Thursday, 31 July 2008
Day 45 West Yellowstone
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Not much to report for today; we spend the day doing chores. I planned out the remaining stops between here and St Paul. We will visit Cody WY, Mt Rushmore SD and the Badlands SD.  Tonight we are having dinner out and going to the Batman movie, Dark Knight. 

The photo is a frame from the movies I took of Old Faithfull yesterday. The new camera (Canon SD950IS) actually takes HD movies (1024x768 pixels).

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Posted on 07/31/2008 11:42 PM by Bob Duthie
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Wednesday, 30 July 2008
Day 43 Butte, MT to West Yellowstone, MT
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The GPS took us a different route via US287 than the one I had planned with Microsoft Streets & Trips. I am glad it did as there was more 2 lane and less Interstate.

The scenery was really spectacular with the Rocky Mountains to the east. At times we were beside the Madison River visited by Lewis & Clark.

Nearing Yellowstone we passed Earthquake Lake created in 1959 by a 7.3 earthquake that caused a huge landslide damming up the Madison River. Five miles of US 287 were destroyed. The lake is surrounded by dead trees that were drowned. The photo shows the lake and slide area.

The museum in the old railway station has a feature film on this disaster plus another on the 1988 forest fire that razed 45% of the park. The road climbed 2,900 ft from Ennis without us even noticing it. The elevation here is 6,912 ft according to the GPS. We are in the finest RV Park we have seen yet on this trip. It is Yellowstone Grizzly RV Park. The landscaping, sites, and staff are first class.

Tomorrow the View stays here while we take a bus tour of the national park.

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Posted on 07/30/2008 2:29 AM by Bob Duthie
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Wednesday, 30 July 2008
Day 44 Yellowstone National Park
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This was my first visit to Yellowstone in 58 years. We took a guided tour in a Dodge Van with individual bucket seats. It was very comfortable and the guide very knowledgeable.  He was a retired Park biologist.

Most of Yellowstone is actually the mouth (caldera) of a volcano that last erupted 640,000 years ago. The hot springs and geysers are all volcanic. A third of the caldera is a 400 ft deep lake at an elevation of 8,000 feet. The lake is filled with rain and melted snow water and even has a marina. The lake drains into the Yellowstone River which empties into the Missouri River.

A spectacular Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone contains two large waterfalls that are all visible from the parks along the way. The overlooks are very crowded with people trying to take photos of each other in front of the falls. Most of the ancient lava flows are covered with lodgepoll pines that are the only tree that will grow there. When the glaciers that covered the area a few thousand years melted and formed small lakes, the soil that was formed on the bottom now support meadows. The photo shows some of the 2,500 bison that are grazing in the park on one of these meadows. Last summer there were 5,000 bison, but in the heavy winter many died in the snow and the rest migrated to Montana and were shot. The farmers there don’t like wild bison on their fields.

Tomorrow is a rest day with no plan. Friday we cross the park and head for Cody, Wyoming.

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Posted on 07/30/2008 10:04 PM by Bob Duthie
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Monday, 28 July 2008
Day 42 Osburn ID to Butte, MT
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This was laundry day, a hated, but necessary event. While Mavis did the dirty work I was interviewed by a Miami writer for a story in Southern Boating on the Cumberland River. The editor wants a story on the entire river from Cumberland Lake to the Ohio. It is going to be tough to find anyone to talk about the 60 miles from the Wolf Creek Dam to Celina as it is not navigable. 

Nearing Butte I began to retrace the route my family took in a brand new Studebaker in 1950. My father wrote in his blog “The Montana Highways Department has a sense of humor, as we found when reading their markers for historic sights. Beautifully mounted in carved wood, these signs were well worth reading and usually contained a chuckle.” The photo shows one of the markers we found in a rest stop.  Not much has changed here in 58 years.

Tomorrow we head for West Yellowstone for 3 nights.

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Posted on 07/28/2008 10:41 PM by Bob Duthie
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Sunday, 27 July 2008
Day 41 Leavenworth, WA to Osburn, ID
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Osburn is a tiny village of mostly mobile homes in the mountains of Northern Idaho. The Osburns work in the world’s largest silver mine. Mining clothes are not allowed in the RV Park washing machines.  

