Monday, October 17, 2011

Counting down the days …

I guess I am counting down the days till my eventual departure for warmer climes.  But since I have not determined a departure date, the count is somewhat arbitrary.

I think the Bayfield Bunch are pretty much in the same boat, but champing at the bit.  Good to see Al back after a few days break.  John and Brenda have it down to about 4 days till they load their horses and head south.  Wandering Willy is keeping a low blog profile this year (so far), but I think he is about due to head out as well.  Rick and Paulette are loading the new 5’er and getting ready to hit the road.

In the meantime, I have been enjoying the sunny warm fall days and colourful scenery.

It has been freezing now every night, so both the 5th wheel and the truck camper have been winterized – for the time being.


It’s too nice to stay at home, so I have been out driving – usually into the bush on forestry and oil & gas roads.


After a fairly good hike in the bush on foot, where do I see the wildlife, but when I get back into my diesel truck!


Of course there is always ‘wildlife’ in my truck.


Hailey is quite intrigued by ‘AZ’ who is a new star in The Happy Campers blog.  She thinks he is a handsome boy.


And (drum roll), check out my debut on the website, where I did a short interview on boondocking!

Friday, October 14, 2011

North of ‘49 again.

Back at home, the heavy equipment was busy spreading fresh gravel on the access road.


Even the ‘not so heavy’ equipment was busy at the same time, spreading gravel on my driveway!


Fall has certainly arrived, making some very nice views with all the changed colours in the trees.


On a trip back from visiting in the Banff and Lake Louise area, I decided to take the Forestry ‘trunk’ road to take advantage of the quiet road and the fall scenery.  I was watching out for John & Brenda, but they must have been holed up at Dogpound north. (Check out the bear photos on their blog!)


I spotted a herd of horses out in an isolated meadow.  I can’t say for sure that they were wild horses, but I could not make out any brands using my binoculars, and it seemed like a stallion was in charge of the group …


Meanwhile, back at home, Hailey was practicing her tree climbing technique – just in case she has to watch for Pancho Villa coming across the Mexican border when we’re down south again this winter.


She went almost to the top, but her only miscalculation came very close to the ground – when I was there to rescue her!  After a photo, of course Winking smile


Meanwhile, the fifth wheel has been roused from it’s summer slumber, and serious preparations have begun for an eventual departure.  Today, it is visiting the RV hospital to get it’s wheel bearings re-packed. 

Whatever happens next – you’ll be the first to know.  Eventually!

As I said on Twitter, “I used to be indecisive.  Now, I’m not so sure …”

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

North Cascades, and beyond.

Welcome to the visitor from the Birmingham area of the U.K.!  Hope you are enjoying reading all the previous posts!

I managed to get through the edge of Seattle on the 405, with only a brief stop at the gigantic Fry’s Electronics store, where I picked up a couple of new 1 and 2 TB hard drives for the home desktop.  As soon as possible,

I-5 was left behind in an easterly direction towards North Cascades NP on 530 through Arlington and Darrington.  From there it was north on 530 towards Rockport.  A Skagit county park along the Sauk river provided a quiet spot to spend the night.

In the morning, highway 20 led through Marblemount, and into North Cascades NP.  The weather was somewhat drab as we stopped at the park visitor center for maps and information.  The route follows the edge of Gorge Lake, Diablo Lake, then Ruby arm of Ross Lake, which stretches all the way to the Canadian border.  It was hard to get a good view of the Gorge dam, but I hiked the viewpoint trail, and took some photos looking straight down from the highway bridge over a side channel.


A view of Thunder arm of Diablo lake.CIMG6934-1CIMG6936-1

After exiting the National park, we ended up in Omak, where a few supplies were replenished, before heading out to look for a quiet spot of the night.  A few miles north and a few back west, Fish Lake and Sinlahekin Wildlife Recreation area provided that spot, which we shared with a number of fishermen and elk hunters.


The next day, we could have been back in Canada right away by heading north from Tonasket into Osoyoos, BC, or north from Republic to Grand Forks.  But I have driven those roads quite a bit in the past, and not wanting to take on the higher Canadian fuel prices, I opted to delay my return for another day at least.  Therefore we ended that day on the shores of Roosevelt Lake (not the one in Tonto National forest, AZ!)


Recent posts seem to have been very long and infrequent, so I think we’ll end this post with an interesting observation, and try for another post very soon, with an update from around home.


I’ll have to tread lightly here, as I don’t want to start a controversy.  I think I can speak for most Canadians when I say that we like our one and two dollar coins, the ‘Loonie’ and the ‘Toonie’.  We used to have one and even two dollar paper bills, but the new coins are far easier to use and carry.  For example, it is far easier to put one two dollar coin into a vending machine, or coin washing machine or coin car wash, rather than juggling 8 quarters.  Similarly, it is a pain to have a wallet bursting at the seams with paper money – only to discover that it is all 1’s Winking smile

So, I was very surprised at an Oregon car wash last year when I put a $5. bill into a machine to get change.  I had expected to have a huge pocketful of 20 quarters, but out came 5 –$1 coins!  I was not sure that they were not ‘tokens’ at first, but took one to a store later and confirmed that they were legal tender.  OK, so the US has $1 coins – why don’t they start to USE them?

Last month, I came across this article in a Washington newspaper.  Got to admit, I just can’t believe it!


No nasty comments please, it’s only my opinion- from someone who has been there and done it!

Next month – the metric system primer.

Just kidding!