Sunday, August 29, 2010


For years there have been reports of a monster lurking in the depths of Cameron Lake and there is a team coming to investigate. Well, I beat them to it with this picture. Actually, one of the locals wanted to make it easy for the investigators so he installed this one for them.

These people are enjoying the cinnamon buns the Errington Market is famous for

Lots of colour at the market

Forty years ago this guy would have fit right in with the large hippie population we had in Errington. Today he is an exception. Notice how long his dreadlocks are.

The Upper Falls of Little Qualicum River

Aileen's new drawers under the dinette


One of Charlie and Sheila's roses

John and Anne came for supper last Monday. Aileen made a meatloaf and spuds along with steamed veggies. She also made a cherry pie in the convection oven. It was arranged that Ken and my cousin Donna would come for dessert then I got a call from my cousin Chris asking if she and Gord could come too. So they all came plus Donna’s son Ross which made for a good house full. We sure couldn’t put nine people in the trailer. It wasn’t crowded though, just the same. John and I put the slide in using flashlights since the time got away on us. It certainly was easier and faster with two of us.

Tuesday was a fairly nice morning with some sun even. We managed to use site 152 to dump our tanks on the way out. The Cluxewe dump station is poorly laid out. You have to park on the wrong angle and in front of the laundry. We hooked the car up there then stopped and visited Earl and Sharon for awhile. We exchanged emails and perhaps we’ll get together in AZ this Fall. Sharon is the sister of the lady we bought the motor home from.

We stopped for lunch at Eve River just about noon. I offered Aileen a nap but she declined. By the time we got to Campbell River, she was wishing she’d had one so I stopped at the Indian gas station and let her have 40 minutes. It helped. We got to Arbutus just after 3 and they got right on the motor. It cost $56 for us with the warrantee. The motor was $778 plus labour.

We stopped at Buckley Bay rest area for supper. Aileen whipped together some nice stir fries. From there we stopped at the Coombs rodeo grounds to fill the water tank then over to Chas’ to get set up. When I pushed the slide button, nothing!!!! I crawled underneath and wiggled the wires and it worked fine for Aileen. Whew! Our showers felt good that night.

Aileen was out in the car a couple of times Wednesday. Once for a much needed haircut down at Errington corner and then again for dog food. I helped Chas and Sheila most of the day sanding or sweeping cedar boards that Sheila then varathaned and also cutting boards. Chas found time to make Aileen the drawers for under the dinette which turned out really well. Aileen is very pleased with them.

Aileen managed a good nap that afternoon. My sister Janet came by for awhile later. After Janet left we four here had supper together then went to Cameron Lake for a swim. It was refreshing, not bad once you were in but a little tough to make the plunge.

We went to Qualicum on Thursday to pick up my new glasses and Aileen got hers cleaned. The new glasses seem pretty good. I don’t notice much difference but they are slightly sharper. They seem to have gotten the progression right and I don’t notice any issues getting used to the different way they have put the lens together.

Later we were off to Nanaimo. First stop was The Bay for Aileen to get her face stuff while I went to Canadian Tire to inquire about drop hitches. Earl’s friend had mentioned he didn’t think we were set up correctly with the tow bar. I did some online research which supported his claim. I had mentioned to the installer that perhaps the mount should be closer to level but was assured everything was fine. When I called Arbutus and inquired of the acting service manager, he said the hitch should be within 3-4 inches of level. So I asked why I had been sent out of their shop with the current set up. He said “oh, you should have brought both your vehicles in” to which I replied “I did and your man did the hook up!” He offered to give me a smoking deal on a drop hitch but when he asked if he could go ahead and order it, I asked for a price first. It turned out my quotes from Lordco and Mid Island Hitch both were $20 less! So much for his deal. The next stop was Nanaimo Honda to complain about the dirty windows they gave us. When we went to Cameron Lake the night before, driving into the sun, the front window was filthy. We had to wait awhile but they did a full detail and it seems pretty good. I guess we’ll see next time we drive directly into the sun.

