Saturday, March 29, 2014


I headed into Victoria yesterday after breakfast taking my laptop to Mother Computers to identify the problem.  They got back to me later saying the screen was toast and how much a new screen would be so I told them to go ahead and fix it.   By the time we drove into town, the repair was complete.  I hadn’t intended spending money on this laptop since I’ve had so much trouble with overheating but the repair was only a quarter of less than what I would have to pay to get a new laptop then I’d probably have to learn Windows 8. 
We went to Richard, Robin and Georgia’s for supper.  Aileen had put a roast in the crock pot so we took that along.  Richard and Robin supplied the rest of the meal and Aileen made us strawberry shortcake.  She had made gluten free grain free cakes earlier.
We visited Aileen’s 89 year old Cousin Pat and Irene this morning.  They are such fun to visit.  Last July they celebrated their 65th anniversary.  After lunch, we went to the university book store where we bought Aileen an IPad Air.  She has been thinking about getting a reader of some sort and we decided to go the tablet route since we can use the WiFi with our hotspot while travelling to google things.

We’ve been having very changeable weather, which isn’t all that unusual for Victoria.  It goes from sunny to showers and back in minutes.  We all went for a walk along the waterfront this afternoon and it was nice to see all the flowers and flowering trees.  We’re going to a nice Greek restaurant for supper tonight.

On the road north

Some of the (barren) looking land east of Bakersfield, CA.  This is usually a green carpet when we come through here but they must not have gotten enough rain this year.

Down in the valley heading up Hwy 99 is a different story

This is how they park the cars on the Coho ferry, any which way.

Leaving Port Angeles 

Entering Victoria Harbour

The Empress Hotel shot out the motor home window while sitting at a stop light

Thursday, March 27, 2014


After our long day yesterday, we took it fairly easy this morning.  After a leisurely breakfast, we went for a walk along some backroads in the welcome sunshine.  Our ferry ride was in sunshine too which made it pretty.  Our experience with Canada Customs was really good as he didn't demand any duty on our solar repairs and didn't even ask about food and liquor or weapons, pets etc.
We are in Oceanside RV Park near Sidney for at least through Sunday night.  I will be looking for computer help tomorrow then we visit Richard, Robin and Georgia.  Saturday we are meeting Aileen's Cousin Pat and Irene for coffee before catching up to R,R&G.  Sunday is the celebration of life.  Do we ever get bored? Not likely!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


After a much longer than usual day, we arrived at Rainbow's End RV Park just before 6 pm.  The rest of the crew were not impressed with the ten and a half hour day!   Not that I was very happy with it either but that's just how it happened.  We had lots of heavy rain along the way today.  We plan to catch the 2 pm ferry to Victoria from Port Angeles tomorrow the spend a few days at Oceanside RV Park at Sidney, BC so we can visit Richard, Robin and Georgia and attend the celebration of life for my cousin Judith's husband.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


We went for a short walk before breakfast and were on the road about 8 am heading north on Hwy 99.  It was a fairly quiet meandering road all the way up to Red Bluff where we finally reconnected to I-5.  We had quite a bit of rain after getting onto I-5 then some gusty winds north of Weed.  Fortunately, Siskiyou Pass was totally bare of snow and none even close to the road.  We are stopped at a half price campground 30 miles north of Grants Pass, Oregon.  We put on 523 kms today so still ahead of schedule.   Tomorrow should put us well into Washington State and the next day at Port Angeles where the ferry will take us to Victoria, BC.

Monday, March 24, 2014


We were on the road just before 8 this morning but had to make a stop right off for gas which took the better part of twenty minutes.  We made 538 kms so we are ahead of our required average which is good. Tomorrow should put us somewhere in Oregon and over the possible snow zone of Siskiyou Pass.  Perhaps we can relax the pace a bit then.  I imagine we will run into rain eventually as we get further north.  I'm finding i have more free time with not having my own computer.
We are at a Good Sam park in Yuba City tonight which was picked solely because it was about the right distance we thought we could do today.  We drove up Hwy 99 from Bakersfield to Stockton then crossed over to I-5 to Sacramento where we picked up 99 again.  In hindsight, we should have taken Hwy 46 across to Lost Hills and hooked onto I-5 much earlier.  I remember saying that last trip now, but forgot this morning.  This stretch of 99 seems to be pretty quiet and smooth so hopefully it continues that way up to Red Bluff where we will rejoin I-5 tomorrow.  There were a lot of rough stretches on 99 below Stockton.

