Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Back on the road, summer version.

 Well, 'we' made it home to Alberta in late April, but Ms Hailey's health issues finally got the best of her, and it was the end of the road for her :-(

Thanks for all the blog comments about her ...

It was, and is, a pretty sad time around here, without the little side-kick underfoot and all around, all the time.

Despite that, the bird feeders were filled, the 5th wheel was parked for the season, and the truck camper was loaded for summer travels.  Solar panels, heater moved over, and batteries installed, and un-winterized.

 The iPhone 14 pro continues to amaze with it's ability to take clear, bright night-time photos.  These two below were both taken about midnight, under a full moon.

About the same time, Starlink went on sale for $350 Canadian, so despite past doubts, it was time to give it a try.  Prior to it's arrival, the price dropped again to only $199 Canadian for 'rural Canadians', but they gave me a credit for the difference!

There are virtually no instructions with it, and assembly is pretty simple.  I tossed the 'dish' out on the lawn, and we were online with high speed in under 15 minutes.  The Starlink router does not come with an ethernet port, so you cannot simply plug your existing router into it, and you must change all your devices over to connect to the system.  Not very convenient :-(  You have to pay extra if you want an adapter with a port.

With the new mobile version of Starlink - formerly called Roam, you can turn your service on and off by the calendar month, and not pay anything when it's not being used.  Of course 'no contract' also means that Elon can raise the price and change the conditions whenever he wishes.

I have an awesome grandfathered, unlimited AT&T plan in the US that covers most of the places I like to camp, but some of my favourite camp spots in Canada are quite devoid of any cell service.  So the next part of the plan was to test Starlink in some of the favourite camp spots.

Packing up and heading out without cat litter, cat food, and associated cat stuff made me feel like I was missing something.  And I was :-(

Revelstoke lake was the intended destination to start the trip.


This time of year, it was not surprising to find a favourite camp spot was vacant.  Being early season, I had to pull out my axe, and cut off a lot of small trees that had fallen down across the access roads during the winter.  

The Starlink was set out and despite the trees in the area, it was soon online.

Video of one of my waterfront camp spots ...


Of course, with my luck, on the Friday afternoon, Starlink decided it just did not want to connect any more!  All attempts at re-booting, re-wiring, and factory re-sets did nothing to solve the problem.  The app has links to trouble-shooting etc, but they all require internet to access!  Why not put the information on the app itself?

A beaver came by on an evening lake shore patrol.

I spotted a girl setting up camp across the bay.  Then I saw a cat jump out of her truck and start following her all around the campsite.  So - I just had to go over and meet the cat!  It was a male cat, and he looked very much like Ms Hailey, but of course he had just the opposite personality :-)  He was actually friendly (!), though not all that sure about having a stranger pick him up!  And - he had all four legs.

Back in cell coverage on Monday, I let Starlink know of the problem.  There is NO phone number or e-mail address to contact them - there is no way of talking to them, or even having an online 'chat'. :-(

The only way of dealing with them is to sign into your account, then searching around for a little form to fill out - and they might get back to you, but it might take days.  In my case, without consultation, or asking anything else, they announced that a new cable was being sent out.  Not to where I was, but to my home address, a 6+ hour drive away.  Very convenient.  

South of Revelstoke, the ferry took me to Nakusp, where I stumbled onto a retired RCMP officer who I used to work with in Lake Louise.  After a good chat, I found this spot for the night on the end of Slocan Lake.  Nice and quiet, scenic, and little creek to provide the appropriate ambience!

Over in Kaslo, I could see that the Osprey was back on it's nest from last year.  I had stumbled across the nest last year when I was in the area, and was surprised to see an Osprey nesting that low down.  Well, soon after I visited, a rescue operation was undertaken, as it became clear that when the lake level rose, the nest would be flooded out.  Conservation Officers and Park Rangers and others got together and moved the nest to a nearby higher piling!  It all worked out well, and the birds are back on the nest again this year - in the new and improved location!  See the media links below:

Spent some time cruising around other Kootenay towns including Nelson, Castlegar, and Creston, and visited with some more friends along the way.

 With the long weekend looming - and the expected delivery of the Starlink cable, it was decided to head for home and avoid the crowds and the traffic. They are constructing some new wildlife overpasses on the highway east of Canmore.

At home, it was still smoky ...

After the feeders were topped off the local bird population was happy.

 We should be back on the road again somewhere soon, but not sure when the blog will catch up?

Some rain came, so the fires have tamed down somewhat, the the smoke is gone - at least for now.