Tuesday, August 8 to Friday, August 18, 2017 (Tunkwa Provincial Park to Coquitlam to North Saanich...and back)

The summer is quickly slipping by! This week we made another trip down to the coast...yes, another truck appointment. We weren't needed here at the park, so we tacked on a few extra days and also went over to Vancouver Island for a quick visit.

Tuesday (8th), we worked a couple of hours covering for Doug and Sue who had gone to Kamloops. Steve was out by 6:30 to record the road counters and check the campgrounds for new overnight arrivals. He took this picture from the spit of the sun, barely visible through the thick smoke that continues to shroud the area...
Then it was time to pack our suitcases...we were on the road by 12:20, heading south. It was smoky all of the way down. The town of Merritt below...
Dry Gulch...
It was also very smoky at the coast, the mountains have disappeared. It was quite a shock when we got out of the truck...very hot and humid.

We arrived at Chris and Angela's around 4:30 and once we unloaded the truck, we relaxed with her on the deck until Chris got home from work...and then it was dinner time...

Wednesday (9th) morning Angela drove Chris to work and Steve headed off to drop the truck off at Bernhausen Diesel...so I had a relaxing start and then headed off (in Chris's car) to pick Steve up at 10:00. In order to get our truck in front of those white doors they had to do a truck shuffle. A couple of the trucks didn't run so they moved them with a forklift.

We ran some errands, had lunch out at Montana's BBQ and Bar and were at the movie theatre in time to see the 1:35 matinee of Dunkirk. We rarely go to movie theatres...can't remember the last time, it's been that long! So we decided to splurge and get the special seats..."D-Box Motion System"...This technology uses motion effects specifically programmed for each visual content. The resulting motion is perfectly synchronized with the on-screen action, thus creating an unparalleled realistic immersive experience. And what an experience it was, you don't get a sore bum from sitting so long! We both thought the movie was good but really didn't live up to expectations after all the hype about it.

After the movie, we went back to Bernhausen. They found no evidence of a soot trail around the engine to indicate a leak, however when they removed the shroud around the exhaust brake actuator it was very sooty. Geez, that was replaced a year ago last May (for free and a long story) and is no longer under warranty. Soooo...there goes another $1800 and no guaranty this has anything to do with the squealing but definitely needed to be replaced. They had to source a new one for installation the next day.

Thursday (10th) we pretty well chilled with Angela most of the day...but we did get out for a good long walk in their neighbourhood. That felt good! At about 2:00 we decided to head towards Bernhausen...we hadn't heard from them yet but they had said it would be ready by the end of the day. With any luck, maybe it would be ready sooner. We borrowed Angela's car and headed out to Langley...thanks for use of your car, Angela! But first we made a stop at Best Buy. Steve has wanted a Go Pro camera for years for ATVing, so he got his birthday present early... the Hero 5 Black. The strange thing is that we had been looking at them the day before and no one working in either Best Buy stores (we went to two) mentioned anything about an on-line special where you get a 14-piece accessory kit free...an $81 value. Deciding to do a little more research, Steve had decided to hold off buying it and went on-line and found the special.  Lesson learned...always check websites for specials!

As it turned out, when we got to Bernhausen, they just had to do a test drive and it would be ready. So I headed back into Coquitlam to pack our suitcases...we figured we should be able to catch the 6 pm ferry sailing over to Vancouver Island. Steve was back shortly after 4:00 and after loading the truck, we were off. After battling traffic to get over the Pattullo Bridge, we made it out to Tsawwassen, and the Park N Go, where we park the truck and catch the shuttle to the ferry. However as we pulled up to the wicket to get our ticket the young fellow said...We are not accepting motor homes or trailers during the summer. Almost loosing it Steve said...what...we've been parking here for years, and we're not a motor home or a trailer! What about all those tractors parked here? Oh...your a tractor, never seen one like this before. We got our ticket and arrived in plenty of time for the 6pm sailing. Geez!

This is one of the newest small ferries for the Gulf Islands just put into service. Built in Poland and sailed here instead of using one of our very capable local shipyards!
Rob picked us up and after a quick stop in Sidney, we were at their place...greeted by these two little cuties, who had been allowed to stay up late to visit with Gramma and Grampa...
Friday morning Angie was up early and had coffee and a visit with us before it was time to get ready for work...and the kids up and ready to go to playschool. It was Grampa's turn to have Conner and Bryce on his lap...

Our good friends, Nancy and Rob, came over, picked us up and we went into Sidney for coffee. Nancy just happened to making a trip to Costco that afternoon and asked if I wanted to join her....Absolutely! We dropped Steve off back at home...and after dropping Rob off, we were on our own to enjoy a little girl time. Thanks, Nancy...I really enjoyed our afternoon together!

While I was gone, Steve went out for a hike on the trails in our old neighbourhood...and around the property, taking pictures of our dream home we built 27 years ago. So nice Rob and Angie were finally able to buy it and keep it in the family...

It was after 5:30 when Rob arrived home after work, picking the boys up on his way. He's been working overtime for the past few days...4 am to 4 pm, which means he has to get up by 2:30 and leave the house just after 3 am! Hopefully it doesn't carry on too long!

