Tuesday, October 30, 2001

Hello from Blaine, Washington!

Start time: 0745

Start odometer: 22408

Weather: Cloudy day, intermittent rain throughout, temperature 47 degrees F.


An interesting day of touring and the completion of a mini-project for my trip.  I stopped in Blaine, located just south of the international border.  Made four more border crossings today, which makes a total of about twenty for this trip.  These were the most unusual, and the final one into this country tonight was the most intense.  Glad to see the officials looking for anything suspicious, as they inspected every trunk and opened every door of all cars.  Only problem is that while they did not remove everything from my trunk, they did not pack it they way they found it!  Not unexpected...But I think he was surprised when he looked in my cooler to find Hungarian sausage, as his double-take indicated!


Started this morning with a trip to Boeing in Everett.  They had plenty of space for their tour, which I took at 0900.  They first seat you in an auditorium and show two videos, one about their aircraft, the other a time lapse construction of a 747.  This was followed by a bus trip the largest building by volume in the world where construction of the wide bode aircraft is completed.  The guide offered quite a bit of interesting information, then lead us into the 777 manufacturing area of the assembly building.  After an elevator ride to the fourth floor, we observed the seven sections of the area where the aircraft are assembled.  Obviously I was very thrilled to be there!  What a fascinating place.  Are they hiring?  After a few minutes and more facts about the facility, we boarded the bus for a ride to the flight line to see quite a few aircraft.  This is where preparations were finalized for aircraft delivery.  Finally, we returned to the visitor center.  The tour went quickly, and I could have spent much more time there!  Afterwards, I stopped at the company store.  They had some neat things!  By the way, no cameras are allowed on the tour for the safety of the participants and workers.


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The Boeing Visitor Center.

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These doors slide open in four minutes to allow completed aircraft to be released out of the building.  The openings are approximately 380 feet wide!

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More of the incredibly large assembly building.

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Outside of the visitor center, a mock 717 cockpit is on display.

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The interior of the model.

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A visiting aircraft on the flight line!  This particular plane was surrounded by a fence with barbed wire!

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More aircraft on the line.

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The buildings where the aircraft are painted.

After a great tour of Boeing, I headed west towards a ferry terminal for a ride to Whidbey Island.  I had been here in 1997 to visit a friend's sister.  I stopped by the town of Coupeville to visit a couple of shops.  Incidentally, Coupeville was used for the main town scenes in the movie "Practical Magic."  I then continued north to Deception Pass.  

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The ferry arriving at the dock in Mukilteo.

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The view as we leave the dock.

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A free ride!

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Our arrival town, Clinton.

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Historic downtown Coupeville.  The building on the left was used for the shop owned by the Sandra Bullock character in the movie.  I spoke to the owner of the building on the right, and she stated that her store was closed for four months.  Also, more filming was done in her store, but none of it made the movie.

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Another view of the town.

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Informational panel about Deception Pass.

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A view looking east from the pass.

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The bridge that takes Route 20 over the water.

I continued my drive north for my final objective of a three part project I began back east.  When I was on Campobello Island in July, a ranger mentioned an international art project called Sunsweep, by David Barr.  Mr. Barr, from Michigan, created three granite sculptures in 1985 for the project spanning 2778 miles adjoining the US/Canadian border, as a symbol of friendship between the countries.  They are located on Campobello Island in New Brunswick, American Point Island, Lake-of-the-Woods, Minnesota, and  Boundary Bluff, Point Roberts, Washington.  Each piece in intentionally located on land that can only be approached by traveling through both Canada and the United States!  In New Brunswick, one needs to travel through Maine.  For America Point Island, a drive through Manitoba is required.  And a transit through British Columbia is mandatory to reach Point Roberts by car.  I will get the pictures from the other sculptures and add them here soon.

One historical point about Point Roberts...This is the location of the first boundary marker to indicate the U. S. Canada border!

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Panel describing the history of the obelisk.

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A sign at the small park located at the marker.

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The first border obelisk.

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Another look with more of the park in view, as well as a marine marker behind the obelisk.

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The third and final Sunsweep sculpture.

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Here I am at the site.

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A view if the artwork from further away.

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The park location of the final (for me) Sunsweep piece.

Tomorrow I head south, and do not plan on seeing Canada again for a while, though I will miss it.  I will try to visit a museum or two in Seattle before leaving, hopefully finding the one mentioned by my friend Coyne (more airplane stuff!)  Maybe I will be near Port Angeles by nightfall?!?!?  I never know!  Thank you for visiting! 


Routes traveled today: US 5 - Washington 526 - Wa 525 - Wa 20 - US 5 - Wa 11 - US 5 - British Columbia 11 - BC 17 - Point Roberts Wa. local roads - BC 17 - BC 99 - US 5 - Blaine local roads

Lodging: Anchor Inn Motel -

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