Wednesday, May 29 to Wednesday, June 5, 2013 (Abbotsford, BC...then back to Brae island Regional Park, Fort Langley, BC)

On my last blog post, I said I would return to daily posts since we would be returning to our travels...well, we didn't get very far.  We had an appointment Wednesday morning (May 29) at Fraserway RV in Abbotsford to have the 'slider creep' fixed on our fifth wheel.  What we weren't expecting was the wet carpet under the couch when we got up that morning...guess we have a leaky window(s).  Good thing we were headed to Fraserway RV!

We left Fort Camping shortly before 9 a.m., arriving in plenty of time for our 9:30 appointment at Fraserway.  We figured that they would have our trailer overnight, so packed a bag with two days of fresh clothes...just in case.  We discovered that our extended warranty plan covers "trip interruption" accommodation and meals...bonus!  Unfortunately, we later learned that they will cover expenses at $100/day.  We had managed to get a really good rate at the Best Western Bakerview Inn  in Abbotsford at $90.85 (with taxes)...that left us $9.15 for meals!  Oh well, I guess it's better than nothing.

After getting all of the paperwork done with our service rep, Pam, we unhitched and moved the bike rack from the back of the trailer to the truck.  We had asked them to drill a hole in the hitch receiver and weld a nut to it so that we could put a bolt through it giving added stability on the road.  When Steve was tightening the bike rack onto the back of the truck, the wrench slipped and he ended up hitting his head on the corner of the license plate light assembly...and as with most head wounds, it bled like crazy!  The first aid attendant came out with gauze (after going through a stack of tissue) and took him inside.  After a few minutes, he was back...the bleeding had stopped and it didn't look like the wound required stitches...whew!

We left Fraserway and headed to the motel, a short 10 minute drive down Highway 1. There was a good family-type restaurant on the motel property...not only was it handy, it was also reasonably priced.  Relaxing in the room...

And thus started the saga of the next 3 days!  We discovered that there wasn't much to do in Abbotsford, particularly in the rain.  Thursday, we were totally frustrated with Pam (Fraserway) as she didn't return our calls.  Obviously, we are spending another night in the motel. 

We decided to go for a drive across the Fraser River to Mission...

Not much in Mission...but we can say we've been there!

Pam called late in the day to say they were doing another test overnight.

Friday morning, we went to Fraserway at about 10:30.  When we arrived, Pam hadn't even talked to the tech working on our trailer!  She took us out into the shop so that we could get more clean clothes.  That is when she finally found out that the problem with slider creep was a faulty hydraulic pump and not the bedroom slider ram .  Of course, the part would have to be ordered in...and there were no local companies that had it so it would take 3 to 6 weeks for it to come from the States.  Well, we don't have that kind of time, so we decided to pay to have it shipped via air freight, at a cost of roughly $400!  Before she could order it, though, she needed to get approval from our extended warranty company.  She called while we were there but, of course, the person she need to talk to wasn't available.  Sheesh! Now Steve had told them weeks ago when we made the appointment that Guaranty RV in Oregon had already diagnosed it as the hydraulic pump (within a day not 2 days) so we were told that they could order the part in and if it wasn't the problem then we would be on the hook for it. So to cover our butts we had decided to have them do a diagnoses. 

While there, I took a couple of pictures of our home in the shop...

We returned to the motel to let them know we would need another night...and to wait for a call from Pam.

Shortly before 4:00, Pam finally called to say that she had received approval to order the is now late in the day on a Friday afternoon...she now has to go through Fraserway's Parts Department to have it ordered...and even if they got on it right away, all businesses back east would be closed.  The part won't likely be ordered until Monday!  If Pam had been "on the ball" this morning, she should have known first thing that a hydraulic pump needed to be ordered and gotten right on it!  As it stands now, the part won't arrive until mid next week...if we are lucky!  To top it all off, this is when we learned how much our extended warranty pays for trip interruption expenses ($100/ day) AND that they will only pay for Wednesday and Thursday because our trailer is now available for us to stay in...yeah...4:00 p.m., we have already paid for another night at the motel!  So we will pick up the fifth wheel tomorrow.  We decided at that point to just return to Fort Langley to wait for the part to arrive, so I made reservations.

