05/02/2012 to 05/13/2012 Finally Sunshine! Blaine, WA
Rain, rain, rain... Every day it rains here. After pouting for days
about the horrible weather here, it was finally Saturday and time to
drive to Tacoma to get ready for the Tacoma marathon on
Sunday. It rained for about half of the drive, but finally cleared up
as we got into Seattle. We stopped off to buy Richard some more
running shoes, then got my race packet and got checked into the
EconoLodge. I sure prefer being in the RV the night before a
race, but it was too expensive to haul it all the way down to
Tacoma. Oh well. I was worried when the gal at the desk asked if
we were in town for the Van Halen concert, but we didn't get
woken up in the middle of the night by any crazy concert-goers.
Sunday my marathon went really well. Click here to see the race
recap. After stopping at a garage sale I had ran by that was
selling a guitar, we headed back north to Birch Bay. On the way
out of Tacoma, the sun was shining, so we finally got a pretty
good view of Mount Ranier.
Once we got closer to home, we stopped for supper. Richard
ordered the fried fish. What they brought out would have fed a
family of four. (Or three adults, or maybe just one adult and 5
kids, or if they were teenage boys, maybe just two, probably 7
skinny models.) Impressive!
Monday was spent recuperating and being amazed that the sun was still shining. We took a
walk into downtown Birch Bay and walked out into the bay since it was low tide. Tuesday we
went on a run and enjoyed more sunshine. Unbelievable!
Wednesday we headed south again for a big adventure. Richard had booked us on a Whale
Watching Cruise. The sun was out again and it looked like it was going to be a great day for it.
We arrived early with our hot coffee in our thermos, and all kinds of gear to get bundled up,
just in case it got cold. We had binoculars and two cameras - three if you count my phone, so
we were ready to see some whales!
It was cold, but not too bad... until the boat started
moving. Brrrr! I had to get all bundled up, but I was
still on whale look-out.
Pretty soon we had our first
animal-sighting. Some fat sea lion
hanging out on a marker. Okay,
yeah, he's cute, now find me some
Then we saw some harbor
porpoises. They won't even hold
still for a good picture. Show me
We were cruising through the San Juan islands, so
there was lots of nice scenery. The captain was
supposedly checking with lots of other captains for
whales, but no one had seen any, so we were
going north. Nope. Nothing. We did see a bald
eagle. Fun. Not a whale, but fun.
We headed south on the report of some whales being spotted outside of the
islands in the main water. Shoot, I could have told you that. I wondered why
we were cruising around in the islands. We saw some more bald eagles, and
it was getting colder. I couldn't take it any more. I had to go shiver in the
inside cabin. A 5 hour whale watching cruise sounded so fun when I thought
we would be seeing whales for 5 hours. The closer we got to the open
water, the rougher the sea got, and I'm in the inside cabin trying to get warm.
Not fun. We get all the way to the edge of the islands, and the captain says
the water outside of the islands is too "chunky" and we would be tossed
around more than we already were, so we're not going out, but they are
going to start looking extra hard for the next two hours to find us a whale.
Yeah, like I'm gonna trust a guy who calls waves "chunky." Well, you know
our luck. 5 hours of no whales. The last thing we saw was another bald
eagle, hanging out above a nest this time.
So, two lazy sea lions, some elusive porpoises, and four bald eagles
later we get to cash in on the whale watching guarantee. Refund -
no. We get a free whale watching cruise. Now, they assure me that
this is only the second time this year that they did not spot any
whales. So, although I do want to see whales, I'm just not sure I want
to devote a whole nother day driving a 3 hour round trip and being
freezing cold on a rocky boat to chance it. Maybe...
On our way home we stopped at a sewing machine place to try to get
my cheap machine repaired. Nope. Repair costs as much as I paid
for it, and takes a week. We're leaving in 6 days. So they tried to
talk me into a fancy machine that does all kinds of stuff, and won't
break in a year like all my old Wal-mart machines do. I thought about
it all night, and then Thursday I went back and spent a couple of
hours trying to learn all the features of my new (used) fancy machine.
Now I guess I better start sewing some stuff.
