The long, long road to Port Alberni

May 5th 2016 - Somewhere between Michigan and Vancouver Island

After saying goodbye to family and good friends, Otto and I left Michigan. The drive started out quite uneventful until we reached northern Illinois. The first major milestone was leaving pothole country. The roads become infinitely smoother once you pass Chicago which Big Red (my 1997 Ford F250) thoroughly appreciated.  Wisconsin seems to be a beautiful state which I hope to one day spend more time in. Through Minnesota and into North Dakota you start to see very different landscape but the true change occurs in Western Montana. Montana by the way is almost a full day of driving in itself so plan accordingly. The prairies of South Dakota and East Montana give way to drastic mountain scenes that are truly breathtaking. When/if the sailing buzz wears off, I could easily see myself retiring on a nice plot of ranch land in Western Montana or Idaho. Through Idaho you finally reach Spokane and can breath a sigh of relief as you are almost to the coast. I have never seen such an expanse of farm fields as you see in Eastern Washington state. The rolling hills and sagebrush give you the impression you are in an old western movie. 

After two and half days of driving we finally made it to Seattle. Took a short trip up to the border and had an interesting interaction with the Canadian border folks. They were quite accommodating and pleasant to deal with even though I was crossing with a truck packed to the brim and my dog sidekick. I guess they let anyone/anything into Canada ;) Jumped right away onto the next ferry for Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. Upon arriving on Vancouver Island you immediately see and feel the change in lifestyle. Vagabonds galore gave me the feeling that this was the right spot to start such an adventure. The 45 minute drive from Nanaimo to Port Alberni is one of the most scenic I have been on. Through the rain forest, up and down a mountain and past a mountain lake (Cameron Lake) that has got to be a hot spot for postcard photographers. I can't wait to take a motorcycle trip back to the lake and take some pictures. After 2400ish miles we arrived in Port Alberni and the start of our new life on Blue Starr.