Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Final Leg: Port Hardy to Victoria

Each leg of this journey has been so different, and this final leg carried on, giving us new experiences and connecting us with so many different people. By this time in our journey, we were beginning to feel a little bit of pressure to make it down to Victoria by a certain date. We received some wonderful rides with interesting and kind people, showing us repeatedly that the world is filled with good. 
We got picked up right away off the ferry from our first ride, Lorna, and were dropped off on the highway.
Wouldn't you pick these lovely ladies up?!
Ride #2 from Dan. This got us a few miles up the road. . every mile helps, and the ride was quite plush!

Ride #3: A schoolbus!

What a sweet ride!
A trailer for the night?? Yes, I'll book it for three! This wonderful accomodation was provided by John, a caring and kind individual, who picked us up in Port McNeill (right after we saw a large Black Bear across the road) and offered this trailer below his home in Nanaimo. Amazing!

Although this trailer had 5 individual beds, we still ended up squishing into 1 (by choice). We're foreseeing a bit of separation anxiety in the near future.
Ready for the final leg!

John was kind enough to drop us off at a prime spot to hitch to Victoria, after treating us to breakfast at Timmy Ho's. Thank you so much, John!
YAY!!!! We have made it to Victoria! Darren picked us up, telling us he could take us only as far as Duncan (halfway), but we ended up having such a good time and such good conversation about people doing good for others, that he offered to go all the way!
We don't have a photo of our next ride, but after finding out the bus system was on strike, we decided to stick out our thumbs in the city (more as a joke). No more than 5 seconds passed, than John offered us a ride into the city, to the library, where we are at this exact moment!

Stay tuned for reflections, bloopers, videos, and more!

The Inside Passage: Juneau to Port Hardy

We were sad to say goodbye to our new Juneau family, but we had a ferry to catch! We settled in to our sleeping bags under the heat lamps of the solarium. The next few days were spent on the Taku, entertaining ourselves, and whoever else wanted in on our ridiculousness.

We amazingly managed to sleep in so late that other passengers in the solarium had started to worry that we were all dead. Bethany was the first to wiggle her feet, which set those worrying passengers at ease.

We got off the boat at Petersberg, ready to cook breakfast, only to learn that we had about 2 minutes on land. I guess we saw everything we wanted in Petersberg.

Soakin' up the sun during lunchtime!

                   Entertainment provided by the Alaskan Marine Highway ferries. You're never too old....
"Bethany, you're doing a really good job!"
Although it may seem that Bethany and Naomi worked on this puzzle for hours and hours. . . they became overwhelmed and frustrated after 1 minute, and quit after 2. Fifty-piece puzzles are more our style.
             A fellow traveler, Andy, shares some laughs, stories, and some of our 3 pounds of salami. Andy had also joined our band earlier, as we provided music in the cafeteria, and then outside, under the beautiful Northern Lights. 
Realizing that it was our final night in Alaska, we hopped off the boat to have a round in Ketchikan. Alaska, you were so good to us. . and we'll be back soon!
        Welcome to Canada! (What's not shown in this photo is that 1 minute earlier, Bethany gracefully fell from the top of the sign, ricocheted off the wood and narrowly avoided landing on the guitar that was on her back.) 
Catching up, once again, on the blog, this time in the Prince Rupert library. We've actually made it to about 4 different public libraries in our travels!
We met some lovely travelers on the way to Port Hardy, Shanti and Steve, also musicians, who jammed with us and performed their wonderful original pieces. This is a prime example of what a small world it is, as they both went to the same small university as Bethany, at the same time. You guys rock! 

Oktoberfest, Juneau Style!

With a wonderful send-off in Skagway, we boarded our new home, the LeConte, which would take us through the gorgeous Inside Passage on the Alaska Marine Highway. Our journey was filled with bright blue skies, incredible mountainous scenery, and a chance encounter with some rugged and rough-looking electricians on their way to Juneau. 

Popcorn, referred to as "pippity", is a permanent staple in our lives. It comes everywhere with us, and it is obvious where we have been. . just follow the trail of kernels, and you will be sure to find us. 

                                  Enjoying another Clints cigar. . this time under the cozy solarium!
The story goes: It makes perfect sense to us that by playing beautiful music, we will be able to lure a nice audience up to the solarium, who will fall in love with us and adopt us for the night. It was either that or pitching our tent at the ferry terminal. Imagine how thrilled we were when Pete (one of the rugged electricians) received permission from his wife, Kelli, to bring 3 "stragglers" home. Not only did they take us into their family for two nights, on top of having 4 dogs to take care of, they fed us incredible meals, introduced us to friends and family, and acted as tour guides all over Juneau. Kelli took us to the Mendenhall Glacier, the Alaskan Brewery, and opened up her kitchen for exciting popcorn adventures. We learned that Kelli and Pete love popcorn as much as we do.

One of Pete's co-workers, Rod, would gladly haven given us a ride, had his van not been full. . We understood why.

      Eggs Benny with fresh Alaskan Lox

The Mendenhall Glacier!
We recruited Kelli as a new jump-shot companion
                                                            Free beer taste-testing!!
The first annual Oktoberfest! We played a lively concert, accompanied by Jim on guitar. This was an unexpected night of fun, with kegs of beer, delicious food and great company. We hope to return to the second annual Oktoberfest!
Just another one of Kelli's homemade specialties. . mmmm. . .
Kelli twisted our rubber arms and said we couldn't pass up the Alaskan Raspberry beer. Being 2 o'clock in the afternoon, we decided to all share 1 pint between the four of us.
While Naomi and Bethany worked hard updating this blog. . . .

. . . Ilene and Kelli whipped up homemade chocolate (from scratch)!
Our Juneau family (Bourbon is the 4-legged one)

Pete and Kelli with their very well-deserved pins! Pass 'em on. . .