Monday, 12 August 2013

Well another adventure is over and as I write this final post I am once again at home after having taken the Hippyhome up to storage for a few weeks.
In my last post we were about to head to the mainland and then on to Logan Lake. Well we got into Tswassen to pick up some groceries and I set the GPS on my phone for Tunkwa Lake Resort. When you end up going through Surrey and Langley you realize just how big the greater Vancouver area is. It seemed like ages until we were back in what I would call the country side.
We found a nice rest area just before Chilliwack and stopped for lunch. Not much shade and all the picnic tables were out under the sun which was smoking hot so we chose to eat inside with our windows cracked and our Fantastic Fan running.
From there we headed to Hope for some propane since we were low and Tunkwa Lake was going to be two nights at an unserviced site.
It broke my heart not to stop at the Home restaurant in Hope where they have those huge pieces of pie but when you travel with the food police sometimes you just have to pass things up.
Up the Coquahalla( not sure of spelling) and up is not the word for it. There was one uphill part where the semis could not have been doing anymore than about 5-10kph. It was also hot out like in the high 20`s and there were several vehicles over with their hoods up, not just people pulling trailers but older cars as well. The Hippyhome boogied up no problems and the temp gage stayed right in the middle so I was pleased. It has run really well over the time we have had it.
At Merritt we turned off and followed directions on some pretty winding and vacant secondary highways. For some reason we thought Tunkwa Lake Resort was in or on Logan Lake. We came to an intersection, right for Logan Lake and straight ahead for what we assumed was Tunkwa. By the time we got to this point we were in and out of cell reception and so my GPS was a little unnerving as we appeared to be going further in to the bush with no sign of a lake. The GPS would say 5 more k and then run out of K. We decided to go another 10 min and if we found nothing turn around and head back. On the way we had passed by many residences single and also trailer parks seemingly in the middle of nowhere. Later we found out their are mines in Logan Lake and many people in the surrounding area work there.
Anyway we kept going and finally came across a sign that said Tunkwa Lake Provincial Park. We turned off and just a bit in was the gravel road and sign for Tunkwa Lake Resort.
This is a fishing lodge. If you know me you know I don`t fish and don`t like to eat them. We stopped here so we could meet up with the old neighbours of Anne`s parents who spend the summer out here.
Very remote. This was another place on our trip though where I could actually see bald eagles flying around. when you see them land in a tree you get some perspective on how big these guys are.
One day we took Cash for a walk down the road to the Provincial Park. Aside from the nice gravel pads this is a rustic park like the ones I went to with my parents back in the 50`s and 60`s. Pit toilets, no power and drinking water was from an old fashion hand pump. Good to know as if we ever stayed there , you would want to make sure you topped up your fresh water tank before you got there as it would be a trick getting it in out of a hand pump.
John and Anne own and canoe and let us go out in it. Anne(my Anne) and I paddled a good route around the lake and Anne was thrilled to hear the call of the Loon and we were able to get close enough to see its markings and the fish it had in its mouth. Hard to do this kind of thing with a noisy power boat.
From Tunkwa we headed to Kamloops for gas and a break. Coming out of Tunkwa and heading north on a road that for those of you familiar with the Thunder Bay area, this road was like the road to Silver Islet before they straightened it out. Certainly keeps you alert while up and down and around in a |Class C motorhome, especially the last extremely steep hill without guardrails.
Filled up in Kamloops for $1.23 per litre which was a deal after paying mostly $1.34-1.39 for most of the trip and just down the highway in Revelstoke it was back up to $1.34. I actually did not fill up again till Calgary. I was between 1/4 and empty but made it 621km on a tank.
We both found signage in BC a little lacking on advance notice and just about overshot the second entrance to Canyon Hot Springs RV park.
Another hot night but we had some trees around us and it cooled off as the evening came in. Walked down by the train tracks and Cash got an up close look at a train going by. He has been very curious on this trip when he has heard the sound of a train in the distance, always looking to see what the sound is, well now he knows.
The old saying " small world" truly is. I was sitting in the rv having something to eat as I see this family going by heading to the hot spring pool and I realize I know the son, so I jump out of the rv and say hi Thomas, see you in September. Thomas is one of my Junior High kids on my school bus route.
Onward home from here, lots of construction repairs on the number one between here and Lake Louise then pretty much clear sailing the rest of the way.
It was our first time through the Canmore area since the big flood and you can still see all the damage that occurred and streams rerouted etc.
Well that takes care of another summer of travel or at least long distance travel . We will go out a few more times before winterizing the unit. Where will we go next year? Maybe back east but go up to Edmonton and across the top as neither of us have been that way before.
Thanks to all who follow us on our little journeys. We still would love to meet some friends who could travel with us.
Ciao for now.

