Thursday, May 7, 2015

Our Adventure Continues

Hola amigos!  It's been a while since I talked with you. We have been very busy of late. What with the big cleanup at the condo, and spending our time at "the beach house", I finally got a few minutes to catch you up.

I pushed myself back from the table after one of ScooterChick's tremendous dinners and decided to stretch my legs for a couple minutes. I present a picture of the log booms on the channel, with Mount Garibaldi in the background.

Looking eastward from our spot, we get a clear view of the  Stawamus Chief. This  massif rises almost vertically from sea level 2,297 feet. The link has more information than you'd care to know.

Here is a view southward, down the channel and out int Howe Sound. The upper reaches of the Sound are world famous for Windsurf and Kitesurfers. If you want to know more, YouTube Squamish Kiteboarding for a better look at these lunatics in action. They are "All the way off the chain.."

There is still some decent sized timber coming off the hill. It seems almost hard to believe now but when  I first moved to this area it was not uncommon to see something like this:

One log was the whole truckload, and he was probably running it in after 4:30 when any inspectors had knocked off for the day, since he was probably seriously overweight. Road legal GVW in those days was 88,000 pounds.

These logs are probably a little better than a load, lets say about 100-125,000 pounds. They will probably go as peelers for plywood since they are so clean.

As I walked out of the Dump (dry-land sort), I found the remaining roadbed of the Merrill and Ring railroad. This road was built to haul logs to the mill, and lumber to the ships carrying it out of Howe Sound.

The Merrill and Ring Families had been lumbering in Minnesota before coming north. Turned out to be profitable for them. Turns out they still own and manage a little better than 75,000 acres or a little better than 117 square miles of timber in BC, WA, OR and NZ.

Here is a load of Cedar, heading to a mill about 8 miles up the road. There is a strong market for Cedar for fencing, decking and siding. This is due in large part to it's properties. It is strongly resistant to pests, rot and cracking. It has a high oil content and is very aromatic.

After my little "walkabout" I returned to Grace, having had an opportunity to stretch my legs and get some air. The walk did me good.

This morning we made a trip to the city, and while there stopped at Earl's for a bite. This is our first time here, and we only came in because we had a gift card we needed to use.

The plantings are lovely this time of year. The bloom has arrived and things will be blooming in sequence from now until late June.

They have done a good job with the landscaping here, striking the right balance between variety, specie and color.

With the temperature hovering around 70, we chose to eat on the patio. This is the first stretch of really decent weather we have had this year, and temps will be in the 70's for the next several days. YA-HOO!!!

Earl's was the first company I know of to plant Fan Palms. This was around 1978. For the first couple of years they wrapped the trunks in burlap over the winter for protection while they established. I thought it a risky venture, but they seem to have survived, and in fact thrived. They are now about 20-25 feet tall!

The patio was filling up with diners, but we got a good spot. I sat in the shade, and the Trippn ' Sista soaked up the rays.

I went with the Tuna Tostadas. These were comprised of  a Tortilla Chip, a slice of Avocado, Pepper Crusted Ahi Tuna slice, Shaved Jicama, a slice of Radish and a garnish of Fresno Pepper. They were based with a Garlic Aioli and were very tasty. A delicate but scintillating combination of flavors and textures. Fun Food!

I also went for the Yam Fries, well done of course served with Garlic Aioli and Truffle Oil. These were crispy and well presented. I had no trouble finishing them.

Trippin' Sista decided on the Chicken and Mushroom Fettucine. It was creamy and served with a slice of Garlic Focaccia. She was unable to finish. I helped.

For additional credit follow this link to the Trippin Sista's YouTube channel. There are a number of videos there. Take my word for it, you'll enjoy them.

I'll look forward to chatting with you later. Ciao.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

We Go Where Now?

The day dawned early, and while my beloved was busy with a few chores, I set out to scope out our "escape route". The road through the campground was narrow with trees on either side.

This should be interesting I thought. I took a picture as I wandered back to the coach. I had a fairly good idea of what I was doing. At least I was clear on the way forward, though it held some interesting challenges.

Definitely not this way, I thought to myself. The route I had planned was better, if marginally so than this "improved goat track".

This, by way of comparison is the road we had to take to come down to the campground last night. Although the lens does not do it justice, it is probably a 
15 - 18% grade.

 Considering 12% will set your brakes on fire if you are injudicious in your use of them, the roll down here was on of those situations where I told ScooterChick "no problem baby" whereas my hands were fixed on the steering wheel with an grip of iron and the knuckles on each meat-hook were lily white.  

