Shockingly we got out of our hotel with 20 min to spare and headed out to make our trip to Eugene.Our first stop was a fantastic roadside attraction outside Brinnon WA, called Hixsonville’s Oddities & Collectibles (hixsonville.com) home of the world’s largest pile of Clams.Spider adds: I am not sure if this is the world’s largest PILE of clams, or the world’s largest pile of CLAMS.Producer A found himself a pile of comic books, and I nearly dropped entirely too much money on a genuine mermaid mummy (but alas, I resisted- now I regret my forebearance)Spider picked up refills for our zippo gear and we got back on the road.
Dawn is breaking over the OIympic mountains with a golden kiss of morning sunlight. We arose with songbirds and forest creatures bringing us coffee on rough hewn wooden trays.Just kidding.I awoke at 6, looked over at the other bed where a towering literary giant of the science fiction field is sleeping.Why 6 A.M.? Well, one of the things they don’t warn you about in the SF Author Maintenance Handbook, is the snoring.Fortunately a well aimed pillow from across the room solves the problem and we are ready for the next leg of adventure, excitement and really wild things (™ Douglas Adams, R.I.P.)First order of business. Coffee.
Near Eugene we stopped at a rest site so producer A could ‘shake the dew from his lily’ (he’s fancy. I just pee.).Turns out this rest stop is the home of the ‘trees from all 50 states garden’ where they take non-native species from around the continental US and plant them in one spot.I will presume the Oregon authorities made sure they weren’t messing too bad with the local ecosystem. But who knows.The positive upshot of all this was a lovely little walk around a gem of a tree garden. If you are heading down I-5 near Salem OR, worth the stop.
Day 1Victoria B.C to Port Angeles WA.The trip began with a 4 AM call.“Steph. I don’t think I’m gonna make it”The Worldcon 76 Guest of Honour was white as a sheet and barely able to stand. It was my job to get him from Canada to San Jose in one piece and it was looking like the trip was going to be over before it began.After six hours in the emergency room, we got the all clear and Spider finally got some needed sleep. Luckily so did I.The spirit of Fandom and SF must have been watching over us, because when he woke up he was his old self and willing to try to make the trip after all. (I on the other hand was about ready to pass out from stress and worry).After a whirlwind last spasm of packing, we were on our way with A the Producer riding in the backseat down to the Black Ball Ferry.