Monday, July 22, 2013


We got our new CPAP machines and so far we are very pleased with them.  I went with a different nose pillow system and it is far superior to the last one I suffered with for five years.  We’re getting temperatures in the 30s C so are having to put the air conditioning on part of the afternoons.  I haven’t been doing much geocaching but Jim and I went out close by the other night and Jim added six to his total while I picked up one new one.
I had to get up earlier than usual yesterday as I was going hiking with some of my old hiking friends from before we started full timing.  Aileen gave me a ride out to the highway to meet Joe for a ride to Martin’s.   After getting into Martin’s vehicle, we picked up Keith and headed for Eagle Pass Mtn.  It was a mostly sunny day and the black flies and horse flies were pretty bad except when the wind was quite strong up near the top.  I didn’t want to put on the bug dope I had, but I was displaying quite a bit of skin so I suffered a lot of bites.

Another group of three caught up to us before we reached the top which isn’t surprising since two of our group were mid 70s plus and this was my first hike like this in a long while.  When I was told later that one was John D from a local consulting company, when we next met them up top, I mentioned Mike F was my nephew so that got us talking.   Mike worked for John and now is partner in a company spun off from the original.  Then John’s wife noticed my Interfor hat and asked if I’d worked there.  Turns out her brother is Jack B who I knew and worked with for years.   I’d worked with her Dad before he was killed in an accident too.  Then she asked my last name and when I mentioned it she knew instantly who I was remembering my photo displays and fall fair entries.  Another small world moment.

We are headed for the top of that peak

Eagle Pass, West Peak; we are going to the East Peak which is higher

Keith with some of the snow still hanging around

There is some very steep country here.  Two hikers and two snowmobilers died in this area in 2011

Looking to the east

An alpine Columbine which is only a few inches tall

Joe got off the vague trail and got into a little steeper going

The last push to the top

The base of the old lookout tower.  This is the opening visible in the previous picture 

One of many beautiful lakes visible from the summit

Looking down the valley we came up.  That straight line way in the distance is the Trans Canada Highway.  It was very smokey from fires somewhere. 

An alpine Sedum

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


A couple of us went up Mt Prevost the night before we left Duncan and the view was pretty good

Yesterday was a long day.  We were up shortly after 5:30 am.  Aileen went for her usual morning walk while Mitzy and I took camera and tripod and walked up the road to a neighbour’s beautiful lavender garden.   I needed to shoot when it was in shade as there would be too much contrast in sunlight. 
We bid Neil and Carol farewell after many thanks for a great moochdocking spot and were on the road about 8 am.  After taking on $200 in gas at the Chemainus Co-op (more refund Chas), we headed for the Duke Point ferry.  By unhooking the car again, we saved at least $50.10 even though I got measured and feel I was overcharged.  $50 tax free is pretty good for ten minutes effort, don’t you think?
It was 12:45 by the time we were rolling after the ferry and re-hooking the car and it took us an hour to get through all the traffic chaos of Surrey, Cloverdale and Langley; what a pain!  The highest temperature of the day was just past Chilliwack where we noticed our thermometer reading 35.8C.  We had planned on overnighting on top of the Coquihalla but it was about 27C up there so after a rest break, we continued on.   We had a short break near Merritt where Aileen made us a shrimp salad for supper and then in two hours (at 8 pm) we pulled in to Jacquie and Jim’s guest RV pad.  Yep, it was long day for us.
We went to Salmon Arm this morning to restock the larder and pickup over two month’s worth of mail.   While we were in town it started to rain and it rained hard off and on the rest of the day.  Tomorrow we get our new CPAP machines as our current ones are long overdue for replacement.   It’s hard to believe we’ve been using them for that long already.   Aileen has a friend visit lined up for Friday morning and I have an appointment at the bank.  Our days seem to magically fill whenever we’re here.
The weather forecast claims today’s rain will just be a memory by tomorrow with the next five days forecast to be pure sunshine and 30C (86F) or higher.  Aileen and Mitzy are hoping not too much higher!  

These pictures were taken yesterday morning before most sane people were out of bed

 The little lavender farm

This was our parking spot at Cousin Neil's

Monday, July 15, 2013


What are you looking at?

We’ve had a very busy week since arriving here at Cousin Neil’s and Carol’s.   We attended a belated birthday party in Victoria for Georgia on the 10th of July.  Her other grandparents were there as were Robin’s sister and husband.  Richard and Georgia came partway out of Victoria and joined us for a very good supper at the Olive Grove. 
James Bay area of Victoria

Harbour at Oak Bay, Victoria

On the way home, Mt Baker in Washington State was visible across the Saanich Peninsula north of Victoria and the American Gulf Islands.  It isn't all that often that one gets to see Mt Baker anymore

On July 11th, Aileen and I drove out to Port Renfrew and walked down to Botany Bay and Botanical Beach.  We sat on the beach with our lunch and the weather was gorgeous.  A highlight on the drive home was discovering a set of waterfalls alongside the road that we didn’t know existed.  We’d caught a glimpse while driving so turned around and looked over the bank.   I was able to crawl down and get a partial view of the pools and falls.
The Friday of that week was a catch up day doing laundry and shopping.   Saturday saw us once again on the road to Victoria where we attended a 65th wedding anniversary for Aileen’s Cousin Pat and Irene, which was the reason we stayed a couple weeks longer than planned on the island.  Aileen got to meet several relatives she didn’t know she had.  Again, the weather was beautiful and the view from the deck of the house where the party was held was exceptional.

