UPDATE: used Surly LHT or new on sale Marin
I have been wanting to update this sooner but...
I picked up the Marin but did not like it much, for many reasons; one of the important being that the rear dropouts are some concave design and my trailer attachment did not fit correctly. The Surly was much too small (and spoken for by the time of my arrival in Portland from Van BC. I looked at several different types and test rode most with the trailer. The search was narrowed down to two; both Trek 520s. The one seems to still be available. A 2006 outfitted with fenders, flaps, rack and little extras. The other was a 91. It looked like an older bike. Nothing fancy and what I think to be, ugly decals. The older one won out because I swear it is the smoothest feeling bike I have tried in years. I have to say that even my brand new Gunnar did not feel as smooth. I posted a question about trek reference and the answers were really helpful. I concede that I may have paid more than the reference sites' formulas suggest, but I also factored in Portland, as bikes seem to have a little more value in some instances, depending on the bike and such. (I think? from my comparisons.)
I have spent a bit of time riding, getting used to it and changing things around, adding new parts, making adjustments and such.
I tried several sets of bars and stems before going with Nitto mustache bars and a stem to match.
After the departure of my Gunnar- I thought I would not put any time or money or effort into a bike again.
I think I found love again.
The hills and traffic in North Van are still scary to me but I am pedaling on in hopes of gaining strength, and fearlessness. I am pulling the baby- that makes it a bit more intense for me.
We are doing our first "tour" next weekend on Vancouver island from Swartz Bay to Victoria and back. It is full of new. I have done off road with a bob; alone or with someone more experienced.
This trip will be road, with a trailer for the baby (also a new thing) and loaded panniers, and with her dad who has never done anything like this before.
Okay then, if any one has any hints about camping between Swartz and Victoria or any other helpful bits or comments in general, please reply. Thanks again to those who answered my earlier queries.