Le Grand Détour


4 July 2017

Originally, my plans had been to take the ferry from Ontario into Ohio during my leg from Toronto to Columbus. However, looking at the ferry schedules, that would have been a tight trip, and I would have arrived in Columbus very late, which would have met a meeting with a friend there very unlike, which would have been very unfortunate. [1]

A second motivation for me to take the ferry route was to avoid a busy border crossing for a few reasons. I have heard stories about the treatment of some people at border crossings, and I wondered how being in a car on European plates would work out. Despite these fears, I took the risk and crossed from Fort Erie, Ontario into Buffalo, New York.


Port Angeles, Washington, where two container ships were already waiting.

However, for my leg for Vancouver to Seattle, I decided to stick to my ferry route plan. This was a busier route than the Lake Erie journey, particularly due to the size of Victoria on Vancouver Island, so there were more crossings than back east.


A 1931 Hot Dog Van driven by a man whose character perfectly fitted the vehicle. Also notice how packed the cars were on board.

Still, I had not realised how tight I was stretching it by the time they were packing the ship. I was the second to last to be let on the ferry, and I arrived an hour early than its scheduled departure. Because while there was a crossing every hour between Vancouver and Victoria (technically Tsawwassen - Swartz Bay), there were only four crossings a day between Victoria and Port Angeles a day. And yet - somehow - I made on its second crossing for the day, avoiding a wait of 5 hours before the next crossing.


KWK Excelsus out of Singapore, waiting in the port of Port Angeles for... something.

From Port Angeles, I went West, I wanted to drive around the Olympia Pennisula, and see the rain forest on its western side of its national park. I got to experience a fun drive on route 112, which was a slight detour from the main route 101, but all the more worth it. I admit, given the nature of my car's handling, I do occassionally make detours purely to have fun on the road.


A water fog rising over the shore near Clallam Bay, Washington. Driving through it yielded only a sense of fog, not its contents.

It is unfortunate, that I did not have much time to get to Seattle, because I did not get to see much of the Hoh Rain Forest in the national park. Should I ever be in Washington again, I could see myself visiting this national park again. And I do plan on returning to Washington, because I did not actually see Seattle.


Hoh Rain Forest in Olympia National Park. Odd to have a rain forest this far north and in this climate. But, well, there it is.

Indeed, I stayed in Kirkland and basically remained in Kirkland for the entirety of my stay there. But I had the opportunity to meet two friends there, which is worth more to me than the sights in Seattle. Seattle will wait for another time, just like Chicago, which I had skipped alltogether during my drive from Columbus, Ohio to Elk Horn, Iowa.


[1]For those interested, the route was to take a ferry from Leamington, Ontario to Pelee Island in Lake Erie. Then from that island take the ferry to Sandusky, Ohio. However while the schedule for the former was favourable, the schedule for the latter was only twice a day (and that was only on Fridays and Sundays, otherwise the crossing occurred once).