Sunday, December 22, 2013

Ein Kleine Nachtsmusik

This being the season of the season, we decided to celebrate (let the festivities commence!) Some snow pictures were necessary and Scooterchick was eager to take em'.

Although I love snow, if it is speeding past under my skis, I don't care for if I have to spend any time in it without skis on. Patsy was thrilled and took more pictures.

All of Squamish was under a soft blanket of snow. I do like the way it muffles noise. All seems a little more peaceful.

On the way back to to the house we stopped at another road which will be familiar to those of you who have seen it in it's summer foliage. Another excellent picture opportunity for the Chick!

After we had some chow, we headed to the city. Our destination was the Centennial Theater in North Vancouver, for their Christmas program.

Lions Gate Sinfonia was performing along with the Pro Arte Dancers.
The program was a mixture of Christmas tunes, with some audience participation.

The foreground of the stage was reserved for the dancers. There was a mixture of interpretive dance, (which I have mightily tried as yet unsuccessfully to understand) and classical ballet. The symphonic selections were well balanced and the dance well matched to the music.

We ended the evening with a drive through residential neighborhoods admiring Christmas Light displays. There seem to be fewer this year than in previous years.

Finally arrived home after a lovely outing, and we thoroughly enjoyed our date night. Only one thing remains to be said in case my next post is delayed.

Merry Christmas
Happy New Year

Saturday, November 16, 2013

A Mix, Mash and Muddle...

It has been several days since I shared my thoughts, and thought I should share some at least. It does no good to have a blog if I am unwilling to blog!

We had an opportunity last Sunday to attend a concert in North Vancouver. We dressed up, not quite to the nines but at least to a solid seven. Here's a picture as we are getting ready to head out (note the good looking young couple in the picture in the background!)

We arrived in North Van early enough to get a bite to eat. Anyone for Sushi? There's a little place on Lonsdale Avenue just a block down from the theater. Hey, we eat sushi. Here is Scooterchick, ain't she adorable?

One of the items we ordered was their version of a Dragon Roll. I was so busy eating it that I had to quickly remember to take a picture of the dragon's remains before we polished it off.

There was an excellent parking spot that was "theater adjacent". We snapped it up without delay, and sauntered towards the door.

This week we also had the opportunity to visit with friends we have not seen for a couple of years. They live out of town and were visiting their daughter and grandson. Meet Eric and Elaine. They own of all things, a record store. It is wildly popular. I have known Eric since 1981 and Elaine since about 1984.

I had to snap a picture of the appetizer, Portobello Mushrooms with a Crab and Cheese filling, with Mesculun Greens, Red Onion and a sweet Balsamic Drizzle...

Later on this week I made a trip into the city to attend to some work. The clouds were low and the sun trying to break through. I wanted to snap this picture because of the texture of the light. I'm not even sure that's the right description but it seems to fit. It feels rich. I didn't even get out of the car, but shot this through the sunroof.

I stopped to see a customer in Deep Cove, which is a delightful little neighborhood of  North Vancouver. I was happy to see the last glimpses f fall in a Maple Tree. I am glad I caught it before the leaves fell.

It makes me happy. The vibrant colors make me feel "all tingly inside". This is what "all tingly inside" looks like.

I was reading a blog of a friend of ours and found out the crackdown is on. To find out more check here. BobSkoot's Blog While it is absolutely impossible to legislate common sense, and jurisdictions since the Roman Empire have tried, the latest effort by the Queen's Cowboys (RCMP) to swell their coffers rankle me!!

That being said, $35 worth of prevention beats an $85 ticket for being unprepared. I will probably never use these tire chains, as when the going gets thick I go back.
I am willing to wait for the plow truck and follow him rather than hit the ditch,

Well, I believe that brings us up to date. Life goes on.........see you a little further down the road.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Getting Our Fill of Fall

When you wake up and your stomach is growling, there's only one thing for it. according to the hunger imperative I fired up the frying pan and mad some chow for Scooterchick and I. Of course Scrambled Eggs with Cheddar always go down well, and I decided on something a little unconventional. Taking a package of Cornmeal Muffin mix I made something that I remember my Grandma calling Johnny Cakes. They are like pancakes, but not so much.

Of course there was room on the plates for one more ingredient....that's right Bacon. One can never have too much Bacon. Can one?

We decided to go for a drive and snap a couple of pictures of the fall foliage before the rain and wind take the leaves away for another year.

This is a Gingko tree. It is said to be the world's oldest species. Is it, I don't know but it turns a striking gold color in fall.

Soon the leaves will be gone for another year. I love this time of year even if it's a fleeting season, and the frost on the ground this morning is proof that the year wanes yet again. Soon we'll be hearing Ho-Ho-Ho, then Happy New Year.

