We are heading south!

July 22nd, 2019

It will be a slow journey, about 5 more weeks before we return home.  Today we made it to Comox, BC which is on the east coast just above Nanaimo where we will get onto a Ferry on Sunday and head to Vancouver.  We will relax here and enjoy some of the local things like, wine, beer, seafood, golf and festivals.’

We headed out today to see the sand sculpting in Parksville, about 40km south.  Traveling on the coast road we found a quaint little spot to have lunch, FishTales where you sat on the lawn at umbrella tables in the garden and enjoyed a traditional English fish n chips.  It was very good and what a fun stop.  You can’t find these spots on Yelp or the Interstate!

The Parksville Sand Sculpting was amazing and took place in this very nice park right on the beach.  There was lots going on and the sculptures were fantastic.

Sponsors sculpture, very cool

My favorite was the one that looked most sandcastle like.  The others followed the theme of this years event, Myths and Legends.  This is a qualifying event for the World Championships, whatever that is?

A mermaid and a castle, that is what I think of when I think sandcastles

PopCorn, Paul’s favorite

I didn’t get the reasoning behind this one but it was pretty cool and they had tiny figures on the ground that were pretty well done also.

And the others


The sculptures were very creative and the detail was so good, we would really have enjoyed watching the sculpturing but it was the week before. These will remain on display until the middle of August.  Not your made in the waves kind of sandcastles!

Goats on the Roof?

July 21st, 2019

“Goats on the Roof” When you see this in the sites to see you have to go there!  It’s a little tourist trap and there were only 2 goats on the roof, one of which I could see but the market underneath was amazing!  It was a little bit Trader Joe’s, Cost Plus and toss in a bit of 7-11 with a little cafeteria on the side.  Some things were priced really cheap and very original.  You could go broke in here buying unique things.  The only thing I was disappointed in is they did not have a selection of Goat Cheeses.

Goat on the Roof!

Part of the complex had of course an Ice Cream shop with a really long line and a couple Hippie type stores and one Surfer Store.  It was an interesting spot; one I would put in the column, OK to miss!

Bucket List do over!

July 20th, 2019

I had such a great time on Tuesday seeing the ocean life that I talked Paul into going on Friday!  We did a much larger boat out of Telegraph Cove, Prince of Whales Tours.   It was a nice trip but nothing like Tuesday’s spectacle!  I knew Tuesday was special but without a point of reference you just don’t know.  We had a nice trip, saw some Bald Eagles, Humpback Whales, Dolphins and a colony of Canadian Sea Lions which look just like San Francisco sea lions to me!

The trip was beautiful and the guides were informative but it was definitely a very different vibe than the show I saw on Tuesday.  The best part of the day was the dolphins really liked our wake and gave us a show when we were underway.

We did get to see a couple of Humpbacks fins which I didn’t see much of on Tuesday.

So it was a good tour and for most would have been memorable but it was definitely a let down after the first tour.  I guess once you get something spectacular you should just let it go.

 

From Port McNeill to Alert Bay to Port McNeill to Sointula to Port McNeill and back to Alder Bay RV Park

July 18th, 2019

Wednesday was a lazy, wet day so we stayed inside mostly doing STUFF!  Not my favorite kind of day but the rain just would not stop long enough to do anything, Thursday was supposed to be better so we decided to ride the ferry to Alert Bay where there is a Reserve for First Nation peoples.  They have 1/2 the island and the other half is small vacation homes.  A very quiet island and the only way to get there is by boat.  We can see most of it from our campsite across the bay.

The harbor was small but I found these interesting

We enjoyed a coffee and caught the next ferry back to Port McNeill only to do a turn around and ride the same ferry out to Sointula and Malcolm Island which is a bigger island right next to Alert Bay.  A bigger Island with a lot more vacation homes and a couple campgrounds.

