Saturday, September 14, 2019

VANCOUVER ISLAND IN THE REAR VIEW MIRROR


Yes, we have left Vancouver Island and are now in Salmon Arm for six days.  Since we have brought the RZR with us, Aileen drove the car and followed me towing the trailer with the motor home.  We stopped Thursday night along the Brookmere Rd just off the freeway and had a nice spot along the Coldwater River.  It was nice and peaceful.  We walked up the road then along an old rail bed Thursday evening then in the opposite direction on the rail bed Friday morning.  It was raining when we drove to the ferry Thursday morning with a nasty forecast for the Island but we had all dry roads the rest of the way to Salmon Arm.
The RV rally at Seal Bay went well and we welcomed five new people who, I think, enjoyed the experience.  I led a group outing on Mt Washington around Paradise Meadows and up to Battle Ship Lake.  We went out for supper with a group one evening.  Aileen was in charge of meals for the rally and had a potluck Tuesday evening.  Thursday, she did ribs in the electric roaster, baked potatoes in the crockpot, beans in another and a couple of salads and two desserts.  Everything was totally gluten free and all the food for the seventeen of us was prepared in and beside the motorhome.  On the Friday night she made beef stew and dumplings, again totally gluten free for fourteen of us.  A couple of us guys did pancakes and sausages Wednesday morning and I did pancakes again Thursday since we had lots of mix left.  Saturday hitch up breakfast was done by another couple.  None of the breakfasts were gluten free so Aileen avoided those.
We stayed two more nights at Seal Bay after the rally ended then spent Monday night at Cousin Bill’s driveway (without Bill of course as he passed in the Spring).  His son Tony joined us for supper Monday evening and we had a good visit.  Tuesday morning saw us visit friends Bev M and Jean at a resort near Bill’s.  Wonderful ocean front cabin they had for five days!
Tuesday we drove back to Charlie and Sheila’s for one night.  We returned the cooking appliances Sheila had lent us.  John R and I went to Port Alberni Wednesday morning and renewed our ATV club membership.  After renewing the ATV insurance in Parksville, I spent some time preparing the RZR and the trailer for the drive to Salmon Arm.
Since we had some things we needed to do in Nanaimo, we spent Wednesday night in the Home Depot parking lot (Walmart no longer allows overnight parking) then it wasn’t far to get to the ferry Thursday morning.  We were on the road just before six.  After waiting for the ferry and the ride, it was 9:45 when we arrived on the mainland and were able to start our drive.  As is usual, the traffic was heavy through the Vancouver area and out into the Fraser Valley. 
Our six days here in Salmon Arm will go like a flash, I imagine, just like elsewhere.  There were several people we didn’t get to see during our time on the Island and we have some here that we hope to see.  Our apologies if we missed you and if anyone in Salmon Arm wants to see us, contact us soon.   We will be going to Penticton next and I will be going to Spokane Saturday for a week attending the PSA photo conference.  Aileen will get to stay and play with Bev and Karen in Penticton.



On our last evening in Duncan, we walked up a trail for this view across Cowichan Bay

Zooming in on the village

Lichen on a rock face along the road

Out walking in the park next to Seal Bay RV Park, we spotted lots of little frogs



Still were a few flowers in Paradise Meadows

Paradise Meadows

Paradise Meadows

Black Huckleberries at Battle Ship Lake

Battle Ship Lake

Paradise Meadows

Twisty Hemlock

Paradise Meadows

Paradise Meadows and Mt Washington ski area

Paradise Meadows

We got to watch some beavers in the park next to the RV Park

One evening we walked down to the ocean and I thought this looked neat in B&W

On the trail back from the beach

Crown-tipped Coral Mushroom

Campbell River Marina in colour and B&W


A tree against the wall of the theater in Campbell River

Rathtrevor Beach, Parksville, looking across to mainland BC

A dewy spider web at Charlie and Sheila's

It was dreary as we departed Vancouver Island on the ferry at 7:45 Thursday morning

