Camping at Nk’Mip, Osoyoos, BC

October 15-18, 2018

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Back in April, we made a reservation at Nk’Mip (pronounced: ink-a-meep) for October 15-November 15 because we needed somewhere mild to settle before heading south. However, we no longer needed the reservation. Nk’Mip wouldn’t allow us to transfer our reservation to a friend and we couldn’t cancel and get our $100 deposit back. We love that campground, so we decided to head out in the Chinook and use up the $100. We got a site right on Lake Osoyoos. The weather was grand and the view was spectacular. We got in some hiking and biking and had a visit with Len and Marj, friends from our Airstream club.  Len and Marj are from Moose Jaw, SK, but they stay in Oliver, BC for the winter.  They took us out for a delicious dinner in town.

Paul de-oxidized and polished the Chinook:

Enjoying beautiful autumn weather at Lake Osoyoos:

Walking the trail in the park:

Little Joe:

We saw this tiny fiberglass egg with Saskatchewan plates in April when we were here, and it was here again!  It is significantly smaller than our boler.  Here is a link to factory website: Weis Craft Trailers

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Fall Colors on the Similkameen Rail Trail

October 2018

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The Similkameen walking and biking trail starts just west of Keremeos and extends east to Cawston. It used to be an old rail line but was converted into a trail. We started walking this trail regularly since October 5, the day after Daisy died. It gives us a private area to walk and talk about how much we miss our dear girl.

(Please click on a photo to enlarge.)

Lots of color

Finding geocaches and a llama

Happy Poppy

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More Day-Tripping

Late September 2018

We’ve spent quite a few days driving through the valley. We like investigating the provincial park campgrounds and walking trails. We also liked to give Daisy different views and chances to sniff new areas since we knew her time with us was ending.

If we leave our RV park and head west on Highway 3, the next town is Hedley. Beyond Hedley is Doug’s Homestead. Everyone raves about Doug’s pepperoni and jerky. We were disappointed to learn that the pepperoni is really pepperettes. However, it is very tasty. So, we asked Doug to make us dollar-sized pepperoni. Oh yeah! Perfect! Our pizza oven is back in business. We’ve made pizzas down at the fire pit in our RV park for anyone who showed up. One night, we made 6 pizzas! What fun!

Near Doug’s is the turn off to Old Hedley Rd. There are several provincial campgrounds there, so we often pack a picnic and head to a campground to watch the Similkameen River and let Poppy get out some zoomies and Daisy got to sniff.

Between Hedley and Princeton is Bromley Rock P.P. It has a nice beach and picnic facilities, but no camping.

After all the sniffing, the girls got pretty tuckered out.

The Similkameen Valley

Rugged. Rustic. Real.
This is the motto of the valley.

Here are some beautiful views of the valley that we now call our basecamp. (Does this make me a Valley Girl?) We have taken day trips along the Similkameen River, up the Old Hedley highway, along the Ashnola River, and up Apex Mountain. All of these are close by.

Along the Old Hedley Highway:

Near our RV park, along Highway 3

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Apex Mountain

A Taste of the Valleys

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Panoramic picture by Rick

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After we had settled into our park for a couple of days, our friends, Rick and Lynne, dropped by for a visit, so we had 2 atomic pods on our site! We had a fun time touring the local wineries and cideries in the Similkameen and Okanagan Valleys. Most of the wineries did not charge a tasting fee. Lynne and I were so happy that Paul and Rick took turns being designated drivers (or as my friend Brenda says, “devastated drivers”). Let the tastings begin!

View of Okanagan Lake from Naramata (NE of Penticton)

Of course, it wasn’t all about the wine and cider. We also visited a historic site in Keremeos: The Grist Mill. The miller was so passionate and animated. He is actually an architect who moved here to reconstruct the mill from bits and pieces. He studied other mills of the period and talked to every expert he could find. He was full of interesting stories about how they acquired parts for the mill. There were so many series of events that took place and they found actual parts from this original mill at local farms.

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The Grist Mill, Keremeos

One story was particularly interesting to me. A friend of the miller is a local artist. She had a desk that she had planned to use in her studio, but decided against it. She asked the miller if he would be interested since it was probably of the same vintage as the mill. He brought it back to the mill and the wood pieces of the desktop were the same size as the wood on the walls. OK. That was a nice coincidence . . . or so he thought. Then he considered where the original miller would have placed a desk. He could only fit it behind the door. When he put it in place, the water marks on the wall matched the shape of the desk! This was the original desk! This is just one of the many stories he told us.