Monday, 5 August 2013

Hello again from the Hippyhome. It is now Monday August 5th and it is our last night on Vancouver Island. Tomorrow morning we will catch the 11a.m. ferry to Tswassen and then start are way home.
Since my last post we spent our 7 days at Living Forest. The brochures all show very tranquil scenes and well they are there , this time of year is anything but tranquil. I love that families are out camping and in nature but I wish there were more parental control on the kids. The site we had probably did not help matters, we were at the confluence of two roads. The kids are just wild on their bikes and skooters  flying up and down and through stop signs. Getting them to quiet down in the hours near 9pm would be a great improvement also. I would go back here but not in the summer.
We left Living Forest on Saturday morning and took our time coming back down to Victoria.
We decided to go see the murals in Chemainus and that was a really good choice. There are approx. 50 murals on the buildings downtown. We saw a great many but not all. They are something to be seen if you are in the area. They also have an amazing performing arts building that seats about 300 people. Anne and I both really liked the feel of the town. I will put an album on Facebook just of the murals that I took pictures of.
From there we travelled south and stopped at a couple of local vineyards. One was  very small and I need they need some help on their wines but the other was very nice and very good wines. It was called Averill Creek Vineyard.  We headed up a washboard gravel narrow road and wondered if we were on the right path. Up a ways the road took a turn to the right and in the  distance we saw a gate closed across the road. I said to Anne great and there was no way we could turn around. As we got closer we were relieved to see a sign that said punch in code 1234 and gate will open and so we did and up the road we continued. When we rounded the end of the row of vines we saw their very nice building with patio etc. The staff were very good and said the patio was for picnic lunches that you bring if you want or they were selling some cheeses and meats. We bought some wine but passed on the patio and had our lunch in a closed weigh station.
On an off topic I think something crawled up Cash`s arse as things are smelling off in here right now and it is not me or Anne.
From lunch we motored on to our next rv site which was Ft Victoria RV park in the community of View Royal . The sign says the town of but it seems like it is a suburb of Victoria.
As luck would have it this place was within a 15 min walk or 5 min ride to the Galopping Goose Trail that Anne so badly wanted to ride. We walked part of it Saturday night when we went looking for it and then on Sunday we did 18km return. A beautiful path build on a old rail line from the 1920`s. Next time we are here we will do another part of it. It links up with another trail and you can ride from downtown Victoria all the way out to Sooke.
We left Ft Vic this morning and went to Langford to a huge wine store called Anything Wine. They apparently have one in Edmonton and Red Deer and Lethbridge. They are trying to get into Calgary.
Topped up the gas well in Langford as well. Gas Buddy showed a Petro Canada there at $ 1.32 and 8min away in View Royal a Petro Canada at $1.41. Go figure that one out.
Killed enough time off for check in at West Bay Marine Village and RV park which is right on the harbour. Since I had taken Cash for an 80 min walk in the morning we felt ok leaving him to guard the Hippyhome. We took a water taxi from West Bay Marina and it dropped us off right where we were going for lunch, The Wharfside Eatery. After a great lunch they had a market going on the dock area so we went and browsed that . Then took the water ferry back to West Bay Marina and opened the door to a downward dog. He obviously was having a good snooze. What a great traveller he is.
I almost forgot but when Anne and I were riding the Galopping Goose yesterday I should have stopped and got a picture. I would have titled it "how you know you are on Vancouver Island" It was two ladies walking a llama.
As I said this is our last night on the island. I must say the island people are very friendly and l look forward to our next visit here.
Tomorrow will be a big drive day, Victoria to Logan Lake which is just outside Kamloops. The children of Anne`s parents old next door neighbours in London Ontario own a resort there that has some campsites. We will be there for two nights then on to Canyon Hot Springs then on to Calgary and the end of another Hippyhome Adventure.
I will do one more blog probably from home.
Ciao for now