To get here we drove about 250 miles through some of the most interesting country so far; we saw everything from apple orchards, to vast plains of wheat, to desert and mountain lakes.

Several people had told us to take US #2 and we were glad we did. The photo shows a 2 mile long canyon in the desert that was completely wild. We were alone and with the engine stopped the silence was deafening. Route #2 is a great motorcycle road and there were quite a few out. As we were leaving Leavenworth, a neighbor came over to see the View. She said if I was interested in geology to watch out for some large boulders in the fields near the road. They got there during the ice age when an ice dam built up to 700 ft high and then broke causing a massive flood. Sure enough we passed by a few of these rocks and got a photograph. There were also a lot of smaller stones that the wheat farmers had put into piles.

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Posted on 07/27/2008 10:04 PM by Bob Duthie
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Saturday, 26 July 2008
Day 40 Anacortes to Leavenworth, WA
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It was time to start heading east. I checked the tires and we were off over the Deception Pass to Everett. At Everett we turned left and headed for the Cascade Mountain Range on US Highway 2. It is 2 lanes for most of the way except going through Stevens Pass where it becomes 4 lanes with a 60 mph limit.

We were at 4061 ft at the summit. Apparently the pass was closed with snow until just a couple of weeks ago. Then it was downhill to Leavenworth.

This is an old lumbering town that has transformed itself into a replica of a Bavarian Village (see photo). We got a campsite on the edge of town and walked back. The town was packed with tourists, gift shops and restaurants. Tomorrow we will skip Spokane and go on to Osburn Idaho. We have to make up for the short 161 mile drive we did today.

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Posted on 07/26/2008 10:59 PM by Bob Duthie
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Friday, 25 July 2008
Day 38 Victoria, BC
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We drove the View and relied on the Garmin GPS to find our way to the Butchart Gardens. It was a mistake. It took us on the shortest route which is over narrow mountain roads past Prospect Lake.

It took close to an hour compared to the slightly longer route on a 4 lane road. It was a bright sunny day and the gardens were beautiful. There is almost too much color at this time of year. Mavis said it was like the grand finale of a fireworks show when they fire everything at once.

They have a new Duffy electric tour boat. When I showed up for the tour there was no one else and I received a private tour of the waters of Brentwood Bay and Tod Inlet. It is a beautiful area for cruising and anchoring. We stayed for the afternoon tea which was a meal in itself.

This evening I walked some of the West Bay Walkway. It is the finest walkway I have ever seen and runs along the coast 2.7 miles from our RV Park to downtown Victoria. At times the boardwalk is suspended from the cliffs. I watched a cruise ship come in and many sea plane landings as I walked along. It seems the cruise ships coming out of Seattle have to stop here to clear Canadian customs before heading up the Georgia Strait for Alaska. The ships that leave from Vancouver don’t have this penalty.

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Posted on 07/25/2008 5:18 AM by Bob Duthie
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Friday, 25 July 2008
Day 39 Sidney BC to Anacortes, WA
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The ferry trip back to the USA was very smooth. US Immigration is in Canada but Customs are in the USA. Mavis gathered all the fruit and vegetables and let the inspector who came aboard decide what had to go. After the formalities he became very interested in the View.

It was then an 18 miles drive south on Whidbey Island to my cousin Alan’'s house overlooking the passage between the Island and the mainland. The Ala Spit (see photo) is just down the hill in front of his house.

Many pleasure boats from Seattle were cruising north and through Deception Pass for the weekend. The current is tremendous and the waves in the pass are very dangerous. Alan’'s son Thomas flipped his kayak near the pass 3 days ago. Alan was nearby on his kayak.  They put the two kayaks together and Thomas was able to climb back aboard.

We had dinner at the Deception Inn, a very good but very small family restaurant. Tomorrow we head 150 miles east to Levenworth WA and then on to Spokane the next day.

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Posted on 07/25/2008 10:13 PM by Bob Duthie
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Wednesday, 23 July 2008
Day 37 Saltspring Island to Victoria BC
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The ferry left on time and we were at the Westbay Marine Village by 11:20. This is a unique place combing an RV Park with a live-aboard marina and floating homes (see photo).

