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Off to the “Left Coast”!

Oct 29

Yesterday we woke up to sun and clearing skies. The weather forecast actually predicted this, at least for today. We bid farewell to Princess and Snickers and headed towards Tofino via Coombs, Port Alberni and Ucluelet. Even though it is the West Coast of the island, the locals like to call it the Left Coast.

It would be approximately 150km’s to get to Tofino, but anything we read didn’t indicate that it was a very slow and windy road once you left Port Alberni for the remaining 110 km’s. After many speed postings of 40 km or 60 km, due to switchbacks, hill climbing or steep hills, we made it to Ucluelet by around 2:30. We stopped for lunch and then walked around a few trails near Black Rock resort and Brown’s Beach.

Over the past couple of weeks, as we have depended on heating the RV more and combined with cooking and the unit being closed up, condensation was becoming a problem. After some research, I discovered that this was also an issue for boaters, and found a small dehumidifier focused for small spaces like RV and boats. I found a marine dealer in Ucluelet that had what we needed. We set it up last night and have noticed a big difference with the condensation gone and the overall damp feeling inside, gone as well.

We then continued on to Tofino around 40 km’s north.

This area has a rugged “wild” feeling to it. It is an isolated area only served by the road we came in on, by boat or by air. It is a well known tourist area especially in the summer months for camping, hiking, surfing in the fall, whale watching, fishing and storm watching during this time of year. The two villages of Tofino and Ucluelet are quaint but have several unique stores to shop at and many eateries.

Before going to our camp which is 3 km from Tofino, we went to town for a quick orientation “drive”. There are bike trails that follow the highway, so we hope to get to town either Thursday or Friday to explore as we are here until Saturday. Rain or shine, we are either walking the beaches or biking to town these days. The camp is called Crystal Cove and it has a small RV section and several cabins for rent. It is a very well kept park and well manicured. I haven’t researched the year round weather conditions here, but there are many tropical plants around that are thriving. Yes, I said tropical. See the palm trees in front of some of the cabins. It’s strange with all the evergreens around, then seeing “island trees”.

Happy Halloween!

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Here's the big one - the tree!
Here’s the big one – the tree!

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Looks like the enchanted forest -Cathedral Grove - all the maple leaves suspended where they fell
Looks like the enchanted forest -Cathedral Grove – all the maple leaves suspended where they fell

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Coombs - a small retail village where they market "goats on the roof" - we missed them by 2 weeks as they have been put away for the winter
Coombs – a small retail village where they market “goats on the roof” – we missed them by 2 weeks as they have been put away for the winter
A beautiful camp with nice seaside cabins - more pricey than other places we have stayed
A beautiful camp with nice seaside cabins – more pricey than other places we have stayed

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Jazz on Mac Beach
Jazz on Mac Beach
From the camp - walking to MacKenzie Beach
From the camp – walking to MacKenzie Beach

 

Name sake for the Douglas Fir trees - giant trees 250'+ in height-Cathedral Grove
Name sake for the Douglas Fir trees – giant trees 250’+ in height-Cathedral Grove
Like a painting.....Ucluelet
Like a painting…..Ucluelet
Big Rock Beach
Big Rock Beach

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Our camp just south of Tofino
Our camp just south of Tofino

 

 

 

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Bryn, forget Jeffery the Goat, Mom wants Princess and Snickers….

Princess and Snickers in their corral where they spend the night
Princess and Snickers in their corral where they spend the night
Kathy and Snickers
Kathy and Snickers (yes that is sunshine in the background)
Princess - having Breakfast
Princess – having Breakfast
Qualicum Bay
Qualicum Bay

Oct 27-28

Being a full time tourist is a different and we continue to adapt to this new “life” style. We have to keep telling ourselves that this isn’t a vacation, but really everyday life although travelling in a motor home. Weather can certainly make you slow down on the tourist activities. Monday was more of a travel day, but with the heavy rains and expected high winds, we decided to spend 2 nights at our park in Qualicum Bay, just north of the summer community of Qualicum Beach. As a member of Passport America, a 50% off RV club, the $18/night for full hookup including cable and wi-fi made that decision easier.

