Oh, Canada!

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This trip is really an American road trip but we didn’t want to completely ignore our friendly neighbors to the north. Plus, the adorable city of Victoria, British Columbia is just a 90 minute ferry ride from Washington!

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This little side trip is a bit different from our normal adventures because we didn’t take the RV with us. For large vehicles the ferry charges by the foot so it would have cost us a couple hundred dollars to take the RV to Canada via ferry. We were only staying for five days so it just didn’t seem worth the trouble. Instead, we rented a studio apartment on airbnb.com. Our apartment was very close to downtown and the harbor, which was perfect.

We left the RV at the Rainbows End RV Park in Sequim, Washington and for anyone traveling that direction we highly recommend it. It was one of the best maintained parks we’ve seen in a while. The landscaping was gorgeous and the park is exceptionally dog friendly. The owner even offers a dog sitting service for visitors planning to take the ferry to Victoria.

The process of booking a ferry crossing was a first for both of us. In retrospect, we should have bought our tickets sooner but it all worked out in the end. Our plan was to take the Black Ball Ferry from Port Angeles, Washington over to Victoria. The ferry runs multiple times a day but the most convenient times (not too early and not too late) book quickly. We were only able to reserve a spot on the 9pm ferry. However, they said we could try to get on the noon ferry without a reservation but we would need to arrive extra early to get one of the non-reservable spots. The lady at the ferry terminal suggested 9am. We didn’t want to miss the view from the ferry by crossing at night so we showed up early to try and catch a ride at noon.

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Lake Cushman & the Hoodsport Coffee Co.

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Washington has been a surprisingly difficult place to find camping. Just about all of the state parks have been full, our bus is too big to fit in many of the national park campgrounds, and it has been too hot to boondock comfortably without A/C. We needed somewhere to stay for about a week before our little side-trip to Victoria, Canada and genuinely struggled figuring out where to go. We wanted to stay in western Washington, preferably near the Olympic Peninsula.  We called various RV parks in the Seattle area (we’ve never been to Seattle and hear it’s awesome) but everyone was booked solid due to some local festival/trade show/competition. I got different explanations depending on who I was calling but the answer was always “no”. We ended up finding a privately owned campground on Lake Cushman just outside of Hoodsport, Washington. We knew nothing about the area but were pleasantly surprised.

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Prost from Leavenworth, Washington!

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It feels so good to finally be back in the Pacific Northwest! The first thing we always notice when coming back is the trees. They just don’t seem to grow this tall anywhere else! Plus, we were on our way to Leavenworth, somewhere I had been wanting to go ever since we bought the Alpha Uno.

Leavenworth is a small town in central Washington that is modeled entirely off of a Bavarian village. The town grew from the location of a small sawmill in the late 1800s to the headquarters of the Great North Railroad in the early 1900s. However, the Railroad relocated in the 1920s leaving the town to struggle with a limited economy. During the 1960s a local committee went about trying to revitalize the town and came up with the idea of transforming Leavenworth into a “theme” town. One by one, the local buildings were remodeled to resemble a Bavarian village. Businesses changed their names to match the Bavarian theme. New businesses began to arrive along with the tourists. It helped that Leavenworth was situated in a picturesque mountain valley (much like Ouray, Colorado). Overall, the whole experiment seemed to be a success. Leavenworth is now a thriving tourist town with adorable boutiques, local artisans, and yummy restaurants.

The whole thing is a bit silly and kitschy, but I love it. Writing this I realize that we have now toured three different European theme towns in three months. I think we need to start planning a trip across the pond!

But before we go anywhere we need to stop for groceries.

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