Going in Circles

 

This fun stuff was right on the beach where at times the whales come to scratch on the pebbles.  No whales today but there were a lot of campers here.  Now that is remote camping.  There isn’t much to do here other than fish, read and a little hiking.  We are not getting much hiking in as Duke is just not comfortable on the leash any more with his loss of sight.  He is still very happy and has energy just places he doesn’t know he doesn’t trust.  Walks very carefully so we are finding other things to do.  Besides today the sky opened up even more than yesterday and it just would not stop raining.

That is the welcoming sign at one of the homes in the area!  We did find some real wildlife, this little baby was so cute and mama was giving him some space. They didn’t run off too quickly so we enjoyed them for a few minutes.

Then the main event for me today was I spotted this eagle on a rock right on the beach.  I have seen many in the area but this one was just there and so was I.  I have never seen one so close nor had one take flight.

GOT IT!  Check that off my bucket list.

Speaking about bucket lists, I find that when I get a check it just doesn’t feel like enough.  I want more of what I just experienced.  Now that this bird flew I keep watching the others forever wishing them to go!!!

Alert Bay

July 16th, 2019

We came to Vancouver Island to get away and away we have gotten.  We traveled 300 miles on an island to the far north side where there isn’t much to do other than enjoy the quiet and oh yea, watch the wildlife!

There are lots of fishermen here and today is opening day of Salmon season.  I took a ride on a tour to view wildlife from Seasmoke Whale Watching Tours and we saw some of the most amazing creatures feeding in the wild.

Turkey Vultures finishing off a seal

Mama and a pup resting on a rock

Bald Eagle, he was waiting above for the Turkey Vultures to be gone! Or maybe arranging his takeover

Amazing views from my tour boat

A narrow opening between two islands

The main event was entering a large bay to see the dolphins feeding on a bait ball.  A Bait ball is a group of small schooling fish that dolphins, birds, sea otters and whales hunt for and when they find one the results are spectacular.  We sat in a small boat for almost 2 hours enjoying the best view to be had.  There were 2 Humpbacks among the hundreds of dolphins having a feast.  The Humpbacks were using a technique called trap feeding where they relax in the water, raise their open mouths and wave their fins capturing these little fishes until they are full!  (Humpbacks eat 1 ton of food per day!) There were several tour boats and fisherman all hanging out just watching.  The radio in our boat was going crazy!  The guides were all so excited as this in not a regular occurrence and we got such a treat.  At one point our guide was so distracted viewing, and photographing he never even noticed the humpback that was off the back of our boat!  When we finally shared with him it was so close we had to just sit there and watch.  We could have easily reached off the back of the boat and touched him if we weren’t so shocked.  My camera was put away by then because at some point you need to just sit back and enjoy nature!  One of my tour mates got some so maybe he will share them with me, but for now enjoy!

 

 

And if things couldn’t get more exciting we had a cruise ship come right through the middle of things and the dolphins put on a show

It was an amazing 4 hours and I can’t wait to go back out there!  The dolphins would have been a beautiful site, the Humpbacks were a bonus and to have one of them get so close to our boat will be a memory that won’t be forgotten anytime soon!

Fun Stuff from the far north of Vancouver Island

July 15th, 2019

We stopped to watch a lumber operations.  They were sorting and moving logs from multiple spots.  They even had two guys measuring the poles before they are sorted and strapped into bundles.

Sometimes I just like to play!  I enjoy the scenery so much that sometimes I just snap photos and then they stick with me.  It doesn’t cost anything and only takes a few minutes to post – enjoy them for what they are!  It makes me smile.

 

 

Alert Bay and Telegraph Cove

July 15th, 2019

This is a beautiful area and there isn’t much here.  We had some of the best fish n chips from a food truck in our campground, Alder Bay Resort  and so far we have taken a couple drives to see the surrounding area.  It is beautiful here and quite wild.

Telegraph Cove

A resort is about all that is here in Telegraph Cove but we managed to make it a day. We had to pay to park! That’s unusual.

While we were enjoying a cup of coffee on the deck the whale watching tour boat was passing by and following a couple of Orcas.  We could see them swimming but they were pretty far out so no photos!  Our first Whale sighting since being up here.

