Sunday, March 28, 2010


We’ve wrapped up our affairs in Salmon Arm for the next while. We hope! We’ve listed the house, emptied it out, done some repairs, removed and sold some of our stored items, added new items to storage, visited doctor and dentist, purchased new sleep masks, visited a few friends (not much time for that though), had two yard sales and more. After the last yard sale, we took a truck load of items that didn’t sell and donated them to the thrift store. A few things went back to storage and a couple more things were given to our daughter. It has been a busy three weeks! The plan now is to have some quiet time for us, then visit family and friends on the Island. We have no schedule made and hope to keep from getting too hectic.

Today we went to the house for the last time to do laundry and I noticed we have house sale competition. The house four units up has a for sale sign. A check on the internet reveals it is priced $30,000 below ours. It is 240 square feet more on the main floor but doesn’t have a basement while ours has a full 1330 finished downstairs. It has a lake view from the dining room and kitchen whereas ours has a better view from the dining and living rooms. It will ensure more traffic seeing our for sale sign so that is probably a good thing and if hers does sell first, perhaps we’ll get the consolation bidder who lost out.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Our work continues with the house and contents. I had ordered a new window crank for the dining room and when it came in yesterday, it wasn’t the right one. The correct one no longer exists in the catalogue apparently. It was supposed to have been repaired in September 2008 just after we moved out. We had made arrangements for the installer to get it done and for the property manager to pay him. I was surprised to find it still broken when we first went in the house a couple weeks ago. Tomorrow I will try tapping out the screw holes to a larger size and hope that works. If not, perhaps we can take the single one from the bedroom to the dining room and use the ordered one in the bedroom. The old cranks had screws in from the back, not visible from the front. The new ones have screws going from inside through to the outside so we’d end up with mismatched cranks in the dining room if we were to use the new one. We have carpet cleaners coming in tomorrow and the flooring guys are to come Monday to fix a couple squeaks in the living room hardwood floor.

We are hoping to get everything completed here that needs attention fairly soon so we can carry on with our travels. Vancouver Island will be our next destination. We’re going to hibernate somewhere for a few days to regroup and rest up. The team has been going pretty steady for over a month now what with packing up in Arizona, driving home and then all the stuff with the house here and various appointments. I’ve been noticing on blogs I follow that the wild flowers are starting to bloom nicely down in the desert areas. One year I hope to be able to stay long enough to catch some of it. We can’t stay long enough when I want to attend the PSA photography conferences which are usually held mid September. Keeping our six month limit in mind means we need to head north early if we want to head south early in the Fall. So even though I won’t be going to South Carolina this year for the event, we had to come home early as we went south September 17th last year. Next year we must come home early because the conference is in Colorado Springs September 18-24 and I really want to attend that one. Since we go down early in Fall 2011, we must come home early again in 2012. And so it goes. Fall 2012 is really early in September in San Francisco so I’ll probably fly down and home again right after, if I go. Depending where 2013 is held, we may be able to delay our departure north in Spring 2013. Boy, do I hate planning that far ahead!

Sunday, March 21, 2010


Our house in Salmon Arm which we have for sale

We had a fairly successful yard sale yesterday. There were lots of people and some came back a second time with friends. I think we sold close to half our things and I suspect it was the same for Jacquie and Jim. I got rid of all 32 plastic stacking chairs we used in our rec room for potlucks and strata meetings. They had been used by the strata last year and stored there then I had to move them out to Jim’s shop. Since he is planning on selling, they just took up too much room to warrant keeping. All four of us had naps after putting things away mid afternoon. We are planning on doing it again next Saturday then I guess whatever is left of our “stuff” will go to the thrift shops. I delivered some things to daughter Bev this morning that she had selected from the sale.

All is quiet on the house sale at present. Hopefully there will be some action before long. If not, I guess we just wait. I have been drawing plans for possible housing in our future. Some include full living quarters while others are just supplemental to an RV. The basic idea is to keep the size down for less housework, heating, cooling, cash outlay, insurance etc. We’ve looked a little at property but don’t want to get too interested until the house is sold. I don’t want to get so desperate to buy something that we give the house away too cheap. We’ll try patience first and see how long we can last.

