Wednesday, January 03, 2007

We left home yesterday before noon, ran some last-minute errands, got into the line-up at Duke Point for the 12:45 p.m. boat. We were about fourth from the last vehicle to get into the line-up, and the guy behind us said we might well not get on. My, what an auspicious beginning to a holiday. We sat patiently and waited – and we got on. We were the last vehicle allowed to board, although there was a lot of space behind us on the bottom deck. My theory is that there were so many timber trucks on board, the boat was heavier than usual.

We arrived in sunny! Vancouver at 3 p.m., but it was at least 5 p.m. before we got across the border. We were held up by a particularly unpleasant Customs officer who asked where we were moving to. Moving?

“We’re not moving, I replied. “We’re vacationing – in Mexico.

“Oh. Where are you moving from?”

“We’ve come from Nanaimo, B.C.”

“What have you got with you?”

“Ummmm. We have a motor home full of stuff. What do you want to know about?”

“Do you have any food?”

Now you must understand that at no point during this exchange did our interrogator crack a smile. In retrospect, I wonder if he just hates RVers. Anyway,

“Yes, we have food.”

“What kind?”

“Again, we have all sorts of food. What kind of food are you worried about?”

I really should have just answered his questions completely, starting with “Underpants, bras, socks, shorts, jeans, shirts…then soy milk, evaporated milk, rice, coffee, tea…..” but I didn’t. I was too stunned to be a smartass. That’s probably just as well, though, isn’t it?

“Beef. Do you have any beef?”

Beef? Well, yes, but it’s cooked.

“Beef. Do you have any fruit?”

“Washington Braeburn apples.”

“Fruit. Take the orange paper and go inside.”

When we got into the office, we were greeted by a much friendlier man who nonetheless went out to the RV and stole half a dozen cans of Campbell’s Vegetable Beef Soup, four potatoes, two yams, and half a package of snap peas. It turned out that the snap peas were Chinese and therefore suspect, and the yams and potatoes bore no stamp of origin. The soup, of course, contained beef. They didn’t care about the pork, chicken, or eggs, and they let us keep the apples because they believed me when I told them (truthfully) that they were from Washington.

The man in the office said to me as I was leaving, “I hope I’m the worst person you meet on your vacation.” I assured him he wasn’t, and bit my tongue to keep from saying that the idiot at the booth was the worst.

After all that, we drove for hours. We tried twice to go to an RV park (two RV parks, that is), but they were impossible to find in the dark, so we ended up sleeping at a rest stop south of Olympia, Washington. We were very glad to stop, and we slept quite well.

January 3, 2007 – Yreka, California. We arrived here at 5:30 p.m., having been on the road since 6:30 this morning. We heard several rumours of snow to come, so we thought it best to drive as long as possible, hoping to get beyond the storm. We had rain and rain and more rain, but no snow as yet. On the other hand, the night is young. I didn’t realize we had wi-fi here at first, but when I plugged the computer in to write my journal, I was informed that there was internet available. I logged in, turned on Skype, got as far as calling J. in Nanaimo to tell her how far we had gotten, talked to her for a few minutes…and suddenly we were cut off, and now I can’t get back onto the internet. I’m not sure whether it is the storm that caused the problem (It’s now blowing up a gale out there) or whether I wasn’t supposed to have access to that network in the first place, and somebody noticed. Whatever it was, I’m now cut off again, so I’ll save this and post it another time.

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