I spent Friday morning helping Chas in the new third bedroom in the cabin putting the ceiling boards and trim up. It looks quite good. After lunch, we went to Merville for the two Fantastic fans I had ordered. I got the old slide motor back also and we took it up to cousin Bill for him to play with. We visited awhile then were going to stop and see friends Lynda and Perry in Cumberland but they were just about to head out to Campbell River for something at 5 so we gave it a miss. We went down and followed the old highway to Qualicum then back up to the freeway and down to Nanaimo. Supper was at the Hong Kong Restaurant. We picked up three more rugs at Canadian Tire to put down in the motor home.

Richard called Friday evening to say he would be driving up Saturday with Rob and Beth’s van as he has to pick them up at the airport Sunday evening. We just got home Friday night when Randy and my sister Wendy arrived. We were going to watch a raw food video Sheila had borrowed so they watched it with us.

I cleaned several of the motor home windows Saturday morning. Richard and Georgia arrived from Victoria about 10:20 that morning. Chas, Richard and I went down to the market after a bit. There was a blue grass duo on the stage and Randy and Wendy were sitting in front listening. I took a few pictures using the little Kodak.

The air card died Saturday when I went to use it so I took it in to Telus who just confirmed the fact. I didn’t think much of the options. Since the card was off warrantee, I can buy a new one outright for $200, renew the three year contract and get one for $50 or just drop down to the lowest monthly rate which is now $30 instead of $10. Bloody crooks!!! We really only need it for the last two weeks of September as we can’t use it once we head south of the border since Telus no longer has a useable roaming agreement with any US companies. It is quite unfortunate that our contract runs til April 2012.

Later Saturday afternoon, Richard, Georgia and I went to Little Qualicum and walked to the lower falls then up the other side to the more impressive upper falls. I took my 5D and snapped several pictures. Aileen and Sheila put together a nice stirfry for supper. They both made desserts. Aileen’s was a blueberry upside down cake and Sheila did a tasty raw pie shell (nuts and dates) with raw fruit filling. Both were very tasty. I took Mitzy out in the swamp field after supper for a run.

Aileen had sewn some cloth shower curtains together which we used to make a curtain around Georgia’s bed on the jack knife sofa. The idea was to darken it so she would go to and stay asleep. It seemed to work well.

We mostly sat around this morning although Aileen went with Richard and Georgia down to see my parents. It wasn’t a good day apparently. Dad was mostly sleeping and Mom was in foul humour and didn’t want to visit with anyone. The care facility have taken their two room suite and converted it back to two separate bedrooms. Thus far, one room was their bedroom with both beds together and the other was a nice sitting room. I washed motor home windows again. I did the front ones today as my arm wore out the yesterday before I got to the front.

Wayne, Chas and Sheila’s second oldest and Sandy were out from Alberta for his friend’s wedding last night. Chas and Sheila picked them up the other day at Victoria airport and Richard took them back to the airport this afternoon when he went home.

Later this afternoon, Aileen went and picked up her friend Bev from down in Parksville where she is visiting her Mom. Her Mom was taken to hospital Friday with a sodium deficiency and was able to come home that night after having tests then a saline drip.

It looks like I will be taking the pickup and trailer up to Salmon Arm to put on a consignment lot within the next two or three days. We need to find them a new home since they no longer fit our plans.

Monday, August 23, 2010


Aileen and Anne with Mitzy on a unique bench made by cutting a cedar tree root in half lengthway

Flowers and grasses along the shore of Nimpkish Lake

The intricate pattern of a cedar tree root system with brother in law John

Moss growing in the cracks of a rock

Today's sunrise just after 6 AM

It was raining well Saturday morning so we didn’t bother going into town for the Orca Fest parade. Cousin Bill drove up from Campbell River to visit so we stayed dry in the motor home. Bill had brought some delicious corn so we had a cob each for lunch. It had brightened up by mid afternoon so after Bill departed for home, we decided to go into town for a few minutes. We had a quick look around the displays in the mall parking lot then the rain began again. We hit heavy rain on the way back to the motor home.

