Mayhem in Metro

It poured much of the night and morning.  Our friends broke camp this morning and are headed back to Saskatchewan.  We are so thankful for all their expertise on Vancouver and for showing us the key sites.  Since it was pouring, we decided to go to IKEA.  

We knew IKEA would be a zoo on the last Saturday before school begins, but we braved the crowds.  The Ballroom was full, which was a bad sign.  We fortified ourselves with the $0.99 breakfast. I had a shopping list of things I wanted for our boler.  When I got to the curtains, I found exactly what I wanted for the boler, but alas, they were sold out.  Then, the power went out.  We were in total darkness.  It was not my usual IKEA sunshine experience.  The generators kicked in and gave us some light and enough power for the tills.  No meatballs for us!   The power outage subdued the cranky kids for a few minutes, but it didn’t last. It wasn’t a “Start the car!” IKEA day, but it still got some goodies.  

The ride home was anything but tranquil. Police were directing traffic since the power is out, and there were tree branches everywhere on the highway!  What happened?  We couldn’t turn off on our usual street to get to the campground because a tree had fallen.  We had left our awning out, so we were anticipating a dire scene, but it was surprisingly fine. The trees on the trail outside the campground sustained some damage. We have been without power for about 4 hours.  The police and public service departments are asking people to stay home while they clear highways.  People were told to leave Stanley Park and no one is allowed in.  We hear constant sirens.  Who knew it could be so exciting?

Here are some pictures of the trail from our campground leading to New Westminster.

 That man is near the campground entrance to the trail.  We are near the road. 
Daisy had to be carried over the debris.   

The rain perked up the moss on the trees.  

This is one of the sites in the campground.  Thank goodness no one was parked there.   

Whytecliff Park and Porteau Cove

We packed some picnic items and also went to Whole Foods to round out a picnic lunch.  We were off for some coastal parks today. First, we went to Whytecliff Park in West Vancouver, not far from the Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal.  We found a picnic table overlooking the bay. It was glorious!

 Olives from Granville Island market  
The spread   

The view:  Can you see the harbour seals that the women are looking at?

  We enjoyed a walk around the rocky, windswept park. 


More harbour seals 

Next, we travelled half way to Squamish on the Sea to Sky Highway and stopped at Porteau Cove. There is an absolutely gorgeous oceanfront campground with a boat launch and remnants of an old ferry terminal. Before leaving Saskatoon, I tried to get reservations at the campground, but it was booked solid. No wonder!

This cove is popular with divers and sailors. Wind is funnelled along Howe Sound, so in the afternoon, speeds can reach 30 kph. Next time, we will get a campsite here and bring the Hobie. 

 Oceanfront campsites 

 Poppy approves 
Two storm fronts are heading this way.  Vancouver is expected to get 100 mm. It is so dry, so there are sure to be flash floods. We have paid for our campsite until Monday; however if it gets really bad, we may have to leave early. 

Coast and Parks

Today, we awoke to a lot of forest fire haze, so I did not take many pictures.  In the morning, we drove to North Vancouver and went to Cypress Bowl Provincial Park. It has a lovely lookout over the coast.  Afterwards, we crossed Lion’s Gate Bridge and drove through Stanley Park. We were on a time limit, so we didn’t walk around there much, but we will go back with the dogs.  It is such a lovely refuge in the middle of the city.  

Lunch — ah lunch!  Paul wanted banh mi (Vietnamese sub), so we found a place with a good rating downtown. And wouldn’t you know it — there was a Japadog right next door!   Now, we like to be efficient, so we had both!  We are only here for one week, and there are far too many restaurants on our list. We had to double up. 

Later, we went to Deep Cove. It is a little touristy town that reminded me of Niagara-on-the-Lake, but this was on the ocean.  It is pretty famous for its fresh donuts.  Deadly!

I was quite thirsty after two lunches, so I saw a sign for “basil lemonade.”  Mmmm, that sounded good. I ordered mine, and then she gave me the price: $8.40!  It was tasty, but $2 worth of tasty. That rattled me. I nursed that drink for well over an hour. 

The smokey haze had started to lift, so I took a few pictures.    
Still a little hazy 

Dinner: Tacofino!  Yes!  I’ve wanted to try this for about 3 years. It was well worth the wait.  We had nachos, roasted cauliflower, and fish tacos. Everything was fresh and ever so flavourful.  

Check out the blown-glass light fixtures at Tacofino   

There are succulents and airplants in some of the openings.  