A Harbor Ferry comes by every 15 minutes or so and took us to downtown Victoria where we met John & Valerie (friends from our Brockville days) at the Union Club for lunch. The Union Club is one of the great big city men’s clubs. It is right beside the Empress Hotel and the BC parliament buildings. 

John drove me back to the RV Park while Mavis went antique shopping. I put the View in our proper site and then walked the 2.5 miles back to downtown where we met Rob & Jessica (GTE friends from Brockville) for dinner. We can now claim 8 good friends, all retired on Vancouver Island.

Tomorrow is our last day in Canada when we will visit the famous Butchart Gardens.

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Posted on 07/23/2008 10:23 PM by Bob Duthie
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Tuesday, 22 July 2008
Day 36 Saltspring Island
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This was a very relaxing day with breakfast overlooking the ocean from the deck. We watched one cruiser narrowly miss running aground on a shoal. The shoals are all on the chart but not marked.

Bob and I then spent several hours comparing the differences between his Pleasureway motorhome and my Winnebago View. I envied the plaques on the side of his cab that say Engine by Mercedes.

Then we drove to Ganges to the Farmer’s Market which is held every Tuesday. It was the best market we have ever seen with a great variety of organic foods all grown on the island. We bought bread, wraps and pastries for lunch and vegetables for dinner.

A walk to the Ganges harbor yielded today’s photo. A nearby fresh fish market (with signs “"Just say no to farmed salmon") supplied the halibut and spring salmon for dinner. Then we toured a friend’s garden. He is the leading expert on growing bamboo.

A visit to Judy and Bob'’s son Mark'’s new house completed the afternoon. The bought a house from a former iron worker who had moved to an assisted living center. It came with everything the man had collected over many years.  A large shed was chock full of all kinds of tools and lumber. The house is being gutted and rebuilt inside. Not an easy task on an island off an island. There are many strange regulations on building which make it even more difficult. The philosophy here is that generally it is better to ask for forgiveness than permission. We had dinner overlooking the sound. 

Tomorrow we take the 9:50 AM ferry to Victoria.

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Posted on 07/22/2008 10:20 PM by Bob Duthie
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Monday, 21 July 2008
Day 35 Duncan to Saltspring Island, BC
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We had the last of Karen's free range chicken sausages with Doug and Ann for breakfast.

Doug gave us a tour of downtown Duncan. What was once an Indian village is now an interesting downtown on the scale of the best anywhere on the continent. Organic is very big here and we toured a shop that had all kinds of stuff that I had never seen before. The shop is in a restored 1912 garage. It combines used books with a community market, coffee, bakery, and hair design. It is located right across the street from the old rail station which is now a museum in spite of the fact that a passenger train (2 car) goes through headed north to the rural areas on the island in the morning and makes a return trip to the densely populated areas in the afternoon. The directions the train takes are the exact opposite of what it should be doing but  probably best serve the train crew rather than the passengers. 

At noon we took the ferry across to Saltspring Island and drove to Bob & Judy's house ( Brockville friends) which overlooks one of the long sounds on the east side. They have been motor homing for years and just acquired one built on the same chassis (Dodge Sprinter) as ours.

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Posted on 07/21/2008 10:10 PM by Bob Duthie
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Sunday, 20 July 2008
Day 33 Tofino, BC
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We did a lot of walking today. First we went to the Botanical Garden on the road and then back via the beach. It is on the other side of the peninsula. It was interesting but could use some help.

One of the trails through the rain forest was completely blocked by a tree being cut up and another just petered out in dense brush.

Tonight we took the bus to the Wickaninnish Inn for dinner and walked back. The Inn is a Relais & Chateaux with summer rates starting at $460 a night.  The RV Park was only $57 a night so we could spend our savings on dinner. The restaurant is perched on the jagged rocks overlooking the Pacific. It is a spectacular setting and the meal was a good match. The photo shows the cold soup I had. It was grapefruit juice with Dungeness crab topped with melon and sorbet. Sounds weird but all the flavors worked well together. The wines were nearly all BC and excellent. Every dish was a masterpiece of design and taste. It was a meal and anniversary to remember.

