Saturday, April 30, 2011

Oregon, Washington, Idaho, British Columbia and Alberta

In the morning at the John Day dam it was raining, so that helped formulate the decision to move on.  I consulted GasBuddy on the iPhone to determine the lowest price of fuel in the direction of travel.  That turned out to be Hermiston, on the Oregon side of the Columbia.  My iPhone, with the help of Google Maps suggested the route on highway 14 on the Washington side, while Tomtom preferred the southern way on I-84 on the Oregon side.  Normally, I prefer the smaller roads, but I had seen the Washington route in November, so I went with Tomtom on the south side of the Columbia.  There are some impressive tree farms along the way, with huge tracts of tree fields in various stages of growth.  After a late start, and spending a long time online outside a McDonalds to catch up on some blog updates, it was another easy decision to move over to the camper-friendly Walmart lot immediately behind it.  The customer service staff suggested a remote, isolated corner of their parking lot that would have been a great spot were it not for the semi truck in the same lot that idled all night.  That was not as bad as the reefer engine that would start up regularly and noisily.  Sometimes you win, sometimes you don’t!

Heading north through Spokane, my eagle eye started picking up some disturbing sights.  What is that white stuff on the rear of that car?

CIMG5405And, further north, it got worse.  There was fresh snow on rooftops, and soon in the ditches and even the road shoulders.


Luckily, the snow cover lessened by the time we saw the ‘Canada’ sign in Sandpoint, Idaho.


I may have stopped in that area for the night, but I wanted to visit with my friends who built and operate the St Marys River B&B near Cranbrook, across the line in British Columbia.


So I ran the gauntlet of the deer along the highway while there was still daylight to improve the chances of avoiding collision.  There was no hassle at the border crossing at all, and soon I was parked in the yard of the B&B.

In the morning, I could not go by the first Tim Horton’s without stopping for my first ‘double double’ in almost 6 months.  On through Kootenay National Park, my old stomping grounds, there were at least 3 serious looking snow squalls trying to convince me to head back for Arizona.  But the roads were only wet, and soon I was back in Lake Louise.  There, I retrieved about 15 pounds of mail that the post office is nice enough to store for me when I am away.  After picking up some more mail and pay cheques at my old office, we retreated to the campground, where only sites plowed free of snow are available.  Although the average snow depth in the bush appeared to be between two and three feet, all around the village there are banks 8-10 feet deep where it has been moved off the roads.  In spite of the snow, the temps were pretty decent.

I spotted this Siberian Tabby Tiger lurking in the snow banks in the campground.


Getting back has seen a few changes.  I slept in my regular house under a regular roof for the first time in almost 6 months, my first Tim’s coffee, my first shower where the water stayed on between lather and rinse,  went online with a 22” monitor and a real keyboard, and walking around in – SNOW.

On the final leg of the trip, we passed close by Dogpound north, where John and Brenda are now starting to observe the tops of their fence posts emerging from the snow, while they become accustomed the the realities of life back at home on the farm.

Hailey is having a great time racing around the vast reaches of the house and basement, made more interesting (for her) by the piles of boxes and furniture left over from my move last fall.  She’s also looking forward to getting re-acquainted with a new crop of mice outside, while keeping watch out for Wily Coyote.

Once again, my thoughts go out to Al, Kelly (and Cora) of the Bayfield Bunch, who are mourning the loss of yet another member of their furry family. Now Max has joined the recently departed Checkers in the big dog park in the sky.image

Now that I am ‘home’ for a while my blogging will likely slow up somewhat, unless there are interesting photos or events to relate.  I know I won’t be blogging as often as the Bayfield Bunch, but probably more than Wandering Willy, who tends to blog rarely when he is at home.

I suspect however that I will soon be bored of cutting grass and building shelves, and painting, and moving boxes from one place to another, and will find a good excuse to hit the road again in either the 5th wheel or the truck camper.

Till then, keep your batteries charged, wheels between the ditches, and pray for cheaper fuel.



  1. Hailey looks as though she is actually enjoying the snow...unusual for a cat! She is certainly a pretty girl. Enjoy your time at home and we'll be watching for your posts.

  2. Thanks for waving as you rolled by, we snuck out in the middle of Thursday's blizzard and our presently hanging out at the Westerner in Red Deer watching innumerous clinicians tell us just what it is that our horses need before we saddle up and head west, hopefully in May sometime.

  3. I'm glad you and hailey made it home safely. I'm not sure what to think of the white stuff but should it still be there the end of May when I return up north would you please make sure my sidewalk is shoveled?? Much obliged!! ~M

  4. welcome to the land of red and white!!..hope you enjoy the snow!..looks like it has been around for a while!

  5. Yep, pretty nice feeling alright being home to long hot showers, big internet monitors & some decent cups of coffee for a change. I can understand you waiting to get back on the road again. We've been home a month now but I would just love to get back in our Motorhome & head out again. A month sitting in one spot is waaaay to long whether it be on the road or whether it be home......