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We’re in the land of flashing green traffic signals

September 1, 2007
Vancouver, B.C.

Wikimedia Commons

The clerk at the convenience store said the reason traffic approaching the Patullo Bridge wasn’t moving was because of a U-Haul that lost an axle in the middle of the bridge. Brent and I had to find an alternate route.

A guy gave us some directions, but we weren’t seeing the things he said we would. Then I spot a scooter headed toward us.

It’s a Lambretta.

The rider, a local guy named Jimmy, extended a big secret motorcycle wave when he saw us, and pulled over to the shoulder. Brent and I went over and explained our situation.

“No problem,” said Jimmy. “I can get you into town in about eight minutes.”

So we’re off on a mad dash as the ripple effect of the Patullo Bridge obstruction spreads through Greater Vancouver (or I guess it’s now “Metro Vancouver”). We pass through neighborhoods I had no idea existed on our way to BC 91 and the Alex Fraser Bridge.

My plan was to avoid this bridge, since it’s part of what amounts to a freeway. But with traffic clogging up all over the city, it really wasn’t such a bad ride this time.

Brent and I had a pleasant ride to Bellingham, though the clouds looked threatening as we headed north. The raindrops started to fall as we negotiated the last bit of Chuckanut Drive into Fairhaven, and by the time we finished lunch the rain was coming down fairly heavily.

It didn’t look so bad as we saddled up, but I was wet by the time we hit Meridian Street. At this point, there was no point in putting on the rain gear… you pretty much get steamed like broccoli if you do.

It had rained all the way up Guide Meridian Road to the border crossing at Aldergrove. The border guard was so pleasant… where are you from, are you leaving any gifts in Canada? “Are you here for the rally?” she asked. Wow.

Brent and I had encounted traffic tie-ups all along BC 1A going into town. “Is this normal?” he asked. News reports on CBC British Columbia sure made it sound that way.

But I guess that doesn’t account for U-Hauls losing their axles. Favicon


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