Thursday, July 28, 2016

Home Again

One of the old adages Linda and I have always held to is the one about visitors being like fish and the longer they stay the stinker they get. Something like that.
We had a wonderful time with Jill and Barry, but we always like to keep our visits short so that we don't become stinky fish.

We packed up and left on Monday and took two nights to get back to Cd'A.  Our first night's campground was located at Kentucky-Alleyne Provincial Park. It was a nice spot with a couple little lakes that we could walk around.

The last night we camped at Gifford State Park on Lake Rosevelt. We swam in the lake and after drying off, ate dinner as a thunderstorm blew into the area. Great lightning but Kobi was not impressed.
Jill and Barry's Loon and baby.
Had a wonderful dinner at Joe's place.  
Sunset on the last night at Lac La Hache.
Two pups playing.
Storm moving in over Lake Rosevelt.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Our Destination

Going for a walk to Sucker Lake. 
The area where the mosquitoes attacked.
Sucker lake, they pronounce it Sucker.

This could be called a bad decision.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Heading North

We leisurely packed the camper after I brought it back from the repair Doctor. Once everything was accounted for and in its place, we hit the road.

The first hard right turn we made produced a thunk that made both of us think something was up. I pulled over and crawled under the front end of the truck. I spotted the problem and then jacked the front up.  I whipped out my tool box and replaced the right axle joint and bearing. I washed the grease off and we hit the road.

Well actually, when we heard the noise I went directly to Perfection Tire and they diagnosed the problem. Four hours and $750 later we had a new axle joint and bearing. My hands didn’t even get a bit dirty. We were on the road heading north, five hours behind schedule, but glad we didn’t get way out on the road somewhere and had the parts break down.

We drove up through Sandpoint and Bonners Ferry to the US-Canadian border and crossed at Port Hill. The crossing was nothing; a smile, a couple questions, and then we were off.  We drove to Creston, BC where we found an RV resort called Scotties. It was a nice little spot. Nothing fancy at all, but we were only there for the night, so we settled in and had dinner.

Packing up was easy and we were on the road by 9:00 AM.  The valley we continued up was huge and we were very impressed with the beauty. Our paths lead us to Crescent Valley where we turned North and wound our way up to follow the shore of Slocan Lake. We passed through New Denver and then at Nakusp, Upper Arrow Lake appeared on our left and we followed its winding shore to the ferry at Galena Bay.

They loaded us onto the boat where we had a front row seat as we crossed the lake. One side of the lake was clear and sunny, but the Shelter Bay side of the lake was covered in dark clouds. We could actually see snow in the high peaks and it looked like more was falling.

Everyone followed us off the ferry and then rushed to pass. The line thinned out and we soon came to Revelstoke. The campground we chose was located in the southwest part of the town. Linda got us registered and we found our spot. I looked at the information they provided us and saw that they had WIFI.  Linda noted the password to the internet was train and not long after, we figured out why. A train came rumbling by on a raised railway about 100 yards from our campsite. Throughout the rest of our stay, a string of railcars rumbled past at 45-minute intervals. We filed a note in our “Book of Campsite Clues” about the password foreshadowing the campsite flavor. This note was right next to the one we logged about camping in a site called “The Sand Pit.”

Our campsite was a bit close to the neighbors and we found out we had to pay to use the showers. This is one of our pet peeves. If you pay to stay in an RV resort, you shouldn’t have to pay to shower.  It was one looney for five minutes of hot water, so I made the best of it and got myself washed off. We ate dinner and then played cards. We hit the sack and read. The groups around us were a bit noisy, but they were drowned out by the sound of the trains. We fell asleep with the sound of the rails, images of the Hobo life danced in our heads.

We packed up and drove into Revelstoke where we parked and found a bakery.  Linda found out that a cinnamon roll almost always beats a chocolate chip cookie. I smiled and gave her several bites of my amazing roll. We walked around the main downtown area and then headed out, our sights on Salmon Arm where we would meet up with two of our friends that we had met in Mexico.
The lakes in this region are very beautiful.  Shuswap Lake is shaped like an H and has four distinctive arms. Salmon Arm is in the southwest part of the lake.  The city is very large, but not so big that it had lost its small town charm.