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Posted on 07/20/2008 4:23 AM by Bob Duthie
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Sunday, 20 July 2008
Day 34 Tofino to Duncan, BC
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We left early for the return trip across Vancouver Island. Early Sunday morning the traffic was light and we got to Port Alberni without incident. I had breakfast there at little restaurant on the docks.

There is a long inlet from the Pacific that goes some 60 miles or so to Port Alberni. The port is actually much closer to the east coast of the island than the west coast.

The photo shows the restored Coast Guard Banfield Lifeboat that operated on the west coast of the island and was used to rescue sailors from ships that floundered on the rocky coast in the many storms that occur there.

Banfield is a small town at the mouth of the inlet.  We shopped in Nanaimo and headed south east 30 miles to Duncan to visit boating friends from Brockville, Doug and Ann.  Doug cooked ribs and corn on the cob on his professional BBQ. I never realized a BBQ could be so complicated with apple tree smoking wood chips, sear burners, and other accessories.

Tomorrow we head for Saltspring Island.

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Posted on 07/20/2008 10:10 PM by Bob Duthie
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Friday, 18 July 2008
Day 31 Tofino, BC
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A local bus took us into town this morning. Just like yesterday fog hung low in the sky and the temperature was in the high 50s.

We stopped at an excellent First Nation (Native Indian) gallery and Mavis bought a coat and I got a totem pole carving of a bear to hang in the Katy Leigh. I will cover up a nail hole left by the original owners and will remind me of the carving hanging in the same place on David’s Grand Banks.

I went out whale watching in a 28 ft aluminum boat powered by twin 250 horse Mercurys. The swells at times were 4 ft high which is calm for this part of the world. I was impressed with the captain who could navigate closely round the rocks at 24 kts.  We did see a couple of whales (see photo). All you see is the back and then the tail. We also saw sea otters swimming on their backs, seals, and sea lions.

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Posted on 07/18/2008 3:42 AM by Bob Duthie
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Friday, 18 July 2008
Day 32 Tofino, BC
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The favorite activity here in the evening is to watch the sunset over the Pacific (see photo). There was a large crowd on the beach last evening. It is so rare to see the sun here I am not surprised. Today the fog didn’t clear until 5:00PM.

This morning after laundry we walked a mile over to the Wickaninnish Inn and its famous Pointe Restaurant to check it out. We are going there tomorrow evening for dinner to celebrate our anniversary in style. We took the bus from there into town and had lunch at the Shelter Restaurant. Mavis believes that she had the best chowder she has ever tasted. It really was good.

The Shelter promotes its “Pastured Poultry” where the chickens are raised outdoors in moveable pens. I never knew there were so many ways to raise chickens as can be found on Vancouver Island. In the winter they are in roomy barns with lots of natural light. Crystal Cove where we are parked is one of the best RV Parks yet. The sites are not too close to each other, the gardens are beautiful and very well kept and it is a short walk to the beach. The staffs are all very helpful and nice.

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Posted on 07/18/2008 10:58 PM by Bob Duthie
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Wednesday, 16 July 2008
Day 30 Parksville to Tofino, BC
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Wide beach at Rathtrevor Provincial Park

We drove 109 miles directly across Vancouver Island to get to Tofino. We are now on the Pacific with 4,000 miles of open ocean between us and Japan. There are tsunami warning signs and escape routes all along this coast.  In spite of all the open ocean the waves on the beach were pretty tame today (see photo). There is fog on the beach and along the coast. People like to come here in the winter to watch the storms come in.

There are lots of Europeans here all in rented small motorhomes like ours. They put flags on the hood of their vehicles to identify their nationality. On the road over we stopped at Cathedral Grove where the Douglas Firs are 800 years old and 200 feet high. 

We will be here until Sunday when we go back across the Island to Duncan. In spite of being in such an isolated place we have Verizon voice and data and a campsite that lets us get DirectTV on our satellite dish.

