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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Day 17: O Canada

Another night of the nap and drive method put me in Olympia, Washington around breakfast. An additional benefit of having a Blackberry on this trip is that I've been able to easily find independent local spots. I got coffee and a scone at Sizizis, a little 24-hour shop that looked like an ancient used book store. The girl out the counter pointed me in the direction of the only independent record store in town, Rainy Day Records. There I picked up a copy of the EP from Lissie, which I've been wanting for awhile.

With a belly full of delicious caffeine and pastry, and ears full of new tunes, I set out around 11am confident that I would miss Seattle traffic. Oh to be ever hopeful! Thankfully, I got to spend my time in stop and go limbo catching up on the phone with my hometown friend Emily. Took my time heading to the border with frequent trips to scope the seaside towns. In Bellingham, I went to the Alaska Marine Highway port, and picked up info on taking the ferry back. It is the recommend route rather than this over-land crazy business that is my first priority.

At the Canadian border, a frighteningly stoic guard questioned me thoroughly about my travels and intentions. She seemed almost disgusted by my unemployed status, and wanted to make very sure that I was financially viable and just passing through. I suppose she thought I might try and take advantage of Canada's superb social services. Her demeanor made me want expound on my patriotic love. No amount of free health care could ever make me abandon my homeland. If I don't feel that the USA is all that it could and ought to be, than I'd rather stay and help it make the most of its great potential. However, I answered dutifully curtly and truthfully, pretending to be meekly unremarkable.

Got to Vancouver around dinner, and after a brief tour around the east side of the city attempting to find my bearings without my phone's GPS, found my aunts house. We caught up, I helped make dinner, and they gave me a tour of their garden. When I was in Vancouver last fall with my brother I spent a lot of time running around the city and seeing sites. This time I was more than content to bask in the comforts of a home away from home. Once again I am reminded that joy comes from little things, and that I am loved.

The morning brings a great push north. After some of the rougher moments of this trip, I spoke with my younger brother about how scared and unhappy I was. Since he happened to also be traveling through Canada, he offered to meet up with me to help drive the Alaska Highway. We're rendezvousing tomorrow night, and I'm looking forward to seeing him. Even though we have the usual sibling rivalries, he is one of my best friends. Though part of me would still love to claim the glory of doing this trip alone, there is also much to be gained in camaraderie.

From here until Alaska my phone will be quite expensive, service will be dubious, and internet access may be limited. So fear not, if updates lapse for a few days. I'll still be documenting my adventures, and I will post date them as able.
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