Sunday, March 23, 2014


We had a fabulously quiet and peaceful night and after going to bed earlier and getting up earlier, we have made it to Bakersfield, CA.   This was one of our longer travel days putting on nearly 600 kms.  Now we only need to average 450 kms for the next four days to get us to our object of Port Angeles by Thursday.  Next challenge is to get over Siskiyou Pass on bare pavement.  Aileen drove us down the Tehachapi Hill today adding that experience to her driving skills.  That was so I could take photos of the beautiful green hills that have mocked me every time in years past.  Guess what?  There was no green this year.  I'm guessing they didn't get any rain when it was needed so quite disappointing to see just brown hills.  As we came down into the valley, the smog/haze was gross, you could hardly see the orange groves.  The orange blossoms are very aromatic here in the park.  Every tree is covered in bloom.

Saturday, March 22, 2014


After making a quick decision Wednesday night to move up our departure date from the next Thursday to this Saturday, we got into high gear with packing and organizing.  We had planned to close up the park model trailer after our friends left on Monday but they offered to do the last minute stuff for us.  I had an oil change booked for next Tuesday for the motor home but the garage was able to fit it in yesterday.
My cousin’s husband passed away back in November and there is a celebration of his life on March 30th in Victoria that we plan to attend.  Hence, the reason to hasten our departure and speed our trip.  We have around 2800-2900 kms to cover and today we managed 373.   We need to up those numbers for the next six days to make that work for us.  We did spend six hours overall today but one hour was lunch and naps then two rest stops and later a gas stop.
This has been by far the nicest weather winter we’ve had in our six years of coming south.  As one of my neighbour’s said the other day, this winter has been better than any summer he can remember in the Pacific Northwest.  It has been so dry in this neck of the woods that there are far fewer flowers this spring.

Yesterday, I managed to drop my computer a couple feet onto the hard motor home floor and I think it is ruined.  The screen comes up white when first turned on then goes totally black.   I will be without it until getting back to BC so will try to use Aileen’s for what I can.  All my photography is on my laptop so that’s out of commission now.  I have most files backed up on an external hard drive except for the most recent.  As a result, my next few posts won’t have any photos.  Of course, all my self loading websites are lost for now as well.   Hopefully, I will find someone to rescue all my files to transfer to a new computer.   

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


Ernie and Atha came with us to the ice cream social at Florence Gardens last Thursday and that was a great show by Dave Salyer and Daphne Anderson.  He was Barbara Mandrell’s lead guitarist for ten years and was on Hee Haw and has been on the Grand Old Opry several times.   His uncle Jesse McReynold’s is second oldest (86) on the Opry, the oldest being Little Jimmy Dickens at 92.  Dave is a marvel with guitar and banjo.  The ice cream afterward was great, eat as much as you like! 
Last Friday, we headed out shortly after 9:30.  Bud and Jackie (neighbours down the street from our park model) were on their machine, Wes and Sandy (Jackie’s sister) on Ernie’s, Ernie (our renter friend) who rode with Aileen in the RZR and me on my old one.  We went in 7 mile gate, second left past the corral and up the wash then the little road past Dozer Hill bringing us out to the flagpole then up to Cottonwood Rd.  We went over the ridges to the Ajax Hub.  We’d picked up a street type Jeep Grand Cherokee lost along the way and when we got to the Hub, I pointed him toward Box Canyon which is where he wanted to go.
Bud and crew had talked about going to the amethyst mine but decided to stay with us so we had lunch at the Ajax Mine then took the back loop out of there.  We came down into the top of Box Canyon wash and followed it down through the canyon.  No wildlife again.  It was nearly 4:30 when we got home.  Aileen did very well and said she had a good time.  She liked having the other ladies along.  She had Ernie drive part of the way home as she got tired.  I think he liked having a turn behind the wheel anyway.
We did our normal full walk before breakfast on Saturday.  Aileen went to Coolidge for dog food she had ordered plus a few other things.  I washed the RZR then took Mitzy out to the desert for her second run.  Bud came over asking for help to move his rain gauge since I still had the long ladder here.  Then, could I help Arlene with her computer.  She couldn’t access her email which just turned out to be she wasn’t signed in.   A few days earlier, I had been asked for help as Arlene couldn’t get any internet.  I finally figured out their router had died so I dug out our old one from the shed and got her up and running again.  Our friend Selma was over one day asking for help with her new camera so I spent some time with her getting things set up better.  Then a few days later another friend flagged me down on my way back from the mailbox.  He said he had the same camera as Selma and could I set his camera up the same.
Midafternoon Saturday, we went to Crutchfield’s with Pantel’s to play 25 then have a potluck supper.  Aileen won the first game and when we quit part way through the second, I was leading and Aileen was second.   We went to the dance at Florence Gardens which was pretty good.
On Sunday, we headed off to Chandler just before 9:30 and the GPS got us to the correct driveway but Gay’s directions kept us puzzled for a time.  Aileen finally called her and she was able to walk us through the proper route.  We sat in their condo and had a good visit with Doug and Gay, friends from Campbell River, BC, until time to head off to PF Chang’s for lunch where we continued our visiting.  We all enjoyed our lengthy and leisurely meal then went back to the condo for more visiting and to return to our car.
Aileen gave Mitzy a bath Monday morning.  After lunch, she went to her last Celiac meeting of the season then helped me get the trailer and load the RZR.  I grilled chops for supper.  Aileen made a gluten free chocolate pecan pie which we had for supper.  It was quite tasty.  She took a quarter of it to Pantel’s and a quarter to Crutchfields’s who gave it their approval. 