Monday, we left downtown Vancouver for the ferry at Horseshoe Bay, conveniently located about 20 minutes north. We were there in lots of time for the 10:30am ferry and had some time to walk around the village of the same name. BC Ferries is a very efficient operation, and we boarded the ship at around 10:25 and it left within 10 minutes. The ship, the Spirit of Oak Bay, can handle up to 300 cars, 14 tractor trailers and almost 1,500 passengers. In just over 1 ½ hours, we arrived in Departure Bay, Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. After a stop to restock supplies, we were off to Qualicum Bay Resort. As its low season, the park was not busy. During check in, the lady told Kathy, that there are a couple ponies in the park, don’t worry about them. As we drove in, there they were, just wondering around eating the grass. Who needs goats to do this! Their names are Princess and Snickers. Temp was in the mid teens. We took a short walk along the bay but the weather was turning dreary.

Tuesday was a rain day, so catching up on banking, reading, watching a movie on Netflix, etc. where the order for the day.

Let it rain, let it rain……(maybe a good name for a song?)

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Vancouver “Sampler” weekend

October 24-27

Friday we settled into our downtown Vancouver (very close to it) RV camp around 2:30pm and by 3:30 we had had our lunch and were on the bikes climbing the Lions Gate suspension bridge which is about one mile long and links Vancouver with North and West Vancouver.

Going from our side of the bridge was the longer and steeper grade, so we biked it a bit but walk quite a bit until we reached the top, then we could coast down and where on the edge of Stanley Park. Over the next 2 ½ hours we toured around the out “sea wall” of the park which is a 9 km distance. We added some distance by sig sagging a bit once near downtown as we headed over to the convention center and Canada Place. It was getting quite dark on the way back, but we found our way. BC and Vancouver are both very cyclist friendly with bike lanes everywhere. The weather behaved that afternoon for us.

Saturday was a washout day, with a constant rainfall all day and at times heavy. This was OK, as it allowed time to catch up on laundry, combing Jazz and other domestic duties along with some future planning along our trip. Sunday was to be a dry day and it the weather man cooperated with mild temps of around 14 deg C and some sunshine. We began by taking a bus around 10:30 to the middle of downtown then waited a bit for a transfer to Granville Is. But we became impatient and decided it was a nice day, lets walk the rest of the way, which we did. At the gates of coming into Granville Is., was the brewery of the same name, first tour was at noon and its 10 minutes to, so let’s sign up. It was only is another young couple from Nanaimo. It was a short tour, as this location is only an R&D center and small batch specialty location. After sampling several specialty brands (ie: a raspberry beer and their Winter Ale – which had a strong hint of chocolate to name a couple) we headed over to the markets. The meats and vegetables where quite expensive, but displayed nicely. Other than a cinnamon record, we didn’t purchase anything else. The Is. has the Emily Carr College for design on it and several of the shops where galleries or arts related, so they didn’t really interest us.

After a short walk around we took a bus back into the down town district and getting off at Robson St. we headed over toward BC Place (BC Lions –CFL) and Rogers Arena (Canucks) then headed toward Chinatown. Maybe we found a few of the “lesser” streets in Chinatown but in general we were not impressed. We soldiered on to Gastown as we had to find the father of the city of Vancouver – “Gassy Jack”. We found his statue. His full name was Captain John Deighton and was given the name Gassy due to his trait of being very long winded. At this point we needed a pit stop and some lunch as it was 3:30pm. We found a pizza and a beer at Lamplighters Public House. From here we headed down to the north waterfront to check out Canada Place and more importantly the 2010 Winter Olympic Cauldron.

We were able to get back on a bus for home arriving shortly after 5pm. What pros on using the bus system we have become! Jazz was obviously happy to see us, but after her short walk of relief, we had to wander over to the hot tub to soak our weary bones. She wasn’t impressed, but we were only gone 20 minutes. We were hers for the rest of the night. Again the weatherman complied for our “sample tour” of Vancouver on Sunday.

Monday was more of an off day, but the travel today was comprised of a 20 minute drive to the Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal to head over to Vancouver Is.. We were there with lots of time to spare for a 10:30am sailing. The trip is 1 hour 40 minutes on a ferry that can handle 300 cars, 14 semi tractor trailers and almost 1,500 passengers. We pulled out of Nanaimo before 12:30 and arrive in Qualicum Bay Resort before 2. More rain …… We will likely stay here two nights as the remnants of hurricane Ana that went through Hawaii a week ago are bringing in some high wind gusts and rain, so we will wait until Wednesday to head over to Tofino. The locals call this time of year coming up “storm season” and apparently, many tourists and locals flock to the area to see the big storms, high waves and yes surfers!