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Posted on 07/16/2008 10:41 PM by Bob Duthie
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Tuesday, 15 July 2008
Day 28 Ladysmith
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At 8:00am David & I took the dinghy over to an old tug boat at anchor which is used as a bakery. They had some delicious cinnamon buns. We bought 4 and took them back to Orca for breakfast.

Orca is a 16 year old Grand Banks that is probably the best maintained in the world. It looks like it just came out of a showroom. The teak, gel coat and interior are in immaculate condition. David said that when they kept it in Seattle they had a boat detailer work on it every year. The original owner had installed all kinds of gadgets the most remarkable being a scanning sonar. When you turn it on the transducer is lowered into the water about a foot under the hull and then rotates like a radar scanner. The 15” screen provides a radar like image with red showing solid objects such as other boats or rocks. 

We left about 10 and cruised 50 miles around Saltspring Island and back to Ladysmith Yacht Club. The scenery is magnificent with high mountains and sparkling water. At times we could see Mt Baker and the Olympic Mountains in the USA. Dinner tonight was at the Crow & Gate a really good English pub that is just 2 miles from the house.

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Posted on 07/15/2008 5:47 AM by Bob Duthie
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Tuesday, 15 July 2008
Day 29 Ladysmith to Parksville
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Gwen, a graduate Cordon Blue Chef, fixed breakfast with Karen's spicy Italian free range chicken sausages. She added mushrooms, tomatoes, scrambled eggs, and toast. It was a magnificent meal. 

We left at 10:45AM to make the opening of the Barton & Leier Gallery about a mile up the road from where we stayed. Barton and Leier are both artists and gardeners, friends of David & Gwen, and took good care of us. The garden was unlike any seen before with “room” after room of different plants and art objects. One could easily get lost. 

We then drove about 35 miles to Parksville and camped in the Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park. The beach is very wide (see photo) and long with a beautiful view of the Georgia Strait and coastal mountain range. It was fun to watch the tide come in as it moves very fast along the beach. We had no problem getting space in the overflow area. Since there is no power or water in the main campground it made no difference to us.

Tomorrow we head for Tofino and will stay there for 4 nights.  We have Verizon internet and voice here.

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Posted on 07/15/2008 10:55 PM by Bob Duthie
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Monday, 14 July 2008
Day 27 Ladysmith
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I have to make a correction to a statement in yesterday's post. The garden here won a prize as the best in the entire country not just Vancouver Island.

We packed our stuff and headed for the Ladysmith Yacht Club after a walk on the rocks as the tide was out and breakfast. The marinas here are completely different from anything in the east. Huge floating boat houses are built of wood with an aluminum skin for each boat. They are then attached to a long floating dock. A fabric door keeps the birds out and rolls up when you want to take your boat out. A remote control lowers it when you have left (see photo). The boat houses provide great storage for the boat but are not as social as the docks in the east.

We cruised 27 miles to Montague Harbor and tied up to one of the last two moorings in the harbor. It was at a provincial park and cost $10 per day. After a fabulous meal of beef fajitas we had a very quiet night in the v-berth.

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Posted on 07/14/2008 10:44 PM by Bob Duthie
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Sunday, 13 July 2008
Day 26 Ladysmith BC
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A batch of Karen's free range chicken sausages was much enjoyed at breakfast. We visited a neighbor for a while and watched a buck deer wander through the flower beds and around the rocks. At noon we left for Ladysmith with a stop at Costco for a new camera. The old Olympus had stripped its telephoto gear and the lens cover was sticking. I got a Canon SD950IS which so far has about the same controls as the Olympus but has a better human interface. We are now parked in the driveway of Gwen and David's house in Ladysmith. As I write this I am enjoying the view (see photo) from the port side window of the View. The gardens here are unbelievably beautiful and have won awards for the best on Vancouver Island.. To irrigate the garden, water is pumped a mile from a lake to a storage tank on the property. Then at night some 400 sprinkler heads water the grass and flowers. Tomorrow we are going on an overnight cruise on Orca, David's 42 ft Grand Banks.

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Posted on 07/13/2008 12:19 AM by Bob Duthie
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Friday, 11 July 2008
Day 25 Nanoose Bay - Fairwinds
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Our friends Bob & Heather live in a very large 20 year old development on the Georgia Straits called Fairwinds. They moved here from Toronto 4 years ago.  The homes are built on rocky hills and most have spectacular views of the strait, islands, coast mountain range Vancouver 38 miles away and Mt Baker 109 miles away.

