Port Angeles to Victoria, B.C.

by Backroads Insider on 07/24/2014 - 06:59 pm

Tag: Backroads Insider


In elementary school it was The Royal Wax Museum (and the Chamber of Horrors!) and the spectacle of double decker busses. In high school,  punk rock records, Coffee Crisp candy bars, and legally purchased Tanqueray (the drinking age is 19 in British Columbia) illegally snuck back across the border. Having Victoria B.C. right across the water was like living next door to the kid with a nice house, cool parents and a pool.  Oh Canada!


Kids who grow up in Port Angeles, like me, are part Canadian.  I listened to Canadian radio, watched 'The Beachcombers' on TV, and peppered my phrases with enough ‘Ehs’ that people asked if I was Canadian. I wished!


Victoria British Columbia is still just a 17 dollar walk-on ferry ticket away from PA. During the hour-and-a-half crossing on the Coho you may see orcas, and you'll certainly see folks lurching down the aisles as the venerable ship rolls through the Strait's swells. Back in my booze smuggling days I could make passage with just a driver’s license and a note from my mom. Today, it isn’t so simple. A passport or an enhanced driver’s license is required to cross the border, and minors must also have proof of citizenship.


But the ferry journey from mill fronted, mountain backed Port Angeles to British Columbia’s second largest city is still an international adventure. And it’s on a scale that doesn’t involve immunizations, airfare or learning how to say ‘I’d like that cooked, not live, please’ in another language.


Sometimes, teatime, Poutine and a flag with a maple leaf are as exotic as you wanna get.