Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Leaving the Okanagan

Time for another update. We left Kekuli Sunday morning and wandered our way down the Okanagan Valley. We had our lunch alongside the highway a few km before Keremeos. We unhooked the trailer in Hedley and went looking for a spot to park for the night. Found a nice little forestry site 4 km toward Princeton on the Old Hedley Road. We parked the trailer looking down on the beautifully clear Similkameen River with a pathway down to the river from our site. Watch out for poison ivy! Cost us a whole $5 for the privilege of camping here. The highway was just across the river but became very quiet overnight.
On Monday morning we wandered our way along the old road to Princeton. There was very little traffic and great scenery. The cottonwoods were turning colour and they made some lovely reflections in the river we could enjoy as we drove along. I saw a neat old abandoned house that I had to stop and shoot as I think it will lend itself to something special in PhotoShop. There were several interesting farms and ranches and some unique vacation houses. We stopped in Manning Park for a leisurely lunch and sat outside beside the trailer enjoying the warm sunshine. When we got down on the Hope side of Allison Pass there was a spectacular display of vine maples showing their red Fall colour. I stopped for pictures of the maples at the old wagon road viewpoint.
Today we gassed up at Hope then bee-lined for the Duke Point ferry. Got to Tsawwassen around 11 AM for the 12:45 sailing. I had just sat down at the computer to begin this entry when there was a knock on the door. My sister Wendy and husband Randy had spotted us from two rows over. They were just returning from a 5 day trip to the McDonalds Corners, Ontario Fall Fair. Their friends Glen and Sandy Hersley had flown with them. We visited again on board the ferry. Tonight we’re set up in my parent’s yard in Errington just out of Parksville. The house is still vacant as they went into care in March. My youngest brother Charlie lives next door and ensures things are kept up in the house and yard. We even have an invitation to join Charlie and Sheila for supper which is a nice bonus.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Lots has been happening in our lives since my last post. We moved everything but the appliances out of the house into our storage locker. Daughter Bev and nephew Mike were great helpers. We would have been in trouble without them. Thanks, guys! The house was turned over to the rental agent in very clean condition on September 24. We had moved out of the house into the trailer on September 20 and parked at friend Joan’s out in Gleneden. Thanks again for your hospitality Joan.
Sold the 4x4 Tracker to Bev on September 23. Sad to part with my little buddy but if we manage to stay on the road awhile, it wouldn’t be happy just sitting. It was such a great machine for the bush and so fuel efficient. September 23 was also my youngest sister Becky’s birthday. Hope you had a great day.
The past week has seen us doing a multitude of last minute stuff such as canceling our cable internet, contacting Teresen Gas and Hydro, changing our house phone number to one of the cells, purchasing an extended program for it, buying an aircard and rate plan so we can have internet where ever there is cell coverage (so far it is working great), stocking up on six months vitamins and supplements and the list goes on! We also purchased a second laptop for Aileen’s use but haven’t had time to open the box yet. We hope to take a few days downtime somewhere starting Monday. The wi-fi card can be shared by both computers, just not at the same time. It’s just a little thing like a cell phone and plugs into a USB port.
September 25 saw us visit the free dump station at Piccadilly Mall, top up with propane at SuperSave then leave Salmon Arm to “hit the road”. Didn’t go too far. We’re camped at Kekuli Bay Provincial Park just south of Vernon for three nights and plan to head down the road tomorrow morning. We found a couple of gift certificates not used when moving out so lunch was in Vernon at the Prestige and supper was at the Keg in Kelowna. Thanks Janet and John and Bev and Kev!
Our reason for staying here was to take in the annual Okanagan Photo Rally which was hosted this year by the Central Okanagan and Lightroom clubs from Kelowna and took place today. There was a large turnout. Great meeting old friends from the host clubs and Summerland and Shuswap clubs. A bountiful feast was laid on for all participants at the completion. We managed some quiet time back at the campsite. We were able to sit and putter outside in the 23C temperature. We both took Mitzy for big walks so she is pooped tonight. Next three days were promising pure sunshine and warmer. Sure hope so. Bye for now.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

More beginnings

After nearly 44 years in the workforce, I was pleased to accept an early retirement offer from my employer July 31, 2007. The Fall of 07 was mostly taken up with researching and purchasing our 07 Arctic Fox 27 foot travel trailer and 07 Silverado 2500HD crewcab 4x4 pickup.
We made a quick trip to Arizona in early January which was cut short by Aileen’s Mom being ill and requiring assistance. Aileen flew to Victoria February 17th with my sister Wendy and Randy who drove her to Parksville. Mitzy and I wandered our way to Parksville some time later. I/we lived in the trailer in Edna’s driveway til March 17th when we moved Edna home with us to Salmon Arm. We were able to keep her in our home til she passed away April 14th.
We spent six weeks traveling with the trailer to Vancouver Island in May and June. The trailer traveled from Victoria to Port McNeill.
We had installed solar panels and an extra battery before our trip south and the system worked very well. We are currently installing two more batteries and an inverter. I took the trailer back to my selling dealer a few weeks ago concerned they’d sold us too light a hitch and torsion bars. They went good on things and I came away with 1200 pound hitch and bars at no charge. Hope that improves the dipping and diving we were experiencing on rough roads at speed.
Our rough plan is to head south in late October wintering in Arizona til early March. Spring is unplanned but perhaps north. South again the following winter then Newfoundland in 2010. I do not like long range or firm plans. We do plan to travel at a much slower pace as much as possible and stay longer before moving on. Depending on conditions or if we just have to, of course.

Blogger: John and Aileen on the road - Manage Posts

Blogger: John and Aileen on the road - Manage Posts
Well, we're getting close to departure. The house is rented out for October 1st, we have it half emptied into storage already and Saturday the 20th should complete the emptying process. Some cleaning and then wait for the carpet cleaners to do the basement and we're out of here.

Mitzy and Sophie are a little unsettled as they know something is happening. They'll be alright when we move into the trailer. Aileen has mixed feelings. She wants to travel but doesn't like having to move out of her house completely. We are only required to give two months notice when we want to move home again.