Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Hold your hats, it's a new blog post (if Google cooperates)!

 Well, it's been a long time since the last post, but we have reached the longest night of the year, so I hope everything starts to look up from this point on?  At least we can see the start of the tunnel,with a faint hint of light at the far end!

Somehow, the last camping trip of the summer season back in October seems to have missed the earlier blog posts, so here's a taste of that trip eastward into Saskatchewan, and Prince Albert National Park. It was very quiet at that time of the year, so we had it mostly to ourselves, which is just fine.

On the way home, the snow geese, not having gotten the Covid memo about the border, were preparing to flaunt their freedom and head south for the winter!


 I noticed that some of the farmers along the way have gone high tech, with these cool wireless weather stations in random places around their fields.

 When I got home in early October my old water bomber buddies were still racing to put out some persistent fires to the south west further into the foothills.  Luckily, they got them knocked down before the first snow came on October 12th, when I drained the fresh water in the truck camper.  Of course, I didn't bother to winterize it, which was a mistake and even the daytime temps were not climbing above the freezing mark.  It took quite a few hours with heaters going and the furnace on before I could sadly winterize it.  Meanwhile, the 5th wheel is still sitting, where I parked it and winterized it back in April.  I left it's solar panel out - which is doing a good job of keeping the batteries topped off - as long as I clean the snow off the panel!

Woke up to a temperature of -27C (-16.6F) on the 25th of October for crying out loud!  Here we are near the end of December, and we have yet to exceed that foolishness.  My truck started OK, but having spent only one previous winter in the north, I could tell it was ready to hook up and leave!

Hailey's vets had her on some special food (for allergies?).  Picked up a case at the local vet for $94 CAN.  Checked with the company online and it sells for $38.50 US down south, but they won't ship retail to Canada.  Someone is making a killing along the way!

On November 2nd, it was +15C (59F) first thing in the morning!  Obviously, a chinook doing it's thing.

Around the end of November it was becoming clear that we were going to be marooned up here in the land of cold and snow, so emergency measures had to be taken.  First, I started to build me a skating rink to give me something to do.  I think I average about 6 hours flooding and clearing for every hour skating. Mission accomplished.  My hockey skills are coming back.


On the other end of the spectrum, I decided it was time to re-enter the world of hot tubs, having hauled my old one to the dump when I made the last move.  I only wanted a small one this time (110V), but everyone is having the same idea, and most were back-ordered till well into the spring.  Finally, a small one became available, so I can now thaw out at will.


Wow, this blogger editor is a piece of work.  And I don't mean that in a nice way.  Awkward, stupid, counter-intuitive.  Can't move the photos where I want, but finally got the text kind of in the right spot. But now the formatting is not available!!
What I was trying to say is that unlike Al's feeders in Bayfield, mine were getting swamped with birds back in the late fall, but now there is only a few chickadees visiting mine.  And, one squirrel! There were a few Blue Jays, a Hairy Woodpecker earlier, but they all seem to have moved on.

Speaking of Al ...  I think the builders of his Tim's and my local Esso & McD's are having a race! The Esso has been open selling gas for a while, but the restaurant has not opened yet.
The photo is from before they opened.
Got buzzed by this crop spraying plane one day while out driving around.

Nice work on that text formatting (above) Blogger!!!  Then, it 'disappeared' the text and I had to re-type it.  No doubt it will show up double in the final version!

Sent these photos of a local road to the county to warm them that it will almost for sure wash out in the spring even with normal river flows.  They replied that they are starting the planning and permitting process next year to do the repairs.  Pretty sure they are just going to wait till it washes out, then go for emergency authorization!
 When not skating or soaking, we've been fighting off the blues with various slide shows or videos on the big screen TV of some of our favourite warm southern places, as below.Image may contain: sky, ocean, mountain, cloud, outdoor, nature and waterNo photo description available.No photo description available.
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 I've also downloaded a lot of RV travel vlogs, and watch them on the big screen ...
I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas, and I think we all need a much better year in 2021.  Stay safe everyone.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Beaching it for the Long Weekend

 (The last couple of posts have shown up on time on other blog's sidebars, so I guess I'll continue with this run of good luck and try to get the blog updated and closer to real time!)