The patio view where the 65th anniversary party was held

Aileen in the purple with some newly found relatives.  Pat and Irene, the two in front celebrating their 65th, were the only two we'd met before and that was only about four years ago.

We had dropped Mitzy at Richard’s so she had a cool house to spend the afternoon in.  After the party was over, we went into downtown Victoria and picked up Aileen’s school friend Bev.  Bev brought along a flash drive with a batch of photos she wanted to share with Aileen so I downloaded them onto Aileen’s laptop before we went to supper.   Since we’d had such a good meal at the Olive Grove Wednesday evening, that’s where we went.  Supper was very good again.
Sunday was a day of recuperation then we joined the party going on here.  Carol had her Dad, two sisters and a brother, two spouses of them plus a couple other relatives over for supper.  Neil did ribs on the grill while others prepared potatoes and a couple different salads and deserts.  A visiting good time was had then most of us gathered around the fire pit for a couple more hours.

Tomorrow, our stay on Vancouver Island comes to an end.  We are heading back to home base near Salmon Arm for a couple weeks or so to take care of some business and visiting.  Sorry if we missed you and at this time we have no idea when we will return for another lengthy stay on the island.

Trees grow a little crooked along the west coast.  Aileen and Mitzy posing for me

Aileen, Mitzy and me on Botanical Beach

The Olympic Peninsula in Washington State is just visible in the distance

More scenes from Botanical Beach

Some of the pools and waterfalls along the road from Lake Cowichan to Port Renfrew

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


We have returned to my Cousin Neil and Carol’s yard near Duncan to mooch dock for a few more days.  We are off to Victoria tomorrow for a visit with son Richard and his family and inlaws.  We have another trip to Victoria on Saturday to attend a 65th wedding anniversary celebration.  Next Tuesday, we expect to depart Vancouver Island with the thought that it will be next year some time before we return.  If we missed visiting you, sorry!
We went for a water taxi ride part way up Bute Inlet from Campbell River yesterday and that was fun.  We got to tag along, for $90 each, on a run to deliver a lady to a private lodge.  Since we were the only other passengers, the skipper, who also owns the company, gave us a scenic tour on the return.  We were about three hours on the water and it was mostly a little on the rough side so very difficult getting pictures.  We were very fortunate in having friends Gay and Doug look after Mitzy while we were on the boat ride.  They have offered their services again so if we happen to return there next year, we already have an idea of which boat ride we’d take.

We had a great visit with old friends, Lynda and Perry, in Cumberland on Sunday.  We shared a tasty lunch during our visit.  We’ve been doing our walks morning and evening as the weather has been very nice, which means warm in the daytime.

Totally Outrageous, the boat we were on 

Some of the islands north of Campbell River

A similar boat to the one we were on which we eventually passed

The lighter blue mountains are part of mainland BC

Saturday, July 6, 2013


We are back near Campbell River moochdocking at Aileen’s Cousin Bill’s for a few days.  Friends Gay and Doug joined us for supper Wednesday then Aileen and I visited their place Thursday morning.  Another friend mentioned Dick’s Fish and Chips, down on the water, had gluten free batter so we thought we’d try that for lunch.  Well, the batter may be gluten free, but it is all cooked in the same cooker so cross contaminated.  We went to Fusilli Grill which is dependably gluten free and tasty.
Aileen and I went for a stroll around some of the trails in Strathcona Park near the Mt Washington Ski Hill.  We’d read about it on Rick and Paulette’s blog and thought it sounded like fun.  The scenery was certainly very good.  For the first half of our walk, we only saw four other people but it got busier later. 
I got to miss helping with Charlie and Sheila’s haying by leaving the day we did because of an appointment to have the motor home serviced.  They didn’t miss me as they had three of their sons, a couple of the son's spouses and their renter’s daughter to help. 

Aileen's birthday today.  She wanted to keep it low key this year.  Next year is a big one.  Bill’s son Tony and Rita will join us for a BBQ supper tonight.  We plan to visit some old friends in Cumberland for lunch tomorrow then we have a boat ride booked for Monday morning which will take us up through the islands to one of the mainland inlets.  This is a scheduled freight run on about a 30 foot aluminum boat.

Lots of boardwalks to protect the fragile alpine bogs and about two kilometers are fully wheelchair accessible

Battleship Lake

Mt Washington Ski Hill in the background

Lake Helen MacKenzie

Some of the Mt Washington accommodation in the background