RELAXED, GENTLE, EASY …
The US border guards were nice, friendly, even welcoming. Seattle bustling with the Hemp Festival, tattoos and dreadlocks celebrating the new marijuana law. Traffic lined up for blocks for the ferry to Vashon Island. A short ride across Puget Sound to the island hangout of old hippies, democrats and organic farmers.
Business with a difference. A clothing shop owner who dishes out empowerment slogans with her funky, handmade threads, “The President of Me”. The farmer’s market, complete with greenies raising awareness of the plight of the bees and bored teens sipping organic fruit juice. An old man fixes his truck on main street. Supper in what was an old hardware store.
A salmon supper, then singing folk songs with a new friend playing an old guitar. A Dylan lament the first number. Relaxed, gentle, easy.
But still America. An antique and sports car show on a dusty gas station parking lot attracted hundreds. The stars and stripes flies from front yards and docks. Patriotism, but not the patriotism of the blue states in the middle.
A ferry ride back to Victoria for a drink at The Empress’s Bengal Lounge. Comfy leather couches, impeccable service in contrast with a suburban mall where a huckster sells running shoes. More dinners with old friends. Lazy all-morning breakfasts.
On Salt Spring Island welcomed by the first rain in months. The island votes green, but the grass is all brown. A foggy morning. Ships sound their horns, kayakers wait for the fog to lift. Gulls wheel overhead. Relaxed, gentle, easy.