Sure, I saw more farms than I could count and spent countless hours bathed in the aroma of fresh manure, but I survived. Funny thing about the back roads of small town America – they all look the same, and most of them don’t get cell service. I wasn’t smart enough to grab myself the map of Washington out of the car before I left the country, so I was very lost for most of yesterday afternoon. My superhuman sense of direction was all that came between me and Spokane several times, but I did discover you can easily (and quite scenically) get from the border to Bellingham without having to take the interstate. Also, Ferndale has a Sonic. Why didn’t I know this sooner? I was too lost to think about stopping, but next time we make a run for the border I’m requesting a detour.
My afternoon in America was actually pretty nice. I eventually made my way to Trader Joe’s and stocked up on enough snacks and trail mix to fill Lola’s bucket. I love, love, love Trader Joe’s. From there, I went to Target so I could pee and get a drink and wander around without an impatient Ed glancing at his watch/the contents of my cart every few minutes and grimacing. Target on a Thursday afternoon is actually very peaceful; it was fairly empty so I had fun taking my time in the aisles. My venture paid off with the CUTEST JACKET IN THE UNIVERSE, and also some shampoo and gum. I loaded up Lola to disguise my purchases, stopped for gas, and headed in the general direction of north.
While making my way through Bellingham, I found myself trapped on a freeway entrance and had to take the I5. It was probably the only time I ever though “well, now I’m going to die” in all seriousness on my scooter, but luckily people gave me a wide berth and I coasted along at stupid speeds behind a semi truck for three exits until I lost my nerve. I promptly got myself lost in rural Washington once more, and had to get back on the interstate once more for a few more exits before the border appeared. I don’t LIKE the interstate. Yes, I can scoot on it – but it’s really fucking stupid to do so. I won’t be doing THAT again any time soon; I’ll memorize the back road routes before I attempt it on Lola again.
The border both ways was funny, because the guards from both countries did not know what the fuck. A scooter? At my border crossing? Why I never! How unusual! I got a barrage of questions not for the safety of either country, but to find out what my deal was. I was allowed to go both to and fro with no issues though (hooray for my contraband bucket of snacks and kettle corn!), and I was back in Canada for the windy ride home.
Everything was fine until I hit Knight Street, where an asshole in a small red pickup truck almost sideswiped me while changing lanes, then yelled at me for existing. I was extremely tense over the near-miss, and I actually hurt my throat screaming obscenities at the driver. We told each other a variety of fuck off fuck you learn to fucking drive you almost hit ME so why don’t you go fuck yourself for an entire stoplight, amusing and/or scaring everyone around us. One more near miss (not as close this time) with an Oldsmobile, and 205.5km later Lola and I were safely at home to an Ed making sloppy joes for dinner (timed perfectly courtesy of Find My iPhone, which allowed him to track my every move – scaaaaary).
Oh, and I stopped at the Duty Free shop on my way into the US. I’d never been in the fancy new Peace Arch one, and I now know that I’ll never be in there again – I can’t AFFORD to be in there. Duty Free shops usually have a good array of stuff at lower prices, but this one was extremely high end – they had a 50% off special going on for some fancy purses, which started around $1200 (only $600 on sale!). They DID have a very (very) nice sprawling acre of booze, each with a themed wall made of glass and stone and the tears of noble children:
.. but as I don’t drink, it didn’t do much for me.
I did buy a small bottle of Jagermeister, though. I thought I might need it for the ride home – and I did, but only after I was in Vancouver city proper.
It was a good adventure, but I was awfully glad to be home.