Tuesday, August 28, 2018

We spent five nights at Cluxewe Resort near Port McNeill starting August 17.  We arrived in nice sunshine and there were two cruise ships going past.  Saturday morning we went to my cousin Donna’s in Port McNeill to watch the Orcafest parade.  My cousin Chris came down from Port Hardy also.  Wandering around the displays downtown later, I met brother in law John and nephew Mike.  Aileen had a short visit with her sister Anne when she went for a stroll among the displays.
The weather went downhill from there and we were inundated with forest fire smoke and fog.  No more cruise ships came by close enough to see.   On our last day there, it was 11C in the morning and the high was only 13C.  For you Fahrenheit people, that’s low to mid 50s.  I went geocaching for a few hours most days and travelled some interesting trails.  Another day, I took my camera down the beach away from people and sat down and waited for some shorebirds to come close enough to get some interesting shots.  I’d never done something like that before as normally I’m a grab shooter, not someone with much patience. 
We moved down to Bill’s south of Campbell River on Wednesday and were joined by Richard and Georgia on Thursday.   The highlight of our time there was a day trip to Quadra Island on Sunday.  Richard and I picked up a few geocaches and Aileen and Georgia walked a couple of beach trails then we had our lunch at Rebecca Spit Park which is a beautiful spot.  After lunch, we hunted up and dropped in on my cousin Rob and Kathy.  Their daughter Caitlin and eight month old baby were visiting.  We had a good visit and caught up on their doings.  We had seen them at his mother’s funeral in the spring but it was too busy then for visiting.
We moved down to Charlie and Sheila’s yesterday for a few days.  Today we are off to Victoria for Aileen’s follow up appointment for her retina surgery.  We will meet Richard and Georgia for lunch before the appointment.  Our current plan is to move back up to Bill’s later in the week then we will be attending the RV rally all next week at Seal Bay in Courtenay. 

Smoke and fog made for interesting sunsets at Cluxewe

Bald Eagle landing on a rock

Another one landing on the same rock but this one had a fish on board

Least Sandpiper




Least Sandpiper

Least Sandpiper


Cape Mudge Lighthouse looking across to Campbell River

Tug positioning the gravel carrier down the beach from Cluxewe

More Cluxewe sunsets

Nature's beach art

Driving into Port Mcneill for Orcafest, we spotted a herd of elk

Vocal Bald Eagle

Neat rocks down the beach at Cluxewe

Another with lots to say

Did I say it was smokey

Neat fungus spotted along a geocaching trail

Deer on Quadra Island are rather tame. We were less than ten feet from this doe

Recbecca Spit area

Beside the ferry dock at Quathiaski Cove on Quadra

Sunday, August 19, 2018


Aileen here.  John invited me to do a guest blog so after much deliberation decided to do this eulogy for Mitzy.
It is with a very heavy heart that I write this.  It is so hard to believe our little Mitzy is no longer with us.  She touched so many hearts in her 16 years-- from people such as our special granddaughter, Georgia, to the man in our park in Caliente (Florence AZ) who told us he did not like dogs.  “Keep that dog away from me!” Soon he was asking where she was, and if he had not seen her, was she okay, and why had we not brought her around to visit.  She had such a calming influence on Georgia and Georgia would do anything for Mitzy.  They had a very special bond.
Mitzy had a quiet way of worming her way into your heart.  She was a kind and gentle soul and loved everyone—kids, adults, cats included.  Only once did she ever meet a man she growled and snarled at and would not let near.  That was so out of character that I thought I had better pay attention as she knew better than I did.
The last year and a bit she had experienced a number of seizures.  Finally on Friday, August 17, 2018, she had a more complicated one and the most serious she had experienced.  That was about 8 a.m. when John was taking her for her morning stroll at Charlie and Sheila’s.  Her little body could no longer cope.  By 10:30 she was in severe distress and we stopped in at our vet in Courtenay on the way from Errington to Port McNeill.  There was nothing they could do.  She had congestive heart failure and despite their efforts there was only one thing to do.  She had suffered enough we were told.  
We have so many happy memories of our little Mitzy and know that she is well now and can see again and is running about enjoying everyone she meets.   As her eyesight worsened she liked travelling even less.  She will be happy now to be done travelling!  Miss you little one!

