Tuesday, October 16, 2018


We've had a busy three days.  We were up early on Sunday morning and were on the road at 5:22 am heading to Victoria.  We got to the ferry south of Vancouver just after 10:30 which should have been in time to catch the 11 am sailing.  However, it was full and we barely made it onto the 1 pm sailing.  We went to Richard and Robin's when we got off the ferry and Aileen had a nap on the couch.  Richard made us all a tasty supper then we headed into Victoria to stay at Robin's sister's house as they are away in New Zealand.
On Monday, Aileen had her appointment with the eye specialist and he said he was very pleased with how her eye is doing.  She doesn't need to return there until next May which is good news.  Aileen says her vision is improving slowly but steadily so that is good.  I spent part of Monday afternoon buying our travel insurance.  Between my moving up an age bracket and Aileen's eye surgery, we are paying more than fifty percent more than last year.
Today, we were up really early and on the road about 5:25 am heading for the ferry.   Arriving at the terminal about 6 am, we had to wait until 7 am to depart heading back to mainland BC.  The ferry ride was 1.5 hours long then we hit the pavement and were making good time until the freeway was choked up from an accident.  We barely moved for 45 minutes before finally breaking free of that mess.  It was a smooth drive the rest of the way back to the motor home in Penticton.
When we got home, we unloaded and started putting things back where they belonged.  Did a load of laundry so that is caught up, Aileen had a much needed nap and I puttered outside.  I loaded up the car and and packed up what I could.
Karen took Bev and us out for supper as she didn't think we should have to cook after our rushed few days.  We appreciated that.  We really appreciate having good friends and family who allow us to park in their yards and use their services.  Laundry, internet and bathroom privileges make our life much nicer and cheaper.
We intend to pack up and head out in the morning on  our way to Grand Junction, CO.  We are hoping to make it in five days/four nights.  There are a couple of longer than we like days but the last day is only 150 miles.   Our Colorado friends are eagerly awaiting our arrival.  Not sure what our internet connections will be along the way as I don't intend to activate the air card at this point.  Aileen will be able to keep abreast of things via her i-phone and I may just try and rely on public wi-fi and see how that goes.
I was impressed with the amount of work entailed in putting this display together in Penticton.  The tractor is a Farmall Cub, which is the same as the one I drove starting at age five.

After some rain, this parking lot offered some nice reflections

In the yard where we are staying, our friend Karen has several deer that make themselves at home

Six deer in this shot

On our way to Vancouver Island on Sunday, we watched the sister ship to ours enter Active Pass

Some little islets along the way heading to Victoria

A couple doors down from where we stayed for two nights was this large Halloween display

Taken from our ferry this morning of a sister ship

Mt Baker in Washington State taken at first light this morning from the ferry

Looking back at the dock we just left.  The ship on the right is the one I took the photo of earlier

Sunrise this morning as we entered Active Pass

Looking out of Active Pass toward Vancouver and mainland BC

Looking down into the San Juan Islands of Washington State

Robert's Bank container loading dock across from where the ferry docks on the BC mainland south of Vancouver

We stopped at a closed campground in Manning Park on our way home this afternoon and had our lunch there then went for a walk along the Similkameen River

Monday, October 8, 2018


Last Monday was Aileen's eye appointment and she got the okay to head south but first must go back for a follow up appointment on October 15.  Since we have left the Island, we will drive down in the car and stay over a couple nights.  Monday was also Richard's birthday so we got to celebrate with him and his family.  Actually, Robin had the foresight to book Aileen's appointment for that day just for that reason.
We did depart from the Island Thursday morning.  We headed off expecting to be early in the line up for the 9 am sailing but were surprised to drive right on to the 8 am ferry.  That was a real bonus.  The rest of the day was more laid back with being an hour early.  We stopped for the night at Pickard Creek Forest Service Campground where it was very quiet.  However, it was rather cool the next morning so we had to run the coach furnace for a long while.  When we went out for a walk after breakfast, there was a nasty wind making it feel much colder.
We only had a about an hour's drive to Penticton from there so again, a pretty leisurely day.  We were set up in our friend Karen's driveway before lunch.  We've been enjoying visiting with Karen and Bev M.  Last night we joined them and a few other friends for Thanksgiving supper.  It was also our fifty first anniversary, hard to believe it is already a year since our big party!
I've been out twice geocaching and enjoying the local fall colour.  I gathered forty four caches on Saturday and a large number of photos as the sun was shining and everything looked great.  Caching takes a back seat to photography at times like that.  Yesterday, it rained the whole time I was caching so there wasn't much in the way of pictures.  So, in much less time, I gathered forty nine geocaches. 
Our current plan is to be here in Penticton until about October 17th when we hope to begin our drive south.  We plan to drive to Victoria this coming Sunday for Aileen's Monday appointment then back here again on Tuesday.  One day this week, I intend to take a drive up to visit our storage unit in Salmon Arm.  Looking forward to meeting up with our friends Al and Laurie on Wednesday.

