Monday, July 26, 2010


Well this was a long gap in posting my blog but we’ve been so busy the past week, I couldn’t find time to fit it in. We had our son Richard and grand daughter Georgia with us for ten days and had lots of fun.

Last Sunday, the 18th, Aileen made French toast for breakfast and Georgia ate six half slices of bread and would have eaten more had she been permitted. R&G were pretty involved with Mike and Shaunee’s kids that morning plus Dennis and April’s as well in the afternoon.

I took Mitzy for several walks and she was on several others so was pooped that night. It was another gorgeous day with very strong wind which really cooled things off. We had lunch on our own then Aileen and I cooked supper for us and John and Anne. She did a piece of wild sockeye I bought at QF the other day and spuds plus made some coleslaw. I cooked a couple steaks using the large propane tank adapter for the first time.

We all six went for a walk out to the point in pairs. R&G, J& me, A&A. The fog rolled in covering the sun just after we returned. Aileen called Lynda in Cumberland that evening and she reports the doctor didn’t think she broke anything so that was lucky.

Sunday was a night was good for sleeping. I made it about nine hours. Georgia made the whole night in her own bed which is impressive apparently. We went to town mid morning. Aileen and Richard went to the post office while Georgia and I listened to the radio. I saw my cousin, Steve A, coming into the PO so called him over to meet Richard and Georgia.

From there we went to the Bargain Shop for some Georgia clothes. Lunch was at the Sportsman Cafe and very good. Next stop was Anne’s to do laundry and for the kids to play. We were there most of the afternoon. We visited with John when he arrived home. Aileen and Anne went down for groceries then we headed back out to the campsite. Aileen managed a few minutes rest after storing the groceries. R&G went to the beach.

Aileen cooked spuds and broccoli and made a salad, I cooked chicken on the BBQ. Anne and John, Dennis and April and the kids arrived shortly after six. Richard and I brought up a second table and that worked well. John brought an old tarp which we strung from the trailer to the divider wall and it helped cut some of the wind. R, G, A & I joined John and Anne at their fire after the kids had gone home. Dennis called later saying he would drop off a coat for Georgia in the morning as we were thinking of going to Grant Bay the next day.

On Tuesday, John decided to play hookey and come to Grant Bay with us. We left the trailer at 8:55 and parked the truck at the trail head at about 11:40. We packed our lunch in and ate at the beach. It sure was a nice trail in and only took ten minutes or less to walk out to the beach. Grant Bay turned out to be a real gem of a beach. The weather was perfect, the soft sand higher up the beach was almost to hot to walk on, the breeze was offshore and warm, the wet sand was firm and great for walking barefoot, the waves were interesting and we almost had it to ourselves. Just a few hundred yards from the beach is the open Pacific with nothing between us and Asia. One couple with two grand daughters came soon after us and nobody else til we were leaving. I spoke at length with the first couple, and then later she asked if I was who I am and she introduced themselves as Al and Kathy Martin. She’d been in the Post Office that morning in Port McNeill and Anne had mentioned we were going to Grant Bay when Kathy said that was where they going. I went to school with both Al and Kathy and in July 1967, I slept on their couch for about three weeks when I first moved to Port Hardy. They went to Australia in 1970 for a year and I hadn’t seen them since. They didn’t recognize me and I didn’t have a clue who they were either.

We headed for home at 2:32 and stopped for a break in Holberg. It was about 5:10 when we got back to the trailer and a total distance of 232 kms, all but about 70 - 80 kms was gravel. We would have loved to stay much later but had reservations for fish and chips in the Cluxewe Café for 6 PM. The fish was very good.

On Wednesday morning, Richard and I went to Telegraph Cove for a drive and look around. We went into Port McNeill mid afternoon. Took G’s picture at the World’s largest burl then went to the Gallery to get G a couple of books.

Up to Anne’s next where Aileen did laundry. Richard and I washed our truck then John and Anne’s Ford pickup. I spent a long time vacuuming our truck while Richard joined the three kids in the hot tub. I took a whack of pictures with the little Kodak then after the pool was empty I had a long soak. Richard took a picture of me snoozing in the tub.