We continue re-arranging the storage contents to make room for the things from the house that we do wish to keep. If we could get at some of the storage contents further in, we would have more stuff for the yard sale but that is just too much work. The main problem is we put lots of heavy stuff at the front to reduce our work at the time. It would all have to be lifted out first and that isn’t going to happen. We’ll probably have a moving in sale when we finally get around to emptying the storage locker. The big items left to squeeze into storage are Aileen’s desk and the (very heavy and awkward) treadmill plus a large amount of picture frame glass and mat board. There’s also the matter of a couple hundred or more photos in 16x20 inch mats that need a home. I had them at the sale yesterday but only four sold at the giveaway price of $10 each! Normally I would be asking $35-50 each and considerably more if framed. I did get many compliments though. It was rather funny at one time as there was an older chap who had picked out one of the prints which he really liked and was going to buy. When he heard the price he almost threw it back in the box in his haste and hustled away. The world is full of surprises.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Jacquie and Jim have listed their house for sale and while we were playing Mexican Train the other night the decision was made to hold a yard sale or two to get rid of more junk. I managed to dig a truck load out of our storage shed and two from the darkroom/storage in the house. I think what’s left will fit into storage now. I guess whatever doesn’t sell will be given to the thrift stores. In the Mexican Train game the other night Aileen beat out Jim in the last set to steal the win by 4 points! He’d been ahead nearly the whole time. No worries about where I was which was over 200 points behind them. I was almost 100 points from second to last.

Off to storage a little after nine this morning for a few things then over to the house. More sorting of what came from the darkroom. Some is going to storage and some came to Jordan’s for the yard sale. Aileen did a couple loads of laundry while we were there. She was getting frustrated waiting for me but, hey, I was sorting 20 plus years of memories and I will probably regret throwing out some of what I did by being in such a rush.

We unloaded after lunch then Aileen gave Mitzy a much needed bath. I started dismantling slide reels (shows). I can’t see myself going back to showing them and the reels take up so much space in storage. There are five 24x24 inch boxes each one foot high which is 20 cubic feet. I worked outside awhile then it got windy and cold so I moved inside. All the ladies were napping here in the trailer. I haven’t been posting many pictures lately for two reasons. Firstly I haven’t been taking any and secondly I have to drive to get a strong enough signal to post them from here whereas I can sometimes post the text okay.

Monday, March 15, 2010


This is how Jim brought his ATV home from AZ in his motor home and Suzuki. It will take longer to put it back together than it did taking it apart.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


We got up and going before 7 Daylight Saving Time this morning. That was rather brutal as we went to a local coffee house last night and didn’t get home til after 11 PM Standard Time. The performers were awesome at the coffee house. Most of them were performing original work they’d written and most of them sounded every bit as good as professionals. We moved stuff from the RV pad where Jim’s truck has been parked all winter, put up the trailer jacks, unhooked the power etc. When Jim came out, I moved the trailer ahead so he could get his work truck out then I backed the trailer in so we are in the trailer pad and have the sewer hooked up full time. If they hadn’t arrived home, we would have been going to town tomorrow to dump the tanks. I got everything leveled and hooked up then we packed all our stuff out of the shop and put it behind the trailer so Jim could get the shop cleaned up.

As soon as we finished that, it was time to head for town. I dropped Aileen early for church and went to the house. I swept the garage and turned the water on before our daughter Bev and Kevin arrived. We three then got busy packing everything from the darkroom up to the garage. I was permitted to use the old darkroom for storage when we rented the house and it was great at the time since we could leave most of the heavy stuff there instead of having to get it all to storage, and rent a second storage bin. However, now that we have decided to try selling, it has to go somewhere. I think we will have to have a yard sale pretty soon. There was an amazing amount of “stuff”, much of which we will need to dispose of. I would probably have kept quite a bit of it if we were staying in the house but don’t really want to be paying for more storage. Bev went and picked up Aileen from church then we finished up just before one. We all went to Wings for a nice Chinese lunch then Aileen and I returned to the house and vacuumed the carpet again.

From there, it was home to the trailer for Aileen’s nap. Just before getting back to the trailer we met my Aunt Eleanor and Ron so we stopped to visit for a few minutes. They left AZ the same day we did and got home a few hours after us last Sunday. They had stopped in Logan, Utah to visit their grandson for several days. While we were visiting on the road, my cousin Jeff and Debbie drove up, so more visiting. Jeff had been to see his parents, Jacquie and Jim.

We have been spending part of each day at the house working to get it in good showing condition. There have been a few minor things needing work and there’s a bit of patching/painting needed. We had our first showing on Saturday and the realtor’s are to have a group walk through soon. Aileen said one of the church ladies was very interested also and may be contacting our realtor.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


We had strong winds and some rain overnight and some snowflakes mixed in as well this morning. At least it was above freezing rather than -5C like yesterday. The snow line was not very far above us for much of the day. We went to Bev’s this morning so Aileen could do some laundry. I took the truck to get serviced. I had intended doing some work at the house but neglected to take a key so didn’t have to.
Aileen was meeting her friend Edna at the mall and I was going to sit in the library and wait but then I met my friend Doug so we went and had a drink and visit too, a few tables along from the ladies.

