We were up bright and early Thursday morning and after packing up, we left Fort Langley shortly before 9:00...goodbye again!
Once at Fraserway RV in Abbotsford, we unhitched the fifth-wheel and then went into the Service Dept. office...it was exactly 9:30, right on time. Pam, our service rep, had all of the paperwork ready, however Steve wanted to show her the mess left around the re-sealed windows, so we walked out to the rig. They had re-sealed two windows...one over the couch where the carpet was wet and one beside the dinette where the carpet was dry, but hadn't touched the small window on the end of the slider...the one we figured was the main problem where the carpet was wet. They claim that their moisture meter detected moisture below the dinette window. Steve thinks they're full of BS and screwed up sealing the wrong window and just wanted to cover their butts. So in addition to installing the hydraulic pump to fix the slider creep, Steve asked that they re-seal the small slider window.
Pam estimated it would be about two and a half hours, so we decided to drive over to the new High Street Shopping Mall where there were new London Drugs and Walmart stores. We had no problem "killing" time wandering around and after picking up a few things, we realized that it was after 12 noon. Time to find someplace for lunch before going back to Fraserway.
We were just finishing up lunch when Pam called. Before re-sealing the slider window, the tech noticed that it wasn't installed properly...apparently it needed to be moved down a bit to correctly fit the cutout.
This work would take another two and a half hours...sheesh...oh well, that is probably where all of the water was getting in and it should be fixed properly. We finished up our lunch and then decided to just go back to Fraserway and wait.
It was really a beautiful day so we wandered around the huge inventory of RV's at Fraserway. Unfortunately, most units were locked but there were a few fifth-wheels open...just not the ones we really wanted to see inside. We could have gotten a sales rep to open them up for us but decided not to bother.
After that, we went into the customer waiting area and signed onto our iPad using their free Wi-Fi. We thought we should figure out about how far we could drive this afternoon once finished at Fraserway and do some research on campgrounds.
It must have been around 2:30 when our cell phone rang...it was Steve's sister, Nadine. After a lengthy conversation, Steve was off the phone and telling me that his Dad had taken a turn for the worse. He has pneumonia likely caused my aspirating food...he suffers from severe emphysema and also has lung cancer. We don't even really know now, if he actually had a stroke...I think they are still trying to determine that.
Now, it was decision time...and it didn't take long to decide that we need to find a place to store the rig. I called Econo Storage in Langley where we usually store our fifth-wheel when we go over to the island but they didn't have a spot that we could get into. At this point we were in the service department waiting area so Steve asked if they have RV storage. She said that they didn't but after Steve explained the nature of our situation, she said that they could keep it for awhile. Although they were going to let the re-sealed window cure for another 20 minutes (so we could get on our way), they actually would have preferred to let it cure overnight before putting the slider in. So they would leave it in the shop until tomorrow and then just store it in their lot until we got back. They couldn't keep it for a long time but for a few days.
Now we sprang into action...I had a fridge/freezer jammed packed with food since we were planning on hitting the road as soon as we were finished at Fraserway RV. The food in the freezer would be okay...the fridge could be left on (running on propane) but I had to pack all of the perishables into the cooler. While I was doing that, Steve pulled out the suitcases from the garage...then we did a wild packing job. We just threw clothes into the suitcase and I then I took a bag and threw all of our bathroom toiletries into it...later, I discovered that I had forgotten my hair dryer and curling iron as well as our combs and brushes...sheesh!
So...next thing I knew, we were on our way to the ferry! I texted our son, Rob, to let him know that his Grandpa had taken a turn for the worse and we were on our way. He had just seen him last Sunday and he was doing really well, so this was a bit of a surprise. Chris, our son in Burnaby, would likely come over tomorrow afternoon.
We were just in time for the 6 p.m. ferry and after the 1 hour 35 minute ride, we were on Vancouver Island arriving home just before 8:00. It is great seeing Rob, but unfortunately, we missed Angie and Conner by a day...they left for Winnipeg to see her family yesterday.
Friday morning we went to Saanich Peninsula Hospital to see Steve's Dad. Although still not looking very good, he was apparently a lot better than he was yesterday. After spending a couple of hours with him, we left to let him sleep. We dropped in at our good friend's place...Nancy and Rob live just a short distance away from the hospital. We had a nice visit with them and their 2 year old grandson, Jackson. What a cutie...and a very busy little fellow!
While we were visiting Rob and Nancy, I received a text from Chris...he would be on the 3pm ferry. I was waiting when the ferry docked at 4:35 and he soon appeared in the myriad of foot-passengers disembarking. We spend a nice evening visiting with Chris. Our other son, Rob had had plans to go camping for the weekend.
Saturday when we arrived at the hospital, we found Steve's Dad up and sitting in a chair...he looked a 100% better than yesterday! We had a good visit with him and it was good for Chris to see his Grandpa looking better than we had described to him. Just over an hour later, he was getting tired, so wanted to get back into bed. We decided to leave and let him rest.
