As it turned out 3 nights in Olympic NP was a suitable (well almost - D&I didn't get enough ocean) replacement for Vancouver Island, especially once we talked through the fact that Tofino is not a day trip from Victoria. There are many ferries that go from the Olympic Peninsula to interior Washington: we decided on the northern most route from Port Townsend to Coupeville. Once we made the decision to forego the west coast of Canada, our next goal was a campground with showers and WiFi. To give us time for sunrise, breakfast and teardown, I booked a 1:15 crossing on the ferry. Expecting line ups at the U.S. Canada border I booked a site at the Othello Tunnels campground in Hope B.C. ($34, private, clean but otherwise unremarkable, lots of noise from the Coquihalla)
We made the ferry terminal by 10:13 a.m., let the agent know we'd booked the 1:15 ferry and were delighted to be put onto the 10:15 sailing! AND this ferry crossing was $19 for the van and 3 adults.
Crossing the border took less than an hour, so we made it to Hope by mid afternoon, had a late lunch, picked up some groceries and set up camp. At which point all laptops came out and stayed out all night. We did laundry, had showers, then planned the remainder of the trip.
Hope to Fernie on Highway 3. Eight hours straight, through mountains and forest. Quick stops in Keremeos (mmmmm, fresh fruit) and Oosoyoos.
We'd booked a hotel in Fernie so that Daryl could meet with a colleague. When we arrived, we found out that the hotel had a pool/waterslide/hottub. Ana was delighted ;-)
Unable to book a campground at Waterton we left Fernie bright and early hoping to arrive in Waterton early enough that we'd land a campsite in the park. We crossed the Rockies from west to east, and arrived in the southern Alberta foothills mid morning to the views of the rolling hills, wind farms and never ending prairie. Breathtaking, even though the skies were really hazy with forest fire smoke. This may very well be my favorite corner of Alberta.
A quick stop at WalMart in Pincher Creek for groceries, and we made the gates of the town campground right at 11 a.m. - check out time - to secure perhaps the last spot in the town campground. We paid for two nights, $27.50 per night without electricity. But there were showers!
Back to Washington
On to Waterton