Hope everyone else is staying dry.

Cheers!

Lions Gate bridge-on the bike
Lions Gate bridge-on the bike
My cycling partner
My cycling partner
A picture on the fly
A picture on the fly

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Totem pole "grove" in Stanley Park
Totem pole “grove” in Stanley Park
Getting darker - lights on the bridge
Getting darker – lights on the bridge
Had to take this picture-called a "Perch and Grill"
Had to take this picture-called a “Perch and Grill”
Granville Is. bridge; market below
Granville Is. bridge; market below

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By coincidence - brewery tour
By coincidence – brewery tour
If you illegally park, what do you think may happen?
If you illegally park, what do you think may happen?

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Come on, swallow it!
Come on, swallow it!

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Check out the Back Forty sign (that was then)
Check out the Back Forty sign (that was then)
Terry Fox Plaza  -ironically we saw this BC hero's statue at the end of his journey in Thunder Bay
Terry Fox Plaza -ironically we saw this BC hero’s statue at the end of his journey in Thunder Bay
Chinatown - not impressed
Chinatown – not impressed
Gassy Jack statue
Gassy Jack statue
2010 Winter Olympics Cauldron
2010 Winter Olympics Cauldron

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B.C. = Beautiful Countryside

Oct 24, 2014

Left Sunshine Valley on Wednesday Oct 22 in the afternoon headed for Harrison Hot Springs to visit a child hood friend and his wife that I haven’t seen in many years. Their names are Frank and Liz. Frank lived in my home town of Goderich until around age 11 then headed West to Vancouver and Hope BC with his parents. About 10 years later just as my career was beginning, I traveled for business to Vancouver and reconnected with Frank. With my career just recently ended, 33 years later I have reconnected with Frank in person. We have “skyped” off and on over the past 8-10 years from India and Germany where he was living at the time, until returning to BC in 2009. To have a bond that goes back that far is I think quite special. We spent a couple of evenings camped in their front parking area and caught up on many years of activities that we both have been involved with discussing places travelled to, scuba diving, family, politics, economics, etc..

Yesterday’s weather wasn’t too great with rains continuing, but we did get out to a fish hatchery and over to Harrison River to watch a government fisheries crew at work. This time of year is “salmon run” so the mature adults come back to the hatchery were they born 4 years prior to spawn and unfortunately die. It’s amazing they find their way back. We spoke to a girl at the hatchery as we were leaving and they were going over to the river to find some adults that were ready to spawn, so we followed them….through native land that we weren’t supposed to go in but, oh well – no signs. When we got to the river there was about a dozen fisheries staff that had set up a net corral that had lots of sockeye and Chinook salmon in it that they were measuring, weighing, tagging and keeping some that were ready to spawn. Meanwhile other staff in boats near where finding dead salmon in pooled areas that had spawned. They speared them, removed the tags for information if they had tags and cut the fish in half.

There are SO many fish spawning………It was very interesting!

Today we took a nice walk around “Harrison” without the need of an umbrella and saw a lot of the village. Take a look at one of the pictures below at a tree called a Monkey Puzzle Tree. It was very unique and not uncommon in this end of the country.

As my heading says – BC!!! British Columbia truly is a beautiful province. We left our gracious hosts with a fond farewell and promised to not let another 33 years pass until we reunited. Thanks Frank and Liz for your hospitality!

Off to Vancouver. He had not planned to spend any time really in the city, but thanks to Frank’s tip to camp at Capilano RV resort right at the base of the Lions Gate bridge, we are simply on the other side of the bridge then you are in Stanley Park. Right downtown.

There will be more squawking about this over the next few days.