John and Anne arrived about 6. Aileen had done a roast in the crock pot and we had the last 4 cobs of corn along with mashed spuds and gravy and raw veggies. That morning, she’d made a loaf of bread and a pan of buns in the convection oven and they turned out really well.

We went for a walk along the beach after supper then played Mexican Train. I won followed by John, Anne and Aileen. Anne had been behind the whole game and in the last set went out and caught Aileen with a mitt full allowing her to sneak third.

We had a quiet Sunday morning mostly sitting around and taking Mitzy for a couple of walks. On the second walk, as we went by Anne’s, she joined us and came here. John had gone to town for something and joined us later for lunch. We sat outside for a couple hours watching the boats go by then decided to go for a drive in John’s truck. We went to the bottom of Nimpkish Lake and walked along the shoreline. It was a relaxing break. We had driven down the highway to get there but returned via logging roads to the Benson Mine road just above the highway which seemed shorter.

I called my aunt Nancy to invite them for lunch tomorrow but she said they couldn’t make it since they were going to Courtenay in the morning. We and John and Anne went to the Cluxewe cafĂ© for supper and we were just finishing up when I looked out and saw Mac and Nancy walking in. They decided to come have supper here and visit us. They came to the Terra after they ate and stayed til about 9. John and Anne were here also and a visiting good time was had.

This morning I looked out just after 6 and saw an interesting sunrise so roused myself enough to get some pictures. It is windy today and I’m watching a lady having fun flying a kite on the beach. She’s having difficulty controlling it with the gusty wind and so far has hit a stump and stuck it in a tree. She managed to get it down from the tree. Aileen went into town for a few groceries later in the morning. After lunch, two sisters traveling in a Class C motor home came and looked at a few of my pictures. They were interested in the Dempster Highway trip we took last year. They live in Comox and Campbell River.

Tomorrow morning, Tuesday, we head back down Island. We will get the new slide motor installed then return to my brother’s in Errington for awhile.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


Thanks to Richard and Mike for the comments. I followed up and suspect the real owner of the Silver Shalis is Larry Silverstein of World Trade Center fame. I was unable to re-find the link where I got the Russian's name as owner. Since Silverstein is the owner of the original Silver Shalis built in 1987, it is quite likely he should be the owner of the new cruiser of the same name. One source I read said he named it after his daughters Sharon and Lisa. Sorry for the mis-information. It is still at the Port McNeill dock this afternoon, looming over the other boats.

Friday, August 20, 2010


The view out the front of our motor home

The flag on the Silver Shalis, we were unable determine what the flag represents

The working side of the Port McNeill harbour

Cleaning the net

A moored boat near Port Alice

My view when I first saw the two cruise ships approaching

The ships appearingout of the haze

The Coral Princess

Anne came out for awhile Wednesday afternoon then returned home to gather supper supplies and John. She made her yummy seafood pasta dish. After sitting at their table for quite awhile, we started out on a walk back to the spit. We stopped to chat with some old friends of theirs in site 92 and that was as far as we got. Jim the husband would love to do what we’re doing. Jean thinks she could go along with that too. I gave her one of my cards.

Thursday was a gorgeous morning but then it clouded over. We did get a bit of sun just after 5. We went to town and did a bit of shopping then ate lunch at the Sportsman. We both had salad bar. We noticed the Silver Shalis tied up at the dock in Port McNeill so after dropping Aileen and the laundry at Anne’s, I went down and took more pictures. It is sure a big boat up close. One lady thought it belonged to the owner of a boat manufacturer but I didn’t see a US flag on board, just a small Canadian and the blue one at the stern. I wandered most of the wharf checking out all the nice (mostly) US yachts.

Aileen did steamed veggies and new spuds and made a dessert in the convection oven while I did steaks on the grill. While we were sitting around after supper, Dennis, April and the kids came walking along. After a bit, we all went out to the point and then around the grassy loop then Aileen and I returned home. It was a mostly sunny evening with a bit of sunset. The waves were gently lapping the shore as I sat at the computer and there was still a hint of colour in the sky giving a sense of calm.