We met Manon at a restaurant at the edge of town. Manon and Yves have lived in Salmon Arm for many years. We met them in Melaque and always look forward to seeing them each year when we return.  Stopping by for a visit was natural, but seeing Manon away from the Mexican beach town setting was a little different.  She was so proud of her town and we had a great lunch as she told us their history in this region.  Yves was working and actually had a bit of an unscheduled emergency that he had to take care of before we met him that evening. Yves is an arborist and he has a very busy business working on trees and vegetation.
After lunch, we went back to our campsite and cleaned up a bit and then Manon came by and picked us up. We drove to their quaint little house and met Yves there. With the group together we drove downtown and walked to the city park where there was a live concert and a wonderful family-friendly gathering. The music was wonderful and we spent the next two hours watching the children and their parents dance to the music.

Yves and Manon drove us back to our campsite and we said our good-byes. It was so great to have this time with them. We’ll see them in December in little Melaque.

We slept soundly and got up and hit the road. Next stop, Lac La Hache.

Canadian selfie at Kokanee Lake.
We arrived at Jill and Barry's just in time for dinner!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Well, It Can Happen To Anyone

Passenger side, damage from water leak at electric lift bolt.
When you are sitting around the old camper in your favorite campground, what do you do? I tend to look at our camper like I look at Kobi. It's part of our family and we take super care of it so it will last forever.

Up on the North Fork of the Clearwater, I was doing just that. I looked at the camper and noticed a bit of rust in the same area where we had problems when we got back from Mexico. At that time, I took it into our Camper Dr., Chris, and he did a wonderful repair job on it.

Tuesday I took the camper back to the Dr. and left it for a check up. The news was not so good. Chris found a leak where water had seeped. The soaking caused problems that could not be ignored. The water had come in through one of the electric jack plate holes and had spread throughout the wood below. The entire area had to be torn out and replaced. The good thing is that none of the structural strength was affected and the camper will be better than new.

A closer look with fiberglass lifted up by the window.
Two outcomes will be that when Chris repairs the soaked wood he will use marine grade plywood as the replacement wood. This will give it more strength and will make it so it can't rot. Also, he will finish the job by installing 1/4 inch diamond plate to cover up the crack in the fiberglass facing adding greater strength to the corner of the camper where the refrigerator and slide reside. There is a lot of weight focused on this area and the plate will help hold it rigid.

We are looking at about $1500 in repair costs, but we couldn't avoid it. I have been very diligent about inspecting all seals and resealing ones that look like they could be a potential problem. Last week I even cleaned off and resealed the entire nose joint as a preventative measure. This problem shows me that I just have to keep up my inspections and be prepared to fork out some cash if something develops in a spot that I can't see. Oh well, it's only money!
Wet wood removed from damaged area. What a mess!
Marine grade plywood replacing rotted boards.
Exterior plywood face in place.
Repaired corner area and underside of camper edge. The heater
was removed to make the repair. 
Fiberglass exterior glued back in place and lift bracket ready
to be sealed and installed.
They manufactured a new lift bracket.
Fiberglass replaced on underside edge.
Finished repair looks great! Dimond plate is much stronger.
All is well with our little home!

Sunday, July 03, 2016

Flat Water Sailing

Ryan Scott, a friend from NIC, has a sailboat. He keeps it in a slip at Bayview on Lake Pend Oreille. I was invited up with Ryan Edwards to sail on Saturday morning. Did you know that you need the wind to actually sail?

We motored out into the bay at the South end of the lake, put up the sails, and the wind completely died. So we talked and looked out over the flat water. About an hour into our drift we took the sails down a started the motor.

Since sailing was out we cruised along the shore looking at beaches for camping. During the tour, we spotted Mountain Goats and several Bald Eagles. I got some good shots of the goats. The lake was beautiful, flat and blue. After another hour or so we motored back into the slip and called it a day.