The Watering Hole Blog

On the Road…But Nearly Not

On the Road…But Nearly Not


MA & Sadie, on the road to Washington State

“When you really want something, the universe always conspires in your favour.”

– From The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho

And we’re off!

Sadie and I set off from Victoria, BC on our 3-month writing road trip through the Western U.S. on Fri Jan 12th. I even cleaned out my CRV (a.k.a. “The Dogmobile”) for the journey!

I must confess it was a bit difficult to leave our cozy little feathered nest in Cordova Bay, BC (near Victoria) where my amazing friends, Dave & Heather and their three girls, Taylor, Paige and Ella (and Jadie the black lab and Eddie and Sam, the sparring cats), had ever-so-kindly put up with me and Sadie for the past three months. We LOVED staying with them and are extremely grateful 🙂

Sadie and Eddie the cat snuggled up in bed, Cordova Bay, BC

But a new adventure was awaiting, so leave we did…and made it as far as the US border at White Rock.

The conversation with the officer (the second one – inside the building…gulp) from Homeland Security went a little like this:

HIM: How long will you be in the United States?

ME: Three months.

HIM: How do I know you will return to Canada in three months?

ME: Because…uh, I like Canada.

HIM: Can you provide me with written confirmation of any obligations – work, house, family, etc – that indicate you will, in fact, be returning to Canada in April?

ME: Uh…like what?

HIM: Ma’am…I believe I just told you what I’m looking for.

ME: But I sold my house, my stuff is in storage, I’m single, no kids and I don’t have a job to return to.

(which is when it occurred to me that being a gypsy does have it’s drawbacks)

HIM (sighs): Okay, Ma’am…then are you able to provide me with any proof of where you will be staying during your three months in the States and when you will be leaving?

ME (pulling out my cell phone): “Why, yes I can!”

(which is when I realized that being an organized, planning gypsy is perhaps a good thing after all)

I proceeded to scroll through my “Travel 2018” file and flash him multiple confirmations of where I would be staying and when, including a reservation in early April near the US/Canada border. And while I was proudly showing him all sorts of reservation confirmations, I came across an e-mail (from myself to a VRBO owner) that said, clear as day: “I am a writer from Canada who will be on a 3-month writing road trip with my dog…”

ME: “Look what I found!”

I showed him the e-mail. He looked at me a moment then starting filling out a piece of paper.

I held my breath. He typed something into the computer. Then he hands me the piece of paper.

HIM: Here’s what we’re going to do…

So the long and short of it is: I have until Apr 11th to return to Canada.


Then I took my piece of paper and passport, jumped in the CRV and Sadie and I hightailed it out of there before they could change their minds.

Our first stop was the Olympic Club Hotel (another fabulous McMenamins Property) in Centralia, WA. A century ago, it was a Gentleman’s Club.

Breakfast in a brothel

Then we headed on to Cannon Beach on the Oregon Coast…and hit sunshine!

Cannon Beach


Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach


Sadie outside our adorable “Sunflower Cottage” (300 square feet)

We are staying here for a week. The project I’m working on is the “Bungalow by the Sea” play script (formerly “The Neighbours”), which is kinda perfect – except it’s too quiet here. Kidding!

A delightful place to write

“No project is completed until its objective has been achieved.” 

– From The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho

Sunset at Cannon Beach…wow!

Next stop: Newport, Oregon

Till then, take care and have a great couple of weeks…and I shall do the same.

“Making a decision was only the beginning of things. When someone makes a decision, he is really diving into a strong current that will carry him to places he had never dreamed of when he first made the decision.”

– From The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her regular weekly blog, please sign up here. As a thank you, you’ll receive a short but saucy e-book entitled, Dive into this Chicago Deep Dish – Ten Bite-Sized Steps for a Yummier Slice of Life. 

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15 thoughts on “On the Road…But Nearly Not”

  1. Have a fabulous time of Being in the Moment! I’ll imagine you dancing on the beach in the moonlight.Arleen : )

  2. Love that you’re sharing your journey with us!! Your photos are amazing!! Keep on writing and see you in April xox

  3. Good Luck my friend! Sounds like an experience of a life time! I will look forward to your blogs, photos and updates. Bon Voyage!

  4. Oregon looks beautiful! Love the look of your cottage! Hope you keep the ink flowing and have a peaceful vacation! K

  5. Sorry I missed you before you took off on the great adventure. Canon Beach is lovely. What a great spot to write. Bet Sadie Pope loves the beach! Fabulous photos.
    Check out Carrie Newell’s Whale Museum in Depot Bay. She has a golden retriever who goes whale watching with her in the zodiac.
    And if you like crab cakes…Tidal Raves in Depot Bay is a must. Best crab cakes in the world!
    Looking forward to following along with you.
    Safe travels and lots of great writing!
    Pamela & Tuxedo

  6. Hi Pamela and Tux! I will for sure check out Carrie Newell’s whale museum in Depot Bay…and the crab cakes at Tidal Raves, too!

    I hope you are feeling better 🙂

    Take care,
    MA & Sadie

  7. Hi Glynis! Oh Sadie is one happy dog, that’s for sure! She LOVES the beach. We are headed there again shortly.

    Hope you are well and I look forward a long-overdue chat when I get back home again in April.

    Take care,

  8. Hi Kathleen…lots of fantastic writing get done here at Sunflower Cottage! I had a tremendously productive week 🙂

    Take care,

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