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Here we are 11 days later and on our third campsite since I last checked in.
From Miracle Beach we headed up the Coastal Highway towards Campbell River and onto Quadra Island. The Coastal Highway is more scenic but slow as you go from one small settlement to the next.
We arrived in Campbell River and got stocked up on groceries, found a BMO that I could walk to while Anne shopped. Good Canadian Tire there also so bought a new campchair. Caught the ferry from Campbell River to Quadra Island which takes all of about 8-10 minutes and cost us $60. The 1hr40min ride from Twassen to Swartz Bay was only $120. We happily found out later from some islanders that this included the return trip on the small islands so only $30 each way.
We got to our site at the Heriot Bay Inn and shortly after we met up with Mal and Nancy who live on Quadra. We had met them at Neys Provincial Park on Lake Superior last year when they were doing a big trip to the Maritimes from Quadra.
We joined them and some of their friends from Quadra for a beer in the Inn`s pub then went and settled into our site which backed onto the Heriot Bay Marina. It was a really nice site and interesting watching the coming and going of boats including the ferry to Cortez Island as well as watching the tide rise and fall. The next day Nancy and Mal came over in their truck and took Anne, Cash and I on a tour of the island then to their house for dinner. They have a drop dead gorgeous view off their deck. We spent 5 days on Quadra, did some hikes, did some bike rides and toured the First Nations Cultural Centre at Cape Mudge.  I was amazed when I saw a pamphlet on a house for sale. 5 acres, 1400 sq foot house, orchard, workshop , garage with two doors, one oversized that you could put a motorhome in, all for $385,000. Mal said that was that great a deal and that there were some really nice homes on the island in the $250,000 range.
From Quadra we headed 10 min n.w. of Campbell River to Elk Falls Provincial park where we were in the opposite if Heriot Bay. Big campsite, lots of trees, small river behind our site and no services so we were running on water tank and batteries for three nights. On our first walk through the campground I thought we were in the land of Pitbulls which seemed to be the dog of choice, not my favourite.
The first full day we decided we would hike from out site to Elk Falls which did not look that far. We find that hiking trails are not all that well marked in BC. Anyway after walking close to two hours we finally came to Elk Falls parking lot where it indicated another 1/2 km to the falls and down hill. What goes down must come up and we were both getting pretty tired and had not packed a lunch. Anne thankfully had brought some trail mix and apples which we ate.We decided we would drive back another day to see the falls and turned around and headed back down the trail to our campsite. Part of the trail runs along the Campbell River and at one point where there was a little pool Anne asked if I wanted to let Cash in for a splash. I agreed tossed a stick in which he went after, on his flex leash. Well he almost had the stick up the current was moving a bit fast, I was maxed out on my toes to let him grab it. One last lunge and I ended up in the river also. My Keen hiking boots are waterproof but not when water is pouring in the tops. I had to do the last hour back with water sloshing around in my boots.
From Elk Falls we heading south to Nanaimo Ferry dock so that we could pick up our daughter Kim who was coming over from Vancouver for the day to see us. Got to Living Forest Oceanside Campground , got checked in then headed back downtown to walk the ocean side walkways. This happens to be the weekend of the bathtub races so it was a zoo for parking and people. Anyway had a good walk took Cash to where we had parked the Hippyhome and then went out for a nice dinner. Took Kim back to the ferry and back to the site for the night. Big campground and being a weekend there are tons of kids here as well so a bit noisy. Lots of people pulling out today so maybe tonight will be quieter. Today is a laundry and chill day. We are here for 7 nights so we will do some day trips.
That is is for now. Hope all who read this are enjoying summer wherever you are.