I conferred with my co-pilot, by which I mean to say I told her the path was clear for us to exit the campground. In spite of my history, she just gave me a loving look and said "OK Christo OK".

A few miles down the highway we were stopped at a work zone for a few minutes. One can see an excavator working behind the barrier which has been erected to prevent stone from cascading onto the highway.

And where would these rocks come from one might wonder? Up there I would surmise, since the cliff face rose about 1000 ft. up to the top.

Shortly thereafter we came to one of the seven tunnels you encounter in the Fraser Canyon. This one is China Bar Tunnel.

Trippin' Sista was squealing pretty loudly when we met a Semi Trailer truck "boiling up the road" in the opposite direction.

Oh yeah. Did I forget to mention that the tunnel is curved??? Within a fairly short period of time we had passed the towns of Boston Bar, Spuzzum and Yale and on the way through Yale we saw a "flea market."

We looked in vain for a small table, and saw nothing of interest except for the

GOL  NU GET  OTEL. This place looked as though it had been closed a
long time.

A look back towards our rig as we walked back across the parking lot empty handed. Well, not quite as I was holding her hand and she mine.

After our bargain hunting, we stopped at Lake of the Woods for a bite to eat. This was particularly poignant for me since the last time I was here was 43 years ago.

It truly is a Lake of the Woods, although there are doubtless scores of them littering the continent. It is picturesque, and the water is a lovely temperature for swimming in the summertime.

We breezed through Hope and stopped for both gas and propane for the rig prior to stopping for the night.

We made our way to Thousand Trails, at Cultus Lake. This is a membership camping club and in the interest of luring us into their system, they comped us a night. Oh yeah the internet was $8. I think we can manage that.

I received directions to our site from Martin and though I  tried to follow them to the letter, I still made a wrong turn and ended up here. This doesn't seem right somehow.

Well, I can't turn this way. That would put me in the creek.

I can't turn this way, that would put me in the brush pile with no maneuvering room. What to do?

I ended up having to 1) offload the van, 2) lock the steer axle on the tow dolly, and 3) back down the road past the visible tree line. I ended up injuring the dolly somewhat in the process.

We finally got situated and hooked up in our allotted site. We reloaded the car and I effected some repair to the injured dolly. Oh yes, it had begun to rain in a fairly convincing fashion while this took place, so I was soaked to the skin when I came "home", and even now am composing this post with a blanket over my legs.

I should like to say "poor me", but the truth is I am counting my blessings, particularly with Patsy by my side.

  Rah rah rah, sis boom bah, go team go...yay us!!! 

Monday, April 20, 2015

And Away We Go?

We left our overnight spot and went in search of laundry facilities. Since the purchase of Grace (our rolling home), and our subsequent circuitous and time consuming route homeward, we needed to wash some duds. First we stopped at a Dollarama to get some detergent.

Then we went to the Laundry to do the necessary.

This has to be one of the more interesting Laundromats I have ever seen. Because the town fancies itself as the country music capital of Canada, the place was decked out with country & western memorabilia.

This is a shot of the Coldwater Hotel. I doubt this establishment will ever make a writeup in Trip Advisor other than to receive a one-word warning  DON'T.

Since this town thinks of itself in musical terms there are numerous murals of country music legends past and present. I did however notice a few murals that had been blotted out, perhaps those depicted had brought disrepute upon the country music industry or "dissed" the town in some way.

All of the murals were labelled, so you knew who was depicted in the panel.

The drugstore facade was Westernized, as was the Canadian Country Hall of Fame next door. Feeling that my Yeehaw and Giddyup quotient was full for the year I did not investigate further.

At the end of the block was the Adelphia Hotel. It was likewise not a contender for Trip Advisor four star status.

Once the laundry was dry we went to the food store to stock the rolling larder. Several minutes later we emerged with a few things, $274.58 worth! I kid not!

We stopped at a local park to have a bite to eat. On the menu today was Roast Chicken with Coleslaw, Potato Salad and Dinner Roll. We also split a bottle of Coca-Cola, a relative rarity for us..This is where we ate.

This was the view from our dining room, as we ate our lunch. Something tells me that the feast du jour may also be the feast du soir!

Another creekside view.

Finishing our lunch at close to four p.m. we decided to head out of town and see how far we could get. We roll along beside the Nicola River.

