Thursday, June 22, 2017


My brother in law and I joined a group of ATV riders from all over Vancouver Island on a historic ride this past weekend.  BC is very stringent on where ATVs can be ridden and for this ride, we had received a one time permission to ride to the gas station and one of the hotels in Gold River on public roads.  We also had permission to ride all the way through Tahsis.  We hope that the authorities will look at this and expand it to more communities.  We departed from Campbell River on the east side of Vancouver Island and took a combination of rough trails and logging roads to get to the west side of the Island.
I think we had up to 35 ATVs on our trek Saturday to Gold River.  Some machines just rode part way. Quite a few ATVs headed home on Sunday.  While three riders stayed behind, ten of us made the extra drive to Tahsis on Sunday and enjoyed a more leisurely ride.  We stopped at Moucha Bay Resort and checked it out.  We also spent considerable time at Westview Marina and Lodge where we had drinks or ice cream.  The highlight was watching the many Bald Eagles competing for fish scraps.
On Monday morning, we headed off on our return trip to Campbell River in a driving rainstorm. Kind of wished I had a windshield at that point.  Even with rain gear we ended up getting rather damp but at least it kept us warm.  We put on a total of 507.7 kms in the three days (317 miles for US people).  We did have a bit of dust here and there on the first day and quite a bit of rain.  Some of the linking trails were quite challenging on day one so we were happy to take different roads on the return trip on Monday.
Several of the communities on Northern Vancouver Island are hoping the rules will be relaxed so they can participate in such rides.  It could be a boon to tourism in these communities that have been hit by hard times with the downturns in the resource industry.
We parked the motor home at Bill's in Campbell River Friday after finishing up with the RV rally in Chemainus.  Aileen stayed there for the weekend.  We came back to Charlie and Sheila's yesterday.  I spent much of today cleaning the RZR as there was a lot of mud thrown up when we were cruising along at 60 KPH (about 40 mph) on the wet roads.  This type of riding is not what I normally do as I like to cruise at a slower pace and be able to stop whenever I want to for photo opportunities.  On a trip like this, photo stops are few and far between.  Especially on our first day where we covered 192 kms (120 miles) and day three at 168.5 kms.  You just have to keep going or you'll run out of day.

The Main Upana Cave.  We made a long stop here and I was able to spend some time wandering with my camera.  All the photos were taken with my Canon SX50 as I was travelling light.  With all the rain, I was wrapping my camera in a towel between the seats.  I guess it got too damp there on Monday as partway through the day, the camera quit working.  After putting it in my cargo box which sits above the muffler and gets some heat, it dried out enough to start working again.  By the time we got home, all the features were working properly again.  Whew!

Upana Creek goes underground at one point and resurfaces at Resurgence Cave.  The opening is nearly ten meters high (that's 33 feet for US  followers) and it is easily accessed from a set of stairs.

Looking out from within Resurgence Cave

The rain had just quit as we walked down the path at Upana Caves.  This is a Bunchberry flower.      It is also known as Dwarf or Ground Dogwood.



Three Sisters waterfalls along the Tahsis Road

Celebrating our arrival at our destination 

We stopped at Westview Marina and Lodge in Tahsis on Sunday.  They had put fish scraps out and the eagles came from far and wide to partake of the feast.

On our return from Tahsis to Gold River on Sunday, we drove by this pretty little lake

As we departed the hotel on our way home Monday morning, the rain was pounding down

A biffy tucked away in the forest.  Seat looks soft but not sure if I would trust it holding much weight.

Friday, June 16, 2017


We helped with the Toastmaster's garden party at Chas and Sheila's last Sunday.  Monday we moved down to Chemainus and spent the week with our Escapees RV club friends at our annual Spring Rally.  Four days of fun and games.  I got to play cards every night until late and Aileen got to spend some time at the evening fire.  The weather was not bad except for yesterday morning when we had lots of rain.  In the afternoon, a bunch of us went to the Chemainus Theater presentation of Rock Legends, a live musical show that was outstanding.  We went to a cafe for supper afterwards.  
We heard that one of my younger cousins passed away this week.  Rodney had been plagued with health issues for many years.  He is the first of my generation, Pop Pickard's 33 grandchildren, to make it to maturity and pass on.  The oldest is 80 and the youngest are late 40's.  I am fifth oldest.
We moved up to Bill's, south of Campbell River, today.  Tomorrow my brother in law John R and I are joining a large group of ATV riders on a super long ride.  Tomorrow we ride from Campbell River to Gold River which is 170-200 kms.  On Sunday,we ride from Gold River to Tahsis and back then return to Campbell River on Monday.  I don't know how long the Tahsis ride will be.  It should be an interesting experience.

Looking up in the maples

Momma Kildeer taken from the tractor seat

Killdeer eggs taken from the tractor seat

Mrs Eagle chewing out Mr Eagle

Oops, now we're getting the cold shoulder!

A pond lily


An Iris in the rain

A tricky geocache hide.  If you look closely, you can see the wire under the branch stub that you use to pullout the tiny container after removing the branch.  Of course, you have to replace it as found.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017


Life continues at a fast pace here.  Aileen just spent four days in Victoria staying with her cousin's wife while the daughter had a break to go visit her husband who is working away.   Aileen said she and Irene had a good time visiting.
I did a day of geocaching and wandering around.  I have spent quite a few hours pressure washing the patios and walkways here at Charlie and Sheila's spiffing the place up for a Toastmaster's party that is happening this coming Sunday.   I have been working on many other little projects as well so not getting bored by any means.
The planning for our 50th anniversary and family reunion for October are progressing with the invitations sent out recently and the replies starting to come in.  Our RV club Spring rally in Chemainus is next week and we've done a bit for that.  Being treasurer, the books had to be brought up to date and the financial statement completed.  

Down at the local boat harbour last night

We took three machines out on Saturday.  This trail needed a bit of work to get the big Honda through

On the way back I got hung up on a big stump and had to use my winch to get off.  I have spun right cross ways in the trail.

There are a pair of Bald Eagles nesting in a big cottonwood tree on the neighbour's property next door to Charlie and Sheila's.  This one is on guard duty. 

The dugout not far from where the motor home is parked

Clouds reflected in the dugout

More dugout reflections

Nile Creek.  I was out geocaching and was sitting on the bank having my lunch watching the sunlit leaves reflecting in the shady creek.  Handheld with my Canon SX50.

Seagulls at French Creek Marina

The big Sea Lion is still hanging out at the marina

Thursday, June 1, 2017


We are back on Vancouver Island after our big road  trip.  It was a different experience staying in a fancy hotel after so many years or RVing.  We stayed two nights at Bev and Kev's in Salmon Arm on the return instead of the planned one because of a chemical spill that closed the Coquihalla Highway for a day and a major wind storm that disrupted ferry traffic the next day.
We met Aileen's sister Anne and husband John in Campbell River Monday for a day of visiting for the girls and geocaching for the guys.  It was nice to see them again as we last saw them last fall.
When I logged in to my bank page Wednesday morning to pay my Visa bill, I noticed someone had charged $4100 in eight transactions.  It took a while to get a person on the phone but they were able to delete those charges but of course, cancelled my card in the process.

Shortly after leaving Kamloops on our way back from the wedding, we were greeted with this and 0C (32F).  Fortunately, it left the road clear.

Evening at French Creek

Sea Lion at French Creek Boat Harbour

Arbutus Point

Sundown at Arbutus Point