Geocaching in the rain

On Wednesday, it was raining, so we decided to take a drive from Parksville down to Cowichan Lake, with stops in Ladysmith and Duncan.  At Cowichan Lake, we decided to see what caches were in the area.  We found a really cool cache on an old train at the museum.  Geocaching takes you to interesting places.

Behind the train where the cache was, there was this rail car:

   

When we got back to our site at Rathtrevor Beach in Parksville, we decided to search for more caches on the trail.  We found about 5 that day.  Here I am putting a bolerama pin in a cache, with Poppy looking for treasure:

  
We ended our stay at Rathtrevor Beach with a crackling fire and clear skies.  Not a sound in the campground but campfires.  Heaven on earth.

Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park

We arrived at the ferry terminal in Horseshoe Bay almost 2 hours early.  We did not think they’d park us, but we were not the first to arrive.  We got an excellent spot on the ferry next to a tour bus.  We had been a little worried about getting a gouge on the Airstream.  A couple in a campground showed us a gouge on their motorhome.  We told the attendant and he said, “Don’t worry. I’ll put you in a good spot.”  We were right at the front.  Great spot.

  
We had good luck with the ferries last year too.  The workers are so incredibly friendly and eager to please.  They must be valued by their employer, so they are happy to do their jobs.

We moved Daisy’s bed to the top of the kennel so that she could look out.  She was pleased, but oh so sleepy.

  
It has been very cool and rainy. We always keep a coat in the Airstream “just in case” for Daisy.  She has worn it every day.  Unfortunately, her humans didn’t pack warm coats for themselves.  We have been going “German” and wearing socks with our Keens.  However, we didn’t pack enough, so we’ve been trying to get 2 days out of every pair.  Eek!

Approaching Nanimo:

   
   

We drove north to Parksville.  I had made reservations at Rathtrevor Beach PP.  I think this is the most beautiful park we have ever camped in.  Most BC PPs don’t have power or other hook-ups, but the scenery makes up for it.  Upon arrival, we asked if there were better sites than the one we reserved available.  He said, “You can’t get better than that one.”  It turns out, the beach is right next to us, about fifty feet through a forest path.  I thought we’d have to go down a cliff, but we are level with the beach.  

 The roads are paved within the park.  

Dogs are allowed on the section of beach near us, but not during nesting seasons.

   Poppy enjoyed the beach, but she drank way too much sea water.  Fortunately, she did not get sick.

   
  

Check out the bird on the right watching the kayakers.

 

We saw this memorial sign on the side of a bench overlooking the ocean.  I totally understand it.

 
In the early evening, we went out for provisions.  Look at what I found:

 FrontBack:

 

I’m not sure how good it will be, but what marketing!

Let’s hope the weather is favourable for going out in the Hobie today.

Porteau Cove

Yesterday afternoon, we arrived at Porteau Cove Provincial Park on Highway 99, between Squamish and Vancouver.  Apparently, this is the second most popular park in the BC system.  I wonder what the most popular park is because this one is spectacular!  The park was full last night since it was a Sunday.  I booked a site a few months ago, knowing how popular this park is.  However, I couldn’t book an oceanside site.  When we arrived, we asked if any had become available.   What luck — someone had cancelled.  We were upgraded to site 31 on the ocean.  It is a very private site.  Unfortunately, the many trees on the site block much of the view, but when we are at the picnic table or fire pit, we have a clear view.  Today (Monday) most of the sites have opened up, but we are too lazy to move.  

   
 Gregory, our good friend, came to visit last night and he said that the BC provincial park system operates very differently than the Saskatchewan provincial parks. In SK, there is a panic on the day that reservations open because they will book parks 100%.  In BC, they allow for people travelling through, so there are many “first come, first served” sites.  

It rained most of Monday.  The good aspect of having many trees is they sheltered us from the rain.  The rain gave us a chance to go into Burnaby for fish & chips.  Friends introduced us to Cockney Kings.  They do fish & chips right.  We had hoped to spend the day on the ocean with the Hobie, but it was a little cool and rainy.

When we came back to our site, the rain had subsided.  We walked a short trail that climbed up above the campground.

   
Our campsite is somewhere down there.  

This is an arbutus tree.  They are finicky to grow because they don’t take well to being transplanted.  They have to be oriented exactly as they were growing.  This is Canada’s only broad-leafed evergreen.
Daisy enjoyed the walk from her pouch:
  
Summary of Porteau Cove

This park is a must for anyone visiting the west coast.  Although most campers are in vans or tents, many sites can accommodate larger trailers, but not big 5th-wheels or motorhomes.  A 30 foot Airstream would fit fine in our site, but the tow vehicle would have to be unhitched.  We have enough room for our truck and trailer hitched (43 feet).  There are many oceanside sites, and there are really no bad sites.  In the main loop, it is a bit noisier, but you only hear people’s voices and laughter.  This park doesn’t seem to attract the rowdies.  We prefer sites 22, 31-37 because they are very quiet.  

On the negative side, the trains going north run right alongside.  Fortunately, they don’t operate all day long, so we have only heard them 2-3 times.

Tomorrow, we catch our ferry to Nanaimo.  We will be staying at Rathtrevor Beach P.P.