The colors can be quite striking. Turn another corner and you have to pull over for another picture of spectacular splendor.

We stopped at a local beanery for a quick nosh. I decided Scooterchick was just too adorable for words so here are a few pictures that will substitute for the thousands I cannot utter.

Another 1000

I can't stop myself, 1,000 more!


We finally made our way back home as the sun began to set. The last few rays of the sun illuminated the Stawamus Chief as we headed back to the ranch.

And now for something completely different. We had dinner with friends last night and they had a Tuxedo Truffle cake for dessert. This is something we cannot find when we are in Oklahoma.......oh how I've missed you!....did I say that out loud?

To compensate for the above average overage of yesterday, we went lighter for dinner. A few Corn Tortilla Chips, some Queso, some Salsa and Fruit. 

Our day comes to a close, and we are relaxing on the couch. We can recommend the same to you....

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Need a Hook Up?

For those of you who have been following along, you'll remember the sad tale of the trailer lights. Here again is the miscreant that caused all the trouble.

Being sans left turn signal and heading into traffic congestion, we thought it best to stop off and have it looked at. If you have trailer related issues, either in the hitching up of, or the wiring and braking of there's no better place in the Lower Mainland than BURNABY HITCH CO!!!  Well looky here.

These guys are the consummate professionals in all things hitch related. And that's not all......

They have a huge showroom. If you need to outfit your rig, be it Beetle or Behemoth they have what you need. And accessories to bling your ride too!

The friendly staff, forewarned by a telephone call, had a tech ready to work on the car almost before I could bring it to a stop. They are Uber-Helpful!

They also have all manner of totes, racks and carriers. It's all in stock, and if not they can have it there before you can come back for your install.

There is a coffee machine that has every variety of java known to mankind, a terminal for websurfing and truck and accessory magazines galore to amuse while you wait. Don't get the idea that you will be waiting long. I hope you are a fast reader. I got most of the way through a game of Candy Crush and the car was ready to go.

This is the professional hero who repaired the problem. Sadly I didn't catch his name so I will call him Dave. He was fast, friendly and efficient. Dave, who should rightly be called Super Dave had the car ready to go in about 15 minutes with the trailer reconnected and the lights tested. Everything worked to perfection and they gave me a "Senior Discount" to boot!!

We put the few things back in the trunk, tested the lights again and rolled on towards home. It is helpful to have lights that work when you want to brake, make a turn or switch lanes. These things we do.....frequently.

This is me. I happy now!

Just remember. If you need hitchin', switchin' or de-glitchin' the fellows (and gals) at the mighty BURNABY HITCH (see link) will have you rolling and patrolling in no time flat. See you later.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Fun with Lights......not!!

Many of you may be aware that we were having some difficulty with our lights on the way home. For some reason we had lost some illumination, but retained other functions.

It was a little bit weird, we had turn signals but no clock light, brake lights but no ashtray light (we keep change there for "drive-thru and toll" ready access) and no glove box light. Most distressingly our taillights were not working and when rolling through the american countryside at 75-80mph before the sun comes up, taillights would be an advantage. We stopped in a couple places to try and remedy the problem, and eventually ended up "Googling" the issue.

It turned out to be a fuse in an unconventional location, which promptly blew again as soon as soon as it was replaced. Further diagnosis was necessary.

The trailer was duly unhitched and I replaced the fuse again. Everything came back on, okay the problem lies with the trailer wiring.

A trip to Walmart yielded a new set of lights. we had been limping along with the original set for the last two years, and had made numerous shrink wrap and baling wire roadside repairs. The kit came with lights with integral side and license plate lights, and all necessary wiring.

Of course things are never as easy as one imagines on setting out. Some persuasion was required to convince the old lights that they needed to give up their place for the new set. A hacksaw comes in handy for this sort of encouragement!!

Old lights removed, new wiring pulled and old wiring discarded it was time to test out the new lights. To my intense satisfaction everything worked....almost.

All lights were working except the left turn indicator. Further diagnosis showed that the problem was at the car, where a module had been wired in when the hitch was installed. The left turn signal works on the car, but the signal is not generated as far as the wiring connector to the trailer. Okay fans....time to get creative!!!

A small piece of wire was formed as a bridge jumper between the left and right turn terminals. This means in effect that all the lights work as intended on the car, and all the lights work on the trailer, but signalling a turn will result in both signals flashing at the back of the trailer.....................look out someone's turning some direction!!!

Hard to believe all this foolishness was caused by the left side trailer light wiring being abraded. This resulted in the dead short, the blown fuse and the fretting travelers racing across the northern US with no tail lights......eeeeek!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Flying Low and Fleeing the Country (Epic Rant with a Geographic Slant)

Having gotten Day 1 out of the way, Day 2 finds us leaving Lamar CO with no idea what our next destination will be. We know that when the eyes grow heavy we shall stop. The sun is just peeking over the horizon as we make our way up 287.

