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.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Road Tripping in BC and Alberta

(I can't believe it - this is two posts in a row where Blogger hasn't hidden my update)

It was still early August as we followed a course from Vancouver Island across central British Columbia, following the Fraser river.  It was still very warm at around 33C (91F).

It sounded like a good time to head for the lake!  Around this time, I got a call from a potential employer, wanting to know if I was still interested in a fire warden job in BC.  I was interested, but more interested in spending some time at the lake - and out of internet!  A friend has a waterfront cabin up on Seymour Arm on Shuswap lake, so that's where we headed.  Covid protocols were in place, but we still managed to get caught up on the last few years, and we got to spend some time enjoying the water.
Houseboats are very popular on this lake.
We even visited this floating store!
After a couple of days out of contact, I found out that BC had found someone else for the job!  Just as well, as I still had lots of camping to do. 
 But before that, we needed a pit stop at home to see how things were.  Apparently, the grass needed to be cut, but Hailey was finding the hunting to be lucrative in the long grass!
 The bird feeders had all gotten empty while we were away - as this bird was apparently trying to tell me.

There must have been lots to do around home, as we were there for more than a couple of weeks.  The vet provided us with some different foods for Hailey, in case her present diet was causing some allergic reactions.  So - she has been eating rabbit and kangaroo food, as well as some pork based fare.  
Finally the time was right to take off on another expedition.  It was a short-lived trip, but we explored around in the Drumheller area for a while and did some recreational looking at some real estate.  we crossed the Red Deer river on the little Bleriot Ferry.

Bottom photo from the Alberta Ferries website.

 Home again for a while, Hailey went to the local vet clinic for an injection.  By giving her a mild tranquilizer at home first, no one got injured in this attempt!   Although it was now late August, most of the swallows nesting under the house eaves had started to depart, and a few flocks of Sandhill Cranes were seen practicing their formation flying.

The weather was nice, but there was no reason to be at home, so this time we just headed westward, just a bit deeper into the foothills, looking for new places to camp.  We found this wide open spot along Cutoff Creek, only about an hour from home.
We only spent one night there, but took the time to explore the nearby area on foot, and from the air.
It was fairly close to the road, and another camper did pull in nearby later in the evening.
The next spot we picked out was more scenic, further from the road, and (bonus) the access road was much too rough for any sort of trailer or larger rig.  So we had the area all to ourselves.

New riverbanks for Hailey to check out ...

After a couple of days out along the river, and beyond any cell service, it was time to search for service and see what other locations could be found.
A few miles closer to home, we stopped for a bite to eat by a bridge over the river futher downstream.
 After a short hike around, we discovered a great little private spot further off the road.  The access was not quite as rough as the previous spot, but enough to prevent at least large rigs from getting off the road here.  And much to my surprise, there was great cell coverage here, using my Netgear Nighthawk and a Mimo antenna!

You might just be able to make out the bridge in the background of the photo below ...
So, of course there was no choice but to move in and stay a few days!
Moonlight on the water - video above.


I had a couple of evening fires, but always had my collapsible pail of water ready for any eventualities.

Some aerial views of the area.

After this trip, we were home for only a couple of nights.  The weather was looking good, so we headed off to one of our favourite camping spots in BC!  But that'll be the next blog post!