Thursday, March 26, 2015

Out With The Old

Usually, this title would suggest the turning of a year, a season or a new leaf. In this instance, it refers to a new set of wheels. Ever since man  invented the wheel, people have been coming up with better ways to mount some sort of carriage on them. Today's conveyances are no exception.

The car which we are replacing has served us faithfully for the past 6 years and 8 months and has been virtually trouble free. We are strong believers in regular scheduled maintenance to keep automotive surprises at bay. The only components we have had to replace in the past 150,000 km.(90,000 mi.) have been a starter and one oxygen sensor. We have of course bought 2 sets of tires, 3 sets of brake pads, and numerous oil changes. It has been a good car for us, and I imagine it will be a good car for  it's next owner.

We reserved a car from Enterprise to leave at the dealership where we were to pick up our replacement vehicle. The manager picked me up and I went to retrieve the rental. The local Enterprise is located in the Ford dealership.

He had a Ford Fiesta waiting for me when I arrived. I am not sure if you are familiar with this vehicle. Ford has developed this car to fit into the "hot hatch" category, previously known to the cognoscenti as an "econobox!"

While this might seem a likely candidate for a short jaunt such as we had in mind, I beg to differ based on my  firsthand experience. It was small, noisy had a harsh ride and would best be suited to someone half my size, under the age of 20.

The difference between this vehicle and our Infiniti was monumental. I imagine we have been spoiled having ridden in smooth quiet near-luxury for the past 7 years.
It took about 40 minutes to make it to our first stop in West Vancouver.

I love this time of year. There will be a steady progression of blooms from now until early September. Today it was tulips and pansies in the planter boxes at the Post Office. In spite of the overcast skies and light drizzle flowers always brighten the day. They do a good job with these planters.

We had a good reception from our friend and helper Rhema, who had inadvertently pocketed my keys the previous evening. She felt a little sheepish about walking away with them, but I hastened to ensure her that it was no big deal.

I got to tarry outside while Rhema sat in the driver's seat to have a chat with my beloved ScooterChick. I busied myself with admiring the blooms and taking additional pictures. It does look like a nice car doesn't it. Looks can be deceiving.

Across the street from the Post Office is a building that used to be the Depot and Office of the West Vancouver Municipal Transit System. The "Blue Buses" are the last holdout in a regional transit system. West Vancouver has always resisted efforts to join the crowd. The building is now used as an Art Gallery for local "artistes", but I remember it best from my early teenage years, where I managed to bark my right shin down to the bone (or so it seemed ) on the granite boulders of the jetty, and was patched up by one of the bus drivers who was kind but matter of fact while dressing my "gaping wound".

When we arrived at the dealership and found our vehicle inside the showroom, having been detailed and prepared for the delivery. There were one or two things which had needed to be addressed. Everything was in perfect order.

From there it was into the business office, to meet with a young Taiwanese former school teacher who was cordial and efficient in preparing all the paperwork. She was a pleasure to deal with as we whizzed through the process.

From there it was in for a visit with a young man who arranged the new tags and insurance for our purchase. It was amazing that we went through the vehicle ensuring everything was top notch, then the business and insurance office and still we were ready to drive off in about one hour and forty minutes. This is by far the shortest period of time it has ever taken me to purchase a vehicle.

One of the salesmen took a picture of us with our salesman. This young fellow is very diligent, personable and efficient. He even took time to program the Bluetooth enabled voice recognition system. It's a novelty for us to be able to tell the car to call somebody and it does! Technology eh?

After all that excitement it was time to eat something. We intended to go to a sushi place we know of nearby, but ended up going to another restaurant across the plaza, because there was a long lineup at the sushi joint.

I got Seafood Yakisoba. It was loaded with Octopus, Prawn, Mussels and Clams. Patsy got Pork Bulgogi. I managed to get a picture of mine, but was too slow on the draw to get a picture of hers, because I took a couple business calls while she began eating. We both ended up with enough leftovers for dinner.

