early and was on my way! It was going to do a lot of traveling today. I was talking to a friend recently and jokily said to Stephenie. "When I travel I am transformed into Indiana Jones on crack!" I personally dislike and don't use illicit drugs. I will always discourage and persuade myself not to use them.. In order to artificially create pleasure. I believe you have to look at more natural and creative ways to achieve happiness. Like visiting  beautiful  and fantastic natural places. Like where I  currently am. Located in wonderful Washington State. Now I off to visit beautiful Oregon.

I stated out in Westport, Washington today. Then I drove all the way down the coast to get to the Columbia River. When you reach and cross the river, you are now located in Astoria, Oregon. Then I kept driving south to reach Seaside, Oregon. I had a chance to look around, and relax. I took some beautiful pictures of the beach. Speaking about beautiful pictures. I made a rare discovery and purchase at a thrift store located in Seaside. I found the "Complete Playboy Centerfold Book". I paid only $25 for it. The book was a steal at that price. It contains all the centerfold pictures from Marilyn Monroe who was the first lady to appear in the centerfold of Playboy magazine in the December 1953 issue. Right up the end of 2008. That is a lot of beauty for one book. It is heavy to. It will be a great souvenir of this trip.

I also found a bike shop, and I had my rear bike tire repaired. The bike shop also replaced the tube. Hoping now I can get in at least one more good ride during this holiday. I then drove east through the mountains to Portland. Very scenic and enjoyable drive. I stopped off at a Dairy Queen restaurant along the way. I have to say I enjoyed a very good and healthy meal there. I was shocked! I enjoyed a grilled chicken salad. It puts the dinner salad Wendy's serves to shame. I then arrived in the city of Portland. In my opinion. Portland, Oregon is even a nicer city then Seattle. The only advantage Seattle has is being located on Puget Sound. However Portland has the Columbia River. So it will be your choice.What city will be your favorite.

On my arrival in Portland, I became a little disoriented. However with the help of a friendly local I found my way in a hurry. I drove by Gresham, Oregon. Just past Gresham is a town named Troutdale. I found a Motel 6 located in Troutdale, and the sign said "single room rate $39.95." I jumped all over that. I pulled in and paid for a room. Dropped some of my things off in my room. Got some directions and I was soon on the scenic highway, enjoying the intense beauty of the Columbia River gorge. There are no words in the dictionary to probably describe this place! Also there are no pictures that can do justice to this incredible place of beauty! Very good advise to anybody who reads this blog. Just come and see this incredible place for yourself. You will be doing yourself a favor. Oh yes, more good advise. Do not bring any illicit drugs. They will not needed here!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Drive away and escape to Westport!

I was up early today. I enjoyed a decent night sleep at the Green Tortoise. It is a very decent hostel. It has a fantastic downtown Seattle location. I had a chance to say goodbye to Katie. She made a reservation for me on Friday. We will see if my itinerary will take me back to Seattle on the trip back north to Vancouver.

I made the decision to take the car on the ferry boat back to Bainbridge Island. To do the drive from Bainbridge to Bremerton en route to the south and the state of Oregon. I have to say outright this drive was one of the scenic and wonderful driving experiences I have been on. The beauty, color, and diversity of the state of Washington were all part of this wonderful trip by car.

This drive kept me a euphoric state during the whole time I was behind the wheel. I did make a few stops. For gas, food, and to heed nature's call. Also I stopped to look for treasure. No luck finding any. The old saying is "Noting ventured, nothing ventured". As you must know by reading this. This old saying is not correct. It should read "Nothing ventured, nothing gained". The incorrect old saying comes from the movie "Let It Ride" and from the character Viki played by Jenifer Tilly. Who in this movie relied more on amazing looks, rather then her brains.

I enjoyed a very good lunch at the Olympic Station Deli in the town of Shelton. The ladies that were working there were very friendly, and helpful. Also the quality of the food was also very good. I enjoyed 1/2 of turkey and pastrami sandwich, and a bowl of Split pea soup. I topped it off with desert, and a generous single scoop of Olympic Mountain Ice cream. The flavor was creamsicle. The ice cream was like this trip has been. Wonderful! This quality bakery restaurant is located at 410 N 1st. Street, Shelton, Washington.

Now after being well feed. I was now on my way to my final destination for the day. I had decided to make the town of Westport, Washington. My final destination for the day. Westport is located right on the ocean, on the south side of the opening of Gray's Harbor. It is a quiet and peaceful, and tranquil fishing town. I though about continuing on further south. However I thought I had done enough driving today, and it was time to kick back and take a brake behind the wheel. Also I found a decent place to stay for the night. I received a decent private room at the Pacific Motel. I paid $49 for the room. In these days of high inflation and greed. $49 for a decent accommodation is a good deal. The only disappointment of the day was my dinner. The friendly lady who runs thine Pacific Motel recommended to me. The One Eyed Crab restaurant, located in the town. The food service and prices were all bad. At least there are consistent. Tomorrow I make my way to the state of Oregon. I am looking forward to that. Please stay tuned.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Seattle To Bainbridge Island

Today was a travel day for me. I was hitting the road again. As I would be leaving Anacortes this morning. After I finished breakfast. I packed up my things and headed toward Whidbey Island. When I reached the Deception Pass Bridge. I had to stop and have another look. I did do a short hike to the shoreline to take a few more pictures. It is a special place to be.

