I have left Bowen Island, again.
My arrivals and departures from this island look sort of like this:
September 2011 - Arrive
October 2011 - Depart/Arrive
November 2011 - Depart/Arrive
December 2011 - Depart
Sometime in 2012 - Arrive/Depart
Spring 2013 - Arrive/Depart
February 2014 - Arrive
April 2014 - Depart
On the morning of the 9th, I woke up at 6:30 AM to the sound of Comptine d'Un Autre Été by Yann Tierson playing from the phone that Tim had lent to me for the night to insure I didn't oversleep. I had planned on packing the night before but things didn't work out as planned and we got back late. I would do all of my packing in the morning.
I bought the soundtrack to the Grand Budapest Hotel and it played in the background for the rest of the morning as I packed and we made and consumed breakfast. We had seen the film the day before with Liz and I had become fond of the music which was a collision of Switzerland and Russia.
The cast iron skillet was heated and coconut oil melted. In it we cooked up kale, onions, and mushrooms before adding eggs. It was satisfying and delicious. To accompany it, I had a nervous stomach ache. I woke up sick, was exhausted, and knew I had to drive on I-5 for the first time in my life. I'd be on major freeways for a few hours.
We packed up and headed for the ferry, catching the 9:30 AM departure. Tim came with me so he could pick up the car that we had left at Horseshoe Bay, on the mainland, the night before and also to tackle some life admin in Vancouver.
We had sun. I was grateful.
We made it to the ferry.
Once aboard, we worked to re-adhere my rearview mirror to the windshield. It had come off.
Half of the ferry ride was spent attaching the mirror and speaking of dragons and princesses, the other half was spent with our head sticking outside of the boat.
Once docked, we parted ways. I headed down the Trans-Canadian Highway to Exit 11 where I would be meeting Marianne at the Esso gas station. It was my first time to drive over 25 mph in a few months but it went fine. I found my way to the gas station and attempted to fuel up. No diesel. Luckily, I had a map and could reroute the trip to a few miles down the road and not have to back track.
I made myself comfortable on Tobbit's tailgate and waited in the sun, writing a letter, until Marianne came to join me. She was busing over from another part of the city.
Once reunited, away we went!
It was vibrant, sunny, and things went right.
Crossing the border was a snap for the American side.
For the Canadian side, I had to check in, personally, so they could confirm that I had left and complied with the rules. I got personally escorted to the line to enter America. A woman had my passport and didn't hand it to me until I was just about sandwiched between a few cars on the path to the border. She had to let me out through a lovely little barrier. Guess they wanted to truly make sure I wasn't planning on sticking around.
America welcomed us without question.
"Where do you live?"
"What were you doing in Canada?"
"For how long?"
"Six and eight weeks."
"Have a nice day."
Marianne made for excellent company. I enjoyed conversing with her and was grateful to have her with me. Being a new driver, it was nice to have someone give me tips and help me with signs. We got home in one piece.
Marianne is a wonderful woman who has called Benin, West Africa home for a few years now, I believe. I think it's a few years. Anyways, she lives there.
One morning, I expressed concern to the group about driving Tobbit home. I wasn't sure if he would make it. She already had a train ticket but she graciously offered to ride down with me. She was headed to Seattle as well.
"Well, I"m not really going to Seattle," I explained to her. "I'm going to a place called Mukilteo to work on Tobbit."
"I'm going to Mukilteo too!" she told me.
It turns out, this African-resident was going to a home less than a mile away from the home I would go to to work on Tobbit. Crazy, eh?