By the time it got to around 11:00 pm we were both exhausted and ready for bed. This car buying business is hard work. It's more about emotionally adjusting to new everything, with some features we didn't have before and looking for features which were no longer present.

This will be a good vehicle for us, since it has full "stow and go" capability, all seats fold flat into the floor and in view of the amount we travel, lots of room for all our luggage, along with our cooler and even our Hibachi. After all, you never know when you will have to pull over and "barbecue some beast!"

Well that's my story and I'm sticking to it. I spent about an hour this afternoon sitting in the car just checking out the various options and familiarizing myself with all the necessitos. What a change from the Infiniti. And so it goes, out with the old and in with the new, or almost new.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Lazarus Is That You?

When last I posted, we had collapsed in Kennewick WA. Although my beloved has been feeling better, and has been off the cold meds, my plague yet rages on.

We ordered Domino's Mango Habanero Wings and Artisan Greek Pizza for dinner at around 4:00 p.m. watched a little TV and were asleep early, expecting our customary early departure.

Nonetheless it was still a rude shock when my alarmphone went off at 5:00 a.m. I got up and started shuffling around the room getting coffee ready and things packed up to go. Once my beloved got up and dressed, I loaded the car.

We rolled out at about 5 past 6, and although I had previewed our route for the day, I still managed to get headed the wrong direction. "Never mind" I said we'll go this way and end up at the same destination. This was the view when we headed out.

Although the first picture for today's post shows the Ed Hendler bridge over the mighty Columbia River, our route would take us over the Kennewick Pasco Bridge, known to the locals as "The Green Bridge".

As we traveled up I-82 we needed to stop for fuel. As we pulled off we were greeted by this fine fellow. Although he looks somewhat menacing he is in fact stationery and harmless.

His slightly larger brother sits just across the road at the entrance to the gas station. Many of you have read in the past of our stopping at Sinclair Stations to fill up with "Top Quality Dino Juice". Perhaps Sinclair supplies the gas for these folks as well.

The town touts itself as being "Granger Where Dinosaurs Roam". Apparently this was an attempt at luring tourists that began in 1993.

There is also a monument to the tragedy that took place on 9/11. The towers are executed in Stainless Steel. Any such memorial always brings up such strong memories for our generation. It was at the time, and remains a paradigm shift in our worldview.

Having taken these pics, I add another for your approbation and we push on.

We pull off a little after 8 at Ellensburg. Although the sign says "Thank You For Visiting Ellensburg" I say "not so fast, we just got here".

Ellensburg has a historic downtown, and we were feeling well enough to grab a few pictures on the way through. This is the Kittitas County Museum.

This is the Davidson Building. I particularly like the Post Victorian details on what would otherwise be a run of the mill retail office block.

Apparently the art community likes the renaissance of the Davidson Building and have supplied a phoenix mural to illustrate their approval.

Across the street from the Davidson building  was a small park and we found a local taking his ease on one of the benches. The fact that this individual was a bull was somewhat unusual, but I imagine that even bovines like to relax.

One of the tenants in the Davidson Building was the Starlight Lounge. Ya gotta like a historic downtown that has a Starlight Lounge. I sounds so 60's. We didn't bother to investigate further.

At the end of the block was the First National Bank of Ellensburg.

Now, you might think this bank has delusions of grandeur, but the owners of the Starlight Lounge were still probably happy to deposit their take there after a busy weekend evening.

Heading north from Ellensburg we again cross the mighty Columbia River.

Due to the dry climate, they haven't bothered to repaint the iron. It gives an interesting contrast in color, or maybe it's just me. Yeah, probably..

We continue north and roll through several towns including Tonasket. I like the sound of it Tonasket. It rolls off the tongue in the same way Alamogordo, New Mexico does. Or maybe it's just me....hmmmm...

We arrived in Penticton B.C. around 1:00 and went straight to the hospital to see my aging mater, who has been in since Sunday. She seems to be on the mend, and in good spirits, even managing to get out of bed for a bit today.

We will head back to the Coast early Friday a.m. In the meantime we will console ourselves with this. Today was a day of passes. I shall enumerate.

