The road is familiar to me, having driven from Seattle to British Columbia on numerous occasions.
I-5 to Everett is usually very busy and it can be a little dicey driving through the Everett area. Everett is the county seat for Snohomish County. From Everett you can head east to Wenatchee over Steven’s Pass where there is an excellent ski area. After you negotiate Everett you approach Marysville and the traffic starts to thin out.
The next town is Stanwood, which is off to the west and if you continue on the road you will come to Camano Island. They have a great state park for camping at the southern end of the island. I would take my tent trailer and my dogs with me for the weekend.
Mt. Vernon is the next larger town and the county seat of Skagit County. It is also the door to the area west that is the scene for the annual Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. http://www.tulipfestival.org/site
The eagle watching on the Skagit River can be a major draw: http://skagiteaglewatchers.wordpress.com/
West of Mount Vernon the road goes south to Deception Pass and Whidbey Island where I have many memories of spending time with my family. We went there on day trips or to camp. The trip is up I-5 to Mt. Vernon, west to Whidbey and then south stopping at various parks and towns along the way. You return to Seattle on the ferry-boat to Mukilteo.
A very trendy place to visit with shops, museums and tons of restaurants is LaConnor.
Anacortes is where you can either dally or take the ferry to the San Juan Islands.
We didn’t dither in any of these places on this day our goal being Surrey, BC. As we continue north spotting signs for Burlington and Sedro Woolley. Yes, it is the name of a town.
Bellingham is the home of the Western Washington State University and the county seat of Whatcom County.
We have driven north through Snohomish, Skagit and Whatcom Counties. All have very active genealogical societies. Here is a list of the genealogical societies in Washington State. Region 1 is where you will find these societies I am referring to and several more: http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~wasgs/wsgssocs.htm
Normally the route to the border is through Blaine were you can view the Peace Arch but this time we turned onto Hwy 543 and headed north to the border.
This trip into British Columbia is to refresh my knowledge of Canada for my upcoming big trip to Ontario and Quebec. I am learning a lot and there are challenges regarding cell phones, computer and credit cards.
The highway sign said said a wait time of 15 minutes at the border. It turned out the custom inspector just asked us few questions: Where are you from? Where are you going? What is the purpose of your visit? Did we have any hazardous items? That was it! We were on our way!
Just as we came up to the border our cell phones chirped. Mine now reads international on it and the roaming charges message appeared. Before this trip I had tried to get the Sprint lower rate plan for Canada and I had an interesting experience with that via their chat. We will see if it took effect?
As we entered Canada the road changed to Hwy 15 and it heads directly to Cloverdale and Hwy 10. The signs all read kilometres and metres. My brain wants to think in miles. This is a good thing!
It was very busy on Hwy 10 through Cloverdale. I had forgotten that there were several 176 streets in the area. So we turned left a little early. I had been in the area before so we found the Cloverdale Library and the parking lot without too much trouble.
It was time for a sandwich followed by a little research in the genealogical collection on their second floor.