Saturday, June 12, 2010

Missoula! This is a college town, for sure. Driving out in eastern Washington is a trip because it’s so different. At one point, it was just so completely flat and open I felt as if I could touch the sky (does that make sense?). Overall, it was a gorgeous pastoral landscape. Missoula itself is a fun college/hippie town. There was a little food and music festival we went to.
Driving through Washington. Our pit stop In Winnachee tonight. It feels soooooooooo good to recoup. I took a shower and got laundry done. Score! And spent all my Canadian money on chocolate bars at a gas station near the border.
And border patrol didn’t find my orange. Score!
The Granville Island farmer’s market is great! A bit like Pike’s Place, but I think a bit more friendly and family-oriented. It was in a building overlooking the pier, with live music and lovely people. Afterwards, it was the Museum, a beautiful Parthenon-like building.
There was a large exhibition of a video artist named Fiona Tan, which was really inspiring. I’d never heard of her before, but I really identified with her work, especially one she did that related to memory and emptiness, called Rise and Fall.
Downtown Vancouver is a pretty vibrant place, and less edgy than say Seattle and San Fran. The downtown business district has some great architecture. There’s some Japanese-style hot dog stands that were amazing, too. Want a hot dog with Japanese Mayo, teriyaki sauce and seaweed? Japadog is what’s for you.
Vancouver. We took the ferry once more over from Vancouver Island. It was not as magnificently foggy as before, but still beautiful.
Driving up to and getting settled in the hostel there for the first was a bit unnerving, to say the least. And I thought that Bruno’s Motel in Gerlach, with its dinky rooms and strong smokey stench could not be topped. This place had character. Located right next to a bike bar that had an ambulance there very night we were, the unwashed sheets and our room, in which an unknown person’s belongings and food were left there for who knows how long indicated to me that perhaps the sink that spurted rown water and the one bathroom on a floor of more than 30 dorm rooms was not the least of it. Now, I’m not exaggerating, but I think I am making it sound dramatic. In reality, I’m over it.
Vancouver, in the day and from the south side, didn’t look too hot. Kinds deserted, actually. But, after taking a walk down the park that goes along the whole waterfront to Granville Island, where the Emily Carr art school and market, and seeing the sun set behind the many skyscrapers while standing in the Olympic Park, my mind is starting to change.
Last day in Ucluelet. After a spirit filled testimony meeting in the living room of the hostel, we had a great day relaxing, culminating in a slideshow presentation with the hostel owner and staff as our guests, along with a sushi party! We used some of the salmon that joe caught the day before, and a local sushi chef taught us how to make it! He was so great and generous, donating a bunch of stuff for us to try, even doing tempura sushi. We’ve had so much fun here.
One of the staff I got to have a good conversation with. Rob from the Netherlands, a guy who just goes where the kind takes him.

Early morning photography on Big Beach in Ucluelet (just a short walk). It was a great experience.
I painted a watercolor for the first time on this trip. It was one of the older boats along the dock. I was actually quite pleased with it, I should really do more watercoloring.
There’s an aquarium here that is small, but apparently stellar. I unfortunately couldn’t make it there to check it out, but all the stuff they have there is catch and release, all stuff that’s local, and much of it you can reach in an touch. There is really great marine life here. Just walking on to the docks I saw 3 gigantic starfish and a crab just chillin in the shallow water.
There was a surfing competition in Tofino, which was fun from a photojournalistic experience. It made me feel like I was in southern California, actually. We were blessed with some of the most beautiful weather while we’ve been here, from Friday to Sunday. Some of us took surfing lessons, though I didn’t join. Uclulet is such a great surfing town, the people here are very friendly and genuine. They really want to be your friend and tell you about everything that’s going on around. I would love to come back to that town and spend more time there.
That night we had a bonfire and and nutella smores at Big Beach, a place with tons of driftwood and completely open for fires. It was an awesome good time, with music and talking. I learned that Jay Jay did the WWOOF thing in France.
We had another salmon party..:)))))). Jenna and I spent some time in big beach in the afternoon after cruising the town in the morning
Went to a Rain Forest that went right up to the beach. It was like being in the Redwoods again! Aka incredible! And Tofino, which was on a bay with mountains and lots of boats. Yeah yeah yeah.

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