Salmon coming back to the hatchery after 4 years
Salmon coming back to the hatchery after 4 years
In the Salmon corral
In the Salmon corral
A Chinook salmon getting weighed and measured
A Chinook salmon getting weighed and measured
Sockeye measuring
Sockeye measuring
Frank and I - childhood friends reunite
Frank and I – childhood friends reunite
Harrison Lake this  morning - some sun finally....
Harrison Lake this morning – some sun finally….
Mount Cheam - there was no snow on it two days ago
Mount Cheam – there was no snow on it two days ago
A great pose but blurred unfortunately - guess we have to get together again!
A great pose but blurred unfortunately – guess we have to get together again! (the Hot Springs Grotto)
Mount Cheam = BC
Mount Cheam = BC
A Monkey Puzzle Tree - very unique
A Monkey Puzzle Tree – very unique
A Monkey Puzzle Tree - very unique
A Monkey Puzzle Tree – very unique

 

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It was part of the deal……

Oct 22, 2014

We woke up in Sunshine Valley to another day of wet weather. (Ironic)Again, it was a primer for the West Coast. It really didn’t matter too much as we had a mission for the morning. Back in September I entered a hair salon in Stoney Creek where Kathy has gone for years for a “lesson”. I was the student and the teachers where Maria and Vince. What was the lesson you ask? Well I wasn’t going to learn how to cut hair, BUT every five weeks or so, Kathy has to have her hair coloured and she didn’t want to entrust this to just anyone on the road trip, so I was chosen to be the “colourist” (not sure if that’s a real word). We donned the gear and mixed up the colours and chemicals we brought along and I did my first colour job! You can see the before and after shots. Maybe for some extra beer money I’ll see it I can find some old girls in the south that need their hair coloured? NOT.

Colour's in  - now wait 30 minutes
Colour’s in – now wait 30 minutes
A happy "Client"!
A happy “Client”!

 

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Our first public boon dock – Camp Wally

 

Oct 20-21

We left Kelowna after 4 nights on Monday. The beauty and climate of the entire Okanagan area certainly explains why it is a popular area to move to, although the price of housing is somewhat comparable to back home, however there are less expensive areas if you seek them out. One final comment from the area is the smarts to dress up their hydro and other utility boxes with various pictures (see att.) vs. looking at drab gray or green boxes. A great idea.

Anyway, we headed off to Penticton this morning via West Kelowna, Peachland, and Summerland with a few winery stops on the way. The first couple we went to, Quails Gate and Mission Hill certainly exude a wealth level many time more than others we have seen. There IS money in making wine! One final stop we made was in Summerland at Dirty Laundry winery. The name was inspired after a brothel that was in the area back in the early 1900’s. It’s a quirky and sassy winery where the name of the wines and designs on the bottles were unique. (ie: Dangerous Liaison and Naught Chardonnay)

It was an overcast day with some sun that later turned into rain. I think BC is warming us up to “coastal weather”! We decided to experience a night at Camp Wally. Boon docking at Walmart with other RV’rs was a bit of an eye opener. There were several older (25 yr plus) van campers and some larger Class C and the original class A’s – again, these were likely 25 + years old. For those that know the show Breaking Bad, the RV on that show would have looked pretty good beside these ones. Throughout the trip, we have come to the realization that there are many transient workers moving from town to town finding work and living from these older units. A few of them had a pickup truck with them as well. In BC especially, RV’ing seems to be very popular and we are amazed at how many trailers, 5th wheels and motor homes you see parked in people’s drives and storage areas. So we parked there early in the evening then walked about 1.5 km to a Boston Pizza for dinner. Although the original started in Penticton by the Jim Treliving on Dragon’s Den, it has been remodeled like the other ones in the chain.

Back to Camp Wally and with the assistance of a powered wi-fi antenna we have and Walmart providing free wi-fi, we were able to stream and watch a couple of TV shows prior to turning in for the night.

Today, we headed towards Hope BC and drove through a region of 250 km’s of varying climates from almost desert to deeply wooded forests as you can see in the one picture that has our RV in it. The roads were very windy as we traversed up and down through the Cascade Mountains. They were scenic, quiet roads as it is sparsely populated throughout the region passing through Princeton (pop ~ 3,000) and Hedley (yes the current music band named themselves after it). Arrived in Sunshine Valley, which also has an RV resort named after it for a quiet afternoon and swim and hot tub (both indoors) at this almost new resort. It’s part of a chain.

We may be “off the perch” for a few days as we are visiting friends in Harrison Hot Springs. Squawk soon!

