Trying To Get Home


Along the Oregon coast

Leaving Fortuna we headed out on highway 101 and it was a bit of an uneventful day as we were trying to make time to come back home.

We still stopped at beaches and the like, only it was more for a bit of a rest and stretching of legs.

Arriving in Florence, OR we decided to spend the night.

The next morning we figured we better get a covid test as it can take 1-5 days to get the results back.

It’s a tricky thing as you need a test to get over the border into Canada that is less than 72 hours old.

We figured that if we had it today (Friday) that we would be able to come home on Sunday (fingers crossed)

Getting online I searched for places to get a test and after about 4 hours of searching the only thing I found was that you could get it done at Fred Myer and Walgreen.

I tried to set up an appointment with Walgreen but they required a US address and other additional information that as a Canadian I didn’t have so I couldn’t make an appointment.

We went into Fred Myer’s and they had specific hours that they did testing and you needed to make an appointment online.

Also, it turns out they don’t do a PCR test, they only do the rapid tests that are inadmissible in crossing the border.

The PCR test is a molecular test that is more reliable than the rapid one.

Trying other options like hospitals didn’t produce any further results.

Finally, we headed down the road and at one point stopped at a Macdonald’s in Newport, OR.

Asking some men that were doing some repairs to the building if they knew where we could get a covid test and they pointed us across the street to a health center.

Side note: you should see people back up when you ask them where you can get a covid test.

It was a drive-thru testing and the lady that did the testing said we would get the results on MyChart and that we would be sent an email letting us know how to sign up.

The only things she asked for were our name, birthday and email address.

We figured we were all set and congratulated ourselves on how easy it had been and down the road, we went.

Our next night was spent at South Bend, WA at the same place we had stayed the first day of travel.

I had an email from the testing facility with an activation code to sign into MyChart and get our covid results.

Easy Peasy… I’ll just set it up.

Not so easy.

Turns out we needed a social security number and of course, we only have a social insurance number.

The system gave me 5 tries and then deactivated the code that I needed to activate.

My options were:

Phone the place that did the test so they could send me another activation code (they were closed until Monday)

Or I could request another one from MyChart but they were closed until Monday as well

So, either option wasn’t going to get us on the boat on Sunday.

Looking for other places along highway 101 to get a test was fruitless.

Stopping at other pharmacies they either didn’t do them or did a rapid test or were waiting for more tests to come in.

Health Centers were closed until Monday.

We were beginning to figure we might have to go to Olympia or Seattle to get testing done.

More on that later.

As we headed out in the morning we saw more elk.

These ones were all cows and were munching their way through someone’s front yard.

Elk in someone's front yard
Elk in someone’s front yard

The bull elk appeared to be in an adjoining field and further out.

Stopped at a park that had an interesting history.

Right now it looks like meadows and trees with a stream running through.

But, once it had been an 8 acres dryland sort and they had taken out the stream.

Once the sort was finished the property sat for 20 years before they made it into a park, removing all the 8 acres if asphalt and restoring the stream.

You would never guess there had been anything else there before now.

We headed up the 101 on the west side of the Olympic Mountains and ended up in Forks for the night.

Lots of scenery on the coast and we stopped on some beaches and walks some trails to see big trees in the Forest of Giants.

We saw the largest Sitka Spruce and Western Red Cedar in the world.

And there were lots of lakes and streams along the way.

I got online at Forks and found they did covid testing in Port Angles at the Olympic Medical Center.

They have a drive-thru clinic and they do travel testing for $180 per person.

Open on the weekend from 8:30 am to 4 pm no appointment necessary.

It takes an hour to get from Forks to Port Angles so we got up early to be there when it opened.

Looked outside the door and decided to wait an hour before we left as the ground was covered in frost and ice.

Brrrrrrrr!

Found the clinic easily and also discovered that they give the results via MyChart as well.

Bonus, now maybe we could get the results that we did in Oregon.

Disappointment.

Turns out the MyChart is set up differently for each state and even though the lady tried to find out information the two systems didn’t appear to talk to each other, so we went ahead with the test.

They set us up with a MyChart account and we filled out forms for taking the test and then were handed a cotton swab and told to swirl it in each nostril 10 times then it was put into a test tube and was ready to send off to the lab.

We went to the Visitor Information Center as we figured we might as well explore the area as we would probably be here for a few days.

Getting a hotel was easy as it’s the low season here and when I checked my email we already had the results of the tests.

Both Negative!

It only took 3 1/2 hours to get the results.

Amazing!!

And… the good news is that we are coming home tomorrow – Monday.

All set up with a reservation on the Coho tomorrow and we should be home around noon.

Lovely trip but I always look forward to my own bed.

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