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Working Our Way Down Vancouver Island

overcast 65 °F

Our day started well, woke up early; we had to check out of the RV park, hop on a ferry and hopefully make it to Oregon by dinner. That all looked good until I Google mapped everything and looked up the ferry schedules. We’d already missed the early ferries and wouldn’t be making Oregon any time soon.

Campbell River is close to ½ way between Victoria, in the south, and Port Hardy in the north. There are 3 options for ferries from Campbell River: Nanaimo 1-1/2 hours away, Swartz Bay 2-1/2 hours away and Victoria 3 hours away and sails to Port Angeles.

Nanaimo has fewer ferries but by the time one drives to Swartz Bay there isn’t any real time savings. Unless one has missed the last one in Nanaimo, then there are later ones from Swartz and Victoria.

We wanted to walk to the viewpoint of Elk Falls and then because we’d miss the next ferry, then we’d have lunch at this little hole-in-the-wall restaurant. From lunch, we’d drive down to Nanaimo and catch the 5:30 ferry to Vancouver.

The falls are a little bit of a walk away, mostly downhill, which means uphill on the way back. The path is paved so accessible to everyone. There are several paths off of the one to view the falls but I’m not sure if they are paved. The falls are small next to some we’ve seen but a nice walk. We took the dog, but she did not like the grated stairs down to the metal suspension bridge leading to a lookout. Other dogs were not having a good time either. IMG_201508..3031879_HDR.jpg

Lunch- Dave’s is right on the dock where the fishing boats come in, with about 4 little tables inside and a small counter and outside a deck. There was a line the entire time we were there, not a long one but nevertheless, someone always arriving. Everything on the menu can be made gluten-free which means I could order fish and chips. Oh, they were such a treat. Next time, I want to order the oyster sandwich!

From lunch, we stopped and bought some Canadian Whiskey for Dale and a couple of small items. Then we drove down to Nanaimo. The leaves are turning on the island and in the storm light looked so beautiful. IMG_201508..5321852_HDR.jpg

By the time we got to Nanaimo, an hour before sailing, we saw that it was 100% sold out. After calculating times to drive to the next ferry, we decided to get in line for the 8:45 sailing. We filled our time, me with doing old word games and Dale walking Twinks and napping.
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All part of the journey.

Posted by Miss Chris 15:45 Archived in Canada Tagged travel driving canada ferry elk_falls Comments (0)

The Journey Begins

Starting the househunting process

overcast 70 °F

And so the journey begins; wondering if a move to Canada is in our future.

At home, I’d spent time looking online at properties for sale. Our problem is this: we don’t know where we really would like to settle, will kids and their families join us. I also had lots of questions about immigration.

While on the road in the US I sent some requests to various realtors for places we thought might work. As the answers came in we found that there were far more properties to see than we had time for. Also, distances were becoming an issue.

We settled for an area south-east of Kamloops for the 1st group of houses to look at. Kelli, our realtor, found several houses for us to look at online and then to select for an inspection. I selected 4 of the homes to see.

We drove the 4-1/2 hours to the Kamloops area and met Kelli. She’d done a great job in selecting properties that might work for us. And really, she went way out of her way to spend time with people who don’t even know exactly what they are looking for.

The 1st house had lots of issues: water damage on the ceilings, holes in doors, insulation torn off of the wall in an unfinished room, fencing falling apart. We quickly left, someone else can work on this one.

2nd property has lots of possibilities. The house is small for everyone, but there is a huge workshop, small workshop, places for animals, a gazebo that overlooks the valley and river below.

3rd property also has lots of possibilities and a really great patch of farmland.
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4th property looked so great on paper, well online in this case. The realtor thought it might be perfect too: a 2 story log house with unfinished basement plus 28 acres. It was vacant so it seemed we could move in quickly. Well, photos can be deceiving! The house had apparent leaks everywhere and someone had squirted foam insulation in between every log and wherever there was a space. We found water stains on ceilings and in the A-frame ceiling paneling was coming off. Furniture, musical instruments, food, wine and clothes were in every room and there was a smell of cigarettes. Vinyl flooring had been removed in some of the rooms, some vinyl was completely lifting. Then we went down to the basement to find what had been a “grow op”. No pot was left, but anything one would need to grow was there. Someone else can work on this one. To boot, the acreage was on steep hills and packed with trees.

We will be off to Vancouver Island to look some more.

Posted by Miss Chris 09:12 Archived in Canada Tagged travel driving houses canada farms Comments (0)

Old Friends, New Friends

Dale reconnected with his college roommate from 50 years ago.

sunny 85 °F

Chef_Henry.jpgWe’d stopped at the last rest stop in Washington to spend the night thinking that it would be much easier to cross the border into Canada in the morning. There were several reasons, mostly because we didn’t want to arrive late at our friend’s house in Canada. As it turned out it was a good call.

