Saturday, March 28, 2009


My parents and me 62 years ago

Me with my first camera nearly 50 years ago

Mt Arrowsmith between Port Alberni and Parksville. The snow accumulation is only 55% of normal this year.----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
My, how time flies. It’s already five days since my last post. On Wednesday, Aileen and I went to Port Alberni. Sheila met us over there and she and Aileen met with one of Sheila’s friends discussing health issues. I visited my Dad’s cousin Diane and Stan Acton all too briefly. Diane was able to give me a lead to follow on the rumour I’d heard about a Herd family reunion. It only took me two phone calls to get to the person organizing things. He got back to me yesterday so I am now tasked with contacting everyone on my family’s limb of the tree. I have sent out a whack of emails and made several phone calls so now I have to wait for some replies. There are six other limbs on this particular family tree so we could have quite a turnout if people participate.
Yesterday morning Aileen took the laundry to the laundromat Qualicum while I copied a bunch of old family photos. We went and saw my parents later in the morning in the care facility then did some grocery shopping. In the afternoon we went to our friends the Jessop’s, in Cumberland for a nice visit and supper. This had been arranged when we visited them a couple weeks ago. Their son Matthew was Richard’s friend years ago in elementary school in Chase and Matt used to go on camping/fishing trips with us. Our families used to get together for supper several times a year then they moved to Prince Rupert and we only saw them once until they moved to Cumberland 4-5 years ago. It’s great getting to know them again.
This morning we went to a Wellness Fair in Parksville which was quite interesting. There were lots of informative displays and booths. We had our blood pressure taken and Aileen answered some medical questions while waiting. At another, Aileen was interviewed on her thoughts on compassion in the community and they taped two of her stories for possible use in future presentations. The organization runs a group home for mentally ill people and this is a subject dear to Aileen’s heart.
This afternoon we went to the service for Aileen’s brother in law John’s mother. John and Anne had all their kids and grandkids present so it was nice to see them all. Later, my nephew Logan was kind enough to have a look at our trailer batteries and do some serious testing. One or two may need to be replaced. One is on the charger then we’ll do some more testing.

Monday, March 23, 2009


Sitting Lady Falls - Metchosin

Great Blue Heron - Witty's Lagoon

Georgia enjoying the beach at Witty's Lagoon

A much doctored photo of a seagull

A creek on the way to Port Renfrew
We had a good supper the other night with R,R&G. Yesterday morning we moved a little closer into town to All Fun RV Park in Highlands. It is actually cheaper than the $24 at Goldstream Park since we don’t have to use propane for the furnace or fridge. We then met R,R&G for lunch in Metchosin at My Chosen CafĂ©. There was a 20 minute wait for a table but the food made it worthwhile as it was excellent. After lunch Robin went off to do errands and the rest of us went to Witty’s Lagoon. It was a long walk down but pretty nice, also the sun was out and somewhat warm. I was surprised to find a largish waterfall along the way – Sitting Lady Falls. We were so late getting R&G home that Robin had a nice supper ready for us. We went to the ice cream parlour across the parking lot for a treat when we returned home.
Today we drove out to Port Renfrew and the wet coast lived up to its name as the farther out we got, the wetter it became. We went to The Coastal Kitchen in Port Renfrew for a nice lunch. We met a couple from the Yukon there who we’d seen along the road and got chatting. Pretty soon they joined us at our table for an hour and a half chat. It was great getting to know Bob and Edith who invited us to visit them if we make it that far north this summer. They live about an hour from Whitehorse off the power grid so are quite solar savvy. They’re on their way south not wanting to get home until mid May.
Tomorrow we will make our way back up to Parksville as we have several people we want to connect with before we leave the Island.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


The mighty giant who fell (the tree!)

