The evening of Day 9 we walked the dogs from our campsite into the nearby seaside town of Westport WA and realized we wanted to come back during daylight hours to take a look at their Maritime Museum and have fish & chips for lunch. So, after breakfast and coffee on Day 10, we packed up Stevie and drove into Westport.
The Westport Maritime Museum is housed in a former Coast Guard Station, which had Jeremy very excited and feeling nostalgic for his days volunteering as a rescue member and the Unit Leader with the Ladysmith Coast Guard Auxiliary Unit 29 (now called rcmsar 29). The Westport site also houses a Fresnel Lens lighthouse beacon. What an impressive sight! The Fresnel Lens is credited to French physicist Augustin-Jean Fresnel and his design allowed the light to be seen for further distances than with the style of lights used prior to his invention. They must be using a very low wattage lightbulb for their demonstration or else we’d have been blinded by the light within the walls of where the Fresnel Lens is contained.
After touring the museum, we made sure the pups were content and then walked along the waterfront to enjoy some halibut and chips at Bennett’s Fish Shack. We each ordered our own, but the servings were large enough that we easily could have shared – and as a fisherman’s daughter, I’m not one to willingly suggest sharing orders of halibut! In the end, I shared some of mine with Jer as neither of us could stand the thought of leaving any fish on the plate. Fries, sure. But fish? No way! After lunch, we wandered in and out of some of the tourist gift shops and we picked up a third sticker for Stevie’s bumper.
A couple of hours later, we wound up outside of Tacoma WA and this is where JB and OB took over….
JB: you guys just had to eat fish and chips for lunch, didn’t you? Now we are hitting rush hour traffic.
OB: is Stevie OK? She sounds like she’s dying. Why is she making weird noises and motions?
JB: (directed towards driver of the car three cars in front): STOP letting people merge from the exit lane, asshole! They’re not lost, they’re cutting traffic.
OB: That driver is driving with his foot on the dash! What the hell?
JB: Oh, look – that guy just cut across three lanes so he could be in the fast lane.
OB: (directed at several drivers) GET OFF YOUR PHONE!!!!
JB: hahahahahaha – we just passed the guy who was so eager to be in the fast lane.
OB: I think Saela has to pee! I think she really has to pee!
And so it went for the next 3 hours that it took us to travel about 100km. It was at this moment we fully understood why the 90s era Seattle area grunge bands sounded so angry – they were sick and tired of driving the I-5! By the time we were through that craziness, we decided to just make a run for the border rather than stopping. We made a quick stop to feed ourselves and the dogs and then hit the road. Jeremy also spent his entire dinner break attempting to book us a campsite just inside the Canadian border. Here’s how his call went:
Campground Lady: hello?
Jer: hi? Is this the campground?
Jer: Do you have any availability for this evening?
Lady: I have to call you back. Give me your number.
Ten minutes later, phone rings, Jer leaps up from supper table and runs out of restaurant to take call. I pick up everything off the table and head outside to meet him. His call continues:
Lady: so you wanna site?
JB: seriously? WTF?
Jer: yes, please
Lady: OK fine. What time will you be here?
Jer: around 9:30pm
Lady: OK. See you then.
Jer: Do you want a credit card number?
Lady: nope. <click>
JB: that was seriously weird. Do we actually have a site?
About an hour later, we drove by three grass fires in the short distance of about 100 meters. We assume they were caused by assholes flicking their cigarette butts out of windows. There were some people pulled over and running down the road with their 7-11 cups full of water, which was both endearing and funny at the same time (OB: 16 ounces of water isn’t going to help stop a grass fire). We kept driving to avoid Stevie causing an accident and I placed a call to 911 to let them know of the fires. The fires were so close to one another we almost wondered if someone was starting them purposefully as they drove along. Intentionally or not, what stupidity. (JB: People really are assholes.)
As we drove along, I was thinking about the fires and hoping all was OK. All of a sudden, I realized that I had made the 911 call on Jeremy’s phone.
“OH NO! Where’s my phone? I can’t find my phone!!” I hollered.
OB: you fucking idiot. You left it on the table at the restaurant an hour ago, didn’t you? Way to care more about making sure you both had your drinks than making sure you had your phone.
Jenn: shhhhh…… it’s gotta be in my pocket.
