Monday, May 3, 2010
We sure weren't impressed with the quality of Hwy. 17 - it's supposed to be the Trans-Canada Hwy but it was probably the worst road we travelled on in the last six months!
We arrived in Rockland by noon and proceeded to fill up with fuel and we were fortunate to find a propane dealer open to top that off as well. It's easy to find propane tanks for your bbq at fuel stops but not so easy to have a big tank that has to be filled using different fittings. So now we are all set for our summer at Recreationland tent and trailer park.
We get the same feeling arriving here as when we arrive in our Apache Junction RV park; all our friends come by to say hello and we all get up to date on how our respective winters were spent. It's great.
We went over to our daughter Renee's last night for supper and I had my first chance to see my newest grandson - Kaelan. At 5 months he's growing big already and he looks to have the same outgoing personality as his brother Liam.
It's raining quite hard this morning and I decided to go out and wash the rig in the rain - it makes a perfect rinser. Put a good rainsuit on and wear sandals and you're all set. I must have motivated Lise 'cause she's out there right now, with my rainsuit on, washing our car. How about that :-)
Saturday, May 1, 2010
Adam, Leah, Lise and the grandchildren as we're getting ready to leave Chilliwack
little bear doesn't seem too anxious being close to a human!
Friday, April 30, 2010
Today we made it all the way to Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, arriving around 3:30 and found a nice campground on the river connecting Lake Huron with Lake Superior. We have a spot right on the edge of the river and have been able to sit and watch the big ships go by as they travel through the locks between the lakes.
Tomorrow we'll be back in Canada. And, it is only 500 miles remaining to our campground near Ottawa. I thought it would be farther than that. In any event, we'll travel to Deep River to a campground we found there and then take a leisurely drive into Ottawa on Sunday. We're really looking forward to getting back and seeing all the rest of the family. This trip has been a great opportunity to drop in on our spread out family. Well, that's one reason why we adopted this lifestyle. I'm sure we'll be getting another early start tomorrow, now that we're on the last leg.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
We babysat the kids from Friday to Sunday while Adam and Leah went to Vegas and everything went fine (for Adam and Leah, and for us :-) ). I don't know what we were expecting but it's always nice when there are no problems.
On Tuesday we decided to go golfing with David again and this time he slept over in the motorhome. Unfortunately the weather was crappy again so we put the golf off 'til the next day. He got the chance to sleep over two nights in a row. He was happy about that. This time we managed to keep his feet dry!
We left Chilliwack on Sunday the 25th and travelled to Kelowna to visit with our daughter Kathy and her boyfriend, Mark. There was still water on the Coquihalla Hwy. through the pass and there was a residue of salt which found its way onto the rig and the car. I think there is a cleanup in my future! We had a great visit with Kath and met her boyfriend. They seem to be a good match and Kath seems happy. They made dinner and we spent a few hours afterwards socializing and getting up to date.
We crossed over into Washington state on Monday the 26th and we've been travelling east ever since. Yesterday we stayed at a Wal-Mart (in Miles City, Montana). It was so windy that the grocery carts were being blown around the parking lot and at least one hit our rig (no damage that I could see). We are currently at a campground on Highway I-94 at Jamestown, North Dakota. We would have gone farther today but it was so windy we had to find a place early and get off the road before we were blown off!! Here's hoping tomorrow brings more normal weather.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
The week before, on our last group hike, we finally saw our first Diamondback rattlesnake. We knew there was a chance of seeing one because the weather had warmed up. It was 4 to 5 feet long and we got pretty close to it as it crossed the ATV trail we were following. He's actually very pretty with its sand coloured diamond shapes and notice the black and white rings of his 'rattle'. We were as close as about 10 feet from him (or it could be a her). I don't know how you can tell the difference... I can't image you just lift up the tail like you would for a cat or dog. LOL Seriously though, I wouldn't want to make a habit of crossing snakes. We have some friends who have come across them on a hike and almost stepped on them. With their colour, they blend into the landscape.