We met with a realtor yesterday and listed our house for sale. We don’t have any plans made for what we’ll do if it does sell. We’re working on a couple different strategies and awaiting further inspiration. I don’t intend to get too worked up until the house is actually sold. The market is rather difficult at present and it’s hard to know if our price point is too high. We listed a little higher than the realtor would have liked but perhaps the right buyer is waiting somewhere out there.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Our 83 year old friend Dan and his much more youthful wife Betty who live in the hills above Summerland, BC in front of the log house they built 21 years ago

March 6, 2010 Saturday

We both slept fairly well but were again awake about 5 or shortly after. The day dawned clear and frosty. We hit the road at 8 AM. Aileen drove the first section after lunch then again awhile later. We went over Blewett Pass as the webcam showed bare pavement this morning. The temperature was up to 14C in several places including Osoyoos/Penticton. The lady at Canada Customs wasn’t friendly at all and she bitched about my not giving her the ATV registration and generator receipt right up front. Some people in front of us didn’t have their passports in hand so she pulled them aside and took all their fruits and veggies. They were very unhappy. I had to pay PST and GST in the amount of $35.19 on the generator. The big guy inside was very pleasant to deal with. We are parked in a vacant lot up the street from our friends, Dan and Betty, in the hills above Summerland, BC. We traveled 515 kms today and 3109 total since Florence. We walked down and visited them for awhile after supper. It was so good to see them again. We were last here last May.

March 7, 2010 Sunday

We slept til nearly 7 this morning which is the longest this trip. After packing up the trailer, we visited Dan and Betty for awhile before wandering our way to Salmon Arm. We dumped the tanks and bought a couple necessary groceries before heading out to Tappen to park in Jim and Jacquie’s yard. We got the trailer set up then emptied the truck so we are organized for our stay now. Tomorrow we will have to begin getting organized to do what we need to do here in Salmon Arm before we can hopefully head off to Vancouver Island to visit family.

We traveled 3294 kms (2059 miles) returning north. We did 6155 kms (3847 miles on our trip south last Fall. We traveled 8015 kms (5009 miles) while in Florence from November to the end of February. We had pretty good weather for most of the trip and this evening it has been spitting a little rain at us. It’s going to take us awhile to get used to the way higher fuel, meat and veggie prices here compared to Arizona.

March 8, 2010 Monday

Aileen took Mitzy for her first walk and I did the second one. Off to town then with a stop at storage first to drop off a few things and just refresh our memories of how full it is. Next stop was Telus to change our cell service back to Canada only and reactivate the air card for internet. We went to our house to check it out after the renter. This was the first time we’ve been in the house since September 2008 and we were impressed with how clean she left it and the fact there was no damage for which we are grateful. We met our daughter Bev and her dogs at the park for a visit. She brought us our mail all nicely organized and we gave her the articles she had left with us down south in January.

March 9, 2010 Tuesday

This was another busy morning doing errands in town and catching up on items from the mail that needed attention. Aileen went for some required blood work before her regular doctor visit on Thursday. She also scheduled an appointment with the dentist. We also scheduled another appointment for tomorrow which may set in motion the next phase of our life. I have to drive a little way from the trailer to be able to post this blog as the signal is very weak in the trees under the mountain where we’re parked. The sun disappears very early in the afternoon presently. We left the water hose hooked up last night and it was frozen this morning. It has been clear all day today so I imagine it will freeze well tonight.

Friday, March 5, 2010


320 foot high railway bridge over Crooked River in Oregon

300 foot high highway bridges over Crooked River

Bathrooms - click on the image and check the windows closely

Images taken in old Shaniko, Oregon

Well, we overdid it again today and exceeded our target. We traveled 569 kms (356 miles). The only low elevation place we could have stayed was along the Columbia River with two railways and I84 to make lots of noise so we elected to push on to Toppenish and the Yakama Nation RV Park near the Legends Casino. We have full hookups, all paved, good Wi-Fi etc. for $21. We hit the road about 7:30 this morning and arrived here at 4:30. We again made many stops along the way. Aileen drove for a couple hours this morning while I dozed and navigated. We made it over more passes today with no snow. The threatened precipitation never materialized either, at least not while we were there. Maybe we skipped along in front of it? It was -2C (about 30F) for a long way this morning then later it was 13C along the Columbia River. We actually had a fair bit of sunshine off and on.

We were rather impressed with the 300 foot gorge. There were signs which said “many dogs have died here, leave your dog in the car!” I expect it was quite challenging and scary putting in the foundations for the bridges and being first across the bridge would have been a thrill. We enjoyed wandering around old Shaniko which is being slowly restored. We had the place to ourselves which was a plus. If you do a Google search for Shaniko, it turns up some rather interesting facts. Tomorrow is supposed to be a shorter day again. The team is hoping so. Sophie and Mitzy have been flaked out all evening. I guess they didn’t get enough rest while driving.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


Mt Shasta, Northern California

We had a little slower start this morning. It was really foggy for several miles heading out to I5 then just as we got to the freeway, the fog lifted and it was beautiful sunshine. We wandered our way north making several stops for pets, us and gas. The weather was so nice as we neared Weed, our planned stop for tonight, that we reconsidered given how early it was and the forecast of snow showers in the morning. We decided to get over the 5100 and 5200 foot passes while it was nice. Speaking of nice, so was Mt Shasta with its mantel of snow. It is such an inspiring sight, sticking up majestically all by itself.