  • Manastash
  • Satus
  • Blewett
These are names from the past, dimly remembered. It was nice to reacquaint ourselves with them as we exited freeways and rocketed up secondary roads through little towns and by quiet lakes and streams. We shall have to retrace our steps when we have more time to poke around abandoned homesteads and historic sites. Thanks for riding along. As always we enjoy the company!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

We Continue Weakly On

Up and out early again this morning. We didn't make much headway yesterday as we left from Redding CA, and only made it as far as Cottage Grove OR.

I slept from about 1:45 until 4:00 and then went to sleep again at 8:30 until 5 this a.m. I am determined to kick this cold back to the nether regions of hell from whence it came.
Patsy has been very solicitous of my condition and has been reminding me frequently to take the cold meds, which help but only for a few hours at a time.

I have been taking the equivalent of Day-Quil, Ny-Quil, Afternoon-Quil and Early Evening Quil. Still we soldier on.

One of the few pictures I took today was of Multnomah Falls. This is an oft photographed spot on the Columbia River Scenic Highway.

Although there is a Lodge at the base of the falls and a gift shop, I chose not to take the walk to investigate further. 

We stopped in the town of Hood River to pick up a few bagels. My darling made Cream Cheese and Ham sandwiches on the trunk lid of the car and we ate them with gusto as we motored along, unsure of how far we would make it during the day.

As it turns out, we made it to Kennewick WA.  a distance of 338 miles from our point of departure this a.m. Tomorrow we will be back in Canada.

Thanks for coming along for the ride, we would have made a bagel for you had you been here in person. They were delicious.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

LA and Northbound

Due to the plague upon us, we slept in on our first morning in LA so it was mid-afternoon before we ventured out to get something to eat. We considered and discarded numerous places, before settling on Popeye's. You will be able to note that we are dining in (the car).

And where were we parked to enjoy this little picnic you ask? Why Jack in the Box of course. Although Popeye's had the Chicken, and it was ensconced in Bullet-Proof Glass, what they lacked was a bathroom!

Accordingly we went to Jack and used theirs. I spared them the indignity of depositing our Popeye's garbage in their receptacle. I felt (rightly or wrongly) that it would be adding insult to injury.

After our Chicken adventure, we picked up our daughter Tracey and a friend and went to the local theatre to see the new Will Smith movie, Focus.

I can't really recommend the movie mainly due to some nudity and a lot of language. We came out to a cool LA evening.

ScooterChick and Tracey pose for a glamor shot.

We rolled out of LA at 05:54 this a.m. and drove until about 8 before stopping at a Rest Area just north of Tejon Pass.

The traffic was starting to build by this time and we rolled on Northward after stretching or legs for a bit.

Patsy has frequently remarked on the hills of California looking like they were draped in Velvet. Oh look, there's some velvet now!

Right around 8:30, just as we were starting to get hungry, we stumbled across an IHOP. As you know, it's never the wrong time for Pancakes.

A little farther north we saw an edifice that was unmarked. There was however a tower attached, so I took a picture of that.

Did I mention the verdant topography? The hills are draped in green of varying shades. Very pleasant to look at.

Some of the verdant hills have cows on them. That fertilizer can't hurt when it comes to the greenage.

In some areas the green is tempered with other colors. When I first saw this I had a suspicion of what was causing the change of color.

Sure enough, it turned out to be Canola. This is one of Canada's largest cash crops, both for grain and for oil. It makes for a pretty picture though.

We stopped at another Rest Area. This one planted with Eucalyptus trees. These are very common in the middle of the state. They grow quite large in the south, but the one's in the north are more fragrant, when you bruise the leaves.

They are also very pretty and provide a nice dappled shade. The Rest Area had a number of people stopped there including one fellow who was tossing a Frisbee for his Border Collie.

Even though we are both ill, we managed a smile for a Rest Area selfie!

Our stopping place for the night was Redding CA. We go a rate at a Ramada Limited, and pulled off the road at around 3:30. You can see My Shasta in the background. Time to shower and rest!

I will talk with you tomorrow.