So, it was a hazy day jam-packed with delicious food!

Granville Island

This is a lovely place in Vancouver.  I fell in love with the public market.  The prices are far more reasonable than Saskatoon, and the quality of the produce and other food stuffs cannot be beat.  We stocked up on cheese and olives; however, we want to return for more goodies.  The Airstream freezer is now full of Thai curry sauces, so what we can take back with us is limited.  Sigh.


You can also buy other goods there too.  I fell in love with some jewelry made by a local silversmith.  I photographed these necklaces and took a card, thinking I would order a piece later.  However, why wait?  I ended up getting the lower one.

Other random pictures:

Shasta-esque “chip wagon” with wings!

Items in a shop called MAKE:



Overlooking Vancouver from Burnaby (Capital Hill)

Vancouver at night

Fox Hunting and Vancouver

This month, I joined the VOA – Vixen Owners Association. However, I am not an owner. I’ve just been obsessed with Vixens for about 3 years.  Today, we met a member of the VOA. He is a very active member on the forums.  He gave us a very thorough tour of his main Vixen and also one that he is working on.  He gave us lots of information about what to look for and modifications.  He even took us for a drive and then let Paul drive it!  What a fun morning!  I will only post a few pictures that don’t show the license plate because I don’t have photo editing software right now.  This Vixen is a very soft blue. It is lovely!


Vixen side

If this vehicle reminds you of a Delorean, you are not alone.  It was designed by Bill Collins and his wife as the ultimate retirement motorhome.  Unfortunately, only 587 were made.  It was a vehicle ahead of its time.

After our fun tour, we made it to Vancouver and met our friends.  This afternoon, we went to Gastown for lunch and touring.

Steam clock

Steam clock

Canada Place

Canada Place

We finished the evening at the campsite with wine and cheese and good friends.

STOP: The Salmon are Here

With a sign like that, we had to obey.

Salmon sign
Our friends had been through Valemont last week and told us the salmon were now spawning, and we got to see this for ourselves. It was mesmerizing to watch them.


As we headed south, the skies got hazier and hazier from the forest fires.  As we passed through Barriere, we got to see the damage from the fire of 2003 through the haze from the Oliver and US fires burning now. It was eerie, yet beautiful.

We arrived at Merritt, but still had lots of energy, so we decided to push on. We are now at Camp Walmart Chilliwack. We arrived around 7 pm. We could have continued on to Vancouver. It would have been better to travel on a Sunday evening than a Monday morning, but we didn’t want to risk arriving in the dark. Also, I am going to try to meet a man about a Vixen tomorrow — a Vixen motorhome, that is. I would like him to educate me on what I should look for when viewing Vixens for sale.

Mount Robson and the Fraser River

It was a good idea to leave yesterday to put a few hours between us and home.  We made it to Mount Robson around 4 pm.  We were lucky again this time because we could see the peak.   We are staying at the provincial park.  BC parks often have level sites, and this site is no different. We didn’t even have to unhitch.  

Right after securing a site, we took the dogs down to the thundering Fraser River.  We looked for spawning salmon, but we couldn’t see any.  We will try again tomorrow as we push on to Merritt.

Robson Meadows campground is one of our favourites.  The facilities are well maintained, and the location is picturesque.  Once again, it smells “green.”   It gets so dark and quiet at night.  




On the road again

After work, we headed out. This isn’t our only trip since my last post, but the other trips were rallies: The Prairie Egg Gathering/bolerama with the boler, and a WBCCI camp out. Tonight, we only drove for about three hours. We stopped for the night at Camp Wal-Mart Lloydminster. Look at our lovely campsite through the bedroom window.  


Actually, we were late to the party, but somehow got the nicest spot, with trees and some flowers and bushes.  The sun was setting as we pulled in. After I made some requisite purchases, it was too dark to photograph the rest of the “campground.”  

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the prairie provinces, Lloydminster is a big oil town spanning both Saskatchewan and Alberta, and this is where hillbillies are born. There are jacked up trucks with amplified exhaust systems everywhere. It with be noisier here tonight than being parked next to train tracks. 

Parked near us seem to be two permanent campers. Is that legal at Wal-Mart? This is Alberta after all. One is an unhitched 1970s trailer with cracks at all the seams. It is parked with an equally scary slide-in truck camper with duck tape holding its seams. On the back of the slide-in is a flat bed with an off-road mudding truck. I will try to get pictures tomorrow. 

Welcome to Alberta!


Rolling Coal is the zenith of hillbillification.