Rich, Anne and Cash

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Good  morning, afternoon or evening, or whenever you read this. I forgot to mention in my last blog how great the trip on the ferry from Vancouver to Swartz Bay was. This time we left Cash in the rv so we could roam the ship. What a nice boat. It was a very calm crossing and sunny. I always enjoy the part where you are just coming into the inlet from the ocean and see all the nice houses and sailboats etc.
We headed out of the KOA around 10a.m. yesterday. What a deadly left turn that is coming out of there. We waited until that time to make sure the traffic had died down a bit. Headed north and stopped in Duncan for a  break  and to take some pictures of all the totem poles in town. From there we went up the highway till we got to Ladysmith, found a community park by the ocean and had lunch. Unfortunately there were signs in the nice part of the park that said no dogs so I took Cash for a walk on the other side where the grass was crisp and dry from no rain. It was about 28C there when we stopped.
We then headed north and bypassed Naniamo then got ourselves on the Island Highway that runs along the shore line. It was quite slow and because of shrubbery or high fences you often could not see the water anyway so on the way back we will take the inland highway. We stopped at a little park for a walk and the trees were just huge and covered in moss.
Got gas in Courtney at a  Husky for 1.34. Still do not understand why Vancouver is $1.51 , you would think it would be higher on an island.
Arrived at Miracle Beach Provincial Park around 5pm and got set up. Tons of kids here riding bikes all over the place. Took a walk down to the beach area where a small cruise ship was passing by. I did not think to take a camera or a phone so missed some nice photo opts.
Spaggetti and Copper Moon Rose for me with of course a salad. I felt really wiped from the drive so decided to chill in the lounge chair while Anne went exploring on her bike.
This morning Cash and I did a big walk in a light rain, the first rain we have experienced since Grand Forks, BC on the Crowsnest Highway.
By the way when I  had filled up gas yesterday at half a tank the previous fill up was Hope BC. Not bad. Partially because I don`t travel over 90KM and a lot of the speed limits were only 90 and most and some 70-80. For those non believing rv`ers taking it slower certainly makes a difference on your fuel tank.
Anne is off with her hiking poles on a morning adventure and Cash and I are "watching the house" ( which is what we tell him to do when we leave him, just like at home). Since we are at a non service site and I do not have an adaptor to charge this from the cab I will sign off for a few days.
Our next stop will be the Heriot Bay Inn and RV park on Quadra Island on Friday where some people we met last year camping on Lake Superior live. We have been in touch and hope to see them while we are there
Ciao for now

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Made it to Vancouver from Osoyoos in 6.5 hrs which was pretty good for us and considering the rolly polly nature of the #3 West . Quite scenic but like a roller coaster. We got into Burnaby-Cariboo RV park about 2pm. Kim arrived by Skytrain within in the hour and then Rody arrived about 5 after he got off work. We all went out(except Cash) for Thai food so it was a good visit. Kim came over again Saturday morning and spent the day with us before heading out on a 4 hr canoe trip . The rv park itself is quite well kept but spaces even though you have privacy with giant hedges, are close. The people that pulled in behind us were travelling from the Netherlands so we had them over for a glass of wine last night. That to me is one of the benefits of rving.
We headed out this morning around 9:30am. to Twassen to catch the 1pm ferry. Actually stopped in Twassen first and hit a Safeway for groceries. When we go to the ferry they asked us if we wanted to take the 12 noon one so we did.
Stopped at a White Spot along the way for dinner then headed north of Victoria to the KOA where we are presently. We met up with out son in law Mike`s mom Sherry and her niece Kim and had a visit with them. We are deep in the trees here and will be here for two nights. I met the owner John who said he has had this campground for 35 yrs. He  said he laughs out loud now when people say this is what they would like to do in retirement, run a campground. He now tells them if you are thinking of retirement this is not the way to do it. We know from watching the couple in Sault St Marie KOA who were running from 7am. to 9pm that it is a crazy lifestyle. Crazy ass road coming into this KOA not to speak of dangerous. Also one lane coming in so if you meet anyone someone better have good backing skills.
From here we will head to Miracle Beach Provincial Park up near Courtney.
Ciao for now