On our way back to camp Paul found a hidden gem!  Down a gravel road about 8 km was Hidden Cove Lodge were today there was no one here except another couple doing what we were, just stopping by.  A beautiful spot but there is not a thing to do here other than relax and unwind!  Better have your books uploaded before you come because there was no internet.  They are not on the grid at all, only Wind and Solar

There are several day excursions to be taken and today we took a drive to Port Alice known for the sea otter population. There isn’t much else here anymore as the pulp mill making cellulose is gone and owes the village a bunch of back taxes according to the worker in the visitor center.  There was not much here other than some beautiful scenery.  We didn’t see any otters only a puppy having a great time chasing nothing while it’s owners enjoyed the views.

Vancouver Island

July 14th, 2019

The ferry crossing was uneventful until we went to exit.  The RV appeared to not be releasing the brake.  We are first in line and many travelers behind I’m sure thought we were brand new to RVing!  The Ferry personnel were sure of it!  Finally they got the others backed up and off and we got out and unhitched the car to see it that would help.  It did!  Now off to customs and we are in separate vehicles.  I got a really nice guy and he told me where I could wait for Paul who was in a much slower lane.  This time we had no issues and got off and drove to our destination for the night.

It turns out that the cars brake buddy (the thing we put in the car to brake in case we need it!) had shifted and was putting the brake on.  To Paul and I both it felt more like the RV wasn’t releasing the brake but it wasn’t because we have had no issues since.  And the dead car battery is fixed now too as we just had the wrong fuse in the car somewhere!  Maybe now we have everything worked out and we can sit back and enjoy our new RV.

Parades down 101, Golf, Cosmos, Girls day out, Great food and Forever Friends

July 8th, 2019

This is our 3rd annual 4th of July get together in Port Orford.  We have all been there other times but this is starting to shape up to a tradition!  Always a great time, 5 couples that all met 35 years ago when we started square dancing!  The Kings are the last to join the group so only 20 years with them and now we are neighbors.  We all started in San Jose and now none of us lives there anymore.  This group has followed us around the country from Oregon to Maine and places in between.

This year was no different than the other two other than no one got sick this year.  There was too much laughter and enough food we need more couples to join us so I can quite gaining weight!  That’s another story for another time.  This year we added something we use to enjoy on camp outs, darts!  Eddie put together a tournament and the final 2 were the Kings!  How fair is that?

Eddie cooking for the crew

 

Paul and Kip in the buffet line

 

We had amazing weather this week! Eddie, Dennis and Kip taking in some sunshine

 

Sunshine and Cocktails, Pat is enjoying both

 

Paul giving tech support to our Hostess, Peggy

 

Thanks to everyone for an awesome week again!
See you next year!

 

Our first Trip

June 30th, 2019

We are back in the saddle again!  Paul left Roseville on Thursday and I will catch up with him Friday afternoon in the car; Just like the Full time days we will be heading north, visiting friends, working a little and enjoying the country once again.  This trip is our first in our new Jayco Melbourne Prestige.

Finding Paul is like hitting a moving target.  I left Roseville about 11 am and met up with him just north of Ukiah along the highway.  I missed the exit but the good news is we had great cell service so I took the next exit and he caught up to me.  We hitched the car up, had a little lunch and headed north into the redwoods.

About 4 pm we pulled into Richardson Grove and they had a great spot for one night!  That’s all we need.  The campground was full but by 8 pm all was quiet and I thoroughly enjoyed falling asleep in the dark of the forest.

The RV handled the windy road great and towing the car went smoothly until we stopped for the night in Humbug State Park near where we will spend a week with friends in Port Orford Oregon.  We found a site that would work for the one night and got out to unhook the car, dead battery!  Hmmm, thought we had gotten that all fixed up, apparently not.  So on to plan B.  We called our destination in Port Orford to see if we could arrive a day early and then our friends, Ed and Peggy to meet us there and help either push the car or jump the battery.’

Everything went fine, got the car going and we are off to a fabulous week with friends.