Saturday morning we received an email from Steve's sister, Nadine...she had sent it late Friday night after she got home from the hospital.  Steve's Dad had had a stroke. He always goes for coffee at the same coffee shop at the same time every afternoon and hadn't been there for two days.  A good family friend was going to surprise him at the coffee shop Friday afternoon and once learning that he hadn't been there for the past two days, called Nadine...who was unable to contact him by phone.  Steve's Dad lives in the independent living section of a senior's complex, so Nadine called the manager who found Dad unshaven, disheveled and an ambulance was called.  He is still in the hospital and appears to be doing much better however still goes through bouts of confusion and slurring his words.  We're not sure of the prognosis or how long he will remain in the hospital, so we are taking each day at a time as to whether we will be continuing on with our plans to travel to the Yukon and Alaska this summer.

We didn't rush Saturday morning...check out wasn't until 11:00 and we couldn't check into Fort Camping until 1:00.  Our favourite site (C-1) was available, so we ended up right back in the exact same spot that we had just spend the month in.  We got all set up...then it was time to try our new ShawDirect satellite dish and LNB that we had received last Tuesday.  After falling over a few times in heavy wind, Steve had managed to do his own repairs on the old dish and arm...and it still worked, but it was time for replacements.  Dealing with ShawDirect is another whole story in itself...very frustrating because it takes forever to get through to them.  They only have one customer service number and we constantly got a "we are experience higher than normal calls" so you are put on hold...forever!  Saturday afternoon, we were on hold for 2 hours before we finally gave up.  Guess we will be using the air antenna  tonight!

Sunday morning, Steve tried them again...using Skype, we were again put on hold...for over an hour.  At that point, I decided to try on our cell phone.  I was given the opportunity for a will not lose your place in line, leave your number.  Why wasn't Steve ever given that option? So I did that and Steve hung up the Skype call.  It was over an hour later when we finally received a call back from ShawDirect.  After a bunch of troubleshooting, the tech determined it was likely a faulty LNB and set up a priority service call from a ShawDirect technician in our area.  The appointment was for Monday and we would receive a call in the morning from the tech to let us know what time he would be there.

Since the weather had changed for the better, Steve decided he would wax the snout of the fifth-wheel.  When he had washed the black streaks off last week, it had taken off the wax protection.  He had purchased a three-stage product from a marine store in Lake Havasu last year and hadn't tried it yet.  The first stage removes the oxidation...the second is the polish and the third is the wax.  A pretty big job...taking over three hours...but he got it done!

Monday, he decided to tackle the back of the trailer...another big job!
Tuesday, he decided to wash the truck...what the heck...gotta take advantage of all this beautiful weather!  We also heard back from Pam that the part should be in Wednesday afternoon, so we made an appointment to take the fifth-wheel in Thursday morning.

We were relaxing in the shade outside having a drink when Doug and Zanna decided to join us.  We had another nice visit with them and before we knew it, it was almost 9:00!  It stays light out so late now.  So it was a late dinner for us.

On a completely different note, I'd like to share a personal problem I have been having. Perhaps by writing about it, I'll find it therapeutic...because I have become SO frustrated!  I have been gaining weight steadily over the past three years...25 lbs!  I have battled my weight my whole life and have always had to watch what I ate. I also know that the older you get various factors come in to play...metabolism slows ...hormones ...blah...blah...blah!  I'm just not buying it!  We have led a very active lifestyle since retiring...walking, hiking, biking, ATV'ing...resistance exercises every second day.  So I'm very disheartened with this problem!