You can buy flour milled here because it is fully operational. Of course, dogs aren’t allowed inside the mill, but they did allow us to sneak them onto the grounds.

 

From Prairie to Rockies to Valleys

September 1-6, 2018

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Back in April, we toured 2 RV parks in the Similkameen Valley (west of the Okanagan). We were looking to purchase an RV lot to satisfy the residency requirements in Canada. On the day we arrived back in Saskatoon, we got a call. A couple was selling their lot at one of the parks. They sent pictures and we bought it sight unseen. So, we’ve owned an RV lot in the Similkameen Valley since April, but we had never visited it until now (September). We are still officially Saskatchewan residents. We will decide next year if we want to officially become BC residents.

On Labor Day weekend, we started our trek west – Paul drove the truck and Airstream with Daisy, and I drove the Jeep with Poppy. We chose the northern route (through Edmonton) in order to visit our friends, Mary and Tony.

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Jasper National Park

This was the furthest I have ever driven. I have been known to nod off at the wheel (highway hypnosis – “you’re getting sleepy”), so I keep my trips to under 3 hours. Driving in the mountains with trees lining the highways is very hypnotic, but I kept that shiny atomic pod in my sight.

We knew that forest fires were still burning in BC, but didn’t expect them to be so close to our RV park. As soon as we turned onto Hwy 3 towards Keremeos, we could see flames and so much smoke!

What a warm welcome!

 

The Qu’Appelle Valley

August 24 & 25, 2018

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This scenic valley is located in southern Saskatchewan. It features rolling hills, the Qu’Appelle River and many lakes that the river feeds. It is a must-see for travellers to Saskatchewan. We stayed at Crooked Lake Provincial Park on Friday night. We were fortunate to get site 33, which is right on the lake and has little steps leading to the rocky shore. In true retriever fashion, Poppy bolted for the water as soon as we had parked the Chinook.

We arrived at noon, so we had all day to explore and relax. The smoke from the BC forest fires was still strong, but the lake was beautiful. We gathered wood for a fire, but Mother Nature had something else planned. While we were preparing dinner, the winds picked up and then the lightning, thunder, and rain came, so we hunkered down in the Chinook to eat and pass the evening.

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The next morning, we were greeted with much cooler temperatures. It was like autumn came during the night, which took us by surprise. Was it our imagination that leaves turned color overnight? Was it heat stress or cooler temperatures? Brrr.

We continued our scenic drive to Fort Qu’Appelle, which had been a Hudson’s Bay trading post.

We thought we would investigate the Lion’s campground in town, but when we arrived, police were down at the beach stringing up Caution tape. The beach and campground were crawling with police and paramedics. It did not look good. Sure enough, a woman had been found dead on the beach. No foul play is suspected. If she drowned, it wouldn’t be surprising because of the storm the night before and the windy conditions that day. The distressing situation is that the police cannot locate her 7-year-old son who had been with her. This happened on Saturday, and as of today (Friday), they still can’t find him. The family is frantic.

We continued on to Katepwa Provincial Park. We passed through the picturesque town of Lebret before reaching the park. Sadly, the park is day-use only. We walked the girls on the beach and saw a job posting for Poppy:

Lebret:

For the night, we ended up staying at an overpriced Regional park before reaching our basecamp in Wakaw on Sunday.

Big Quill Lake, on the way to Wakaw:

Now we will spend a few days winterizing our motorhome and securing everything in our shipping container. Then, we will head to our autumn basecamp in British Columbia.  What a summer it has been!

Wonderful Winnipeg

August 21 & 22, 2018

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Canadian Museum for Human Rights

After the boler bash, we stayed a few extra days in Winnipeg. It’s surprising that I had never visited this city before. Yes, I’d driven through and bought fuel or had a layover at the airport, but I had never spent any time there. It is a wonderful city! Growing up in Ontario, I had always referred to it as “Winterpeg”. It has so much to offer. Yes, some roads are really rough, but the traffic flows. That’s right. It was a breeze to drive even the Chinook. This always elevates a city’s status in our books.

A small group of us stayed on a Red River Exhibition for 2 more nights.  These are the only trailers left after everyone pulled out on Sunday:

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This was our little “circle of boler love”:

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clockwise: Our Chinook, Brenda’s boler, Heidi’s Trillium, and Sheila’s Escape

One of my friends (Lynn) emailed the Tourism Winnipeg to ask if there was RV parking downtown for 3 small rigs where we could spend the night. Someone got back to her and gave us a location in the French quarter, St. Boniface – right in the heart of the city! We were able to walk to trendy coffee shops, restaurants, The Forks, museums, and Fromagerie Bothwell. What fun! So Yves & Lynn, Sheila, and we did some boondocking in the heart of Winnipeg.

