Wednesday, June 15, 2011

BACK ON VANCOUVER ISLAND

 Aileen lounging at our dry camping site along the Similkameen River 
 I think this is a Larkspur

Strata in the mountain east of Hedley, BC


We were up and at em a little early Monday morning.  In fact we were on the road just before eight with breakfasts over and Mitzy finished her morning business.  Aileen took a short walk then met me at Springbend where I was gassing up the motor home.  We filled the car as well.  I think we saved close to $20 over Salmon Arm prices.  We hooked the car on just before Enderby and went to take the bypass route around the construction but found they had closed it off by digging it up too.  So then of course, we had to fight our way back into the traffic at the highway then sit and wait in the line.  There was a wait in the line at Armstrong and a slow down in Vernon and again at the Predator Ridge junction. 
We drove through rain until Oyama then back into it several times south of Kelowna.  My wash job of Sunday suffered badly.   We finally arrived at Sunoka Park just before 11:30 so I had time to walk Mitzy before Bev and Carole arrived for lunch.  Pearl (Bev’s Mom) didn’t come because she had a sore throat.  We had a good lunch and visit for a couple hours then continued on our way.  We had a few minute wait at Yellow Lake then drove through some really heavy rain.  We unhooked at the start of the Old Hedley Road and I scouted down the road for a ways.  We camped in the first recreational site which is across the river from the main highway but pretty quiet.  
On Tuesday we had a lazy morning.  I took Mitzy for a long walk so it was 9:30 before breakfast was over.  I washed the car and the motor home by packing water up from the dirty river.   They were both pretty dirty from all that rainy road Monday.
Just before lunch, I took my long lens over to the gas line and shot a marmot.  He let me get close enough to fill the frame.  Aileen napped after lunch so I wandered back toward Keremeos  as far as Riverside RV Park.  It seemed to be a nice park but there is no cell phone signal and I saw a lady with a mosquito veil so perhaps they are bad along the river.  I drove all the streets in Hedley but didn’t find anything interesting (to me) to shoot.  I drove 3.5 kms up the logging road across from Stemwinder Park then turned back when I came upon an excavator rebuilding the road.  I spent some time at Pickard Creek Rec site.  It would be quieter than our rec site but would have way less solar exposure.
 A friendly marmot



 I found the folded rocks interesting - just above Hedley, BC

Old Mascot mine buildings perched high above Hedley, BC


After supper we drove the old road to Princeton.  I did some HDR of the old house along the road then after I thought I was finished, I spotted some Mountain Goats up on the bluffs.  There were three then another with a baby popped out from a crevasse.  After a bit the first ones started moving and one of them had a baby too.
 An old house along the Old Hedley-Princeton highway

Some mountain goats way above me

We woke during the night to rain on the roof and it was still raining this morning.  In fact, we used the wipers til nearly Chilliwack.  Where we stopped for tea on the Hope side of Manning Park Lodge,  the rain was mixed with sleet.  The temperature got as low as 2.5C which was certainly a nasty blow after Monday's sun and warmth.
We decided not to push hard for the 12:45 ferry so spent some time at a highway rest area.  We dumped our tanks there but couldn’t fill the fresh water tank since the only hose was on the wrong side and didn’t have an end to attach our hose.
We spent nearly two hours at the ferry terminal then were jammed in on the old Queen of Alberni ferry.   The deck hand was guiding me and let me bang my mirror.  Then he thought we should just stay in the motor home since he intended parking a big truck alongside us.  He told me I had to put the steps in to let the truck by which would prevent us from getting out.  I told him to forget that so he just brought the truck up to the steps.  I went upstairs on the ferry and read while Aileen decided to stay downstairs rather than try to squeeze through the tightly packed vehicles.  I had to go sideways to get through.
It took us 3.5 hours from the Hedley camp to the rest area and 1.25 hours from there to the ferry.   We stopped just after getting off the ferry to feed Mitzy and decided to have our supper too.  It was a beautiful evening on the Island so it was a pretty drive up to Coombs where we filled the fresh water tank at the rodeo grounds.   We arrived at my brother Charlie’s just before eight and found he had just mowed our site.  It didn’t take long to get set up then we went on a tour to see all the improvements made since our last visit.