Day 45, San Juan tour to Marysville, 119 Miles
"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."
~Theodore Roosevelt, Paris, France 1910 (Excerpt from a speech)
First let me throw (PP!) Lakedale Campground under the bus. When the man quoted the price of an RV space at $64, I almost dropped my teeth.
"Wow. Can you do any better?"
After some finagling, he managed a 20% discount, so the price became $51, still by far the highest price of the trip. I don't care how much they charge (well I do, but bear with me), what I want is value for my money. Here's 10 reasons I didn't get that:
1.) Paved roads. Big deal for a bike towing a trailer.
2.) Lights around the bathroom, so when QG does her nightly trek, she's not looking for the black spot that displaces the blackness.
3.) An escort to the site after check in. (PP!) KOAs all do it, for half that price.
4.) A lodge (beautiful!) open past 8 o'clock.
5.) A store open past... before 8.
6.) A masseuse following me around all day, giving me a massage. Okay, maybe not.
7.) Bathrooms instead of Porta Potties, minus one nice bathroom.
8.) Decent Wifi that reaches past 10' from the closed store.
9.) A cellular signal. Get into the new millenium, people!
10.) And at last... drumroll please... showers without coin op! Oh, yeah that was a deal breaker. I considered negotiating a second night until I saw them. Forget it!
How can they charge such confiscatory rates with only good service? Only place on the island. The island featured much beauty, history and high prices. That's the island life.
Speaking of history, we visited the English Camp and American Camp, as the Pig War erupted on San Juan over who owned the island, in 1859. It all started with an American shooting an Hudson's Bay pig- a British pig that is. Both believed it to be part of their country. The countries set up miltary posts and arm wrestled over ownership for twelve years and finally settled it with an arbitrator, German Kaiser Wilhelm I. Not a shot fired, how about that?
Every road on the island is bike friendly two lane winding affairs, flanked by trees and greenies. Pleanty of spots open up to the sea, with Vancouver island and San Juan Islands dotting the landscape.
We caught the 4:15 ferry and left promptly at 4:30. Not (PP!) Southwest Airlines, is it?
Disembarking, we headed East and South, riding through LaConner, another town committed to looking old by building new old looking things.
We turned East and the sky looked foreboding. Soon it rained, light drops on the windshield, spatters on our face shields. We stopped in Arlington at (PP!) La Hacienda Resturant, an authentic Mexican restaurant. Our waiter, Hector, must have taken acting, because he looked and sounded just like a real Mexican. Even his language sounded like Spanish was his first language. The food and prices? Really good. We watched the rain dissipate and congratulated ourselves for waiting out the storm.
Full and content, we hopped on the bike for the last leg of the journey. We don't need no stinkin' rain gear, we're almost there!
Then the skies opened up. No time to stop and suit up, just a few more miles. The rain fell heavily and my face shield steamed up. Keeping it up even a slit caused rain to spatter in my face and eyes.
At last we arrived at QG's folks' house, a bit wet. And it's now our latest day, arriving at 8:30, something we vowed to avoid. Yet we keep setting late arrival records.
The Pacific Northwest can be the most beautiful place, but it comes with a price.
Tomorrow is a down day as I will take advantage of my wonderful relatives and repack the wheel bearings in the trailer and we'll clean up, sort out and perhaps even throw away some stuff. Tomorrow night we'll attend our granddaughter's concert, a special event for us, since we've lived so far away.