Right across the campground road

Georgia riding her pony

Out walking

Grandma and Georgia strolling in Goldstream campground
March 18, 2009
Yesterday morning we went to Big Boys Toys, a local RV dealer to have a peek at the new Ridge Runner trailer Aileen’s nephew Dennis and April had purchased. Koko, the salesman, was great and gave us a tour of it. He also took our picture with it and sent off an email to Dennis and April telling them he had sold the trailer to a higher bidder and was heading to Mexico with the money! Can you tell the RV business is slow?
After lunch we packed up to move down Island for a few days. We went to Rathtrevor Park to empty our tanks. I had just closed the black water valve when I ended up with the handle in my hand and not attached any more. Oh Oh! We are set up in Garry and Barb’s in Duncan and I was able to park in a fairly dry spot. Put my coveralls on and crawled under the trailer for a look see. Removed several bolts from the insulating cover and with Garry’s help we were able to pry it down enough to get the handle lined up and screwed back on. I was pleased to find that it hadn’t broken.
Aileen cooked supper in the trailer then we took it in the house. We visited with Garry and Barb until bedtime. We’ll get more visiting with Garry today since his Mill hasn’t worked since mid December.
Mar 19
We visited my cousin Dale Anderson and Evelyn this afternoon and had a good chat catching up on family news. It’s been quite awhile since we’ve seen them. Barb made a delicious chicken supper for us tonight and later we looked at some of our trip pictures.
Mar 20
We had to hook up in the rain this morning. Yucky! We made a stop for groceries and another for gas then carried on to Goldstream Park north of Victoria. After lunch we drove to Aileen’s cousin Pat Cooper’s house. We had an enjoyable visit with Pat and Irene. It’s been 46 years since Aileen had seen Pat. They took us down to Mattick’s Farm Market for a long visit over tea and goodies. The house they built and have lived in for 53 years is being demolished next week and their daughter and son in law are building a new house on the property with a ocean view ground level suite for Pat and Irene. They will have to be transients for the next six months. We stopped at a Chinese restaurant for supper then came home as Aileen was pooped. She did talk to son Richard and friend Bev D on the phone this evening.
It looks like I should have left the photo club in Salmon Arm years ago instead of recently. They have just tied for first in a prestigious photo contest involving all BC photo clubs. When I belonged we were usually in the mid teens or well up in the 20s/30 clubs.
Mar 21
We set the alarm this morning and went to R, R & G’s for 9 am to pick up Georgia for the day. Richard was at a retreat at Royal Roads University and Robin had an uncle’s funeral. We visited everybody’s favourite store, Bolen’s Books, then came out to the trailer. We’ve had a few walks, G & A made peanut butter cookies and read and did jigsaw puzzle (several times). I am to pick up R at Royal Roads and I think Robin will be out later. Aileen is cooking supper here. We have had some sunshine today after the frosty start.

Monday, March 16, 2009


Sea Lion

Full moon at Rathtrevor Beach the other night
March 14
Aileen went to Qualicum Beach for a haircut this morning. Chas gave me a ride into Parksville where I went to the big art show. I spent a couple hours viewing and visiting then Chas came for a look through when he finished with his truck appointment. We had to break down and plug into power this afternoon as the solar panels weren’t keeping up and the weather is deteriorating. I spent some of the afternoon tidying up my digital photo presentation for tonight. Chas picked up takeout Thai food from his sister-in-law’s restaurant for supper – yummy! There were only 13 of us for the show but it seemed to go well.
Mar 15
There was a bit of sun to tease us early this morning but we’ve since had a few snow showers mixed with the rain and wind. Yucky!!! We visited Mom and Dad for awhile this afternoon. They were both smiling and happy when we went in. They were just finishing up tea and cookies which Dad told us “our servants had brought”.
Later we went to Deez Restaurant for supper with my sister Janet and John. Rain and snow most of the evening and slushy roads going back to the trailer.
Mar 16
About an inch of crusty snow on the ground greeted us this morning. We took Mitzy to the vet this morning. They did blood tests which all came back fine. He has suggested we give Mitzy preventative medicine whenever we travel south as ticks and other critters harmful to dogs are more prevalent down there. Mitzy sensed we were at a vet’s office (or she smelled it) and decided she wasn’t going to get out of the truck. She had her nose out of joint the rest of the day.
We went to Nanaimo this afternoon for a few things but it turned out to be more of a drive instead. Tonight I went with Chas to watch bowling and visit with family and old friends. Aileen went to Toastmasters with Sheila. We will probably be heading down Island again on Wednesday or Thursday for a few days. Its time for another visit with R,R &Georgia before our time on the Island runs out. We must make our way back to Salmon Arm in early April to sort through our pile of mail and get the income taxes in order. Aileen will have to visit the dentist pretty soon to get repairs started on her broken tooth. That will likely require several visits. And we also need to get to the bottom of the solar power problems.

