Friday, September 14, 2018

RALLY OVER, GEOCACHING AND THE RAINS CAME

Yes, the last rally of the year is done and gone.  We had a good time again.  No campfires this time because of the extreme fire conditions but lots of card games.  Aileen was food host this time and she, with her helpers, prepared a great totally gluten free supper one night.  There was lots of food left over so we used it as a basis for a potluck the next evening.  Rather than have most of us get together at a restaurant for supper where it is always way too noisy, we split off into smaller groups this time and that was very successful.  Our group of six went to Union Street Grill which has lots of great gluten free food and we had wonderful evening quietly getting to know each other better.  One morning we visited a distant relative that we met nine years ago at a family reunion.  Sharon and I share the same great grandfather.  Not sure how many times removed that would be!
From the rally we moved about 20 kms up to Miracle Beach Provincial Park to camp with Aileen's sister, Anne and her husband John.  John and I did quite a bit of geocaching, mostly walking trails.  Partway through the rally we had some light rain but our second day at the park, the skies really opened up.  We spent Sunday morning going to Costco and it was really raining when we went in and still when we came out.  We had a nice meal at the Union Street Grill then in the evening went with Anne and John for supper with their daughters and grandson at Boston Pizza in Coutenay.  Aileen had safe meals at both places so that was good.
We moved back to Errington on Wednesday as the car was going for service in Nanaimo on Thursday.   Someone from Nanaimo Honda emailed me wanting to know if they could buy our CRV as they had a buyer looking just that model.  I emailed back and said why would I do that since Honda no longer makes a vehicle that can be flat towed behind my motor home and I would then have to buy an inferior vehicle from one of his competitors!   No reply was forthcoming.
Aileen and I went to Nanaimo today looking for a light jacket for her.  We finally found one in Cabelas.  While wandering around, we happened to meet one of my cousins.  Debbie and her husband Dale live in Hudson's Hope in Northern BC.  I last saw her at her mother's funeral in 2017 and before that was many years ago.  Debbie is friends with some Kyllos up there who are nephews of our Kyllo friends in Salmon Arm.
We plan to stay here in Errington until later in the month when we'll move down to Richard and Robin's for a few days before leaving the Island to begin our journey south.  Aileen still has an eye appointment on October 1 to deal with.  She is still having a lot of difficulty with her left eye in particular.  We plan to get together with Cousin Bill for lunch in Campbell River and we intend to visit John and Alethea on Gabriola Island.  We hope to visit some of the local family while we're still here as well.

While at the rally, I led a small group on a walk around Paradise Meadows on Mt Washington

These ramps are for a handicap wheeled chair you can rent at the visitor's center

Some of the ski runs on Mt Washington in the background

Fireweed still blooming up in the alpine

One of our geocaching adventures took us past this old cement building that may have been a power house back in the day.  Lots of paint used lately.


Bigleaf Maple on a damp morning


Fall has begun


Fall is also the time for spiders webs on the fence beside where park the motor home

Love the patterns


Closer view of the spider next


Sunday, September 2, 2018

RALLY TIME


We moved up to Cousin Bill’s on Thursday afternoon after Aileen and her friend Bev D went for haircuts in Qualicum and lunch in Parksville.
On Friday evening we noticed online there were a couple of large cruise ships working their way south so we went to the pier in Campbell River to wait for them.  It was pretty dark by the time they arrived so difficult for pictures.  It was nice sitting out there watching all the other boat traffic go by and watching all the people who came out for a stroll on the pier.  The ice cream stand was doing a good business.
Aileen wanted to go for a drive and do a bit of geocaching yesterday so we went up past Campbell River and drove up a logging road.  We found seven.   We had taken lunch fixings so found a nice quiet side road and sat in our chairs enjoying the peace and quiet of the forest.    Aileen put some ribs in the crockpot yesterday and had sweet potato salad and what our friends call funeral salad ready.  Bill and Tony came and enjoyed the feast with us last night.
I went to a car show in Campbell River this morning.  There were about 400 vehicles on display.  I saw my cousin Rob and his family then later chatted with Bill and Tony.  Bill was zipping along on his mobility scooter.  I was wishing I had the use of one by then as my knees were complaining after a couple hours shuffling along on the pavement.
After lunch I took my geocaching pack and drove up by the Storey Creek golf course.  I walked a trail that went all the way around the outside of the course in the trees putting on 7.11 kms and finding nineteen caches.  I wasn’t long home when it commenced to rain.  Didn’t rain too much but I would have been soaked if I was still walking.  The trail was made by mountain bikers and I’m very glad I decided to walk as it certainly wasn’t a trail I would be capable of riding.  It would have been a long way to push my old bike.
Tomorrow we move down to Seal Bay RV Park to participate in our RV club fall rally.  We will be there until Saturday morning then we will possibly move back here to Bill’s or maybe Miracle Beach Provincial Park for a few days.  Maybe we will know by Saturday morning.