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Well it is now Thursday , July 11 and we are on our last  night at NM`KIP RV park in Osoyoos. From Creston we went up the east side of Kooteny Lake up to Crawford Bay and Kokanee Springs Chalets and RV campground. The last time we were here was in 1986 in my Reliant K Car wagon supplied by Nestle and we stayed in one of the A frame chalets.
I took Cash for a walk one day down part of the grass landing strip they have there. Not till you walk a good part of it do you realize just how long it is. There is a 79 Cessna tethered there and a Pipe Cherokee similar to what I got my licence on .
We were just here one night. Loved the smell of the cedars but the mosquitos were plenty so I was just as happy to leave.
The next day Cash had his second ferry boat ride, the first being last year to Manitoulin Island. This one goes from Kootenay Bay to Balfour and is about 40 min long. It is also the longest free ferry ride available.
From there we travelled down the west side of the lake, through Nelson and eventually arriving at the Riviera RV park just off the highway in Grand Forks, BC. Just off the highway no kidding, like about 30 metres. The place was clean enough but very noisy that close to the highway with all the big rigs going by and the locals in their noisy pickups. Headed out fairly early the next day and by late afternoon we were in Osoyoos where they had a record hot day. I believe it got up to 34C. It was good to have 30amp service and be able to run the A/C.
The campsite is huge but they are definitely making their bucks here as they pack you in fairly close to each other.
We have been in the lake twice once yesterday and then again this afternoon. They say it is the warmest lake in the Okanogan. Maybe in August but it sure is not that warm right now but when it was 34C it was definitely refreshing.
I forgot, yesterday we also before we came to the RV park drove north about 25 min to my favourite winery See Ya Later Ranch where Anne ran into some people she knew from U of C. Small world.
We also rode our bikes into the SE end of town looking for a grocery store Anne thought she saw when we came to town. We found it and it it turned out to be only about a 15 min ride from our campsite. That was good so we put our MEC saddlebags on the bikes this morning and rode to Family Foods and got enough groceries stuffed into them for a few days.
Last night about dinner time the wind really came up and I had to put the awning up. This evening again the wind had come up so I am wondering how much fun I will have with our little BBQ tonight.
Cash has been in the late the last two nights and again will go for a swim at the dog beach after dinner.
He truly must have a lot of Lab in him as he loves the water even in the waves.
Well tonight I will set the alarm clock for 6a.m. and disconnect the EWS so we can get an early start in the morning. We have reservations at the Burnaby Cariboo RV park in Vancouver and we expect to see Kim tomorrow night so a big drive tomorrow.
Until later. Ciao for now

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Hippyhome adventures 2013

Well here we are on the road again. This time we decided to head west and to Vancouver Island.
Took a few days to get loaded up as I think once again the only thing we did not take was the kitchen sink. I said to Anne once we were loaded up, can you imagine us putting all this in a custom camper van like a Pleasureway or Roadtrek instead of our 25 foot Class C? Not likely.
Headed out on Thursday July 4th for Kikomun Provincial Park which is just about 20 min past Fernie B.C.
Must say on the way down we passed High River and even from the highway you could see how much damage has been done to that town. We saw many car carriers and tow trucks heading to Calgary with cars that had been damage in the floods.
Ok back to Kikomun Park. Really a nice park and very well maintained. We had a really nice site and
although it was unserviced we did really well as we are self contained anyway, just can not use the microwave .
We were in the Surveyors Campground which backs onto Surveyors Lake which has a large population of Painted Turtles, small mouth bass and rainbow trout. There is a nice beach area and you can rent paddle boats, or kyaks. We did neither choosing to hike around the lake with Cash and the second day ride our bikes down to Lake Kukanusu which is something like the Ghost Lake outside Calgary, it is a river that was damned back in the 70`s.
We were having a great dinner outside last night, steak, wine and beer, salad etc when a major wind came up. Suddenly we had pine needles, branches etc raining down on us. We thought we would wait it out but it only got stronger. Hand over my wine glass first as I did not feel like picking pine needles out. Had to check my salad thoroughly so I did not choke on one in there either. Finally had to pick up and go inside which I must say is nice to have that option.
Picked up and left there this morning heading for Creston which is where we are now. It was a short drive today so we did the cultural thing. We first went and checked out the Skimmerhorn Winery and did some wine tasting and then we headed to a Husky Station to top up our fuel. Not often do you get full service at a major gas station but we did here. Next on the list we visited the Creston museum which was somewhat interesting.
Then finally we settled in Pair -A -Dice, a small family run RV park in the city. Tomorrow we will head to Crawford Bay. Have not been there since the mid 80`s. Should be nice as we will be in a campground beside the A frames we stayed in back in 86. I will update in a few days.

Ciao for now