As the river winds it's way to the west so do we along a scenic highway full of twists turns and frequent slow to 30 MPH corners.

The territory is dry and warm. I'm sure it approached 80F today. As we rolled to the west we enjoyed the scenery.

With the sun sinking low in the sky we found a place to rest at Jade Springs RV Park in Lytton. Shortly after we parked we found out there is a rail line about 100 feet away, but hey, life is made up of surprises.

This is the view to the curbside of the coach, peaceful no?

With that I bid you adieu and promise to return with more at a not to distant future.

What Now!

In an earlier post I described our new wheels, and the Stow and Go capacity. Today was the day to utilize the extra space as I loaded up a "few" things and we headed uphill to the Okanagan a short jaunt of about 250mi.

On the way we pass over a toll bridge. It might cost a little more on the return for reasons we shall discuss further. 2 Axles is $3.00

I always enjoy this view when travelling east on Hwy 1. This is Mt. Baker, a popular for skiing in the winter and as a hiking  destination in the summer.

We stopped in a little town along the way for a bit to eat. "That's just whack" you might say. No, it's Chilliwack I would have to reply. From a sleepy little farming town it now boasts a population of 77,000 people. I remember travelling through when there were about 10,000. Things change. Scooterchick liked this tree, thus the picture thereof.

Speaking of ScooterChick, also known on her new YouTube channel as Trippin' Sista, here is a glamour shot of my beloved as we await the vittles.

The decor in this restaurant was unusual. I cannot decide if this chandelier resembles a spider or in inverted umbrella frame. Perhaps you have a suggestion?

This picture I shot over my shoulder looking back at the bar and serving area. The restaurant was supposed to be Italian, and perhaps it originally was, and now they seem to be shooting for Old English Pub Decor. Go figure.

I ordered a basket of Onion Rings (well done of course) and Patsy went with a Caesar Salad. Both were excellent. The rings crisp and not greasy, the salad was likewise crisp and they skimped not on the dressing.....yummmm in both cases.

For entrees ScooterChick decided on Garlic Prawns. They were more like shrimp really, but there were lots of em' with mashed potatoes.

I decided on an unusual choice, the Cobb Salad with Chicken. There was lots of that as well, and I barely made it to the end of my plate, but I have never been one to shirk from a culinary challenge.

As you can see we "put paid to" both entrees and only the plates remained.

As the sun sank in the western sky we continued in an eastwardly direction. tunes played quietly on the radio and quiet companionship was the order of the evening.

The following morning we headed to a small town in the vicinity. Here is your genial correspondent, looking forward  to what the day might bring.

We stopped in the little town of Osoyoos, just near the border with the US. This is a very crowded place in the summer with people who like the sun and water sports. Since I was here last, they have developed a waterfront promenade.

Looking west across the lake, there is Haynes Point Provincial Park which has 41 sites for campers.

Looking back along the highway you can see a fountain that the town has installed right by the bridge which spans the lake where it narrows and towards the downtown area.

This is the result of our stop in Osoyoos. Within a few short hours, we were driving off with a new home ON WHEELS!! Some arrangements needed to be made, like a tow dolly for our caravan and numerous fees for insurances and transfers and we were away!

This was our camping spot, the following day. On day 1 we left the rig in Pentiction and stayed with my Mom, who lives nearby. The following day we dealt with the purchase of the tow dolly and by midafternoon we were ready to stop. Most WalMarts allow overnight parking on the perimeter of their lot, but you need to check at customer service as a matter of courtesy to verify that policy.

This one said sure for "one or two nights!" They know on which side their bread is buttered, I remarked to the checkout lady the following a.m. "this is my third trip into the store to buy stuff, and I haven't left the parking lot!!!"

Here is Grace, for that is what we've named her, at our overnight spot from yesterday. It is a little park owned by the city with full hookups.

This location has a number of full-timers which work various construction and highway jobs in the vicinity. The park was established in 1984 and is well kept and relatively quiet, with the low hum of the Lumber Mill in the background.

As you can see, hooked up we make quite a package.

Here are some interior shots:
The Cockpit

The Lounge / Kitchen Area

The Obligatory Food Porn....Mmmmmm Bacon

The Large Hanging Locker / Bedroom Area

The Bathroom View Down

The Bathroom View Up

The me. Click on the link to see how I feel.

That's all for now. I must unhook hose and electric, retract slides, lift jacks and head off into another glorious spring day with the Trippin' Sista at my side.
Ciao for now.