This morning we took our lunch with us and wandered over past Port Alice and up the logging road a ways to a quiet spot. There were no sounds but the birds and distant creek the whole time we ate. We made it home in plenty of time for Aileen to have a serious nap. The weather was great this morning but it has clouded up on us in the last little while. I had a call that the slide out motor had arrived at the RV repair shop so we should be able to get it installed next Tuesday or Wednesday.

As I sit here typing this, there are two large cruise ships coming towards me from Alaska. The first was the Coral Princess and the second was the Zuiderdam. I only shot the Coral Princess since I’ve done the Zuiderdam a couple of times.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Spider and web on the fence at Charlie's

Not the place where you want your RV!

This is!

Our campsite at Cluxewe

Mitzy enjoying the view from the dash

The Silver Shalis

I went off to the Fair before 9 Friday morning. I put about 6 hours in on the photos. I was score keeper and helped sort and hang etc. One helper, Mary, came late and disappeared after lunch. So there was just Donna and me and Donna left at 1:30 so I was left to apply scotch tape to what was left so the pictures didn’t fall off and put category labels up. I had to do some rearranging as well. At least it got finished that day and nobody had to go in later.

It was interesting, the two judges were from the local photo club and I remembered the one from the meeting I went to as she had the HDR image that decided me on getting the program. The other lady was the acting executive director at The Manor when we took Mom and Dad in a couple years ago. Gail, the first one was friends with our ex neighbours Barb and Peter Kilby. The second lady Lynn, was going to be in site 62 at Cluxewe this week when we are in site 57! They checked in Monday for a week and we are Tuesday for a week. Anne emailed that morning and said that was the only partly serviced site available so she took it for us.

I went to the Errington Market on Saturday morning for veggies then we packed up and departed. We stopped at Buckley Bay for lunch. Aileen drove the CRV all the way to Campbell River. Aileen made salad and prepared the spuds I bought this morning. I cooked them on the side burner and pork chops on Bill’s brand new barbeque. After supper, we took Bill’s van and picked up Barbara and Maynard and went to the Pier for ice cream. We spent quite awhile out there watching the boats and seals.

We went to the Market at the Pier Sunday morning. Aileen got another bib and a couple kitchen towels and three cinnamon buns. I picked up a bag of new spuds. The buns were really good when we had them at lunch. Aileen had a nap after lunch and after I finished my book, I dozed little myself.

Bill’s friend Maynard and Barbara came late afternoon then Bill’s nephew Paul and Judy with their daughter Jill and her son Archer. Bill’s son Tony came on his bike and later in the evening Tony’s wife Rita and daughter Jessica arrived with the pies for dessert. Rita had been to her God daughter/niece’s 16th birthday supper. I cooked the smokies and hamburgers which sure were tasty. Tony had brought corn on the cob and we had several salads. We had a visiting good time.
What a day Monday was! Up early, forced down some breakfast then down to Arbutus Trailers by 8:20 to get the tow bar installed on the Honda. We hung out in the motor home all day. I took Mitzy for a couple walks and wandered the RV parts several times. I read for awhile also. It got too warm about 1:30 so we turned the generator on for the rest of the afternoon. They were progressing well on the tow bar and I was thinking we would be out in good time. Hah! Things fell apart when we tested the lights and the turn signals were faint and the brakes only caused the turn signals to glow. The main thing is we had to leave the car there for them to finish the next day.

So, we come back to Bill’s and set up. The bedroom slide worked well but the main slide went a couple inches and died. Out with the manual etc. I try the manual retract – what a joke that is! We tried all sorts of things. I finally managed to get it almost in then it worked long enough to snug it up but it immediately quit, never to work again. I was dirty, sweaty and tired and supper was very late. Boo hoo!

