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!

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