Richard barbequed the pork steaks we’d taken in and Aileen had made dessert. We had Anne’s veggies. Shortly after supper we all adjourned back out here. I went with John and Anne out to the point with the dogs. Aileen joined John and Anne for awhile at their fire then I went over. After a bit Aileen went home to bed and Richard came over. We actually had a bit of rain on us at the fire.

We got mobile and on the road about 9:30 Thursday morning. We stopped for gas then headed down and were first in the Malcolm Island ferry lineup. We had nice weather all day but it was very windy. We ate in the same little café as last time, in

Sointula, after visiting the museum. After lunch we walked along the beach to Pultenay Point lighthouse. Then we only had time to drive through Bere Point Park and some of the back streets of Sointula before it was time to get in the ferry lineup again.

We went to Anne’s when we got off the ferry. We were supposed to have Chinese food but the plans were changed since Anne had the grandkids til late as Dennis and April were playing ball. The ladies instead went shopping and bought steaks which John cooked. We headed home just before 8 PM as Georgia and Aileen were both pooped.

Friday morning dawned bright and sunny with no wind. It was the best morning we had up there. We spent awhile in the campsite blowing bubbles etc then mid morning headed off to Port Hardy. We detoured into Coal Harbour first. Malone’s Bistro in Port Hardy was our choice for lunch and we had a good one.

After lunch, we visited Mac and Nancy (my aunt) for a little while. We got to see my cousin Dale for a few minutes. He’s a hard guy to pin down – gotta go! From there we had to boogey back to Port McNeill in time to mind Travyn while Anne took Nikki to swimming. I took the truck for gas and pumped up the rear tires again in preparation for towing.

We all went to a Chinese restaurant for supper. Just as we finished eating, my cousin Donna called. They were out at Cluxewe looking to see us. We went by their house later for a few minutes visit. Back at the campsite, we walked out to the point with John and Anne. They’d been and were on their way back but turned around and joined us. It was a beautiful evening when we went into the restaurant but dark and foggy when we came out. It was much cooler. The sun was shining on Sointula though, which we could see across the strait.

I took Mitzy down the river trail Saturday morning and was hardly started when we met a guy from Port Alberni and had a long chat. Then before I got to having breakfast, the guy next door got really chatty. I was trying to get started on the hookup process. We were ready to go just after 9. Richard noticed the right rear trailer tire was soft and in fact had only 15 psi.

After saying our farewells to the John and Anne, we drove slowly in to Port McNeill and had the tire repaired at Kal Tire for $22. So, our departure ended up being 10 AM rather than the 9 AM target. We made good time but did take a break at Eve River rest area. We unhooked at the Campbell River Walmart lot and went to the Pier for fish and chips which for the fourth time were good. We got gas before hooking up for the final run down to Errington. We did stop at Coombs and filled the water tank with their really good water.

Chas and Sheila lost the customers who were to come Saturday because they didn’t have internet for the cabin. We got parked and Aileen had a short nap then we all went over to Sheila’s Dad’s 86th birthday supper.

On Sunday, I took Mitzy for her walk down the road before my breakfast. We went to the Sandcastle display at Parksville beach. We went to The Source and bought a router for Charlie and Sheila. Richard installed it but it was too under powered to consistently work. Chas and Sheila took it back in the afternoon and bought the $150 super duper one.

We headed for Victoria after a late lunch. I think we hit over 75% of the traffic lights red all the way. It was very frustrating. The traffic was very heavy all the way as well. We stopped only once, at Mill Bay, for gas and the biffy for us old folks. We arrived at R&R’s just after 4 and I went straight into the pool with R&G. Brian was already in. It felt very nice! We stayed for supper and headed homeward a little past 6:30. We hit our share of red lights again but not as bad as on the way down.

I installed the router this morning and have internet to the cabin now. I went for groceries this afternoon. Now if I can get some pictures edited, I will post this blog after supper. Well, I didn’t get any photos edited, we took a drive over to Qualicum Beach and walked along the seawall and watched the sun go down. We saw a large cruise ship heading to Alaska, way across the Salish Sea (formerly the Strait of Georgia) which I think was one of the Princess ships. I will post this tonight and will try to add photos tomorrow.

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