As soon as the kids got out of the truck, they had to show us the zip-line and rope swing dad had set up in the yard for them...pretty cool....

Saturday morning, with Rob still working his long OT shift, Angie and the boys were meeting a friend and her kids at a beach in Sidney for some playtime. She dropped me off for my hair appointment on her way.

While we were gone, Steve got out for another hike in the neighbourhood. This time he hiked up the hill to a spot with great views across to the main island (we are on the Saanich Peninsula). This is a spot we have walked to many times over the years...unfortunately, the vegetation is really starting to crowd out some of the view. It's even been smokey here too...
Steve's sister, Nadine and her husband, Mike, had just arrived when I texted to say I was finished and needed to be picked up. Steve came back into town, picked me up and soon we were all sitting out on the deck visiting...
Sunday we met Rob and Nancy for breakfast at 9:00...so wonderful being able to see them twice during our short visit.

It worked out well because when we got home, Angie was almost ready to head off with the boys to a kids beach festival in Victoria. We quickly finished packing our suitcases so she could drop us off at the ferry on her way into the city.

We caught the noon ferry...when we reached Active Pass, Steve went out on deck to take pictures...

About to exit Active Pass and Vancouver is on the horizon...

It was perfecting catching the noon ferry because that got us back to the mainland just before 2:00, giving us time to make a couple of stops for some shopping on the way to Chris and Angela's...better than having to do it in the morning before we head back to Tunkwa.

Chris and Angela wouldn't be home until about 8:30 tonight, so once we unpacked our stuff from the truck, we relaxed on their sundeck...making ourselves at home and barbecuing burgers for dinner. Once they got home, we managed to have a bit of a visit before bedtime.

Monday morning, we said goodbye to Chris as he headed off to work and then got ourselves ready. Once the truck was all loaded up, we gave Angela big hugs and then hit the road. Thanks again, for all of your hospitality...seems like we have seen you a lot this summer (bonus!)

We had an uneventful trip back up to the lake with no squealing this time. Steve swears though he can hear a very faint sound, but the real test will be once we start towing. Once we hit the Coquihalla Summit, we could see thick smoke in the distance...oh geez, are we back into that again?!

We stopped in Merritt at Boston Pizza for lunch. A fellow towing a flatbed with a helicopter was parked in the lot...which meant we had to park down the street in the Walmart parking lot; not enough room for two big rigs in the BP lot!
Yes, the smoke has definitely returned to this area. It had rained a bit last Saturday night on both the island and coast clearing the air...it had been so refreshing! Oh well...back to smoke...
Arriving at the town of Logan Lake...
Tuesday morning Steve and I worked for a bit while Doug and Sue made their weekly trip into Kamloops. Steve cleaned the outhouses and picked up garbage over at Leighton and North Leighton campgrounds while I did Tunkwa. He only had 8 outhouses over there, and I have 16 here, so he helped over here once he was done at Leighton.

Once we were done that, he went fishing, and lost a couple. I showered and puttered around here, playing with Tucker, and then went out again registering/collecting from the campers.

Wednesday and Thursday were pretty laid back days as we puttered around here just doing "stuff". It's amazing how quickly the day can slip by doing "a little of this" and "a little of that"! Steve helped Brian (volunteer) take a load of garbage to the dump and then went fishing again. Got skunked this time...
I did some budget/banking stuff, a little laundry and some baking...and somewhere in there Steve and I even washed the outside and inside trailer windows!

We also took Tucker for a walk down to that point...
I made him sit and wait for us to catch up...he's just dying to get into the water!

Friday morning Steve and I did a round of cleaning outhouses together. After that, Steve helped Doug on a project...insulating the pump house. We're up over 4000' here so it's not unusual to have frozen waterlines in the morning, even in summer.

While they were doing that, Sue and I went into Logan Lake...she had to go to the bank and I tagged along to pick up a few groceries.

After lunch, Steve helped Doug a bit more and then came in for a shower. He ended up relaxing in his chair reading for the rest of the afternoon. My time was spent working on this blog...and there you have it! We're up-to-date again. We're both really getting "hitch-itch"...looking forward to hitting the road south again...and not just down to the coast! We leave here September 8 for four weeks in Fort Langley before we start our trek further south into the USA on October 6.


  1. Sorry about the truck expense;o(( But glad the squeal is gone!! At least you got a little more time with all the kids:o)))

    1. Always good visiting with the kids! We'll be heading south for the winter soon enough...must get as many visits with them while we can!

  2. How cool to have your own zip line?? Nice to get a visit with the grandkids and a smooth running truck too! Sounds like it's close to fixed. Dare you say that word? Hopefully the smoke clears for your time off. Cheers guys.

    1. Ya...the kids nowadays have all the coolest stuff! I still don't have a warm fuzzy feeling about the truck but time will tell. The smoke continues to come and go unfortunately.

  3. Boy you really get a lot done! Visits, repairs, hikes, fishing AND windows! Pretty house you built and view. I guess your used to ferries living back there.

  4. Thanks, we're happy the house is still in the family! Yup, the ferry is part of living on the island. It can be a bit of a nuisance if you live on the island but now that we only take it occasionally, it's really a lovely trip (especially on a sunny day!). Steve likes to tell me he's taking me on a cruise! LOL