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Yves & Lynn and their Trillium Jubilee, Sheila’s Escape, and our Chinook (and Kenzie & Bunnah)

Along with our friend, Sheila, we toured the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. It is an architectural wonder on the outside, but a somber experience on the inside. Will we humans ever learn from our history?

Entrance to the exhibits:

A few of the exhibits:

–Women’s rights and aboriginal women’s continuing struggles

–Religious rights (and the creation of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms)

–Racial rights and Viola Desmond’s bravery

There were also many separate exhibits on the various regimes that have oppressed humans.  Of course, the largest was the Nazi exhibit.

There were also bold messages about one’s behaviour when others around you are being persecuted.

This museum is a must-see for all.  It requires much reading, but there are some interactive exhibits and video interviews throughout to break up the reading.  We spent several hours there and were disappointed to discover that it closed at 5pm, so we had to rush through the last few floors.  Those last floors were the most uplifting.

The next day, we took Daisy and Poppy, and Sheila brought Kenzie (Westie) and Bunnah (Scottie) and walked all around St. Boniface and The Forks.

The Cathedral was destroyed in a fire, but the ruins remain, and a new cathedral was built inside the ruins.  On the grounds of the cathedral is a cemetery which includes the grave of Louis Riel.  Riel led an uprising (The Riel Rebellion) against the Canadian government in 1885.  He was hanged for treason; however, he is honoured as a hero in many parts of Canada.

The Forks is where the Red and Assiniboine Rivers meet. It has a very long history and is now a National Historic Site.

There is an interesting astronomy installation in the park.  There are huge structures that point to various star clusters and a description below each one.  You have to get the full effect at night, of course.

We had lunch at The Forks Market. The dogs really enjoyed helping Sheila with her fish and chips! Afterwards, Sheila and her girls left for points east to meet up with Donna Dee and her pack. They are heading to the east coast. We will meet up with them in BC and head south together this winter. Happy trails Sheila and Donna!

 

bolers Away!

August 15-19, 2018
Red River Exhibition Park, Winnipeg, MB

454 fiberglass trailers (including one Chinook) registered

420 fiberglass trailers (including one Chinook) attended (321 bolers)

930 participants (from 10 Canadian provinces and 23 US States)

1800+ public attended Saturday

What do these numbers represent? The gathering of molded fiberglass enthusiasts for the 50th anniversary of the boler trailer!

Ian Giles of Calgary, Alberta spent roughly 4 years organizing this historic event. Along with his wife, Joan, he worked tirelessly to create a memorable experience for all. Please visit myboler.com for detailed information and media coverage.

There were 6 snowball caravans arriving from points in Canada (West A, West B, and East) and the US (West, East, and South), with campgrounds along the way. Unfortunately, we didn’t join an official caravan because we were volunteering and arrived a day early. However, we had our own little caravan of 6 rigs arriving early. We met in Regina, SK, where we were treated to a wonderful dinner and driveway camping at Brenda Williams’ house. Then, the 6 of us headed east to Winnipeg.

We were the first arrivals on Tuesday. We set up camp, toured the grounds, and met the other volunteers as they arrived.

That evening, we had an orientation by Ian, and then it was Show Time!

The first caravan arrived Wednesday at 10 am. Now that was a sight to see! A quarter of a mile of bolers! Spirits were high in the extreme heat. There was lots of cheering and honking. Paul was on parking duty for the first caravan. Ian arranged for specific parking areas: electrical, generators, groups, and general. Then, the participants were parked accordingly. There were only a few hiccups. Since there were waves of trailers arriving, Paul stayed parking people all day. His shift was supposed to be only 2 hours, but everyone was so excited that most of the first shift kept working and helping out the next shifts.

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One wave in the first Western Canadian caravan

Arrival of the Eastern Canadian caravan:

The party was on!

We had some new manufacturers in attendance such as Oliver Travel Trailers, Armadillo Trailers, and Happier Camper. Sadly, Airstream did not send a NEST, though they had been invited. If our current Airstream is ever written off like our previous one was, we would definitely consider getting an Oliver. What a sweet trailer! It has some serious features for full-time living. The only drawback is the wet-bath.