Friday, March 13, 2009


Dewdrop and leaf

The original image of a dewdrop

Image enlarged, tuned up and sharpened

Same image rotated so trailer is right way up
The larger image in the section below my blog text is the same image but zoomed tighter
Scroll down
March 10, 2009
Well it’s been more than a few days without internet, I guess. We moved on up to Campbell River on March 6th and parked in Bill Van Bergen’s driveway for 4 nights. We attended his wife Gloria’s memorial on Saturday the 7th. There was a full chapel and Aileen was one of several people who shared memories of her cousin with the gathering. The memorial was well done with many of Gloria’s creations and lots of pictures on display. Another highlight was a digital presentation on a large screen TV that ran constantly during the reception. We enjoyed getting to know more of Bill and Gloria’s family and friends but wish it was under better circumstances. We had several group meals at Bill’s house where lots more memories were shared.
On Monday the 9th, Aileen and I drove down to Cumberland to visit our long time friends from Turtle Valley days, Perry and Lynda Jessop. We had a great visit and are invited for supper before we leave the Island.
Upon leaving Bill’s we were headed back to the lower Island but only got as far as Miracle Beach. Aileen and the girls had a 2+ hour nap while I went to Courtenay and finally found the part I needed to repair the bottom drawer in the kitchen. I’ve been checking RV and hardware stores all the way from California without success and the store here had a whole bunch of them. I also filled a propane cylinder and gassed the truck. Fixed the drawer when I returned which made Aileen happy – the contents of the drawer have been sitting in a bag beside her at the table for a couple weeks.
I finally made contact with my Telus rep in Salmon Arm and she had a new air card waiting for us. Our daughter Bev was a great help by picking it up and couriering it to Parksville for us to pick up. The story is that our other one was defective and they have replaced it with a new one. She is still telling us it should work in the US so I guess we’ll have to wait until September to see if that is true. We are really looking forward to dependable internet all the time!
March 11
We had a nice visit with Aileen’s sister Pat and husband Jim last night at Salmon Point Pub which was just ten minutes up the road from the campground. On the road again this morning heading for Parksville where we’ll probably hang out for a week or two. We had lunch beside the ocean at Union Bay then just a little south at Union Bay, I spotted sea lions. There were quite a number of photographers and other spectators. I met a couple of ladies from the Comox Valley photo club who were also blasting away. I think I took 324 shots as my share – love this digital! I deleted lots later but who cares?
We set up at Rathtrevor Beach Park for the night. We went looking for the UPS Store in Parksville as that was where our air card was to be sent but found it had closed last year. While waiting in the truck, Aileen saw Wendy and Randy drive by in their new to them motor home, so we went to their place for a tour of it. After supper we went and visited my brother Charlie and wife Sheila.
March 12
We moved the trailer up to Charlie’s this morning and set up beside the house. We were able to get internet from the router in the house so was able to track where the air card package got to. After lunch, we went to UPS in Nanaimo where our air card had been rerouted. We picked up a few groceries on the way home. I went to Deep Bay with Chas later and after shooting some eagles saw some of Chas’ current construction projects. When I went to take Mitzy’s collar off at bedtime, it was gone. I took the flashlight looking where she and Chas’ dog had been rough horsing but couldn’t find it.
Mar 13
Only 40F in the trailer this morning so it was jump out of bed, turn the furnace on and back under the covers again. After breakfast I went and found Mitzy’s collar. Since this was the second or third time it had come apart, Aileen put it in the garbage after removing the tag. Sheila took my sister Susan to catch the ferry to Vancouver this morning. Sue is heading to New Zealand tomorrow to meet up with her husband John who has been working down there framing a house, for a couple of months. Aileen gave me a haircut this morning so I’m all pretty again.

Goldstream Park dewdrop rotated so trailer is right waty up

Winking Sea Lion

Roooaaarr! Sea Lion

The chorus line

Cruising by - Sea Lion

Landing time - mature Bald Eagle

Fly by

Immature Bald Eagle

Thursday, March 5, 2009


March 3, 2009
Aileen was awake from shortly after 3 AM not wanting to be late for the ferry. I managed to keep dozing past 5:30. We were on the road about 6:45 and were near the front of the lineup. Only about 3 dozen vehicles on board so no problem with crowding. But then we had a 1 ½ hour wait for departure. The old tub did quite a bit of rocking and rolling when we altered course to pass a slow freighter part way across, as we were paralleling the wave troughs. After a short pleasant visit with the Customs lady, we drove straight out to Goldstream Park where we are the only RV in the 12 open campsites. There are two regular passenger vans that have single guys sleeping in them.
We went for lunch out for a change then picked up Richard after his classes at UVIC. We dropped him at Georgia’s school for a parent – teacher meeting then came back later to pick up Georgia who we took home. Aileen visited with her while I went to the Mall for a card for Robin’s birthday tomorrow. After R&R returned home we all went to the University Club for a nice supper. We were in bed shortly after 8 PM – been a long day.
Mar 4,
We were planning on an early departure but then a little dog came along to play with Mitzy and after that it was discovered we had a soft tire on the trailer. That meant driving back toward Victoria to the first gas station to add some air. After an uneventful drive up Island, we pulled into an industrial area in Parksville and found an empty lot to park in to have lunch. No rain and even some sun which made for a better trip. Next was a visit to a tire shop as the tire had lost quite a bit of air. The culprit turned out to be a 1½ inch screw that went in right beside the tread.
We are in Riverbend RV Park for tonight. Aileen did some laundry while I went for some groceries. We visited my parents at the lodge for a little while then went to Wendy and Randy’s for supper. Aileen took her dress clothes there to iron for the service on Saturday. I briefly spoke to my sister Becky at the car wash but I guess we won’t see any of the rest of the family until we return down Island. We head up to Campbell River tomorrow and may be without internet for a few days.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Beach pebbles