After dropping Chris off in time to catch the 3pm ferry back to the mainland, Steve and I went into Sidney, parked the car and went for a nice long walk along the waterfront. It felt good to get some exercise and fresh air!
Sunday, we met Nadine and Mike (Steve's sister and her husband) who had just returned after a couple of days in Vancouver (actually, Richmond).
We were a little early to meet them, so we stopped at a beach not far from the house. This is Patricia Bay (known as Pat Pay). The tide is way out and there are horseback riders on the beach...hard to see in this picture...
...but Steve zoomed in...
We had a visit at a local coffee shop and then went to the hospital to see Dad. He was in bed and on the oxygen mask to help with his pneumonia and although not looking as good as he did yesterday, we could tell he was getting better...back to his normal self.
We had a good chat with the nurse and Nadine will also be calling his doctor Monday. All-in-all it was a good visit and Steve decided we should go back to the mainland tomorrow and continue our travels. We will stay in touch with Nadine regarding Dad's condition but it could be days, weeks or months, so we didn't see the point in just hanging around.
Back home, I spent what was left of the afternoon baking our wheat/dairy free goodies so that we would have a bit of a supply in the freezer. Later on that evening, family friends...well, actually, a distance cousin of Steve's Mom's...Myrna and Bill came over for a visit. It was great seeing them! I think the last time we saw them was at Steve's Mom's funeral back in 2006!
Monday morning we were up bright and early...4:45 to be exact! We packed our suitcase, threw the food we had brought back into the cooler and were out of the house by 6:15 to catch the 7am ferry. Since the house is only 5 minutes from the ferry terminal, we would normally have been in plenty of time but we'd forgotten it was Monday and the first ferry on Monday mornings typically fills quickly. It was touch and go as to whether we would make it but we managed to squeeze on along with another few smaller vehicles....whew!
We arrived at Fraserway RV at about 9:30 but before going into the service department to pay for the final repairs to the fifth-wheel, we went to the parts department. The break-away clip for the fifth-wheel had broken quite awhile ago and although it still works, Steve wanted to get a replacement. He didn't think they had one the right size but the clerk finally found it. Once that was done, it was over to the service department to see what the damage was this time...our Visa card is getting a little too well used lately!
While Steve was inside with our service rep, Pam, I thought I would wander around our fifth-wheel and wouldn't you know it...I happened to notice that the bedroom slider had "creeped" out about an inch or so! Great repair job, Fraserway! So I went inside to tell Steve...who just couldn't believe it. We've blown a week and paid $453.00 for Air X because we couldn't wait 3-6 weeks for ground shipping and nothings resolved! Soon he and Pam were both outside taking a look at the slider. Last week when they took two days to troubleshoot the Hydraulics they found that the pump had a pressure drop after two hours and the Ram in the bedroom slider was holding pressure...now they want to replace the Ram. So now we have to see what our extended warranty is going to cover. Long story short...we will be stopping here again in August or September...in the meantime, we will have to keep our eyes on the slider as we are travelling.
We got hitched up and by 11:00 we were FINALLY on the road heading east on the Trans Canada Highway (Hwy 1). Our destination for today was the Historic Hat Creek Ranch, just shy of a four hour drive north through the beautiful Fraser Canyon.
The highway goes east until you reach Hope, BC and then it heads north through the canyon. At Hope, you cross the Fraser River...
This is the first of seven tunnels we went through...
A waterfall that ends up in the Fraser River...
We passed Hell's Gate Airtram...
It's very windy in some spots...you'll also notice that the countryside is starting to change from dense forest on rocky mountains to a more arid open forest...as well, we are now following the Thompson River...
As you probably guessed by the rapids, the Thompson River is popular for white water rafting...
At Cache Creek, the Trans Canada Highway hangs a right and heads east...highway 97 continues north. We will continue north on this highway on our route towards the Yukon. Eleven miles further, is the junction of highway 99 and the Historical Hat Creek Ranch.
It was just before 3:00 as we pulled into the parking lot. There really isn't much of a campground...eight sites that have power only...no water and no sewer (not even a dump station). There is also a large grassy area where you can just pull in wherever you want. Sandi, the manager is very nice and walked down with us to check out our best spot. We thought we would have to just park on the grassy area because it didn't really look like any of the sites would be big enough. As it turned out, site 2 looked like it would work, so after going back up to the office/restaurant, we paid for one night...$25.00 plus tax (it's $20 to just park in the grassy area). We thought it was a little rich for what it was...oh well, it is a nice setting and a good stop for a couple of nights.
We managed to get into the site without having to unhitch the truck...bonus! Now the work started...in addition to setting up, I had all of the unpacking to do from our trip over to the island.
A couple of hours later, I was finished and went outside and found Steve was dusting the trailer and truck. It is supposed to rain tomorrow and he wanted it cleaned off before it did.
After he was done that, we sat down and relaxed in our chairs outside...we also experienced our first mosquitoes, so it wasn't long before I had the can of repellant out!
We were both exhausted after being up so early...and the drive, so we had an early night. Well, at least I did...after falling asleep in my chair, I finally decided to go to bed at 9:30.
It's great to be on the road again!