Friday, April 30, 2010

April 29 to 30, 2010

Thursday turned out to be a better day than the last few of wind-driven days - it rained most of the day :-). The good news in that is there was no wind to speak of. We trucked along at a fairly steady pace up to Fargo, ND and then took Hwy. 10 and 210 up to Duluth and ended up at Ashland, Wisconsin where we hoped to spend the night. Unfortunately there were no campgrounds open and the local Wal-Mart had a no overnight parking sign posted. Rather than take a chance with that we continued on Hwy. 2 to Salem where we found a campground that was open. It wasn't much but it got us off the road and I needed a break. We had too much tree coverage and couldn't deploy our satellite so couldn't get on the internet or watch tv. But we did get to spend a quiet evening reading, which we had gotten out of the habit of lately.

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

April 14 to 28, 2010

We golfed with our grandson David on the 14th. The weather was pretty wet and David's shoes and socks got soaked. We almost took him home to change his footwear but the weather improved a bit so we all toughed it out.

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

March 19 to April 13, 2010

We spent our last two weeks in Arizona as usual, playing golf, hiking and bike riding. Since we were leaving on Friday April 2nd, we also had to get the rig and car ready for travel. That always makes the last couple three days very hectic.

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.

We left the resort on Friday after saying our goodbyes to friends the night before. Leaving is always bittersweet though. We look forward to being on the road again and seeing our family but we always leave behind the great weather. Anyway, I don't think we could handle the hot weather experienced during the summers around Phoenix.

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.