We were going to Dale’s college roommate’s house, Henry and his wife Chrisanna. I’d met Henry once many years ago but didn’t get to know him at all. Dale lost track of Henry and then thru the wonderful searches in Facebook, reconnected. They had a guy’s weekend in Palm Springs a year or so ago and then Henry and I became friends on Facebook as well.

We were in Vancouver only last month and I tried to connect with Henry, but as it turned out he’d had medical issues and didn’t get my message. He and his wife wanted for us to return and stay with them, so when the opportunity came up for us to return to Canada, we connected.

I was a little apprehensive about staying with people I didn’t really know but knew that it was important to Dale. I also have learned over the years that it is important to be open to new opportunities and new friendships.

We had the most amazing day with Henry and his wife. We set outside and talked like old friends. Then Henry made his specialty dinner for us and Chrisanna set the table with their finest tableware. We brought in some really good wines from our RV and we shared a wonderful meal: Greek salad, fresh corn on the cob, rice and broiled steelhead trout.
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Henry told Dale that skiing a run together was on his bucket list. I think that it is something we will need to do sooner than later. And since we will need to look at additional properties it is surely something we can combine. Besides we needed an excuse to come up and ski.

Posted by Miss Chris 10:47 Archived in Canada Tagged food travel friends canada Comments (0)

Drumheller, A Side Trip

A visit to the museum in Drumheller

semi-overcast 65 °F

We tried to leave Banff early as we had a 4-hour drive to Drumheller, where there is a fabulous Dinosaur museum. It was highly recommended that we visit there.

We drove to the museum via Hwy 9 which is a beautiful drive in itself. Many brilliant yellow fields of safflowers. I really wanted to shoot some photos, but we thought we’d better get to the museum. But for those who read this blog and want to make this drive, plan extra time in order to shoot some great photos.

The museum is amazing. There are interactive displays that kids can do. One that Zaya loved was touch screen where a dinosaur is outlined then parts are jumbled together in a corner. You must touch and drag each part to the outline and when it is placed correctly the screen lights up. Zaya was so excited to build a dinosaur correctly.

There are some living animals like some huge cockroaches maybe 2-1/2” long and a soft-shelled turtle, the type of which was in existence millions of years ago.

The museum has many educational opportunities. We missed many of them by arriving in the afternoon. They offer chances to make casts of fossils and hear stories. For older kids, they can dig for fossils and the one we did was to hike to look for fossils.

We went on a 1-1/2 hour walk with 2 stops thru the Badlands. The path is dirt and some areas a little steep but not difficult. The walk isn’t long at all. The first stop was in a flat semi-circular area at one of the hoodoos. Fossils and rocks have washed down and are strewn about the ground. The guide pointed out fossils, iron-ore rocks, glacial erratic, sandstone and petrified wood. Then the kids were encouraged to bring rocks to her to identify. We then went and saw a semi-exposed dinosaur for our 2nd stop.

Fortunately, the museum is open until 9pm so there was no rush to leave. We wondered thru the timelines of the eons, viewing the various animals alive during those times. Your text to link here...

Posted by Miss Chris 08:27 Archived in Canada Tagged travel driving canada rv dinosaurs grandkids drumheller Comments (0)

BBQ at Stories Beach

A perfect ending to our stay at Port Hardy

About 6 years ago we drove all the way here, to Port Hardy, to see what was on the other side of the island. When we were here we wanted to visit Stories beach. As it turned out our RV tire went out while we were there forcing us to camp overnight.

We thought that it might be fun to go back and visit, just see where we’d been and what it looked like today. We did go in the morning as it was time for a morning walk with Emilio and decided that it would be a great place to BBQ some salmon later that day.IMG_1356.jpg

We asked at the store where we could get fresh caught salmon but found that we are too early in the season. We then asked the host of the B&B, she called her son who has a fishing business and he gave us a huge, beautiful fillet from his freezer.

Sunday was rainy most of the day but we just decided to take a chance, we’d eat in the car if we had to. So off we drove to Stories Beach late afternoon. It was cloudy but didn’t rain on us. Emilio ran on the beach, collecting rocks.

All we brought to eat and drink was salmon and Pipestone wine that Dale brought from home. We opened the wine and enjoyed it while Dale and Bekki got a nice charcoal fire going.

Dale had brought our fish basket along from home so it made BBQ’ing easy. They BBQ’d the salmon taking turns holding the basket in the fire.
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The fish was done perfectly. We couldn’t sit at the table as it was really wet so we stood and ate our salmon. No side dishes were necessary here, just salmon, good wine and a fabulous setting.

Posted by Miss Chris 17:31 Archived in Canada Tagged beaches nature canada bc outdoors stories_beach Comments (0)

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