Armadillo Trailers:

Oliver Trailers:

Happier Camper:

We started our days with ukulele lessons by Long and McQuade and then the seminars began. We had seminars on topics such as boondocking, batteries & solar, sewing cushion covers & curtains, and photography, and there were also guest speakers as well as nightly entertainment.

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Even Randy Janes from Create Café in Saskatoon presented his 3-D printed trailer prototype. We have known Randy for about 14 years. He sold us our first Airstream. He is a long-time fiberglass trailer owner, and since he dealt with so many customers in sales, he knew what people wanted in a trailer, so he set out to create the world’s largest 3-D printer and printed a trailer! It is just a prototype, but it is the future of manufacturing.

On Thursday evening, we were treated to a wine and cheese social sponsored by Bothwell Cheese. They brought 500 lbs of cheese for the 930 participants! The family that owns Bothwell Cheese also owns a boler and they parked it for the event too. If you are buying cheese for yourself, choose Bothwell! They are such a generous company.

Saturday was the Trailer Open House from 10am-3pm. It was open to the public, who paid $10 per person to attend. Over 1800 people attended! We weren’t sure that anyone would want to view our Chinook, but we had a steady stream. Some wrote down all the information about it so that they could search for one too. At 2pm, we shut our door so that we could run quickly and see a few trailers we had to see. Unfortunately, we didn’t see nearly enough. This was a HUGE event. But, here are a few highlights:

Biod from The Netherlands:

Scholar Hauler:

Special thank you to Ian Giles, the volunteers, and participants for making this such a memorable event. If you are looking for special boler trailer parts or gifts, check out Ian’s shop: campingtreasures.com.

Canada’s Wonderland?

June 27-30, 2018

After spending a month in the Niagara Region visiting family and friends, it was time to start heading westward.  We had a wonderful time visiting; however, we didn’t do very much sightseeing this year.  After all, this is our home stomping grounds and we aren’t really tourists when we return “home”.

Our first stop on our westward journey was to Can-Am RV in London, ON. We had made an appointment to get a bike rack installed on the Airstream and to have our kitchen revamped. We arrived on Wednesday just before closing, and they gave us a spot with power and water out front. Our Airstream was moved into a service bay first thing on Thursday morning.

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A rainy night at Can-Am

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Jeep Cherokee & 25RB and Chrysler 300 & 30RB

Can-Am prefers the Arvika bike rack manufactured in Quebec, so we trusted their judgment. In order to mount it, they make braces out of Zip-Dee awning hardware, so the whole Airstream looks unified. What a beautiful job! Now we can’t wait to get back to Saskatoon to get our bikes.

Also, on Thursday, the cabinet maker, Larry, removed our built-in microwave and crafted a pot drawer. By the end of Thursday, he had made a very substantial drawer that is strong enough to stand in! However, he was waiting for the Landmark laminate to arrive from the Airstream factory. It was being shipped inside an Airstream. It didn’t arrive in the first trailer, but it did finally arrive later that evening.

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Original kitchen

We spent Thursday evening with a fun couple from California and a Can-Am employee. We were all camping out in the yard. The employee, Bill, has now moved away from the area, but he works 2 days per week, so he camps there overnight when he has a shift. He does the walk-throughs with new owners, and he and his wife are also full-timers. Ingo and Mary, from California (and Louisiana) camped overnight so that they could be squeezed in on Friday for some servicing. We had drinks, appetizers, and great conversation! Ingo and Mary are leading the Highway 61 Revisited caravan (A musical journey along The Blues Highway) this fall with the Wally Byam Airstream Club.

On Friday, Larry continued working on the drawer front. He worked ALL DAY and the results are spectacular! What a craftsman! He decided to make it look like 2 drawers so that it wasn’t so overwhelming in appearance. He used all the same hardware that the rest of the trailer has, and he also did some special touches, like routering out the area around the push latch and then edging it with laminate. He did lovely custom work. Maybe in the future, we’ll be having him make a desk for us if we decide to remove the dinette. We will have to use the trailer for a while to see if we learn to love the dinette.

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New kitchen

So, we spent 2 days in the Can-Am lounge, but it was fine. We had air conditioning (and did we ever need it!), coffee, wifi, Airstream tours, and Wendy, the receptionist, kept bringing the girls treats. It was a wonderful experience.

As you are driving in Southern Ontario, you will see signs for Canada’s Wonderland, a huge amusement park; however, for Airstreamers, the real Canada’s Wonderland is Can-Am RV.

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