Friday is a cruise ship day and we watched one headed north from the patio. We toured the development, visited the yacht club, and the harbor at Parksville. Bob uses Skype on his laptop with full motion video to talk to family and I had a chance to see how well it works on a call to daughter Catherine in New York. The videophone has finally arrived.

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Posted on 07/11/2008 4:59 PM by Bob Duthie
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Thursday, 10 July 2008
Day 24 Hornby Island
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We really slept a long time this morning since it is so quiet and cool here. The View is in the shade for much of the day.

Mavis and Pauline went for a long walk and the rest of us went riding up into the mountain (well, a slight hill). I hadn’'t ridden a horse in 20 years but after a while got used to it once again. The gelding, Cosmos, had a mind of his own much of the time but followed the others so it wasn'’t a problem.

I helped Jim order a new Dell laptop computer. It took about an hour. With one click to complete the transaction, a message from Visa Verification said that it could not go farther and to call. After several calls and explaining the situation, the customer service rep said that a new enhanced Visa card was in the mail and the old card couldn’'t be used. Jim would have to call Dell to complete the transaction. On calling Dell we found we were too late in the day. They closed at 5:00PM Eastern Time which is 2:00PM Pacific Time. Tomorrow he will start over again. 

It is a short walk to the beach.  When the tide is out the beach is a vast field of limestone and stones. There are lots of little creatures in the tide pools. Tomorrow we leave Hornby Island and head for Nanoose on Vancouver Island to visit with Bob and Heather.

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Posted on 07/10/2008 10:01 PM by Bob Duthie
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Wednesday, 9 July 2008
Day 23 Hornby Island
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This was a relaxing day and started with Karen’s free range chicken sausages.

Next we went down to the harbor and looked at the boats. We visited the farmers’ market and the one room natural science museum. The museum uses one of the elementary school rooms in the summer. In the winter they have to store all the exhibits in a freezer so the insect/butterfly exhibits and stuffed animals aren’t eaten by bugs.

After lunch we visited one of Jed’s projects converting trees toppled by a severe winter storm 2 years ago into lumber. Jed has an excavator and a portable saw mill. We saw piles of beautiful cedar, fir, and balsam beams and boards. After that we were back at the house playing with the many animals.

Dinner was free range chicken cooked on a brand new grill that Jim and I took two hours to assemble.

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Posted on 07/09/2008 10:59 PM by Bob Duthie
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Tuesday, 8 July 2008
Day 21 Vancouver BC
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The RV Park here is the most compact we have seen yet. I measured our site and it is just 15 ft wide and maybe 40 ft deep. It looks like a RV Dealers yard.

The Capilano River rapids create enough noise to drown out most of the campers so we did get a good sleep. This was laundry and shopping day. At noon we took a bus to Lonsdale Quay and had lunch in the fabulous market there. Then a high speed ferry took us to downtown Vancouver. We walked around for a while and then another bus took us to Granville Island where our friends Tim, Heather and their two young children (<1 and 2) live-aboard on their 48 ft motorsailer (See  photo 2nd sailboat from the right).

The docks are owned by a co-op. There are 55 live-aboard boats so it is real community. There are day-care facilities, restaurants, schools and the famous Granville Market all within walking distance. Tim's office is about 5 blocks away. They have sailed around Vancouver Island twice.

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Posted on 07/08/2008 4:34 AM by Bob Duthie
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Tuesday, 8 July 2008
Day 22 Vancouver to Hornby Island
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Vancouver Island Ferry Lounge Well we made it to day to the end-of-the-earth, Hornby Island. Our friends Jim and Pauline live on this isolated island. Their daughter Karen and son-in-law, Jed operate an Agri-Villa (www.outerisland.bc.ca) and a tree arborist business here complete with horses,pony, donkey, free-range chickens, rabbits, sheep, and a duck. 