We were having a good sleep til about 1 AM Tuesday morning when Aileen woke up wringing wet and trying to figure out how the Fantastic fan had sped up. It was the danged furnace set at 75F. I guess when the air was turned off last night, it was left one notch too high. It took her a couple hours to cool off and come back to bed.

We were up early and down to Arbutus by 8:20 telling our tale of woe. They got the tail lights figured out on the Honda and then started on the slide. After a couple of guys crawled around for quite some time, it was decided the slide motor had gone. Of course there isn’t another to be found so their supplier had to order from the States and it will be a week or so. They left the motor out and sent me on my way. It wasn’t long, at the sani dump actually, til I noticed the slide working its way out. We stopped at Seymour Narrows viewpoint for lunch and to tie it in with some bungee straps.

We stopped at Eve River rest area for Aileen to have an hour nap. Mitzy and I walked down to the river then down the logging road to the washed out bridge. We tried to follow the creek to the river for another drink for Mitzy but the dry creek bed started wandering too much. We sat outside the Terra for awhile to give Aileen a little more nap time.

We arrived at Cluxewe about 4:30 and got the car unhooked and the Terra leveled. After putting the bedroom slide out, I proceeded to manually extend the living room slide. It would have been much easier with two people as I had to keep going from one end to the other every few turns. I hope John will be able to help me put it in Monday night. It was much easier to extend it manually with the motor absent. I guess my difficulty the first night was because I was trying to overcome the seized motor. John and Anne came for supper. Aileen made quesadillas which were tasty as usual. I’d taken Mitzy around the whole park before supper including the river trail then we did most of it again after supper. We saw a gray whale through the front window at supper time. He came up quite a few times. I don’t think I could have gotten a very good picture so didn’t try.

Aileen went back to bed for a couple hours this morning and felt better for it. I took Mitzy for a couple walks. It was a dreary morning until about 11 when the sun came out for a couple hours. We were able to sit at the picnic table in comfort for lunch.

Here is a link for the details on the Silver Shalis

Friday, August 13, 2010


On Sunday I went to Nanaimo with Aileen who attended church. Mitzy and I walked along the seawall then along the Millstone River. I sat and read then til Aileen was ready. We went to Shanghai City Restaurant for lunch as I felt like Chinese. It seemed okay to start but we couldn’t get too far with the sweet and sour. Shortly after leaving I was feeling queasy and so was Aileen. Aileen couldn’t eat supper and I took it easy. I called the restaurant that night but they didn’t seem to recognize a problem. We’ll scratch that restaurant off our list or more likely add it to our avoid list.

I have been organizing and reorganizing the basement storage in the Terra. It is amazing how much we actually had in the trailer. We’ve been gathering information and pieces for improving the Terra. We bought 28 inch drawer glides as Charlie is going to build us drawers for under the dinette. I have made arrangements to have a tow bar mounted to the front of the Honda so it can be towed by the Terra. We are going to Campbell River on Saturday for Cousin Bill’s barbeque on Sunday. On Monday, we go just down the road to Arbutus to have the tow bar work done. On Tuesday, we are going back up to the North Island and Cluxewe campsite. I washed all the outside windows with Windex one day and that was quite a bit more of a chore than the trailer windows. There are way more windows and there are all very high. I have also been checking options for getting solar panels onto the Terra either by removing them from the trailer or going new.

I helped with the local Coombs Fall Fair set up a couple of evenings. Thursday I was helping organize the photo section as someone mentioned I was into photography. The photo section at this Fair is no where near as advanced as the Salmon Arm Fair which I was involved with for so many years.

Aileen has gone to a couple of evening palmistry workshops and has another tonight. On Wednesday morning, Mitzy went for her grooming and I went for my visit with the optometrist for a full examination. Fortunately everything checked out really good. Since I needed new glasses because mine are so scratched I will use the slightly changed prescription. It was very challenging yesterday selecting my new frames.
They kept trying to get me into the new style which is large and bold. I kept saying I want minimal frame, maximum visibility.