Watching me as I'm wandering the sea shore taking photos

One of her favorite places to snooze, in the motor home driver's seat

After Bev and her friend Karen had been to grooming school they stopped in and Karen tried out some coloring on Mitzy

Come on, Dad, what's the holdup?

Mitzy loved to find drinking water along the way 

Mitzy thought it was great that we bought her an ATV

This past winter she enjoyed riding on the trike

Come on, lets go

Mitzy liked to make herself a bed in the forest at every opportunity

A happy hiker

Do I want to go there?

A highlight this year for Mitzy was to graduate with Georgia.  She was an honorary graduate from Arbutus Middle School.

Thursday, August 16, 2018


Tomorrow we are going up to Cluxewe Campsite near Port McNeill for a few days for a change of scenery.  We'll be using the Telus aircard for most of our internet so may not have great service for a while.  We will be back down to Errington on the 27th at the latest as Aileen has an appointment in Victoria on the 28th.  The following Monday, Labour Day, we will be going to Seal Bat RV Park for our Escapees RV Club chapter fall rally.  No idea yet what comes after that.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018


We’ve been spending lots of time on the road between Errington and Victoria.  Aileen had her cataract surgeries in June and July and we thought that was it.   Nope!  She kept having issues and finally last Thursday she called our daughter in law who told her to come in that afternoon to the clinic.  After checking Aileen’s eyes, they referred her to a retina specialist and they tried to get her in the same day.  They finally gave us an appointment for 9:30 Friday so off on the 2 ½ hour drive back to the motor home in Errington and then on the road at 6:30 Friday morning heading back to Victoria.    The retina specialist found a tear in the right eye retina and said it required immediate surgery.  The eye surgery at Royal Jubilee Hospital was closed for a summer break but the surgeon opened it and did her laser repair at 3 pm.  That seemed to go well.  Yesterday, we were back to Victoria to the clinic again for a checkup and they removed the protein buildup off her left eye with the laser.  She now has a follow up appointment for October 1 and if there is any protein buildup left on either eye, they will remove it then.

This has definitely been a different summer for us.  We are hoping to get up to the north Island still but are waiting to make sure the eyes are behaving first.  Like a lot of areas, Vancouver Island is suffering from too much smoke.

One day last week, I went to Nanaimo with brother in law John R to watch the Canadian Forces aerial team, the Snowbirds,  perform.  They put on a pretty impressive performance for about 45 minutes.  Not having seen them before, I had no idea what camera/lens combination would work so I took all three.  The DSLR 6D, with the 24-105 didn’t have enough reach.  The Canon SX60 super zoom had the reach but it was too slow and the viewfinder too small to find the planes in the air.  The other DSLR, 5D Mk2, and 100-400 worked the best.  I still ended up having to crop quite a bit to get a usable image but it mostly came through for me.  On Sunday, I went to the local Coombs Fall Fair.  It doesn’t have a midway and rides so has a more laid back atmosphere.  There was some good music presented on the nice little band shell and it has a large 4H presence including beef, sheep, chicken, small engines, photography, art and more. 
This is the first post using my new laptop.  My workhorse old laptop is starting to malfunction and the screen starts blinking and flashing and even once went blank except for vertical lines.  The company I have been with lately doesn't custom build laptops anymore as they would have to buy a whole container load at a time so they have a couple they have selected to work with.  I went with a Hauwei (pronounced wa wee).  I am once again struggling with learning different ways of doing things and I am slowly migrating programs and files over.  I would really have liked to go with a mini tower and monitor but there are too many times when we don't have abundant electricity so once again it is a laptop where I can use it on the built in battery.

While sitting outside one day, I happened to glance up from my book and saw this neat sky 

Flying upside down

Two rightside up and two upside down

Heading right at each other

A couple of close flybys

In formation

After the upside down loop

Two against two

One each way up

Last flyby

These two were taken with the SX60, all the above were with the Canon 5D Mk2 and 100-400