Guaranteed Rugged

That’s the motto for Lillooet.  Highway 99, from Lillooet to Whistler, was incredibly picturesque and rugged.  There were several single lane wooden bridges, hairpin bends, and steep grades.  The flora kept changing, so we knew we were going through different climate zones.  The trailer got whipped around because when I opened the door, everything on the counter and sofa was on the floor.  Pillows have never fallen off the sofa before, but the Airstream had never experienced Highway 99 before.  Guaranteed rugged.

Fortunately, Paul had a little snuggle fest with the girls before venturing out this morning.

   

I think I had one of the best sleeps of my life last night.  The campground was so quiet. I got up while everyone was still asleep and took some pictures of the tent sites:

  We met the woman from Site 3 later in the morning.  She just retired, and she’s on a 3.5 month trip.  She’s from the Muskoka area of Ontario and she’s heading to the Yukon.  She said she refused to be like others who pass through Manitoba and Saskatchewan, so she stopped in parks along the way to learn about the areas.  She went to Manitou Lake in Watrous and Prince Albert National Park.  I wish we had more time to visit.  I love her sense of adventure.  The thought of being in a tent in the Yukon would give me pause.

The size of your trailer is all relative

Over the last year, we’ve been considering getting a 27FB or 28RB.  On the prairies, there is so much space, and a 28 foot trailer is relatively small.  However, in BC, the best sites are for small trailers, up to 18 feet.  Most people have B-vans or C-class motorhomes.  Now, I’m curious what Airstream has coming out in the next few months.  They are working on a little larger motorhomes than the Interstate.  Maybe we will consider it.  Our 23 footer is a little big for this rugged province!

   
 

Sagebrush and Boulders

We got an early start this morning. It poured all night. There is nothing like the sound of rain on aluminum.  Unfortunately, the rain continued throughout most of the drive.  I’ve never seen rain in Kamloops, but I did today.  I love the approach into Kamloops.  The sagebrush is beautiful and the smell is divine!  Today, we drove the TransCanada west out of Kamloops.  This was a first for us.  We headed to Lillooet to see a campground that was for sale, but couldn’t get to it last year.

Kamloops Lake

  
 

Lillooet

Fraser Cove campground was for sale last year.  I contacted the owners, but we couldn’t make it.  The last I checked, it was still for sale.  This is the one campground that was most affordable to us, so we decided to come and stay a night and talk to the owners.  The host was there, and she told me the new owners took over June 1st.  Darn.  We like it here.  The campsites are small, and mostly for motorhomes, but they all overlook the Fraser River.  The river is thundering, and it’s the only sound you hear.  This campground attracts mostly Europeans, so it is very quiet.  We visited with the Dutch couple camped next to us.  They have one more night in Canada after this.  There are a few tent sites right on the river.  Interesting there are only women in the tent sites.  They aren’t travelling together, just independent travellers.

Poppy and I walked down to the beach.  There is some sand, but mostly spectacular boulders that look unworldly.

   
      

 Driving

Yesterday, we passed the 50,000 km mark on the truck.  I love this vehicle, but I still wish the interior were light.  We’ve only been driving for 2 days, yet there is dust on the dash and Poppy sprinkles everywhere.  

Here are the girls in the truck.  Daisy is chillin’ and Poppy is grillin’.  Poor Poppy didn’t sleep again today.

    

Radiate Positive Vibes

We left Saskatoon at 7:30.  What a gorgeous morning!  We were dressed for summer, but Banff had other plans for us.  At Canmore, I had to get some warmer clothes out of the trailer.  I’m not sure I’ve ever seen good weather in Banff.  It was cold and rainy again, but we had no plans to stay.  We drove for 12 hours today. Poppy is exhausted.  Even with the “Serenity Now” pills from the vet, she couldn’t sleep.  We are now just outside of Yoho National Park, near Golden BC.  We found a free campsite along the Kicking Horse River.  The little campground is full of seasonal workers in the rafting industry, but they thought it would be fine if we pulled up.  There are no facilities.  The site is free, and the view is priceless.

View from our door:  
Here is one of the trailers in the campground.  It’s all hand painted and the words on the back are “Radiate Positive Vibes” and “Alaska or Bust.”  What a way to improve the appearance of a White Box.

  
We needed positive vibes today.  Our friends adopted a 9-year-old rescue dog last month, and she went missing last night.  They searched until 2 am, but didn’t find her.  They searched all day today with leads from townspeople, and they found her this evening.  We breathed a sigh of relief.  Poor Janie was so tired and hungry when she got back to her family.

This is Janie in our trailer at the May Airstream rally:

  
She’s so timid and a senior, so I worried the coyotes got her.  Phew!  She’s safe tonight.

Well, with the money we saved on tonight’s campsite, we can keep enjoying cheese.  Let’s celebrate Janie’s safe return!

  
And, dad, if you can make it, we still have Canadian Club left, but it’s going fast.

While we were cutting the cheese (he ha ho), a couple from Texas pulled in.  These rooftop tents deploy in one motion.  So cool.  They have a yellow lab and little fluffy white dog, and they all went up on the roof.  I was being stealthy by taking a picture through our window.

  
Daisy is fine, but the sweet old girl gets chilled easily.  We turned the furnace on to warm her up.  The tenters are going to freeze tonight.

  
Good night.  Sleep tight.