Sunday, April 14, 2019

Back to the Great White North!

Today's rant: Thanks Google, for blocking my access to MY e-mail accounts!  Google often brags to me that, "Someone tried to sign into your e-mail account, using 'your' password.  But we blocked that attempt!"  Well, Hello Google, did you ever think that if they knew my password, perhaps that was ME?  Like, isn't that kinda what this password thing is all about? I don't think WikiLeaks cares about my e-mails!

Ok - on to the blog thing.
After a long day on the road from McMinnville, Oregon, we stopped for the night near Sandpoint, Idaho, at a quiet waterfront spot on Pend Oreille lake.  Other than a few passing trains to punctuate the night, it was a quiet one.  The cheapest fuel in Sandpoint was sold out of fuel (funny how that works!), so we emptied the rest of our 5 gallon cans into the tank and made it to the last station before the border in Bonners Ferry and filled everything to the rim.  The goal is to avoid, if at all possible, buying fuel in British Columbia - which is kind of like California when it come to prices!


Border crossing was a breeze, and we were on our way to a brief stop in Wycliffe, BC, where we visited with Dale and Doug who run a lovely B&B on the St Marys River. St Marys River B&B.

We had nothing much to 'donate', but being the last convenient dump site before home, the tanks were all drained at the convenient site behind the information centre in Cranbrook, BC.

There were only a few traces of snow visible in shaded spots in the bush and roads were bare and dry.

That is, until we started to cross the Rockies and continental divide in Kootenay National Park, my old stomping grounds.

 Then, the flakes started to fall, large and fluffy, but melting as soon as they hit the ground.

 We made it over the mountain passes, and back down into Alberta on the same tank of fuel from Idaho.  Not satisfied with the prices in Banff or Canmore, we again stopped and dumped in our spare supply so we could make it to a little station in the country near home, that had even cheaper prices.  It still cost Can$138. to fill up, but always good to save a little.

 There were a few more snow squalls to contend with along the way, but other than a brief reduction in visibility, nothing to slow down progress.

 It cleared a little bit as we got closer to home, and it was nice to see that there was no snow at all left back at the homestead! 

Once again, the 'high-security' gate had kept the place safe and sound!

Quite a difference from last year's return (below)!

Hailey was out in an instant, checking in on all her mouse friends, who were no doubt looking forward to her return!

And, she was looking happy to be back in her indoor domain as well! 

From the cutting room floor ...


 No plans for the next month, except to huddle indoors in front of the fireplace, waiting till it's warm enough to go outside, or get back on the road! And watch the Stanley Cup playoffs on the big screen!

So don't expect another update for a while - unless I do something, or take some photos.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

California coast to the Canadian border

It was generally an enjoyable trip up the California coast...

But as we moved further north into Oregon, the weather began to deteriorate, and rain was in every forecast ;-(

All the coastal rivers were at flood stage, running high and brown.

Flood warnings were the order of the day - perhaps some people didn't get the memo!

 This person was hanging out the window of a partially submerged vehicle talking to the fellow in the CalTrans truck, just south of Crescent City.  It looked like the vehicle had hit the water and then the ditch.  A few minutes later fire trucks and ambulances were headed that way.

In Brookings, Oregon, they must have a problem with panhandlers, or something?

Originally the idea was to continue up the coast to Astoria, and perhaps even continue all the way up into Washington and the Olympic peninsula.  But with nothing but rain forecast, that idea was abandoned, and we left the coast at Lincoln City.  The blossoms were out at the Evergreen Aviation & Space museum at McMinnville, where we pulled in for the night. 

 Winds were blowing around some of the blossom petals on the ground - which looked a lot like blowing snow.  Could that be an omen?
So, with nothing left to do but make a mile, we assumed our positions and made a long day's drive up through Portland, and almost to the Canadian border.

With favourable weather and the creeks don't rise, I expect we'll cross the border tomorrow and see what things are like at home.  Hopefully snowshoes won't be needed  to get Hailey to the house like last year!

Sunday, April 07, 2019

Heading up the California coast

Neverending problems with Blogger and it's lousy editor!  Had the post published, when I noticed that Blogger had arbitrarily removed a photo and a video from the end of the blog!  Trying it again!

Heading up the California coast north of Santa Cruz, the 'no camping' signs ended once we crossed San Mateo County line, so we took advantage of one of the roadside ocean-view parking spots for the night.  It rained some during the night, which helped drown out the sounds of the traffic, which only died down briefly overnight.
It was still early in the morning when we passed the Pigeon Point lighthouse.  There used to be some scenic camp spots within view of the lighthouse, which are all gone now.  :-( But at least the old spots have been rehabilitated and revegetated, not just plastered with signs.

We didn't fuel up in Santa Cruz like usual, so were forced to add some from the two 5 gallon cans we carry in the back, to avoid both the prices and tight spaces of gas stations in the San Franciso. 
If there was anything left to bend in the frame on the 5th wheel, the horrible, rough, pot-holed roads leading through San Francisco certainly took care of that. At least the traffic was not too bad, even though we missed our intended route.

There was this big orange bridge to cross as we headed north, but at least the tolls are only collected southbound.  Like former co-pilot Harley (pictured), Hailey was not overly impressed with the bridge!
We stopped for a look at the bridge from the north end.


And, had a look out at Alcatraz island, home of the famous prison.

No drones were seen or flown!

North of San Fran we exited the freeway at Petaluma and headed back to the coast, once again neglecting to add fuel.  This left us out at Bodega Bay, where the prices are, umm, somewhat inflated shall we say.  We only took on enough to get us to Fort Bragg where prices are downright reasonable - for California!  Strangely, propane at the same spot was only (!) $3.30/g compared to $4.95 on I-15 in Baker.

Fortunately, most of our free scenic ocean-front overnight camp spot also came with free whale watching.  At only one spot did we fail to see whales spouting offshore!  While watching a couple of container ships in the distance, I discovered an online site where you can track many ships and even fishing vessels.  It typically shows their location, bearing, speed, track, photos, and flag.
In Fort Bragg, (where diesel was $3.64) we fueled up, but left re-filling the spare containers later for Oregon.  We called the vet back in Ft Mohave, Az, and had them provide prescription details to the local Safeway pharmacy, so we could get some more appetite pills for Hailey.  According to the instructions that come with the meds, she will not be allowed to operate heavy machinery, and must be monitored for suicidal tendencies! In spite of my being rather an expert now in administering cat meds, apparently Hailey has become somewhat of an expert in avoiding them!  A few minutes after trying to force the pill into her mouth, I found it's sticky remains stuck to the side of my laptop monitor where she had conveniently spit it out!

There was not enough space in the Safeway parking lot for my truck and rig, so I had parked along the curb just across the street. While attempting to get there with my shopping cart, the front wheel locked up solid at the edge of the sidewalk!  I had seen signs about removing carts in a parking lot in Vegas, and didn't know that worked, but I sure found out here!  Now I had to lug my load of groceries by hand.


 Although the forecast had predicted more or less continuous rain this week, there were certainly a fair share of nice weather and even some periods of sunshine.  So we took advantage of the situation to take some more photos near Westport.

It was so nice out that I couldn't resist digging out my fire pan and having a nice evening campfire, complete with ocean view and whales spouting in the distance.