Woodland, WA (aug 20/13) – Ok, this ship has finally sailed. After much preparation & ballyhoo, N&J were able to disembark on this ‘epic’ voyage (epic? ….well, ok their intention, expectation is this will be epic, all things turning out as they envision). The boat reference fits. Getting everything to fit that N&J need to take with them is no different. Packing Gizmo is just like prepping a sailboat; limited space, anything that can’t fit drops into the sea… um, er… onto the road. Of course carrying a lot of extra stuff normally not usually brought along. Stuff that would seem completely weird to the average traveler (stuff denotes anything that can be ‘stuffed’ into a Westfalia).
This ‘extra’ stuff of course is for the purpose of their eventual destination…. BURNING MAN (BM). “Do you mean that radical, drug-soaked, artistic-expressive, dope-smoking, free-thinking, probably-naked hippy gathering of 60,000 in the Black Rock Desert some two hours east of Reno, Nevada?” Yep the same. On everyone’s bucket list, except J’s. No clue… had no clue!!! …Burning Man was unknown until a musician friend ‘moved the rock’ that was covering J’s position and asked if he was going. J called N up on the telephone, she screamed something back, not sure what was said, but it was to the affirmative. So after scrambling for BM tickets (usually you get them back in December), getting their camp fees arranged, officially now in the Reverbia camp… on their way to Burning Man. The ‘stuff’ N&J are taking will have to be described in pics later, no words can capture the flavour of what they are bringing.
Yesterday travels were untroubled once past the 40 minute wait at the US border (some of those US custom agents questions were tough, should have studied more). Great to be finally on the road. Stopped for cheap gas, and to avoid the daily Seattle freeway backup had dinner at a fab Mexican restaurant on 2nd Ave in Seattle, Mama’s Mexican Kitchen (thanks to N’s foodie brother & weather guru for this suggestion). The food was excellent, portions were of course American size; soooo large, had to forgo the usual beer (whaaaaat?).
click on pic to enlarge – right/left arrow to scroll thru the gallery
After dinner, a nice drive to the southern portion of Washington State, huge full moon to the east. N&J of course in their yearning to find an economical (spelled ‘cheap’) place to stay, ventured off the highway a few kms north of Vancouver, WA… looking for a beach for the inaugural first night (it’s NOT what you think!!!). Well sure as heck they found the beach, 100 metres from the Columbia River, but only a couple steps off the road… as Gizmo (the van) was turning around on a grassy patch, decided he liked this spot, and sunk down to the axles in the sand, in the dark, out in the boonies, no telephone, no cell service on their Canadian phones, Arrrrrgh! 🙁
Fortunately an RV park was nearby and a couple visiting from Alaska graciously offered the use of their cellphone. Called CAA and 40 minutes later, a ‘nice smelling’ truck driver (“are you wearing cologne?”, not J’s question) had the crew back on the road. Abandoned the beach idea for the night, and found safe refuge in a dark, residential street in Woodland WA… located in what appears to be the middle of a rail yard… found out later, much later.