Black Oyster Catchers

Portulaca, I think

Long legged photographer
The above shots were all at MacKerricher State Park

Pacific City - a lot of digging soon required or the beach wins!
The sun greeted us again this morning after we’d had some heavy rain overnight. So, Mitzy had an extra walk and we lazed our way through departure preparations. It was well past 9:30 when we hit the road. Shortly after 2PM when we arrived in Port Angeles and set up in Al’s RV Park. They don’t have Wi-Fi but my computer connected to someone right off without my even searching so I will use it quickly while its here.
We’ve had sun and cloud with a few showers thrown in so not too bad. We were surprised to see small piles of snow still in the mall parking lots here in Port Angeles, probably from the dump they had last Thursday. Back to BC tomorrow. 240 kms today for a total of 3231 kms (2019 miles) since we left Caliente in Florence, AZ. Wendy and Randy put on 2688 kms (1680 miles) taking the more direct route up 99 and I-5 then Port Angeles. They took 3 days while we have been 12 days!
I emailed my Telus rep in Salmon Arm to see what became of the malfunctioning aircard I sent from Arizona and Kevin took in to Telus. She is away Feb 25 – Mar 9! Grrrr!! I need to know my status before making another deal so I guess we’re stuck looking for Wi-Fi for another couple weeks.

Monday, March 2, 2009


On the beach at Pacific City, Ore

Lunch time at Hug Point, Oregon coast
We were pleasantly surprised with a bit of sun this morning so we walked out for a view of the ocean. We did have showers off and on all day though as well as some nice sunny spells. It was after 9:30 when we got on the road this morning. One of the drawer slides had broken and I spent some time on my belly with the help of Aileen on the outside and a flashlight, mirror and screwdriver from under the sink alongside, I was able to remove the drawer. Now to find the replacement part. We stopped at a hardware store and an RV parts place without finding one today.
We are in Hoquiam, Washington tonight after amassing 284 kms. Aileen did a big load of laundry, the first since leaving Caliente. Tomorrow night we will be in Port Angeles and will have to set the alarm as we have to be at the ferry dock before 7:30 AM Wednesday.
Our plans are now formulated for the first few days on Vancouver Island. Wednesday afternoon will see us visit Richard, Robin and Georgia. Thursday we will move up to Parksville to visit Mom and Dad. On Friday we will move up to Campbell River area in preparation for Gloria’s service on Saturday. After that, who knows?

Sunday, March 1, 2009


Well, no pool and hot tub as they locked up at 6 PM! It had ceased raining so we didn’t get soaked walking out to the office and pool. It has begun again though.
We have a reservation on the Coho ferry from Port Angeles to Victoria on Wednesday March 4. We should be on the streets in Victoria about 10:30 AM.


The view from our campsite this morning at Harris Beach

Our morning rest stop

The above two are from our afternoon rest stop
Yes, can you believe it? We had our biggest day yet putting 411 kms under our wheels today. We woke to rain, we drove in rain and we are parked in rain. We hit the road before 8:45 and checked into Cape Kiwanda RV Park at 3:41. Some of the day we had the wipers on high, only briefly were they off at all. Aileen decided we may as well drive since it was so wet and the forecast is the same all week and we can’t wait it out.
We were saddened to hear of Aileen’s cousin Gloria passing away yesterday. We will be on Vancouver Island at the time of her memorial so will at least be able to attend. We’d made a rush trip from Salmon Arm to Campbell River last summer in order to attend Bill and Gloria’s 50th anniversary which was held after the fact due to her cancer treatments.
I forgot to mention yesterday that we’d seen a couple large groups of Roosevelt Elk in northern California. They claim to have the largest herd in North America. I thought they looked pretty small to be Roosevelt.
We have an indoor heated pool and hot tub here and plan to make use of them later. We’ve been suffering withdrawal since leaving Caliente where the pool was a nightly ritual. I didn’t unhook the truck from the trailer so we’ll have to walk all the way to the pool in the rain.
Aileen has been having some luck training the cat to use the litter box on command. Some times she chases her around the trailer for a while to get her in the mood. Other times she puts her in the litter box and Sophie does what’s required.