Wasp nest alongside the rail bed we walked on Thursday evening

Coldwater River

Morning along the rail bed trail

American Dipper with his catch

American Dipper.  I got some great video of him going underwater after prey and will try to get it posted some time.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

OFF TO THE RALLY

I decided to post today since we will be pretty busy for the next week.  Aileen is the social host for this rally so is in charge of several meals.  I will be leading a hike on Wednesday and helping where I can elsewhere.  We have various activities and the evenings are always full as I join the card players and we usually play late.
We have enjoyed our short stay here at Neil and Carol's.  They took their fifth wheel and joined family elsewhere for this long weekend so we have had the place to ourselves for a couple of days.  We've done quite a bit of walking and geocaching this summer finding new trails to explore, sometimes where least expected.  I use the geocaching website to find most of the trails we've used even if they don't have caches on them.  One of the maps on the geocaching site is a cycle path map and it shows many of the trails that are out there, so a great resource.
We will head up to Seal Bay RV Park near Comox tomorrow morning and will be there until Saturday.  Not sure exactly where we will get to afterward but we do have several things on our agenda including an ATV/hike for me and supper with one of Aileen's cousins.

Note: there is a spider photo coming up

The ferry that runs from Crofton on Vancouver Island to Saltspring Island

Turkey Vulture foraging on the beach


A handsome fellow

My bike has been parked too long as this guy has taken up residence

Michaelmas Daisy beside the motor home

Last evening our walk took us down Swallowfield Rd to the Chemainus River estuary.  It was high tide and still coming in so it was an interesting view as I had only been there at low tide before.

Same photo as above but retained the colour

Starting to get some fall colour already

Tidal channel


Colourful lichen on the rocks



A few Oak leaves already changing colour

Looking out to the ocean

Friday, August 30, 2019

THIS MIGHT BE OUR LAST MOOCHDOCKING ON THE ISLAND THIS YEAR

Summer is winding down quickly and next week we will head up to Seal Bay for the fall Escapees RV Club rally.  We have been covering lots of ground since we came down to Duncan.  We went to Nanaimo for the RV group lunch one day.  We've been to Victoria three times.  The first one was to take Bev D out for her birthday lunch.  The second to Victoria was to meet Richard and bring Georgia back to the motor home for the night as this was moving week for them and then we took her home yesterday and had a peek at the new house.   On Monday, we drove to Port Renfrew via Lake Cowichan and spent some time at Botany Bay and Botanical Beach.  We had perfect weather at the ocean and it wasn't too busy either.   We picked up four geocaches in the park and another twenty five on the way home.   And then, on Tuesday, we drove up to Parksville for my sibling's supper.  All eight of my brothers and sisters attended with their spouses.  No mean feat in these busy days.
We don't have formalized plans yet but after the rally ends on September 7th, we will stick around a few days then head for Salmon Arm for a short time before going to Penticton just after mid month.  Aileen will stay there in the motor home while I attend the PSA photo convention in Spokane.  After the convention, we will have a little over two weeks to do something else before we can cross the border and head south for the winter.  By the way, moochdocking is what I call parking in family or friend's driveways.

Some waterfalls in Harris Creek alongside the road between Lake Cowichan and Port Renfrew


My siblings, that's me on the right.  We are lined up by age.

With our spouses

Cowichan River estuary

An Arbutus tree along the ocean shore


Great Blue Heron, Cattle Point, Victoria

Michaelmas Daisy and bee outside our motor home door at Neil and Carol's

Peeling Arbutus bark in evening sun

Steller's Jay at Botanical Beach

Botany Bay

Growing in a crack on the rocky bluff beside the ocean

Twisty tree on the path

A window on the seashore from the forest path

Botanical Beach



These rocks embedded in the sandstone were intriguing



The infamous Fairy Lake Hemlock in the lake.  I have seen photos of this little tree from all over, mostly on Facebook but in other media as well.

The monstrous Harris Creek Spruce.  I am standing even with it for perspective