Since it was our anniversary, Aileen thought we should have our photo taken.  I set up my 6D on the tripod, mounted the flash and adjusted the head, all with my heavy coat on, then took my coat off and jumped in front of the camera.

 The rest of the photos were taken with my Canon SX60

These two photos were taken in the rain at Butchart Gardens using flash on my Canon SX60

One of Richard's flowers

Under Richard's weeping willow tree using on camera flash

Michell Farms, Saanich near Victoria

Sumac along the Similkimin River at Pickard Creek

Poison-Ivy, Pickard Creek

Blue Elderberry, Pickard Creek

Stuck his tongue out at me

Got an itch

The Mountain Goats were near Summerland above Okanagan Lake

The rest of today's photos were taken where I was geocaching above Peachland, BC 

This is a super telephoto shot of a zipline.  I couldn't make them out with the naked eye, but when I heard the noise it makes roaring down the cable, I would zoom in.

This maple, anchored with spider webs, caught my eye while I was shooting the zipliners

This was on my way up the mountain yesterday just as it started raining lightly.

It was raining quite well here and to keep from getting rain drops on my lens, I parked the car cross ways on the road and shot out the passenger window from the driver's seat.

Sunday, September 30, 2018


Well that was a busy week!  I think we need a vacation.  On Tuesday we drove up to Campbell River and took fish and chips lunch to Cousin Bill at the care home where he is in pallative care.  We had a nice visit and we all enjoyed our lunch.  We stopped off in Courtenay and Aileen settled up for her new CPAP machine. 
On Wednesday we were back up to the Courtenay area and met up with Aileen's sister Anne and John for a day of geocaching.  We went in to Courtenay for lunch at Union Street Grill and later supper at Boston Pizza.  We had a great day wandering around and visiting.
On Thursday my brother in law John R and I took my RZR and went geocaching.  When I got home I cut Charlie's back lawn which had grown a lot with the recent rains.  After supper and Aileen's walk, we went up to John and Sue's for a game of 5 Crowns that Sue won.
On Friday, we finally made contact with our long time friends John and Alethea.  They lived in Penticton for many years and John and I met through the regional camera club council.  They have relocated to Gabriola Island, a 20 minute ferry ride from Nanaimo.  We went over and shared a lunch and had a great visit.  They are a really nice couple and we enjoyed seeing them again.  They invited us to take the motor home over in the spring and stay a while and that sounds quite appealing. 
Yesterday, Charlie and I went ATVing again with John R and his son in law Dave.  We had intended returning to the same area we were in last Sunday but the gate was locked, blocking us out.  However we did find another route to explore and even though the clouds got progressively worse as the day wore on, we had a great ride.  I was pretty pleased with some of my photos.
This morning we packed up and hit the road.  We have moved down to Richard and Robin's near Sidney.  We had a mostly rainy drive all the way with some areas of fog.  After getting set up and some lunch in our bellies, we took Georgia and went to Butchart Gardens in the drizzle.  Actually, it was better for photography than a sunny day.
Tomorrow we have lunch with friend Bev D who has now moved back to Victoria then Aileen has her eye appointment.  We are hoping to move off the island and up to Penticton on Thursday.  We'll see after tomorrow's appointment.

Newcastle Island across from Nanaimo

Looking back at Nanaimo while on the ferry to Gabriola Island

Gabriola Island

Coming in to Nanaimo from Vancouver

Heading out from Nanaimo to Vancouver

In Sutton-Maffeo Park Nanaimo with Protection Island in the background

Back up in the mountains, Wild Blackberry vines


A bit of fall colour on the ridge

Mountain Ash and Blueberries in fall colour


Charlie and I climbed up on the ridge above where we ran out of road

A pretty little forest glade

Looking over the other side from on top

This Fireweed was late blooming

Mountain Ash on the left and Blueberry bushes

Butchart Gardens in the rain.  They supply umbrellas but all those umbrellas make for dangerous walking as you end up in pretty closes proximity at times.  You fear for your eyes!

Did I say it was wet?