He also took this picture of a very cool picture that his sister, Nadine had given Angie and Rob. The photo on the left is Steve holding his Mom's hand...the photo on the right is Conner wearing the same outfit Steve had worn (and holding his Mom's hand). It's amazing that Steve's Mom had kept that outfit...and that Nadine had it! Very cool Nadine!
We had originally planned to leave this morning (Thursday) and head up island so we'd have 2 days to visit both my brother, as well as good friends, Earl and Allison. Unfortunately, Steve ended up having to take his Dad to a doctor's appointment this afternoon, so our time up island was reduced to one day...sorry, Earl and Allison, we would have loved to see you since we missed you in Quartzsite last winter! Looking forward to seeing you when you come visit the park.
Friday, we were up bright and early and after a cup of coffee, it was time to get moving...we were meeting a friend for breakfast at the Pioneer House Restaurant, just south of Duncan. So with huge hugs and kisses we said goodbye to Conner, Bryce, and Angie (we said our goodbyes to Rob before he left for work just before 6:30)...as well as Dennis and Suzanne.
Our route up Vancouver Island from North Saanich to Bowser. Monck Provincial Park is in the upper right corner...
We met Jim at the Pioneer House Restaurant...sorry we missed his wife, Nan...she happened to be away visiting a friend in Las Vegas. Steve has known Jim since grade 8...
We enjoyed a delicious breakfast while catching up with Jim...so very good seeing you Jim; it was great catching up with you!
We made a stop at Costco in Nanaimo and then continued up island. I snapped a few pictures along the way. This is the city of Nanaimo...where the delicious Nanaimo Bar originated...
Vancouver Island University Deep Bay Marine Field Station...Because this area of the island has oyster and scallop farms they do research on shellfish...
We were all up early Saturday morning and enjoyed coffee out on the sundeck...so beautiful and peaceful and a great way to start the day! It was going on 8:00 when, after big hugs, we said goodbye to Don and Rhonda...thanks so much for your hospitality, it was really great seeing you!
We headed south to Nanaimo...and the Duke Point Ferry Terminal...
We caught the 10:15 sailing to Tsawwassen...one of the newer ferries, the Coastal Celebration...
We've taken many pictures of this drive in the past but it's so pretty, I couldn't resist taking more...
It was shortly after 4:00 when we arrived home...to a fabulous greeting from Tucker! My furry friend remembered me and was happy to see me!! Doug and Sue were working...Doug happened to be up in the compound when we pulled in and Sue was working the gatehouse. After chatting with Doug and throwing Tucker's ring a few times, we got started with the task of unloading the truck.
With the suitcases unpacked, I gave the trailer a vacuuming...while we were away, our problem with mice continued, so I wanted to get rid of any droppings left behind. Doug worked hard trying to keep the little rodents in check but they seemed to be very persistent. He loaded the trailer full of packets of Fresh Cab but it didn't seem to be doing it's job....or at least it was certainly taking it's time. Doug said there hasn't been any "guests" for a week now. We really appreciated Doug's diligence in trying to rid our home of the furry creatures...Thanks, Doug! (Unfortunately, later that night Steve heard the snap of the mousetrap in the kitchen...sheesh...I guess they are welcoming us home! LOL)
After we were finished our "work" we walked down to the gatehouse to see Sue...we chatted with her and Doug for a bit and then went back up to the trailer for dinner...and an early night. Ahhhh....it's good to be back!
Sunday we woke to beautiful blue skies. We were anxious to get out for a walk around the park, so after coffee, showers and a bite to eat, we headed out.
After our walk, we went into Merritt to stock up with groceries....with stops at Coopers and Walmart, I was finally done and we were on our way home. Then it was time to get ready for happy hour! It was wonderful to get together with Sue and Doug again and catch up after being away for the last month.
Our friends, Ken and Charlene from Cochrane, Alberta, were scheduled to arrive at the campground today. We were keeping an eye out for them and they finally arrived...and joined us. They are here for 5 nights...so good to see them! Steve and Ken used to be neighbours in Regina Saskatchewan so has known him since he was 5 years old.
Monday....our first day back to work. Now we have uniforms and all loops of the campground are open. Today and tomorrow, I will be working with Sue and Steve with Doug B. The gatehouse isn't open full time yet...that won't happen for another couple of weeks. In the meantime, when the gatehouse isn't open, camping fees are collected by going site to site. I will be doing that with Sue...along with all of the other outside maintenance stuff. Pretty official looking eh!
We all met in the gatehouse at 10:00 for a staff meeting with the regional manager, Neil. Left to right...Steve, me, Gord, Sue, Doug B and Neil...(thanks for the picture, Toni!)
Late Monday afternoon, there was a major weather change...rain and cooler temperatures. So we were in rain gear Tuesday.
One of Steve and Doug's jobs today was to fix the dock at the boat launch. Doug donned his chest-waders and he went in the water to tie a rope to it while Steve tied it to the golf cart and pulled it back on shore.
Since we've been back we've trapped 3 more mice inside our rig, so after work Steve decided to finally make a mousetrap for outside...a bucket of water, a piece of doweling inserted through two water bottles cut in half and joined together, peanut butter...and a ramp for them to climb. When the mice reach for the peanut butter the bottle will spin dropping them into the water where they drown. In the 4 years of using Fresh Cab this is the first place where it has failed us. Bummer...tuff critters in these parts!
That evening Sue and I went out to collect...and came across about 4 or 5 deer wandering through the campground...
Thursday, Steve was back outside...he's getting into the routine of bathroom cleaning, garbage pickup and site cleaning...along with all sorts of other jobs. I spent the day in the gatehouse...open for business!!
Steve was off at 4:00 but I was in the gatehouse until 6:00, so after his shift, he showered and headed down to see Ken and Charlene. The combination of crummy weather and our first week of work has meant that we haven't had a chance to see or visit much with them. They leave tomorrow, so have invited us over for dinner (2 nights in a row of people cooking for us...YAY!).
I joined them after my shift. We had a little off and on again rain but it produced some lovely rainbows...
Friday...wow! That was a fast first week at work! So far Steve's new trap is working. 5 mice and 2 incidental chipmunks caught to date with none inside!
Today, Steve worked a split shift...7:30 to 12:30 and then the last few hours until 11:00 p.m. with Doug B. I was on 8:00 to 2:00 and then helped Sue out for another few hours in the evening. Just before Steve was off a couple of campers driving back into the campground spotted 3 bears on the road, a sow and 2 cubs. Apparently the sow got a little aggressive towards the truck, standing on it's hind legs then did a slight charge towards it. A call was placed to the Conservation Dept. and an officer was there within about 40 minutes. Steve and Doug L. put up the Bear signs and closed the hiking trails.
It's going to be a busy weekend here...the campground is almost full and it's not even a long weekend. It must be the weather forecast...sunny and hot, with temps expected in the mid 30's C (high 80's F). Sue and I closed the gatehouse at 10:00 and Doug B and Steve worked security until 11:00. The campground was extremely quiet considering how full it is. The only incident they had was a guy running his generator in a dry grassy area at 10:30 when the hours are 6-8 pm.
We've really enjoyed our first week...we're on 2 days off starting tomorrow!