Lister Got Bling

Check out Lister’s shiny new tag! It came with the rabies shot and documentation of it that I need to cross the Canadian border.

From my research, this should be all I need. At first the vet thought I needed some kind of certificate dated within 10 days of crossing the border, but he did some research and confirmed that the rabies certificate itself should be all I need. Apparently, Canada has relaxed the requirements for animals as well as humans. I no longer need a negative COVID test just before crossing, only my passport, and proof of vaccination, which I have.

My list of to-dos while at my friends’ place is getting very short. A new, and way too expensive, power cord for my Garmin motorcycle mount should arrive tomorrow. These are known to go bad and stop making contact after a year or two, and that’s exactly what’s happened to me. I did a 170-mile loop out to the coast and back yesterday, and once again the power connection started flickering on and off. I’m already boldly going where I’ve never gone before, and it would be pretty awful if I planned a route in my Garmin only to have it run out of power halfway through. The cable costs nearly $50, which is absolutely ridiculous, but I coughed it up and will replace it before I leave. That way, as I continue exploring points unknown, I won’t have to worry about it.

The bike’s front tire is getting rather worn, so I’ve ordered a replacement Shinko 804 to be delivered to my local Cycle Gear. I’m still waiting for confirmation on how long it’ll take to get there, but I’m hoping it doesn’t take too long to get installed on my bike. I’m equipped and willing to remove my front wheel and bring it in separately to facilitate a quick — and hopefully less expensive — installation. Safety is good.

I’d been hoping to meet up with Amanda of As the Magpie Flies while passing through Portland. She was interested in making plans, but then got some good news that I’m not at liberty to share that also resulted in a whole lot more work she had to do before setting off on another motorcycle trip (that’s what she does), so time ran out. I’ll be back to this area, though, and we’d both like to meet up then.

So that brings us to Washington. I need to figure out what I’m going to do there. I’ll start by visiting some Quartzsite friends who live in Vancouver. I have friends and family in Tacoma and Seattle as well. I want to see Mt. St. Helens because I remember when the volcano erupted in 1980. Olympic National Park is a possibility as well.

From there, I could cross to Canada one of two ways. One would be to simply drive to the border on or near Interstate 5. I’ve done land border crossings to Canada many times, so it would be pretty easy. My route would follow a relatively straight line north, from Olympic National Park through Tacoma, Seattle, and beyond. If, for some reason, Canada doesn’t let me in, I’m in a good location to launch Plan B, which is a big, slow loop of the western US.

The other would be to take a ferry from Port Angeles to Victoria, BC. This is somewhere all of my Canadian friends tell me I should visit, as well as the capital of British Columbia. It gets me onto Vancouver Island, which is quite popular with van dwellers, and somewhere I’d like to explore after seeing a lot of it on Vancity Vanlife. It would require me to backtrack a bit from Seattle but would give me more time and space in Olympic National Park. The fastest and most efficient route is not a requirement for this journey, and what a fun way that would be to go to Canada.

The elephant in the room that I haven’t mentioned is internet service. I still have to work. I can certainly find places to get free WiFi, but I don’t want to have to rely on them to work, either. Both my Verizon and T-Mobile hotspots are on plans that will work in Canada, but with slow data. I can live with not being able to stream YouTube or Netflix for several hours a night like I can on my friends’ WiFi, or even on my hotspots when I have good coverage and more data than I need in a month. But if my service is too slow or unreliable for me to work, this cross-Canada plan may not be possible. I really won’t know until I get there and see what happens, unfortunately. I’ll plan to cross on either a Saturday or a late Friday so I can scope out the internet situation over the weekend, then be prepared to work on Monday. Worst case, I return to the US and switch to my Plan B trip. I could also see about taking some time off work to pick a part of Canada to explore for a week when reliable internet doesn’t matter so much.

But at this point, in theory, that’s pretty much the only thing that could derail the cross-Canada trip. I’m not allowing myself to get excited about it yet. Once I’m there and can confirm that I can meet my basic internet needs, then I’ll get excited. For now, I’ll focus on tying up my loose ends in Oregon and making a plan for Washington.

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