We pass thorough the town of Kit Carson CO. Kit Carson was a mountain man, explorer and guide and from all reports quite the raconteur!

We were determined to avoid the toll road we had used around Denver and save the $9.00. As it was traffic was so hideous, it cost us at least $20.00 in time before we found our way through the mess and exited heading north on 25.

About an hour and change later we entered Wyoming.

The shadows were starting to lengthen and we looked for accommodation for the night. We ended up with a Days Inn in Casper WY, and flaked out for the night.

Up again at 05:15, we had a quick bite and head out. We traveled along to Sheridan where we got gas. The price was a little higher there. This fine fellow was waiting to greet travelers at the gas station.

This is the gas station in question. We filled up and headed on.

After a few more hours of travel we entered Montana. It's true, the sky is big there. After the flat lands of Wyoming it was nice to start seeing mountains again. There were small pockets of snow on the side of the road, but we encountered none falling as we traveled, although it was down around freezing in the mornings.

The trees are really starting to change color and provided some interesting views along the way. We continued to drive, converse, listen to the radio and snack as we rolled along.

The geography continued to change and we saw geologic formations we don't usually see at home in either location.

We stopped in Butte MT. at the Quality Inn and slept, briefly. Up again at 05:15 we were away at 06:00 and drove for about 2 1/2 hours before the sun started to come up. We stopped at a rest stop as the sun was coming up and then carried on.

The sun was just starting to touch the tops of the hills and he ground was a little frosty. We were warm and dry at 75mph in the car, although the scooters looked a little chilly. I had been covering them overnight and the cover was frosty when I stowed it in the mornings.

The color is really starting to come on now, and we are enjoying the view.

Here is Scooterchick, well bundled and sporting her tuque against the cold.

And here is a selfie of your intrepid correspondents as we prepare to roll on.

We made a stop in St. Regis MT. Here's a question, when you live in St. Regis and they take away your driver's licence, what do you do? You use a modified riding mower to get around at slightly better than walking speed of course!

See, here's the Post Office. The Lawnmower Man has now made it over here to check his mail. It is across the street from the store.

The colors continue as we climb up toward Lookout Pass. You may recall that I made mention of Lookout Pass in a previous post. The ski area gets an average of 23 feet of champagne powder annually. The season's pass will be $229.00

Excuse me while I vomit!!!! 

Contrast that with Whistler's pass at $1,899.00 this year.

We crest the pass and head into Idaho. You may think we are making some time! Well, we are. We continue to roll on downhill toward's Coeur D'Alene.

We pass through C D'A and Spokane and head north. This is the town park in Chewelah WA. Our friend's grandparents are buried here. (Not in the park.)

The day is getting late and we stop in Colville WA.

It is a very pretty town and is quite a bit larger than Squamish although the population is about 25% as large. They have 4 or 5 drugstores, several hotels, at least 3 auto parts stores and a Walmart bout 3 times the size of Squamish's.

This is the Stevens County Courthouse.

This is the Colville Post Office.

This is a monument at the end of the Main Street. It is a tribute to the early settlers of the area.

At the base of the monument are a Native man spearfishing, a Farmer and a Logger and a Frontiersman. They are all a little larger than life size.

We headed up to Kettle Falls, about 12 miles north and then took Hwy 20 across the mountains to Republic WA.

Republic is a town of just over 1,000. It is 43 miles from Kettle Falls and another 40 from Tonasket in the American Okanogan.

We stopped to gas up in Tonasket and then stopped in Oroville for dinner.
This is a historic plaza in Oroville.

The day was growing longer and we stopped for a bite to eat before hitting the border. The shadows were lengthening and our energy was waning.

We stopped in a restaurant that was adjacent to the road. It was time for Patsy to change out her American SIM card and reinstall the Telus one.

The walls had decals of major American cities. It didn't take too much imagination to decipher the silhouettes.

The cafe had a rather grandiose name. Well, let's see what they have on offer.

I ordered a cup of Shrimp Chowder and a Cascade Salad. The Chowder was good even if the shrimp were canned, and the Salad was imaginative. It had Romaine Lettuce with  Bacon, Blue Cheese. Cranberries and  Apple served with a Raspberry Vinaigrette.

Scooterchick had a Jamaican Pork Steak with Coconut Prawns, Rice and Grilled Vegetables with Pineapple. Very juicy and tasty.

Our day completed we rolled into Mom's at around 8:30 pm. I took this picture this morning, after having slept very soundly and getting up at the sensible hour of 8 this morning.

We will be here for a couple days in the Okanagan and then head for home.
After 1,945 miles and 4 days it's time to rest up and visit with Mom.
Thanks for riding along with us.