Monday, June 13, 2011

Just catching up

June 6th
What’s up eh? Ha! We made it into Canada…then back into the US…then back into Canada and repeat that another 2 times. We are camping tonight in a Free Campground! That’s right, Free!  A family allows people to camp on their property, along highway 1 going North through Canada. I spoke with the guy and he is very nice. Anyways, here’s what we have been up to. Oh and BTW, Happy Birthday to Jason!  He and his wife had another baby boy last month. Just a little heads up for everyone that doesn’t know.  
After the Boeing tour, we drove into Canada. We stayed at the Walmart in Surrey, right across the border, near Vancouver. There is a large Indian (Pakistani or India) population around there.  Most everyone at the Walmart was wearing turbans.  Not sure why there are so many around that area. We woke up the next morning and drove back over the border into a peninsula that is Washington state. We had to cross the border again. The place is called Rogers Point. It was traded for Vancouver Island with the Canadians because of the fish canneries on the peninsula.  We left our RV’s at a park for the day, while we took a ferry to Victoria, on Vancouver Island. The ferry ride was very pretty. We were the last vehicle on the ferry, out of about 250, because we were running a little late. But, the view was awesome being the last on the boat.  Victoria was very nice.  The town was right on the harbor.  There were seaplanes coming and going, water taxis zooming around, yachts docked, people walking around…it was bustling!  We ate at a great place by the water.  The food was excellent and the service was great.  We walked around the town and took in the scenery, then walked through China town and checked out some of the shops. We took a tour of the Parliament building also. Victoria is definitely a place that we would like to go back to and stay a few more days. 
We stayed overnight in Washington at the RV park and then drove up into Canada yesterday.  We had a very nice drive up 1 through a canyon and stayed at a park near the Fraser River. There were so many trains traveling up and down the river this morning.  Our running joke is…I don’t feel like home at a campground unless there are trains nearby, because every place we stay, there are trains around.  Laurie was sluicing the rest of her diamond mud in the river this morning.  We have been hauling the diamond mud from Arkansas, in a small cooler. We didn’t see any large diamonds, but we are going to bake the rest of the rocks to see if any diamonds show up, like the last one we found. But, that cooler was supposed to pay for our trip out here and back, because of the diamonds that we were supposed to find in it.  Oh well!  We are going to get up and drive more tomorrow. Not sure what the day has in store for us, but the weather has been perfect and it’s been very nice to drive in. It is getting dark here later. It is 11pm and still not quite dark yet.  Talk to you soon!

Here are some pics from Victoria Canada.