Our little spot by the river in the foothills

We had just returned home after spending some time camping in the foothills to the west, not too far from home.  The September long weekend was approaching, and I'd thought that the best plan might be to stay at home and just avoid the traffic and the crowds.

But ... the weather was looking good, and we had not been to one of our favourite lakefront camp spots since a lot earlier in the summer.  IF we could just find our spot vacant, it would provide the perfect, quiet hideaway ...

SO, after just two nights at home we loaded up and headed west to BC again.  Actually, during a summer like this, the camper never gets unloaded, just re-stocked on occasion with a few essentials.  But wait, a flat tire at the worst possible time! Brand new tires, too.  But it was not right flat, and after pumping it up, we could drive to town to have it repaired without having to put on the spare.  The tire shop found a sharp rock, still imbedded in the tire, having punched right through a lug on the tire, not even the space between the lugs.  They fixed the tire for free, as the tires were purchased there, barely a month before!

Ok, so back on the road west, through Canmore, Lake Louise, Golden, and Revelstoke.  From there it was south, across the ferry on the north end of the Arrow lakes, hoping that our spot would be vacant.  But it wasn't :-(


Another nice spot about a mile away was available and so we pulled in there.  It has nice beaches at low water too, but the parking spot is right in the heavy timber, so there is virtually no chance of any solar.


We spent the night there, listening to the sounds of a nearby waterfall, and blew up the (inflatable) kayak in the morning.  An aerial reconnaissance showed that my preferred camp spot was still occupied - as I was worried it would be for the entire long weekend.  But luck was in my favour as a bit later two ladies paddled by in kayaks that I recognized from 'my' spot.  When I asked if they were staying for the duration, I was thrilled when they told me that they were departing within a few hours and that I was more than welcome to come over and take over their spot!

So, of course we moved over there ASAP, and then had the spot to ourselves for the whole long weekend!  There may have been crowds and traffic jams elsewhere, but in my little piece of paradise, I only saw a couple of boaters go by, and a BC Fire warden stopping by to check on the fire situation.  There was no fire ban or restriction in effect, so a fire out on the point was in order.

And, the weather was warm, and the lake was still nice for a refreshing dip every now and then.


There were thousands of these little moths around.  It seemed like most of them inevitably ended up drowning in the lake.


 After spending the long weekend in this little bit of paradise, I headed south through the Slocan valley.
On the way through I saw a rather large forest fire burning up in the hills above a friends place, so I stopped in to check on them.  There were lots of helicopters working the fire, but apparently it had been burning for almost two weeks.
Carrying on further south I met up with Don & Donna for a few days near Creston. 
With them I toured around for day trips over to Trail, BC, visiting the old house where I lived a long time ago, and nearby Rossland.  Another day we went up to Crawford Bay on Kootenay Lake.  We must have been having too much fun, as I don't seem to have taken any photos during that time!  And, (Ahem), Donna's blog seems to be even more out of date than mine!
Departing there, my plan to meet up with other friends did not work out, but as a consolation, Hailey and I ended up back at our same camp spot where we had spent the long weekend!  Most excellent, but it took a little more courage to go swimming as the fall weather was getting a bit on the cool side.
After being home for only two nights, we were off again, into the nearby foothills to make the best of the still decent weather.
Now at home, there is actually about 4-5" of snow on the ground and the daytime temperatures have not gotten above freezing.  The truck camper has been taken off the truck, but there's not much reason to put in the 5th wheel hitch in or hook up, as the border is still closed.  Not looking forward to a long, long cold winter at home, but maybe things will open up later.  Stay warm.  Doubt if the blog will get updated again - till there is something to report or somewhere to go.