Ernie and I took the RZR up to the dealer in the Apache Junction Tuesday morning for its first service as Aileen had enough hours on it.  While it was being done, we went to Harbor Freight to get friend Ken a trailer jack then to Camping World to get some black tank chemical.  We had a good look around the newly renovated store.  This has just been a few of the things we have going on so you can see there isn’t a lot of free time.  We really need more hours in the day, or maybe we just need to be a lot younger?  Anyone who says they’re bored down here is not participating in life!

Cactus blossom time

Not sure what this tree is but it's below in full glory

Claret Cup Cactus

The full Claret Cup.  The lady told me she planted it as a tiny seedling sixteen years ago

Prickly Pear

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


Hopseed Bush

Parry's Penstemon

Desert Globe Mallow

Twining Snapdragon

Desert Chicory

Some type of butterfly

Firecracker Penstemon

Firecracker Penstemon full plant

Where water runs down the rocks, it creates black streaks known as desert varnish

These last four images are from the fixings table at the block party

This is part one.  Please scroll down to see the rest of today's post.  I had to make two sections because of the number of images. 


I’ve been out with the ATV group three times in the past week and a half, once with friends Ernie and Ken and three times with Aileen in the new RZR.  Aileen is really enjoying being able to experience firsthand what she has only seen in pictures for years. 
We went to a dance at our clubhouse on Sunday night which was lots of fun.  We sat with our friends Ernie and Atha then were joined by two couples from Kamloops, BC and a few others.  The couple who were playing were very good and played a great assortment of danceable music mostly country and 50’s/60’s rock with lots of waltzs for cuddle time.  It is always so much fun to watch some of these older dancers.  They either had lessons years ago or have done a lot of dancing.  Some of them can hardly walk down the street but get them on the dance floor and they really know their moves.
We had quite a time with a sick Mitzy for a couple weeks or more.  She had been in for her teeth cleaning and a tooth extraction a while back.  It seems the stress from that resulted in her getting diarrhea and vomiting.  Aileen kept trying all the remedies but after recovering a bit, she’d be back to being ill.  Aileen took her back to the vet’s on Monday morning and they gave her a shot to settle her system then a saline solution subcutaneously as she was very dehydrated.  The vet told Aileen she had being doing all the right things but sometimes when dogs get in this state, the only way out is the injection.  She seems to be coming along much better but is still quite lethargic.  She is getting her appetite back finally.
Spring Fling was extended a week this year because of weather.  The parade was scheduled for March 1 but it was rescheduled to March 8 as the forecast was for heavy rain.  The lady who made the call received a lot of flack over her decision but as was shown in my last post, at parade time, the rain was pounding down.  The March 8 parade was under gorgeous skies and everything went well.  We had to leave shortly after as we were meeting some of the Celiac support group for lunch in Tempe. 
We’ve had a couple card nights with Ernie and Atha playing 2500 and Aileen has done much better than me although I did manage to win a game last night.  Our other card playing friends have been indisposed.  Ken has pneumonia and a major bladder infection and has been receiving quite a bit of medical care.  Jacquie and Jim have arrived back home in BC.
The migration north has already started here in the park and it will really start to accelerate in a couple weeks.  At least three couples on our street will be leaving the week of the 24th as will we.  I have to try to get some sort of initial route selected before long.  We will go up through Nevada north from Las Vegas but no idea how we will get to Vegas yet.  We try to take a new route each time but we’re running out of options.  Once we get to Idaho there will be more choices to make.  With all the events that have been taking place lately, I have been out there with my camera documenting.  After processing the pictures, I have put them on a thumb drive and been downloading them onto neighbour's computers.

Five chefs in action at the block party

Our street was closed off for our block party

Some of our neighbours

Dessert was from this nice little sundae bar

The theme for Spring Fling this year was music so lots of takeoffs were in evidence.  These girls were the Supremes.

Bud and Norm went all out

That is our ATV trailer under the decorations

This was "How Much is That Doggie in the Window"

Where we had lunch yesterday 

Lunch with the ATV club on Monday

And showing some of my vantage point

Desert bighorn sheep we saw in Box Canyon the other day

Hedgehog Cactus in Box Canyon the other day