Week 53 - from Canada back to Washington

July 29 - August 4

What we’ve learned this week:

1. Holy cow there are a lot of people in southern BC.

Between Canada and Alaska, we spent way less time with crowds of people and approximately 0 minutes in traffic. Especially on our drive down the Cassiar Highway on the western side of BC, we saw almost as many bears as we saw cars at one point! So for those reasons, getting down into Whistler and Vancouver was a little overwhelming with the number of people we encountered! Totally full parking lots and traffic and just SO many people, it made us appreciate our time in the further north parts of Canada and Alaska even more! Crowds and traffic make me anxious for sure, but I’m trying to learn to embrace it as we move back down into Washington for the month! 

2. You can’t bring unwrapped, unlabeled sweet potatoes from Canada to the US.

We learned this the hard way unfortunately. The produce section on the USA customs website is quite awful (i.e. refer to page 78 of this 198 page PDF to find the regulations…) and make it really hard to determine what exactly you can and can’t bring back to the United States. We had a small amount of produce that we had bought in Alaska so we figured we would be okay. Turns out sweet potatoes are on that list of things that need to be wrapped and labeled in order to be brought back. Thankfully now we have a nifty little one page sheet detailing what produce you can and can’t bring back - wouldn’t it be nice to be able to find that information on the internet?! ;) 

3. Washington summer is pretty dang hard to beat.

Sunshine on sunshine on sunshine since we’ve been back! We were originally planning to spend more time on the drive down exploring BC but weather really didn’t cooperate and every day forecasted in the weeks ahead was rain and more rain. Meanwhile in Washington, continual sunny skies! So we hightailed it home and are super happy with our decision to get back here. There are few places in the world as beautiful and comfortable as Washington in the summertime. 

4. Kyle and his pals are a little crazy. 

Sunday Kyle and his buddies biked “Ride the Hurricane” in Port Angeles, an event put on by the area Chamber of Commerce where they close the road up to Hurricane Ridge to cars so bikes have free range of the road! The route starts in Port Angeles and climbs 20 miles and 5200 feet up to Hurricane Ridge overlooking the beautiful Olympic Mountain Range. This climb would be enough for most people to get tired and need a beer, but Kyle and his buddies decided they needed even more of a challenge so they biked it TWICE. 80 miles, 10,400 feet of gain, all before 2pm. Every time I tell someone about this they just ask “why?” and while I don’t totally understand it either, I know how happy it makes him to push his fitness and spend a long day just exercising. Oh, my crazy husband! 

5. Solo trail time is good for my soul. 

While Kyle and friends biked, I took to the trail in one of my favorite places - Lake Crescent. I ran 8 miles along the Spruce Railroad Trail and loved every minute of it. I hadn’t been on a trail alone probably since we were in Arizona so it felt really great to get outside with just me and the trail, blasting Lizzo and running some pretty fast miles! I was super proud of myself for not walking at all and for running up the big hill at the end. Reminder to self: do more of this! 


Where we’ve been this week:

Finished our drive through Canada and explored Squamish, BC

Hanging out at Pam and Colin’s

Hurricane Ridge bike ride for Kyle

Lake Crescent for Lindsey


STATS:

Miles driven: holy cow way too many

Gallons sweated climbing the Chief: probably 10

Elevation gained on a bike for Kyle: 10,400 feet

Days of sun in Washington: 5