Karen makes an incredible chicken sausage which is becoming well known in the area. To get to Hornby Island you take a ferry from Vancouver to Nanaimo, drive 52 miles to Buckley Bay, take a second ferry to Denman Island, drive across Denman Island and take a 3rd ferry to Hornby Island. The farm is another 6 miles or so across the island. However, in spite of the isolation the Verizon cell phone and data service work here. At dinner we learned about the WWOOFs (Will Work On Organic Farms  www.wwoof.org). These are people that adventure out to learn about organic farming for room and board only. One couple from England worked for 6 months here. Late in their stay they revealed their family owned a 40,000 acre estate in England and they were here to see if they would like farming.

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Posted on 07/08/2008 10:58 PM by Bob Duthie
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Monday, 7 July 2008
Map 1 Brockville to Thunder Bay
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Showing overnight stops at:  2 - Brockville ON, 3- Stonecliffe ON, 4 - Thessalon ON, 5 - Terrace Bay, ON

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Posted on 07/07/2008 4:42 AM by Bob Duthie
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Monday, 7 July 2008
Map 2 Thunder Bay to Regina
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Showing overnight stops at:: 6 Dryden ON, 7 Brandon MB

 

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Posted on 07/07/2008 4:43 AM by Bob Duthie
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Monday, 7 July 2008
Map 3 Regina to Mt Robson
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Showing overnight stops at: 8 Moose Jaw SK, 9 Bassano AB, 10 Calgary AB, 11 Edmonton AB, 12 Hinton AB, 13 Mt Robson BC
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Posted on 07/07/2008 4:44 AM by Bob Duthie
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Monday, 7 July 2008
Map 4 Mt Robson to Vancouver
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                      13 Mt Robson, BC, 14 Marble Canyon  BC, 15 North Vancouver, BC
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Posted on 07/07/2008 4:45 AM by Bob Duthie
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Sunday, 6 July 2008
Day 19 Mt Robson to Marble Canyon (Lillooet) BC
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Another BC Parks stop with no power, water, cell phone or Internet. We decided to do two days in one as there didn’'t seem to be any compelling reason to visit any attraction on the way to here. It was a 317 mile drive on winding mountain roads. Now we will get two days in North Vancouver and can visit the Lonsdale Quay and stock up on neat food stuff.

Marble Canyon is actually a limestone canyon with a series of small lakes in the center. The campsite is a few feet below the road and the lake a few more feet below the campsites. The park is well laid out for small motorhomes and tents. Across the lake is a 1000 ft high waterfall. We walked around the end of the lake and almost made it to the waterfall. It gets very wet and slippery on the rocks so we turned around and headed back to the View. It is quite hot and for the first time we are running the air conditioner and the genset.

Tomorrow we will visit Lillooet and Whistler. Whistler is the site of the 2010 Winter Olympics.

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Posted on 07/06/2008 10:38 PM by Bob Duthie
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Sunday, 6 July 2008
Day 20 Marble Canyon to North Vancouver, BC
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This was by far the most exciting day of the trip. Soon after leaving Marble Canyon we encountered the real mountain roads with steep declines, hairpin turns and unprotected drop offs that measured in the hundreds of feet the boiling Fraser river below (see photo near Pavilion). I have a GPS that shows records altitude along with a track file. It showed we would climb 1500 ft then drop 1250 feet all in a few miles.  Then from Whistler to Vancouver the road is under construction for the Olympics with constant lane changes, slow downs, etc. We spent 7 hours to go 182 miles at an average speed of 26 mph. However, on the bright side we were getting 18 mpg.

We are camped in the Capilano RV Park which is right beside the Capilano River almost under the Lion’s Gate Bridge. It is a short walk to a shopping area with bus and ferry service to downtown Vancouver. We will do a little exploring tomorrow. Tuesday we take the ferry from Horseshoe Bay to Vancouver. At the RV Park we have Verizon voice and data and DirectTV.  The next 4 posts provide maps of our route.

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Posted on 07/06/2008 10:40 PM by Bob Duthie
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Friday, 4 July 2008
Day 18 Hinton to Mt Robson, British Columbia
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No power, no Internet, no Verizon those are a few of features of the Robson Meadows Campground. We are in the woods with spectacular snow topped mountains all around.  