Parliament Building

Port at Victoria

June 10th
I just looked at my watch this morning and it said Friday. I didn’t know what day it was and it really didn’t bother me. That’s the way things go out here in the heart of nowhere Canada. We are stopped at a road construction site right now.  They are repaving part of the Alaskan highway, so I thought I would take a little bit of time to let everyone know what’s been happening. 
June 12th
We started moving as soon as I got “happening” typed and I haven’t been able to get on the computer until now. We have been driving through Canada still and the scenery has been gorgeous. I know that is a little feminine to say, but hey, I can’t lie, it has been.  There are farm lands along the river with miles of yellow flowers growing in the hay fields.  We drove through many small towns along the way, some of which had character, others…well, they had nothing. We saw the world’s largest gold pan and then we saw fire hydrants painted like wee people. We stopped in a campground in Smithers Canada on Tuesday.  The town was bigger and had some cool little coffee shops and stores in it. Laurie and I took a bike ride to check things out, before dinner. After dinner (9:30 and it was still daylight) I took another bike ride up the trail to explore some more.  I stopped at the trail crossing because I heard a noise that sounded like a cattle stampede coming towards me. I look up the other trail in front of me and saw this huge moose running right towards me. No worries, I had my mountain bike to protect me! Haha!  Just kidding. I wasn’t alarmed because she took a left in front of me and went down another path.  There were two bikers behind her chasing her down the path.  I thought they were stupid for doing that because she could have ran right through me.  I finished my ride and went back to the RV and everyone was standing around saying that I missed the moose because it ran into the woods.  I told them that it ran right in front of me!  Laurie took some pictures of it when it came down into the campground and then ran away. We hadn’t seen a moose until then and boy did I get a close up of it. 
We continued our drive North and saw a few bears along the route.  Some would run away from the roar of the motorhome and some would walk slowly across the road like they didn’t even see us. We camped at a primitive site that night, right next to a lake.  The lake was calm and there were mountains surrounding it. It made quite a spot for scenic pictures.  I walked down to the lake and saw another couple standing on the shore, looking in the water.  They were looking at rainbow trout that were 30 feet from the shore, all huddled together in a school.  Their fins were showing at the top of the water.  There were eggs that ran up a small creek where the fish had laid them earlier.  I ran back and grabbed everyone and our fishing poles to see if we could catch one. After switching baits 30 times, getting laughed at by the Canadians because I couldn’t catch a fish when they were 10 feet from me, and getting heckled from Laurie and Holly, I finally snagged one.  Joe and I were the only ones left fishing when I caught one.  He snagged one before me but it got off. I reeled it in with the help of Holly jumping in the water after it, and pulled it up onto shore. The dogs were going crazy because it was flipping around on the shore.  Joe took some great pictures of me reeling it in.  It was 11pm and I needed one more fish to put on the grill for Joe and I.  Laurie and Jan had already eaten and were inside because the mosquitoes were out and hungry.  I threw the line out again and caught one more. This time it was bigger!  I fought it like I was reeling in a marlin.  It was jumping and so were the dogs…so excited that I was bringing in another friendly fish…eager to roll on it. We cleaned the fish and I put them on the grill for us.  It doesn’t get any fresher than that and it tasted great too!  After surviving the night with no bears surrounding us or moose stampeding us, we were able to get rolling a little before noon…and we drove and drove and drove…We don’t get far in the RV’s, although we drive all day.  We make just over 300 miles in 7-8 hours. We made it to the Yukon line that night and camped by another lake.  Holly got to swim and we got to fish, but there were no rainbow trout waiting on us that night. 
We stayed in Carcross Canada last night. It was part of the Gold Rush trail.  Oh, by the way, this part of the country is where the Klondike Gold Rush was. All towns and history around here are about the gold rush and its significance in this area. It is very interesting to learn about how crazy people were…and, people were quick-money hungry then as they still are now (housing boom).  We drove down to Skagway Alaska yesterday.  We spent all day in town, walking around and taking tours and seeing the little shops and everything that the town has to offer.  We ended up at a Summer Solstice party just outside of Skagway and had some burgers and listened to some music and watched a glass blowing seminar.  It was pretty cool.  All of the locals came out of the woodworks.  I think they were excited to get out of the town after the cruise ships left.  Our drive back to camp last night was exciting.  It was about 11:30 when we left Skagway and still daylight outside. Laurie yelled out from the backseat, “what is that!” It was a porcupine!  We saw 2 or 3 of them on the way back last night, along with 2 bears, one of which had a cub with her. That was cool to finally see a mama bear and her cub. We got back at 12:30 and I went across the gravel runway and took a couple of pictures of the moon, near the top of some mountains.  Needless to say, it was still daylight.  It never gets dark here. Not that I have a problem with that, it is just weird walking out at midnight and thinking it is 7 o’clock still. We can still sleep through the night though…probably out of exhaustion!  
Today, we drove into Whitehorse Canada. It’s the capital of the Yukon.  It has a population of 25k with an airport and a nice little downtown area, right along a river.  This was also part of the gold rush.  The train rain through here from Skagway and the steamers took passengers and cargo up the Yukon river.  This was a pretty big hub for the gold rush, on their way to Dawson City.  We are staying at an RV park with many other travelers.  Seems like this is also a big hub for RVer’s trying to get wifi and a hot shower. I took Holly for a jog along the river, then Laurie and I took in a Vaudville show in town tonight.  There was comedy, music, poems and more comedy.  The actors were very funny and the show was definitely worth seeing.  They wanted to make it seem like we were still back in the gold rush days of 1898. It was called Frantic Follies, if you ever get out this way.   We are going to try and make Tok, Alaska tomorrow, but it is over 300 miles away, and typically, our day doesn’t include 300 miles of driving.  I am tired so I’ll call it a night now.  Good night!

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