We left Vancouver at about 11.30am. Cycle routes in the city are good but like any city you’re unfamiliar with, you end up stoping and starting to check maps and reassure yourself that you’re going in the right direction. The first part of today’s ride after leaving central Vancouver was fairly built up and not very pleasant to cycle through. Things improved after we got past the US border. The border has a lovely landscaped park with the peace arch sitting in the middle. Around the arch were beautiful flower beds, trees and artwork. Mike snapped some shots and even asked some passing tourists to take pictures of us.
We were expecting that it could take a while to get throughout the border and we were correct. Unlike the cars that seemed to queue for a short while and then drove through, pedestrians and cyclists wishing to cross were herded in the custom building where we had to fill in more forms, answer more questions and pay for the privilege! We’d already paid online to enter the USA – but apparently that only counts if one enters by air! So we’ve had to pay twice! What a disgrace – anyone would think they didn’t want us! The road after the border was much nicer and quieter.
We stopped this afternoon for a break in Bellingham (pronounced Bellingeham). We also had a doughnut each at Rocket Donuts – lovely they were too. The final stretch of today’s ride was along a beautiful wooded valley beside the sea called Chuckanut Bay. Matthew, our Warmshowers host in Vancouver recommended it and he was certainly right. If you’re ever passing through Washington State it’s well worth a visit.
After Chuckanut Bay, we emerged from the woods onto the flat and fertile plains before reaching Mount Vernon. We passed by lots of organic farms. There are lots of wonderful things about touring cycling, including that it’s a great pace to see the world, but I really love that you not only see stuff – you can smell it too. We cycled through pine forests and camomile fields today – both were a scent sensation.