After crossing the bridge. I was now on Whidbey Island. I would complete a crossing of the island to the end. At that point I would take a Ferry Boat back to the mainland. On taking the boat back to mainland, I was now located in Mukilteo. It was now time for lunch. I stopped and had a nice lunch a nice Mediterranean restaurant. I enjoyed good service and very good food.

Then it was time again to rely on my trustworthy GPS system. To get me to Seattle, and my new accommodation. The Green Tortoise Hostel. The Green Tortoise Hostel is located right by the Pikes Place Market, and right across from the original Starbucks location. So the location is very good to be situated. Also the ferry docks located here in Seattle, are also close by.

So after getting settled into the hostel by a very nice young lady named Katie. It was time again to disappear from normal life again, and head over to Bainbridge Island. This island is also a special retreat, and a refuge to get away from it all.

After arriving I looked around the village of Windslow. I was just standing at the corner. Sorry right song, but wrong place. I was starting to take it easy and do a bike ride. When I realized that my rear tire was soft. Through the help of the friendly locals. I found a bike shop. Who were more then happy to pump it up for me.

I found a nice Thai food restaurant to have dinner. It was very pleasant. I sat outside and enjoyed my meal with a grand view of the harbor. I also the chance to chat with a nice couple from Texas. After the meal. I checked my rear tire, and quickly became disappointed. It was now completely flat. So I had to walk my bike back to the ferry docks to get on the 7:10 boat. Lucky for me. It was a short walk back to the Green Tortoise Hostel, from the ferry docks. I'm hopping during my travels tomorrow. I can find a bike shop, and get the tire repaired.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

I Wanna Go Back To The Islands!!!!

The title for this post is the opening verse of one my all time favorite Jimmy Buffett tunes. The song is named "Tin Cup Chalice". The song is a love song for one of Jimmy's all time favorite loves "Key West, Florida".

This comparison applies after the day, that I have lived today. Today I sailed away into the San Juan Islands. They are a special pleasure for any of us out there. Who crave to escape and get away from the typical rat race existence, that most of us are forced to live.

Here is how my day went. I woke up around 7:15 after I had enjoyed a decent night sleep. I had breakfast in my room, with free coffee that is supplied by the motel. By 8:45 AM. I was at my car in the parking lot, and pulled out my Dehon travel bike. I assembled it and was all ready to go. I rode for about 4 miles to the Anacortes Ferries Docks. I arrived at 9:15, and was in luck as there was a Ferry Boat getting ready to depart at 9:35 for Friday Harbor. Which is the main village located on San Juan Island. San Juan Island is the largest island located in the San Juan Island Chain.

The boat ride takes 1 hour and 5 minutes to sail from the Anacortas docks to Friday Harbor. On arrival I quickly had a chance to chat with some locals. They advised me to ride to the northern end of the island. To a village called Roche Harbor. They said that "the ride was a very good one, and was 14 miles in distance. I quickly decided to do it. When the ferry boat left Anacortes the weather was overcast and cool. However by the time the boat had reached San Juan Island, the skies had cleared to bright sunshine, and again I was being treated to a magnificent day, by mother nature.

Off I went on my little Dehon folding bike. The ride was an amazing experience. The scenic beauty of San Juan Island is outstanding. The island is very lush and green. There are lots of hills, so the ride was a bit demanding at times. However the ride going to Roche Harbor was a much easier one, then the return trip would be.

I took two brakes during the ride. One was just a refreshment break. The other was one of curiosity, as I discovered a huge thrift store. Located about 3 miles before I would arrive in Roche Harbor. I just had to stop and check to see what treasures awaited. I didn't find anything earth shattering. However I did find a rare "Rush" cassette tape. I also purchased an almost full container of Fondue Fuel (methyl hydrate). Back in Canada this product is easy and cheap to purchase. One dollar will get you a 12 ounce bottle at most dollar stores. However in the U.S.A. You have to go to a hardware store to find it. Also you will be paying much more then $1 for it. It need this fuel as I brought alone my miniature hiking stove. Methyl hydrate is the best choice of fuel to operate this stove. Now I can enjoy a nice cup of hot java, when I stop for a roadside break. I paid 50 cents for the fondue fuel.

Roche Harbor is a picturesque and historic village, that was created in 1896. The town was established because of the abundance of lime in the area. Lime production back in history was a major industry on San Juan island. Today the town major industry like all of San Juan Island is tourism. The town features a historic hotel called the "Hotel De Haro". This historic hotel is as old as the village, 1896. I had lunch at the Lime Kiln Cafe. This eatery is very popular with tourists and the locals alike. It is located in the place where the lime processing factory ounce stood. I had a lamb burger for my lunch.

Now I had a decision to make. Did I attempt another 14 mile ride back to Friday Harbor? Or there was another option. There is a bus service on San Juan Island. For $5, I could enjoy a comfortable trip back. Avoiding the more difficult bike trip, back to Friday Harbor. I made the right choice. The friendly lady bus driver was happy to transport me, and my folding Dehon bike back to Friday Harbor. This way I was able to relax, and enjoy looking around Friday Harbor. Also I was in plenty of time to allow me to catch the 4:15 ferry boat back to Anacortes.

I had a relaxing trip back to Anacortes. That way I still had the energy to ride the 4 miles back to the San Juan Motel. I wish every day. Could be this good.