Saturday, 15 July 2017

Across the Border and Boeing Factory

Well this is close to a photo-less entry.

It marks the day we crossed the border from Canada to the US. Not a happy experience. A long traffic jam to get to the crossing. A bit of a quiz at the border in the car - fine. But then we were sent down a slip road and had to go into the office. The upshot of this lengthy detour was paying abot 12 dollars and having our passports stamped. But what was so annoying was the time taken. For the vast array of desks and lots of security staff, they just seemed not in the least bothered. Staff walked around slowly, and let queues build up. There was no urgency or interest. What could have been done in a minute took more like half an hour. Very tedious and made one regret coming to the US at all.

We missed lunch as we had a tour of the Boeing Factory booked and hadn't anticipated the border crossing taking so long.

Needless to say, the Boeing tour was Thibault's idea, sold to me as the building with the largest enclosed space in the world. Well it wasn't exactly a stunning piece of architecture, but its true size can impress. It is a massive factory, and our guide, who looked and sounded like he ought to have been doing a tour of American Independence sites from 1776 (huge mutton-chop sideburns) was very slick. Of course it is impressive to see all these aircraft being built, but one does so from a great height, which rather detracts from the experience. You lose the scale. They look quite small beneath.

And no photos as they don't allow cameras to be taken in. Apparently the concern is that someone would drop a camera from these high balconies and that could cause damage to people ofr highly expensive equipment.

So no photos. All I have to show for the day is this - the Nisqually Lodge in Ashford, a stopping point for our next day's destination, Mount Rainier.

Reception is quite something - a fine example of the taxidermist's art

But the bedrooms were comfortable and would certainly recommend the place should you ever be in Ashford. Ashford isn't really much of a town, more a string of lodges and the like along the main highway into Mt Rainier National Park.

We arrived about half past seven and asked for recommendartions for a place to eat. The guy did say the neighbouring hotel had a restaurant and we could get a discount if we ate there. Well we went and the guy said the place had just closed. Actually it was supposed to close at 8pm (!), but the last two customers were on there way out and I don't think he fancied hanging around just to feed us. It was a lucky escape on our part too as we didn't much like the look of the place. Unfortunately that meant a drive to the next nearest place, which also meant Thibault couldn't drown out a trying day with half a bottle of wine.

But we did quite like the Copper Creek Inn. Nice service, it at least stayed open until 9pm, and served a cracking blackberry pie.

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