A good idea to decorate utility boxes
A good idea to decorate utility boxes
There's money to be made as a wine maker.
There’s money to be made as a wine maker.
Ditto - even more impressive than Quails Gate
Ditto – even more impressive than Quails Gate
Mission Hill
Mission Hill
Mission Hill
Mission Hill
Mission Hill
Mission Hill
Finally ......
Finally ……
Too much $$$
Too much $$$
A 500 year old fountain moved from Austria - Mission Hill
A 500 year old fountain moved from Austria – Mission Hill

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I kept my distance!!!
I kept my distance!!!
Arid area of the Cascade Mtns.
Arid area of the Cascade Mtns.

Our camp - not busy this time of year

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Our camp – not busy this time of year
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Space restrictions – Jazz’s dining quarters

 

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Hike or Bike – you can smell the Douglas Fir either way

Oct 18

A few days earlier, I was on Trip Advisor, which is a great travelling tool to find out about an area. Looking up the Kelowna/Okanagan Valley area, I was checking out the top attractions in the area. Number one attraction was the Myra Canyon Trestles. It sounded intriguing. A trail for cyclists and hikers comprising 18 trestles and 2 tunnels over a 12 km one way old rail bed. It was once owned by the Kettle Valley Railway and opened in the early 1900’s as a means of transporting ore and copper from the mines in the north. In 2003 there was a large wild fire that destroyed several of the trestles so the trail was closed until 2008 to rebuild. Anyway, enough history.

It took us about ½ hour to get to the “entrance road”, which was an 8 km gravel washboard in some spots. After another 20 minutes, we pulled the bikes off the rack and away we went. It was a bit cooler at that elevation, but smelling the fresh air and Douglas Fir and other evergreens, made it all worth it.

Kathy was a little leery biking over the trestles, but soon mastered it and started enjoying herself. After a 2 hour round trip (20 km) – we had crossed all 18 trestles (twice), we returned to the RV to a tail wagging Jazz and had lunch. It was an amazing bike ride with only a 2 deg grade on the way back.

We returned back to our camp for a little work to be done. Washing an RV takes a little longer than your car, but after 3 weeks, it needed it. Once finished it was time for R & R and some wild BC sockeye salmon for dinner. Tomorrow is another day of chores heading south to the Penticton area for the night on Monday.

We’ll squawk to you tomorrow!

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Look Mom - one hand
Look Mom – one hand

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Yes, Kathy is in the picture (like where's Waldo)
Yes, Kathy is in the picture (like where’s Waldo)

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There's the RV on the other side of the canyon
There’s the RV on the other side of the canyon

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One of the rebuilt trestles
One of the rebuilt trestles

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Looking down at Okanagan Lake
Looking down at Okanagan Lake

 

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Deja Vue – fall colours and warm weather have returned (Happy face)

Oct 15-17

First and foremost, we have learned to like being tourists in the “off-season” and especially during a work day when very few other tourists are around.

We left Salmon Arm after doing nothing touristy for a day. Tourists need days off too, to do laundry, pay bills and just laze around doing very little. We had one of those days. The on board generator we have, has failed to start during the trip so far, but fortunately, there hasn’t been to many times when we really needed it. For those that don’t know, the generator is basically needed for “dry camping” (ie: no electrical supply). It can be used to charge the “house” batteries and also has a power inverter in it so you can plug in and run normal household appliances. We found out early on when stopping for lunch and w/o the generator that you can’t use the microwave or toaster, etc. Anyway, after a few calls we found a place in Vernon BC, which is just south of Salmon Arm that could look at it. We arrived there on Thursday at 9:30 and by 10 am Bernie, their tech, had tweaked and tuned it, and it started with a purr! It was music to our ears. Now we can boon dock where every we want! Onward to Kelowna and the Okanagan Valley. (the West coast fruit basket)

As we approached Kelowna area, a sign caught our interest saying scenic route, so off 97b we went to a little village called Oyama and a tourist kiosk. After buying a bag of local apples and looking at some brochures, we headed down the round into Lake Country region, we started on the Scenic Sip wine tour – hey it was 2 pm back home! Again of the 6 wineries we went to, most of them just had us at the sipping bar. Since I was driving, I sipped a little less. These wineries where all relatively new( less than 10 years) with a few opening up their wine tasting showrooms as early as last weekend(Arrowleaf). One winery Ex Nihilo, which translates to “something out of nothing” has an affiliation with a world-renown portrait artist, Igor Babailov. Google him and you’ll see that he has done paintings for many famous people. The whole story and connection is much longer, but they have a picture there sketched by Igor and he has visited the winery couple of times. These 6 wineries are in a fairly small region and are up some steep hills. Although the RV is over 31’ long, we found ourselves in some small parking lots that day, and maneuvered, backed up, etc. like we have been doing it for years. I doubt we’ll become a long haul trucker couple though.