But we were not heading home yet. We were coming to British Columbia to spend time with our children who live in the western part of the country. So we travelled west until we got to Bakersfield California and then headed north along I-5, driving through northern California, Oregon then Washington. From Bellingham, Washington we followed a secondary highway to Sumas where we crossed the border into Abbotsford, only 20 miles from Chilliwack. The whole trip took only 4 days (3 nights). We spent 2 nights in Flying J Travel Plaza parking lots and the last night at an RV Park as the Flying J close by was too small to accommodate overnight parking for motorhomes. It helps the budget when we can stay in Flying J.
It was very interesting travelling through Grants Pass on the I-5 between California and Oregon. As we reached higher elevations it was snowing and it was white everywhere. The ground and trees were covered but luckily the accummulation of snow on the road was not bad... maybe a couple of inches of slush. This was our first time driving in snow with the motorhome. It's not bad by itself but while driving through the mountains where the downhill grades are 6 or 7 percent for 5 to 7 miles. Yikes! Traffic slowed down to about 35 mph; everyone was being careful - and traffic was light. After about three hours we were out of the mountain passes and back on reasonably level ground.
All of our trip planning was done with the help of our Microsoft Streets mapping, our Garmin GPS, our Rand-McNally travel map, and we downloaded Flying J locations onto our Microsoft Street maps. We didn't really need to use Woodall's website for camping ideas this time as we didn't really use any - the one campground we did find was recommended by the staff at the Flying J.
So we've been here now for a week and it has rained most of the days. And it's still cold enough to have to keep the heat on in the RV. We expected warmer weather here but no such luck.
We've been enjoying ourselves mostly by visiting with our son Adam and his wife Leah, and our adorable grandchildren David and Dylan. David definitely remembers us, but then he is old enough being 4 yrs old. Dylan is 18 months old so he didn't remember us but he warmed up to us pretty quick and we've settled right in here. Both boys have been coughing and now I have a pretty bad cold that I'm trying to shake. Adam and I managed to play 18 holes on Sunday at The Falls. It's a very nice but challenging golf course just outside of Chilliwack on the Trans-Canada Hwy.
We have baby sitting duties this weekend as Adam and Leah head to Las Vegas for a little R & R. We look forward to spending some quality time with the grandkids.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Rest area before pushing onward and upward
A beautiful oasis in the sky
Friday, March 5, 2010
stopped for a rest along the trail - what trail!
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Lockheed SR71-A Blackbird
example of some of the planes in the graveyard - some of these can be refurbished and fly again
I think this is a B-17 Bomber - Flying Fortress
This is our West Pinto Trail hike - we crossed this stream 5 times!
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
We're at the first saddle - now it gets interesting
some cable climbing
lots of cable work near the top
Who said it was easier going down?
The Phoenix area puts on a Renaissance Festival each year east of Apache Junction. It takes place in a medieval town set up just like a movie set. There are lots of performers and events taking place and it is open Fridays Saturdays and Sundays for six weeks each year. The first day was Saturday, February 6 and we decided to go with friends from the park. What a rush. It was great!! and we were just blown away by the pageantry. The real stars were the people who came to the show all dressed up as though they were in a real medieval setting. Their costumes were very authentic - what an enjoyable day!
costumed locals waiting to get in
Very realistic costumes!
two potential knights or squires?
Lise had two softball games on Monday that I attended and one today (I went hiking). She has been battling tight muscles in here thighs and had to have someone run for her in the second game on Monday. Today was a bit better and we're hopeful that she'll be feeling better by the next double header on Monday. She's still enjoying it though.
Thursday, February 4, 2010
I was out for a hike with a friend last week and we mainly bushwacked our way through the desert. This is a shot of the Superstition Mountains from a different view.
Same hike, different view. This type of hike is fun because it's more exploratory and not so much getting to a destination and returning.
Some young ladies out for a ride were kind enough to pose for us in front of the Superstition Mountains. Some of these trails are multi-use and it is not unusual to see riders out enjoying the scenery from horseback.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
We went to a dinner and show in the Resort on Wednesday. The show was so - so but the dinner was great. I got George, the Activity Director, to wish Lise a happy birthday and everyone sang the birthday song. She doesn't care for the attention but it was fun anyway.
We've finally been able to get a bit of reading in and spent Thursday and Friday just relaxing. Saturday we went to see a movie at the theatre - Leap Year. We both enjoyed it.
