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