We are at the KOA in Klamath Falls, Oregon tonight. We traveled 435 kms (272 miles) today, stopping before 3:30. Aileen is napping then I plan to take her into town for supper. We will see if the snow showers materialize here in the morning. If they do, we will wait for it to warm up before moving on.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


An old truck at an old gas station in Boron, California

Dropping down from Tehachapi to Bakersfield on Hwy 58 in California

Ah yes, sunny southern California!

Monday March 1, 2010

We hit the road north at 9:30 after finishing up last minute things. Quite a few neighbours turned out to bid us farewell which was nice. I had to add a little air to one trailer tire and met Uncle Ron taking his garbage so we were on the road earlier than them. They were going via Salt Lake to stop and see a grandson in Logan, Utah. We went to Coolidge and into the hydro office to apply for a refund of our one year deposit. The lady looked and looked on her computer and couldn’t find the form so I had to make my application in writing. I noticed my Uncle Jim’s application still sitting in the in box dated Feb 26 so I guess things don’t happen very quickly in that office. We had lunch behind the Shell gas station in Gila Bend. They have free Wi-Fi and a free dump station there for future reference. We overnighted there for free in January on our return from Quartzsite. We are spending the night just out of Bouse 3 or 4 miles on Plomosa Road which leads over to Quartzsite. There were lots of RVs along there but none closer to us than ¼ mile. The silence was deafening which was just great for us. We sat out in the late afternoon sun which was just about perfect temperature and no wind. Aileen was in bed by 7 PM and I followed about 8:30 and we both slept very well. We made 372 kms today (that’s 232.5 miles).

Tuesday March 2, 2010

We were up early from our good sleeps and on the road just before 8 AM. We found that Needles, California is still gouging gas buyers. Regular gas was $1.09 more expensive than Florence, AZ. When we filled up in Boron, CA this afternoon it was about 40 cents more than Florence. We stopped for the night in Boron at the Arabian RV Oasis. There’s no internet but only $20 for full hook ups. There is a nasty wind that just won’t quit. I went for a walk about the town, such as it is, and was dismayed at the obvious poverty of many of the residents. The lack of pride in the houses and property was also very obvious. Perhaps many of the properties are rentals. Aileen and Mitzy joined me after supper for a tour of the west section of town which wasn’t quite as ugly. We did 449 kms (280.6 miles) today which is pretty good for us. We try to never exceed 500 kms (300 miles). I know lots of people will scoff at that but that‘s just how it is. At this pace we’ll be at least five more days getting to Salmon Arm. It will be somewhat over 3000 kms (1880 miles) in total via the route we are planning on following. If we have to take I5 all the way to Portland because of snow on 97 through Oregon, then it will be longer yet. We are amazed at how many RVs are on the road. There seems to be a steady stream going in both directions. I’ve decided to write this blog each night and post it whenever we find Wi-Fi.

March 3, 2010 Wednesday

We were up really early after our early to bed last night so we decided to hit the road early, in fact at 5:48 AM. This was partly because we gained an hour yesterday coming back into the Pacific Time zone. We stopped in Tehachapi, CA at a Denny’s for breakfast which was very tasty. On the road dropping down toward Bakersfield, the scenery changes dramatically in a short time. The hills are very green and picturesque and I just had to stop for a few photos. The temperature changed rapidly as well going from 3C to 11C in just a few miles. The elevation drops nearly 4,000 feet. We stayed on Hwy 58 through Bakersfield then over to I5. We had it all planned to go to the Stockton-Lodi RV campsite and decided we’d put in a longer day to accomplish it. When we arrived, the gate was locked and the site was abandoned! Now what? We headed up Hwy 99 expecting to find something. Our Trailer Life and Camp California books didn’t really have much to offer. I called one in Yuba City and they had just rented their last site. Another one I tried in person, seemed to be full and no one around. We finally got a place at Lovey’s Landing right on the Sacramento River near Meridian, CA. It’s away from all roads and we haven’t heard a train yet. To totally make a liar of me (see March 2 above), we traveled 760 kms (475 miles) today which was way too far. Aileen had driven a couple of hours this morning. Tomorrow is to be a much shorter day, planning to go only to Weed, CA. We will then decide whether to go up Hwy 97 through central Oregon or over Siskiyou Pass on I5 then on up to Portland which would be quite a bit further to drive.