When we got back we noticed this truck and trailer in the parking lot in front of the office and the driver offloaded a hand built vehicle. It looks like it was purchased by one of the people here in the Resort from the Barrett-Jackson Car Auction which is held here in the Phoenix area every year.
We went out for breakfast this morning. We're trying not to eat out too much but it is hard. I had sausage and eggs and Lise had toast with our coffee and she shared my multi-grain pancakes which they offer with the meal instead of toast. It was plenty for both of us and didn't break the piggy bank :-)
I booked a tee time for us for this afternoon at the Sunland Springs Golf Course and then some of our friends came by to see if we wanted to go hiking out in the hills. While I like hiking I like golf better and Lise was ok with my decision to stick with the golf game. Next week though I think I'll check with our friends early on so as not to conflict with another hiking opportunity.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
We thought today would be too wet to go hiking - shall I say it - Wrong! But, we slept in and missed the hiking group's departure. Once we were able to confirm that Lise wouldn't be playing ball today we headed out on our own little hike. We located our friend's cars but didn't run across them. Regardless, we had a great hike and once the sun came out it was warm enough. It's only 59 F right now (3:00 pm) but it seems warm enough for us.
So, the moral of the story for this week is - to keep your options open and don't spend so much time worrying about the weather.
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Agave Tree and Prickly Pear Cactus
Thursday, January 14, 2010
We finally got around to booking our 5 month stay here for next winter. We'll be at the same Resort. There are so many people interested in getting into this Park that people that wanted to reserve their sites had to do so before February 1st. Because we are staying for at least 5 months we are able to keep our same site and we do like where we are so now we're confirmed.
indian site used to mash corn into flour - found on our hike into the hills
Looking back at the canyon we walked through
There was a brilliant lightning storm last night and a fair amount of rain - only the second rainfall since we've been here. I wish I'd thought to get some pictures!
Friday, January 8, 2010
Movie Set in Old Tucson Four Peaks in the background - another favourite hiking destination
Sunday, January 3, 2010
The weather forecast was for 70* F so shorts and t-shirt were definitely the order of the day. After breakfast I went hiking with five other friends on the Dutchman Trail. It is about 15 miles east of Apache Junction and then 7 miles up a very dusty, washboardy gravel road. Being a Saturday there were many hikers out and about and lots of families with children of all ages. The hike wasn't hard at all but it was almost 3 miles to the turnaround spot. On a previous visit to this area we had visited an old mine portal that mined turquoise. When I thought we were close to that spot I went climbing up the hill looking for the opening. It was the wrong spot so I started my descent back to the trail - I slipped and put my hand back to brace my fall and placed my hand right on a barrel cactus. Ouch!! Only about 10 or 12 of the needles stayed in my hand and I was able to pull them out pretty easily but it was definitely painful. You would think after the episode I reported in my last blog that I'd be a little more careful. Guess not :-) It didn't take long for the bleeding to stop and, even though my hand swelled up, I was able to continue the hike without much discomfort.
the view from the start of the hike after we reached the 'saddle' - the rock formation in the distance right in the middle of the picture, was our destination.
This is called Miner's Needle because of the hole in the rock - I'm not sure why
Picture as proof we made it
Lise wasn't on the hike as she was at softball practice. Her games start this coming week and some of them are on hike days so she won't be able to make many of them if it doesn't look like we wouldn't get back on time. If it is a good hike (and they all are) I am supposed to go out again on another day, with Lise, so she can experience it for herself. I hope my legs hold out!
Friday, January 1, 2010
When we got back from the hike Lise had to head out right away for her two hour softball practice. While she was doing that I was emptying the gray and black water tanks and recharging the water softener.
After an early supper we joined out friends and hiking buddies - Dick and Jan - and drove over to the Mormon Temple to see the Christmas lights. We had heard about this since we first arrived in Arizona 3 years ago. Certainly the outside lights were spectacular. We took pictures but none of them turned out as they were too shaky so I had to settle for an inside picture of some nativity scenes in their Visitor Centre. The best part of the evening was when Dick and Jan treated us to some yogurt ice cream at the Golden Spoon, a local frozen yogurt store. Yumm!
the cave entrance is near the middle of the hill