Mt Robson is the highest mountain in Canada at 12,972 ft. Surprisingly the road has been downhill since Hinton (elev. 3,416 ft) and we are now at 2780 ft so Mt Robson towers over 10,000 ft above us. 

On the way we stopped in Jasper for several hours. First we went to Jasper Park Lodge for breakfast. I thought we would have a table with a view of the mountains but we were stuck in a corner with no view at all and after 10 minutes of studying the menu with its $26 breakfast we decided to leave. There was a small take-out in the basement and we took our coffee and pastry and ate on the balcony overlooking the lake. After that we walked around town.  It is full of tourist shops and restaurants. The original CN Railway station has been restored and is still in use.

Worried about getting a campsite we got here early at 2:00PM and found dozens of empty sites. Tonight two young park rangers put on a show in a small amphitheater about the history of the area.

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Posted on 07/04/2008 4:38 AM by Bob Duthie
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Thursday, 3 July 2008
Day 17 Edmonton to Hinton Alberta
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Alan had arranged for us to park in the parking lot of Grace Lutheran Church across from his condo.. We were in the shade and had a beautiful quiet night there.

Edmonton Rotary Club was meeting at noon today so I decided to do a make-up while Mavis visited with an old school friend, Liz, who lives in Edmonton. I walked 1.5 miles to the Westin Hotel for the meeting but took a cab back.

We left around 2:30PM and arrived in Hinton right beside the mountains close to 7:00PM. For the first time we are in a campsite that is full.  Verizon voice and data work here and we are getting DirectTV.

We got our first look at the Rocky Mountains at 5:24 (see photo). There was a terrific thunderstorm with high winds that blew us all over the road just after Mavis took the photo. Tomorrow we will visit Jasper and hopefully get a campsite in Mt Robson Provincial Park.

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Posted on 07/03/2008 4:21 AM by Bob Duthie
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Wednesday, 2 July 2008
Day 16 Calgary to Edmonton Alberta
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At breakfast we called Varsity Chrysler and they said to come on over but we would be on standby. We waited in the motorhome and at 10 the mechanic came around. He hooked up his tester, and had me put the View in reverse (so I wouldn’t run over him) hold down the brake, and press the accelerator. In an instant he said the problem was a cracked Turbo Resonator. He replaced the unit in the shop, road tested the machine all with us in it, and we were on our way at 11:00 with no charge as the fix was covered under the warranty. We still have our spare Resonator in case of another failure. The people at Varsity Chrysler were wonderful.

At 1:00pm we were in Red Deer and went looking for a truck wash to get 3,700 miles of bugs removed. At an RV Dealer we were told there was a new Jumbo wash for RVs. It was great. You scanned a credit card and it let you soak, soap, brush with pink foam that smelt like bubble gum, rinse, put on clear coat and a drying agent. I used everything and ran the bill up to $22.50. Tonight we are at my Cousin Alan’s condo overlooking the North Saskatchewan River. (See photo). The bridge in the middle is carrying the new rapid transit trains that run through the city.  Alberta is really booming now with the high price of oil. I am told there is more oil in the Alberta oil sands than in all of Saudi Arabia. It costs about $12 a barrel to extract the oil from the sand.

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Posted on 07/02/2008 10:58 PM by Bob Duthie
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Tuesday, 1 July 2008
Day 15 Bassano to Calgary Alberta
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It was a short 94 mile drive to Calgary. Naturally with oil prices high the economy here is booming.

We are staying on half on the sidewalk and half on the road in front of our friends’ home. Louise grew up just down the street from me in Toronto and her brother Philip was one of my best friends. Norm is a great photographer and just switched from Windows to a Macintosh iMac with a huge 24” beautiful screen. His photos were dazzling when displayed this way.

Since this was the first of July we went next door to a neighbor’s house for a Canada Day party. Everyone was interested in our motor home parked in the street. Two people I met are boaters and dream of doing America’s Great Loop. The mosquito’s here are thick. We went for a walk in the nearby reservoir park (see photo) but soon had to leave before being eaten alive.

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Posted on 07/01/2008 10:43 PM by Bob Duthie
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