OB: you’re sitting on your pocket. It’s not there. I’m 100% sure it’s ON THE TABLE back there. An hour’s drive from where you are. Guess what you get to tell Jeremy right now?
Jenn: Pull over. Pull over!! I can’t find my phone.
JB: Oh for crying out loud. Don’t stop. DO NOT STOP.
Jer: I will when it’s safe.
OB: He COULD pull over now. It’s safe enough. He’s totally not going to stop. Your phone is gone forever. He’s probably wondering why he ever married you in the first place.
JB: just call the damn phone.
OB: it’s in “airplane mode” because Jenn is too cheap to add more USA data to her plan. Y’know, because replacing a lost phone will cost less than adding more data.
Jeremy pulled over and I looked frantically everywhere for my phone while he calmly looked everywhere for my phone. Neither of us could find my phone so I called the restaurant we’d stopped at.
OB: Apparently calling to ask if a phone has been turned in required a manager to respond to our inquiry about if a phone had or had not been turned in. I’m sure we can trust them (insert eye roll).
JB: greeeeeat. Now we get to turn around and drive back towards the crazy ass traffic. How much is a new phone?
Jenn: but….. my pictures!!!!
OB: betcha you wish you used iCloud right about now.
Jenn: that’s not helping
JB (on behalf of Jeremy): we have a reservation at a campsite in Chilliwack. We will never make it at the time we told Campsite Lady we’d be there. I’m sick of driving. I don’t want to turn around. Why the hell didn’t you carry your damn phone out of the restaurant?
OB (on behalf of Jenn): we didn’t even give them a credit card number. We can call them if needed and so what if they give away our spot, oh well. There isn’t a law saying we have to cross the border just because we said we would. We can camp wherever we stop.
So, Jeremy turned Stevie around and we headed back up the road, expecting to be driving at least an extra 45 minutes back to where we had eaten. No sooner had we committed to the turn and wound up back on the I-5 heading South when I suddenly remembered exactly where I had put the damn phone. There is a cover that lifts up to reveal Stevie’s ashtray and lighter jack. We keep it lifted up so that we can use the jack for our phone charger. I had slid my phone between the top of the lid and the gap it creates in the console.
While I think everyone was happy we didn’t have to make the full trek back down the freeway, the tension as still a little high for a few minutes.
OB: oh my gawd, just use your purse already.
Jenn: it’s too big.
OB: I told you to bring a small one.
Jenn: but the small ones aren’t summery enough.
OB: you never listen.
Jenn: hey, at least I remembered now and not as we pulled into the restaurant parking lot.
JB: what a complete waste of time.
Jer: if it was my phone, we would have turned around as well.
JB: you’ll probably lose your phone tomorrow, dumbass.
Jer: hey, at least she remembered now and not when we arrived at the restaurant in an hour.
Once the energy settled back down, we enjoyed the remainder of the drive towards the Sumas border crossing. I’d been keeping my eyes open for a Joann Fabric and Craft store the entire time we were in the States because they carry different kinds of yarn than what we can find here in the Michaels craft stores. As my luck would have it, the only Joann’s store we saw was spotted after the Great Phone Turn Around.
Jenn: Oh noooooooooo!
JB: what the hell NOW?
Jenn: there’s a Joann’s!
OB: do NOT suggest stopping.
Jer: *in silence* [continues driving, pushes harder on the gas pedal]
JB: *evil laughter* PEDAL TO THE METAL, Jer!
Jer: the phone saved us from stopping!!
JB & Jer: *hysterical laughter*
OB: *whispers* guess we’re crossing the border on our way back to Calgary.
We finally made it across the border and pulled into our campsite in Chilliwack by about 10pm, all people, pets, and phones on board.
JB: Yah, right. The night didn’t end so peacefully. The first campsite they gave us had the wrong electrical plug.
Jer: it’s OK, we just went to the office and they gave us a different site.
JB: but first Camp Lady asked why we didn’t have 30 Amp. Geez, does it matter at 10pm? Did you not see the 1978 bucket o’bolts we pulled up in? They probably didn’t have 30 amp in 1978 for all we know. Does asking me this question help us resolve the issue in any way whatsoever?
Jer: calm down, it was fine. The guy set us up with a campsite for the correct Stevie Amp.
JB: yah, but it didn’t have water. Good thing we paid for a “full hook-up” site.
Jer: *cracks open a beer*
JB: *chugs the beer*