Washington, Oregon and British Columbia

April 2017

We flew into Seattle and rented a car. We stayed the first night in Tacoma Washington.

Our first day we went to the two auto museums. The first is claimed to be the largest auto museum in the world. The Harold LeMay collection. Harold died in 2000 and his son runs the operation. They claim to have over 2500 cars. They are in 58 different buildings scattered around Tacoma. We went to the main location which is an 80 acre estate that used to be a Catholic military school.

We had our own docent that spent over 2 hours with us. We visited 6 buildings. One building is the size of a football field with a 3 level storage rack for cars. The best 400 cars however are at the family residence and we didn't see those as it is open to the public only one weekend a year.

While the collection is surely large I thought it a bit depressing. There are so many cars and many of them are out of site and need work. To just accumulate this many cars is not in the spirit of car collectors. They would be better off showing 200-300 nice cars. The other cars deserve to be sold so they could be in the possession of someone that will love them, care for them and drive them. That is where old cars belong.

Click here to learn more. and here.

In 2012 the Lemay family was instrumental is setting up a car museum in downtown Tacoma. They donated money and many cars. It is called "America's Car Museum". It is not associated with the LeMay foundation even though the LeMay name is on the front of the building. It is really a beautiful building with a great collection of cars. After three hours at the first facility Jan had had enough of cars. She patiently waited in the car and read a book while I looked at more cars.

When Scott was 8 years old I bought him one of these brand new.

And I bought Troy one of these. Both bikes are collectables now.

The museum is eight next door to the Tacoma Dome. That is Jan in our rental car reading her book.

We drove to Vancouver Washington for the night. In the morning we drove to Grants Pass to see our long time friend Cynth Frego. We stayed there 3 nights. Jan and Cynth could talk forever.

We then spent a day in the car driving 400 miles back up through Seattle and stayed the night in Everett Washington. The next morning we visited the Boeing plant.
This is where Boeing makes the 747, 777 and 787 planes. They are assembled in the largest building by volume in the world. They were really stringent on what they would let us take into the building. No purses, cell phones, cameras, bags etc. So no photos. We were escorted onto balconies overlooking the assembly of each plane. They employ 35,000 people at this site and have several other assembly plants around the USA.
After touring the plant we drove north on I5 and over into Canada. It took over an hour to go through customs to cross the border.
We had reservations for the ferry to Vancouver Island from Tsawwasen. The wind was blowing so hard however that they cancelled all the ferries. We drove into Vancouver to get a room for the night. The next morning the ferry was running.
Our destination was Tofino. Vancouver island has a mountain range that runs up the center of the island. The main road north goes up the east side of the island. The west side has no roads running up the coast. There is a road that goes over the mountains to only two towns on the west coast. The road is two hours of twisties. My favorite kind of road; even in a rental car. There was very little traffic. On the top of the pass there was snow along sides the road. We had lunch in Tofino, walked on the beach and then had two more hours of the same winding road back to the east coast. Then we drove south to Victoria.

This pier in Tofino is the end of the Trans Canada Highway. It is 4990 miles long and goes from the Pacific to the Atlantic across Canada.

We had reservations at the Grand Pacific Hotel on the harbor in Victoria. It is a beautiful harbor area and we had a view from our 9th floor balcony.

The next day we didn't get in the car. We had a nice breakfast and then walked the town. The weather was beautiful but cold. The sun has a hard time staying out for very long.

Jan is a docent at the Mini Time Machine miniature museum in Tucson is and is very interested in miniatures. She had heard of the miniature museum in Victoria.

Click here to see the museum.

This is the Presbyterian church in Victoria. Our friend in Friday Harbor is a Presbyterian minister so we had to see their sister church.

That afternoon we had high tea in the Royal Grand. Jan loves high tea. We have been to high teas all over the world. It took us 2 hours to eat it all. I was real good and did not eat anything until she was ready to eat.
The next morning we drove to Sydney BC to catch the ferry to Friday Harbor.
We stopped in Friday harbor to visit our old friends Becce and Joe Bettridge. We had lunch with them and then drove to a friend's house to see their baby sheep. They have a 40 acre working farm that has been in their family for 4 generations. They have pigs, chickens, sheep and cattle. It is beautiful country. I said that it must be a great place to be a cow and I was told it was except in January when they have "horizonal snow".
We caught the 6:25 ferry to Anacortes and arrived at our hotel at the Seattle airport by 10 pm. We flew home the next morning.



Return to home page