We arrived at our site for 4 nights at Scenic View RV Park about 5 km’s from downtown Kelowna late afternoon. It was 19 deg C and nice to see the fall colours have returned.

The Kelowna area has a great climate year round with warm spring to fall weather and reasonable winters with daily averages of 1 deg. For the golfers, your season is 9 months – not bad! The Okanagan region and south to almost the US border has about 140 wineries and an abundance of fruit and vegetable producers much like Niagara. There is evidence of lots of money in this region, looking at some of the homes. We went downtown yesterday to explore the waterfront and have lunch. The city of Kelowna (population 120,000) needs to be commended on what they have accomplished with their waterfront. One word – IMPRESSIVE.

They have developed a small inner waterway, were small craft in a controlled fashion can come into. Everything is very clean and well laid out. They even blend their utility boxes by painting flowers or greenery on them. We had a great time walking around (on a work day) with very few other tourists around. A bit of rain earlier in the morning before we arrived, had stopped but left the sky overcast, so the colours aren’t jumping out like I would have liked.

We stocked up on groceries and back “home” late afternoon.

Enjoy your weekend

Fruit Stand - Oyama
Fruit Stand – Oyama
1st "Sip"
1st “Sip”
Ex Nihilo - means "Out of Nothing"
Ex Nihilo  Winery – means “Out of Nothing” – painting by Igor Babailov

 

From Arrowleaf show room
From Arrowleaf show room
Gray Monk - a long established BC winery
Gray Monk – a long established BC winery
Me at Ancient Hills
Me at Ancient Hills
Beach - Downtown Kelowna
Beach – Downtown Kelowna
Jazz needs a drink - as usual
Jazz needs a drink – as usual

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Part of the small waterway for small craft (controlled)
Part of the small waterway for small craft (controlled)
Bandshell
Band shell
Tugboat beach
Tugboat beach

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Deja Vue - Fall colours - back to the painter's palette
Deja Vue – Fall colours – back to the painter’s palette
Arrowleaf Winery - Building just opened on Thanksgiving wkd.
Arrowleaf Winery – Building just opened on Thanksgiving wkd.
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Driving through the clouds…..majestic sites at every turn

Oct  14

We began the day with Kathy reading some older blogs about the drive through the Rockies that would take us into BC today. She said, “was that supposed to provide me with a good outlook for the day”? After she drove the majority of the way today including the Kicking Horse and Roger’s Pass areas with the RV, she said “that was no big deal; I don’t know what that blogger was so paranoid about”.

Today began with light drizzle, which is the first we have seen in several days and for the first couple of hours low lying clouds were all around and below us. The sun wasn’t out until later in morning offering a different viewpoint of the Rockies.

The tour through the Rockies showed much higher and snow capped mountains than we saw back in the Banff area. Today’s drive was about 330 kms but it was a slower drive both with a few extra scenic stops and the slower speeds climbing the mountains highways.

Some of the highlights for today were Kicking Horse Pass, Roger’s Pass, the spiral tunnels, and the Natural Bridge. You could easily spend a few days in this stretch with better weather as there are many camp grounds, hiking trails and historic things to see. The Spiral tunnels date back 100 years CP Rail bore a spiral tunnel 1 km in length through the Kicking Horse Pass area (Mt. Ogden) so trains could pass through the area vs. using a previous track that went down a much steeper sloped passage way. Think of it – a “spiral tunnel”. http://www.bctravel.com/se/field.html

The Natural Bridge was quite something to see with the water over many years forming this bridge and the section under the bridge continues to widen with the force of water. Just Kathy and I and 2 other people were there luckily before 2 busloads of tourists pulled in as we were leaving. Going through Roger’s pass area, there were several avalanche tunnels as this area is one of the most treacherous areas in the world during the winter for avalanches. They actually control them as best they can by actually firing artillery to actually cause a “controlled” avalanche.