We sat at the beach in Qualicum the other evening to watch the sunset

This paddle boarder gave me a subject to play with

The sun looked a little angry as it set

Setting sun and a piling

As it was getting dark at the pier

The ice cream stand at the pier just before closing time

Late evening fishermen

The Star Princess on its way to Vancouver from Alaska


Tuesday, August 28, 2018


We spent five nights at Cluxewe Resort near Port McNeill starting August 17.  We arrived in nice sunshine and there were two cruise ships going past.  Saturday morning we went to my cousin Donna’s in Port McNeill to watch the Orcafest parade.  My cousin Chris came down from Port Hardy also.  Wandering around the displays downtown later, I met brother in law John and nephew Mike.  Aileen had a short visit with her sister Anne when she went for a stroll among the displays.
The weather went downhill from there and we were inundated with forest fire smoke and fog.  No more cruise ships came by close enough to see.   On our last day there, it was 11C in the morning and the high was only 13C.  For you Fahrenheit people, that’s low to mid 50s.  I went geocaching for a few hours most days and travelled some interesting trails.  Another day, I took my camera down the beach away from people and sat down and waited for some shorebirds to come close enough to get some interesting shots.  I’d never done something like that before as normally I’m a grab shooter, not someone with much patience. 
We moved down to Bill’s south of Campbell River on Wednesday and were joined by Richard and Georgia on Thursday.   The highlight of our time there was a day trip to Quadra Island on Sunday.  Richard and I picked up a few geocaches and Aileen and Georgia walked a couple of beach trails then we had our lunch at Rebecca Spit Park which is a beautiful spot.  After lunch, we hunted up and dropped in on my cousin Rob and Kathy.  Their daughter Caitlin and eight month old baby were visiting.  We had a good visit and caught up on their doings.  We had seen them at his mother’s funeral in the spring but it was too busy then for visiting.
We moved down to Charlie and Sheila’s yesterday for a few days.  Today we are off to Victoria for Aileen’s follow up appointment for her retina surgery.  We will meet Richard and Georgia for lunch before the appointment.  Our current plan is to move back up to Bill’s later in the week then we will be attending the RV rally all next week at Seal Bay in Courtenay. 


Smoke and fog made for interesting sunsets at Cluxewe

Bald Eagle landing on a rock

Another one landing on the same rock but this one had a fish on board

Least Sandpiper

Turnstone

Turnstone

Turnstone

Least Sandpiper

Least Sandpiper

Turnstones

Cape Mudge Lighthouse looking across to Campbell River

Tug positioning the gravel carrier down the beach from Cluxewe

More Cluxewe sunsets


Nature's beach art

Driving into Port Mcneill for Orcafest, we spotted a herd of elk


Vocal Bald Eagle

Neat rocks down the beach at Cluxewe

Another with lots to say

Did I say it was smokey

Neat fungus spotted along a geocaching trail

Deer on Quadra Island are rather tame. We were less than ten feet from this doe

Recbecca Spit area

Beside the ferry dock at Quathiaski Cove on Quadra

Sunday, August 19, 2018

MITZY AUGUST 2002 - AUGUST 2018


Aileen here.  John invited me to do a guest blog so after much deliberation decided to do this eulogy for Mitzy.
It is with a very heavy heart that I write this.  It is so hard to believe our little Mitzy is no longer with us.  She touched so many hearts in her 16 years-- from people such as our special granddaughter, Georgia, to the man in our park in Caliente (Florence AZ) who told us he did not like dogs.  “Keep that dog away from me!” Soon he was asking where she was, and if he had not seen her, was she okay, and why had we not brought her around to visit.  She had such a calming influence on Georgia and Georgia would do anything for Mitzy.  They had a very special bond.
Mitzy had a quiet way of worming her way into your heart.  She was a kind and gentle soul and loved everyone—kids, adults, cats included.  Only once did she ever meet a man she growled and snarled at and would not let near.  That was so out of character that I thought I had better pay attention as she knew better than I did.
The last year and a bit she had experienced a number of seizures.  Finally on Friday, August 17, 2018, she had a more complicated one and the most serious she had experienced.  That was about 8 a.m. when John was taking her for her morning stroll at Charlie and Sheila’s.  Her little body could no longer cope.  By 10:30 she was in severe distress and we stopped in at our vet in Courtenay on the way from Errington to Port McNeill.  There was nothing they could do.  She had congestive heart failure and despite their efforts there was only one thing to do.  She had suffered enough we were told.  
We have so many happy memories of our little Mitzy and know that she is well now and can see again and is running about enjoying everyone she meets.   As her eyesight worsened she liked travelling even less.  She will be happy now to be done travelling!  Miss you little one!


Watching me as I'm wandering the sea shore taking photos

One of her favorite places to snooze, in the motor home driver's seat

After Bev and her friend Karen had been to grooming school they stopped in and Karen tried out some coloring on Mitzy

Come on, Dad, what's the holdup?

Mitzy loved to find drinking water along the way 

Mitzy thought it was great that we bought her an ATV

This past winter she enjoyed riding on the trike

Come on, lets go

Mitzy liked to make herself a bed in the forest at every opportunity

A happy hiker

Do I want to go there?

A highlight this year for Mitzy was to graduate with Georgia.  She was an honorary graduate from Arbutus Middle School.