Friday we sat in the sun and I carefully avoided my scary new hi-tech
Saturday we got up early and headed into Canada for a run. When we first got here I was looking for a run to do this weekend, and when I put
Blaine, WA into the search, some runs in Canada were showing up. Of course. Canada is closer than most major towns around here. So I did some
more searching and I found a "salmon run" that allows runners to release salmon fry into the river. Well that sounded so fun so I signed us up. It
was close, only about 15 miles, but first we had to cross the border. Last time we tried to get into Canada it was a big deal. Read about it here. We
had no weapons this time, just us cheerful Americans in running attire trying to get to Surry for the Salmon run. Except that Richard was driving, so
he was answering the questions. When she asked where we lived - which is really not an easy question to answer - he ummed and uhhed before
explaining that we live in our RV, so she was already suspect. Then when she asked why we were going to Canada, he told her we were going on a
trout run. Huh? I explained that we were going to run an 8K for Salmon, now she was very concerned. Her last question - "why here, I mean, why
this run?" I had already made it obvious that we were running for salmon, that's why I picked this run, but clearly that wasn't the answer she wanted.
I offered up, "this was the closest run this weekend". She looked at our Texas plates, shook her head, and let us in. Whew!
We had allowed lots of time for border crossing, so we got there kinda
early. I was taking Richard's picture when I looked around for
someone to take a pic of both of us. I asked the first guy I saw, and
the request was out of my mouth right before I saw he was holding a
blind-person cane. Embarrassing!! What now? I already asked him,
do I say, "oh, nevermind." What do I do?!? I just pretended I didn't
see the cane. He said, "uh, okay". I went and stood by Richard, and
the man took our picture. He didn't look too sure of himself, but he did
a damn good job for a blind dude. I'm grabbing Richard's arm, trying
to shout at him through my fingers, "HELP, I just asked a blind guy to
take our picture!!" You can see from his kinda smug smile that he got
the message. Guess I have to quit making fun of him for telling the
border lady we were going on a trout run, this is way worse.
After getting over that embarrassment, we headed over to some of the
educational exhibits. We were learning all about salmon and their
journey to lay eggs, and how people pollute the water and kill them.
Did you know they lay eggs in the fall, and they don't hatch till spring?
Did you know it takes 100 days for them to be fishies?
I had visions of taking off shoes and socks and being at least knee-deep in water after the race,
releasing my fishies, but since I was jumping ahead and releasing them pre-run, I had to be careful to
not get my tootsies wet. Besides, signs asking us not to get in the river, plus the watchful eye of the guy
handing out buckets of fish made me decide releasing from the shore was a good idea. Oh well.
Buh-bye fishies! Happy travels to the ocean. Come on back and lay some eggs. I will admit, after
seeing a cute little 5 year old girl get offered a second bucket of fish, I asked for one too.
We got enough education, so we headed down to the river to see where we would be
releasing the salmon later. On the way we passed a trout fishing tank. What? Great.
Now there really is trout. Guess Richard told the truth to the border lady after all. This
brought to mind the expression "shooting fish in a barrel" but oh well, the kiddos were
having fun. No, we didn't fish. Even in a tank like this, I don't think we would have
When we finally got down to the river, they were already letting people release the
baby salmon. I was so excited!! I couldn't wait 'till after the run, so I got my bucket of
little fishies. Hi fishies!
release any -
we headed to
the start line.
This time I
take our picture.
We started at a pretty fast pace. Only 5 miles, we should be able to run it hard. We
were doing a great job, but just after half way Richard's shins started hurting. He
stopped to stretch and I went on. Only a quarter mile further I got into gorgeous scenery.
I was sad I didn't have Richard to take his picture. Teach me to leave the man behind. I
finished strong, and headed back to see how Richard was doing. He was only a few
minutes behind me. We hung around for music and food, the cruised through Surrey
before heading back to the US. No trouble getting back in, the woman on the US border
asked far fewer questions.
Sunday we were supposed to head out for an easy long run. It was actually almost hot. I
sure am glad to have had a solid week of sunshine. So much better than rain!