Last August I decided to go wheat-free...yes, I got on the "Wheat Belly, Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight and Find Your Path Back to Health" bandwagon.  Well, after about a week, I just could not believe the affect eliminating wheat appetite was gone!  I used to be hungry ALL of the time!  And I had such a feeling of well-being with "mental fogginess" lifted!  I thought, hey, this is wonderful...I finally found the answer!  I truly believe in a wheat-free diet, however, I have not lost the "belly" fact, my upper abdomen seems to be getting bigger and bigger!  By the way, my thyroid has been checked and comes back in the "normal" range, however, I do take iodine supplements (kelp tablets) to support it.

So, when we arrived at Fort Langley on April 29 for a month, I decided to really concentrate on this experiment.   In addition to wheat-free, I also thought I would try dairy-free...and I started regular cardio (powerwalking 50 minutes every day--my route is just shy of 7 kms/4.25 miles)  and I also cut back on the wine (no, I did not eliminate it, but I cut back substantially).  Steve also decided to join me on a wheat/dairy free diet because he has had a real problem with psoriasis on his hands for the past 20+ years...and all treatments he has tried have failed.

Well, Steve is doing great!  In the past month, his hands practically cleared up and he has lost almost 10 pounds!  Not me though...nothing!  No, it's not muscle clothes are getting tighter, not looser and I feel so uncomfortable with this huge upper roll in my abdomen.  This one month experiment has proven to me that something else is in play and causing the weight gain (and/or blocking my ability to loose it).  Over the past couple weeks I have done a lot of research and also read another book "Done With Being Fat" (he also has a bunch of other "Done With" books). I also found a great natural health store here in Fort Langley, Sweetgrass Naturals, she also has a page on  Facebook Carol has been great at trying to help me. Through her, along with reading the book and other research, I think my issues may stem around my digestion.  So I am now working on far no change, but I am bound and determined to beat this...I am not giving up!!  I have also, with my doctor's consent, weaned myself off some medication that has possible side effects of weight-gain and constipation.

We eat such a healthy diet now...all whole foods, nothing processed, low carb and healthy fats. This has been a real change for Steve, food-wise...but he hasn't given up his beer!  Instead, he now drinks Bud Lite which is apparently made with 30% rice, not wheat.  I have been doing a lot of baking so we have homemade snacks instead of boxed granola bars, cookies, etc.  Yup, homemade trail bars, walnut-raisin bread, date-nut bread, chocolate chip cookies...all made with alternate flours (almond, coconut, chick pea). Even homemade salad dressings!  So....dammit....I mean business here!  Now, I'm just waiting for the pounds to "just melt off"....that sounds nice, but I would be happy with even a slow loss!  My goal is to get back down to the weight I was when we retired.  Hopefully, it won't take three years to get there!
Today, Wednesday, Steve finished up some work outside around the trailer while I walked into Fort Langley to pick up a few groceries.  I also stopped in to say goodbye to Carol.  She really has been wonderful and I will definitely keep in touch with her on my progress.
Once back from town, I put on three loads of laundry...time to get everything all cleaned up and ready for our departure tomorrow.  As I mentioned earlier, we are playing it by ear as far as our travels are concerned...but with any luck, we will continue east...and then north once our fifth-wheel has been repaired.
I just wanted to end with Conner, our grandson was 4 months old on May 25...he's growing so fast!
PS...sorry about the changes in the font size.  Now I know why I stopped writing my blog in a Word document and then pasting it into BlogSpot...the formatting goes all wonky!


  1. Hey Diane...I am facing the same weight problem....and the program I started is kind of tough but the first week i lost 11 pounds...2nd week 8 pounds the third week 5 pounds so 24 pounds in three weeks is proof enough that if i can do it anyone can :)hang in there!

  2. Wow, amazing results, Brian! What plan are you on? Sounds like it might be pretty restrictive!

  3. Hi Guys,
    So sorry to hear about all your challenges, especially Steve's dad. I will be very interested to hear what you discover in your research for finding ways to slim down the middle. I have been battling that problem for almost 10 years now. It is frustrating because like you I am leading an active life. BUT that bulge gets in the way! And adding to the frustration is watching Monte eat all kinds of sweets while maintaining his weight.
    Hope you get to go to Alaska-sounds like it would be amazing.
    Rose & Monte