Saturday, August 7, 2010


We’ve still been way too busy. We’re supposed to be retired, darn it! We had the carpet cleaner guy do the motor home before we got too much moved in. We’ve been packing our belongings across the yard and struggling to find meaningful homes for everything in the motor home. We don’t want to be spending too much time searching for stuff later. We finally made the move completely yesterday and totally emptied the trailer. Now it needs to be thoroughly cleaned in preparation for selling it.

In between times we’ve been to Merville and had the motor home extended warrantee transferred to us and spent quite a bit of time researching toweds both online and on the lot. We finally made our decision and today brought home a 2010 Honda CRV. There will be pictures some time, but not today. We are hoping we don’t have to set foot on another car lot for a looooong time! There is so much BS etc involved. We also had super high density foam put in our dinette cushions and that has made a tremendous difference. We have been doing little projects in the motor home to make things work better for us. We are finding that we are using nearly all of the available storage which is surprising as it appeared the motor home had way more storage than the trailer.

We had our first rain in a long while today and lots of it. It started before 3 AM and continued past noon. We’ve had a few light showers since. The rain was really needed as conditions were very dry and the forest fire smoke from the BC mainland has been very nasty here. The rain should clear the air for awhile. The forecast is for the warm weather to return as early as Tuesday with temperatures of 25+C which is over 80F.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


A beautiful location for a wedding overlooking the Salish Sea (formerly the Strait of Georgia)

The little girls soon tired of standing listening to the ceremony and went chasing bubbles instead

The little kids loved the rock and roll music, our grand daughter Georgia on the left and our son Richard on the right

Our new home

I need to correct a statement I made last post. Technically, as Daryl pointed out in his comment we’re not homeless. However, we are houseless, which is even better!

When we were up at Cluxewe the last time, I was telling our friend Earl about a motor home we were considering at Lantzville but the price was too high. He suggested we buy his sister in law’s which she was eager to sell. When we came back down Island to Errington, I decided to call and inquire about the details. After a couple of trips up to her house to view the coach, we decided to buy it. It is a 2008 Fleetwood Terra LX 34N with two slide outs powered by a Ford V10 gas engine. The couple made one trip to Yuma and a few local trips then he died suddenly on May 21 this year. He was only 67! The motor home only had 11,990 kms on it. We're planning on it lasting us at least 18 more years. We plan on buying a small vehicle to tow behind and will be selling our pickup and Arctic Fox trailer so our days are revolving around those things plus planning how to make the transition to the different style of travelling.

We picked up the motor home after lunch on Saturday and then had to rush over to Qualicum for my niece Katrina’s wedding. The ceremony was held on the golf course overlooking the ocean. It was a very pretty location. Our son Richard and Robin and Georgia were up for the wedding too. The DJ played great dance music, mostly 50’s rock, and the little kids just loved it.

On Sunday morning R,R&G arrived fairly early so we all had breakfast in the house. That is except for Chas who had already eaten. Shortly after we started eating the phone rang. My Mom had fallen again and possibly broken her hip and some ribs. It is just terrible how she has deteriorated in such a short time. Chas picked up our sister Susan and they went down to the hospital. They spent the whole day down there and were not impressed with the care. Mom was transported back to Stanford late afternoon as it was decided she would receive better care there. She has a cracked pelvis for sure but not sure what else. She is in more pain of course, so not good.

I just remembered Monday afternoon that I missed celebrating my third anniversary Sunday. It’s hard to believe three years have passed since I retired! Just before lunch on Monday, Chas got a message from Stanford that Mom wasn’t doing well and they had the doctor coming at 1 PM to see her. My sister Janet and Aileen went down to be there when the doctor arrived. It was determined she also had a bladder infection so they started her on medication for that. The doctor also reduced one of her meds since they were giving her way too much for such a small person. Over medication is a real problem for older folks. That probably isn’t a surprise for most of you.

This morning when I got out of the truck in town, I found a $5 bill just in front. Tonight while taking Mitzy for a walk up the road, I found another $5 bill lying in the grass alongside the road.