Sunday, October 19, 2008

A ride in the Merc and a walk in the trees

It rained most of Friday but it started to let up a couple of hours before I left New Westminster. When I arrived at the border the sign said there was a ten minute delay, but there was only one car ahead of me in the line-up and the wait was more like five minutes.

I was prepared for a bit of a hassle, what with my "defective" passport and my mismatched licence plates (BC plate on the front, NS plate on the rear). But the US Customs guy did not seem concerned. He asked where I was going and where I lived, shone his flashlight into the space behind my seat and then handed me back my passport and wished me a good trip.

I was able to listen to CBC radio almost all of the way to Seattle. I was finally out of range about half an hour before arriving at Dave's, and then felt incredibly sleepy, so I put on the first tape I could reach in the dark, which turned out to be an old Moody Blues album. Cranked it up and it kept me awake the rest of the way.

I've known Dave for almost ten years, we've visited back and forth between Seattle and New Westminster many times. I've stopped working as a technical writer but Dave continues, currently on contract at Microsoft. He has a little bungalow in a quiet residential area and lives there with his cat Diamond. For almost as long as I've known him, he's been working on restoring a little red Mercedes that he acquired for next to nothing. Finally, it is driveable. Not finished, but driveable. So the highlight of this visit is a ride in the Merc.

Dave has been restoring cars for a very long time, he currently has four vehicles, two of which are licenced and driveable. One is a Rover, one a Lancia Scorpion, one a Toyota truck (the main work-a-day vehicle) and one the Mercedes. The Merc is the only one I have not yet had a ride in.

We spent a little time catching up with each other on Friday night. Dave normally stays up until 3:00am but these days I am lucky if I see midnight, so our waking hours are somewhat out of whack. By midnight I am good for nothing at all so I head for the bed made up for me in his office.

Saturday morning I am up early but Dave does not rise until close to noon. I make coffee and toast, do some browsing on his computer and a little work on my own computer. He does not have a router so I can only access the internet through his computer. When Dave gets up we continue our conversation for the next couple of hours and then I suggest we go out for a walk since it is sunny today. Dave says there is an exhibit at the Pacific Science Center called Lucy's Legacy that we could see, but it would be best to do that on Sunday. For today he suggests a ride in the Mercedes and a walk in the Arboretum. We have walked in almost all of the walkable places in Seattle, and I think we did the Arboretum when we first met, but after almost ten years I don't mind doing a repeat.

The ride is brief as the Mercedes still has one or two mechanical problems and Dave does not want to risk getting stranded too far from home. But it is a momentous occasion and probably my one and only ride in a classic Mercedes.

My memory of the first time we walked in the Arboretum was not particularly great, I mostly remember that it was close to the Interstate and you couldn't really get away from the highway noise. However, it was not that bad and we managed to walk in a part of the park that we hadn't been in before. Many but not all of the trees have little tags on them identifying them, but I was wishing Pat were here to help identify a lot of plants I had no idea about. I saw a Chinese Paperbark Maple that had bark like an Arbutus, very thin and peeling. I saw a fern that sort of looked like the Maidenhair, and sort of not, I don't know what it was and there was no tag for it.

For pictures and more information check out the Arboretum website.

We stopped at a QFC to shop for dinner, Dave picked up a couple of lamb chops and potatoes and lettuce. Great dinner!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Anne,

Dave has some interesting cars! We got a call this afternoon that DS1 had seen two Hudson Hornets! Automotively - YUM! Glad you've had such a good time with Dave.

I look forward to hearing about the exhibit.

Happy trails to you and more hugs!!