We arrived in Salmon Arm, BC which is situated on Shuswap Lake around 2 pm for a couple of nights of down time. We found a nice small campground with lots of Wi-Fi band width to get caught up on paying bills, blog, emails, news, etc. since we haven’t had wi-fi access for basically a week.

That’s the “poop” for today!

Heading West from Lake Louise - More majestic Rockies ahead!
Heading West from Lake Louise – More majestic Rockies ahead!
The Spirall tunnels
The Spirall tunnels
Elk laying in a dry river bed
Elk laying in a dry river bed

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Natural Bridge area
Natural Bridge area
The "Natural Bridge"
The “Natural Bridge”
Natural Bridge area
Natural Bridge area
A section of Kicking Horse Pass
A section of Kicking Horse Pass
More Kicking Horse Pass
More Kicking Horse Pass
Driving through and around clods
Driving through and around clods
Going thru Roger's Pass
Going thru Roger’s Pass
Avalanche tunnel - Roger's Pass
Avalanche tunnel – Roger’s Pass
Roger's Pass Interpretive Ctr. - Mtn. Goats (taxidermy)
Roger’s Pass Interpretive Ctr. – Mtn. Goats (taxidermy)
ShuSwap Lake-Salmon Arm
Shuswap Lake-Salmon Arm
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Beautiful Banff weather continues

Oct 11-13

Saturday and Sunday were cooler days, but still had full sunshine all day. The temps where in the lower teens. Saturday was more “normal”, less touristy day at least for the morning, as we had to comb Jazz. In the afternoon we went to the Banff Upper Hot Springs and bathed in 40 deg water with about 125 other people. Relaxed in there for about 40 minutes then back to camp. Sometimes there was a waiting period for the buses, so if we were in downtown, we would pop into one of the merchandise shops.

Changed, had a quick beer and then grabbed the bus back to town for a night out on the town. From St. James Irish pub then over to a family steakhouse, dating back to the 1930’s era in a large old log building. It was called Melissa MisSteak, so we had to go of course (right Mel?).

Back to the RV for an early night.

Sunday, October 12th – up fairly early and we headed off to a laundry mat we found that was an easy 10 minutes walk away. We haven’t found the travelling RV laundry fairy yet, but we’re still looking. Went back home late morning for breakfast, then to town to find a place to skype the families Thanksgiving get together. Found a great pub with a quiet back room at the Elk and Oarsman. Spoke to and saw the family, had lunch (Pizza – with elk meat, caramelized onions, roasted peppers) – Mmmmm!!!

Got back to camp for a late afternoon campfire, and BBQ’d lamb and Kathy’s special potatoes. (you know which ones….) After dinner we spent a couple of hours at the neighbors campfire having enjoyable conversation and Jazz was able to hang out with her new friend – Soupy Sales a 7 year old Ole English Sheep Dog.

Monday we had a late morning sleep in, then packed up and headed to Lake Louise Camp ground about 55 kms north arriving around 2 pm. Had a lazy afternoon including a campfire and a couple of games of scrabble amongst the pines! Very peaceful!!

Turkey medallions and roast potatoes for our Thanksgiving dinner.

Off to BC tomorrow.

See you on the other side of the Rockies!

Our first glacier we saw - on the way to the Columbia Icefields on Friday
Our first glacier we saw – on the way to the Columbia Ice fields on Friday
Waterfowl Lake
Waterfowl Lake

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Athabasca Glacier - Columbia Icefields
Athabasca Glacier – Columbia Icefields
Saskatchewan Glacier
Saskatchewan Glacier

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Peyto Lake - Bow Valley Summit - 7,000'
Peyto Lake – Bow Valley Summit – 7,000′
A caption for the ladies at CPC - the hat made the trip
A caption for the ladies at CPC – the hat made the trip
Lake Louise-amazingly beautiful
Lake Louise-amazingly beautiful
Jazz getting a "cold" drink at Morraine Lake
Jazz getting a “cold” drink at Morraine Lake
Morraine Lake
Morraine Lake
Campfire at our Banff site
Campfire at our Banff site
Jazz and her new friend-Soupy Sales - an Old English Sheepdog
Jazz and her new friend-Soupy Sales – an Old English Sheepdog

 

 

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