Saturday to Wednesday, September 9 to 13, 2017 (Fort Camping, Brae Island Regional Park, Fort Langley, BC)

Our time here in Fort Langley started off with a day of rain...it seemed so odd! But it was really needed after such a dry, hot summer. So we basically hunkered down inside all day.

Our youngest son, Chris and his wife, Angela arrived at 3:00 for a visit. We sat inside catching up and then headed into town to The Fort Pub for dinner...cheers!

We had a great time and a wonderful visit...and then at about 8:30, they said goodnight and were on their way home. Hope to get lots of visits in over the next four weeks!

The rain had stopped Sunday so we managed to get out for a power walk that morning. Other than that, we didn't do much...although I did get out for another walk later on to pick up a few things at the local market.

Steve on one of the lookouts over the Fraser River...
We spotted this motorcycle parked in front of The Fort Pub and had to take pictures...
Very cool, note the wheelie bars...
Back across the bridge to the campground...
Monday was a beautiful day...and we're so glad because we're going to Granville Island in Vancouver. Granville Island is a very popular spot, particularly in the summertime...Granville Island is a peninsula and shopping district in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. It is located across False Creek from Downtown Vancouver, under the south end of the Granville Street Bridge.

John and Pat pulled up in their car just before 9:00 and we were on our way! John's GPS took us on a rather interesting route, taking a little longer than normal...but hey, all is good, we made it! Time for a cup of coffee in the sunshine!

And then we wandered through the market...An indoor market featuring a fascinating assortment of colourful food and produce stores, showcasing handcrafted products and the very finest in unique gifts. All fresh from the ocean, the oven or the field.
Then we decided to take a boat ride on one of the many "little blue boats" that ferries people to various stops in the harbour. False Creek Ferries operates a number of these small boats between nine stops.
We decided to take the ferry to the Olympic Village, the farthest stop to the east.
Located in Southeast False Creek, the Olympic Village was built for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, to house athletes and Olympic officials coming from across the world. After the Olympics, the Olympic accommodation became residential housing. The development aligns with the City's goals, addressing environmental, economic, and social issues. The Olympic Village is a mixed-use community, with approximately 1,100 residential units, area parks, and a growing number of retail and service outlets.
Here comes our ride...
John checking out the boats...
And we're off!
Looking back at Granville Island...
One of Canada’s favourite tourist destinations, drawing an estimated 10 million visitors each year, the island has begun luring eyeballs to places most visitors don’t usually look , thanks to a new 21-metre outdoor mural.

Ocean Concrete has long served as Granville Island’s last tie to its industrial past. It’s six grey concrete silos were
 transformed into a piece of public art by a duo of innovative Brazilian street artists.


One of Vancouver’s most unique communities, Sea Village is a collection of homes on the water…literally. This floating community has been part of False Creek since the 1960’s. 
We'll take that one in the middle :-)
Science World...Science World at Telus World of Science, Vancouver is a science centre run by a not-for-profit organization in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. It is located at the end of False Creek, and features many permanent interactive exhibits and displays, as well as areas with varying topics throughout the years. 
The building's former name, Science World, is still the name of the organization. The building's name change to the Telus World of Science became official on July 20, 2005 following a $9-million donation to the museum from Telus. The official name of the science centre was subsequently changed to "Telus World of Science", although it is still routinely referred to as "Science World" by the public. Prior to the building being handed over to Science World by the City, it was referred to as Expo Centre during Expo 86

Lunchtime sitting on the patio at Tap and Barrel, Olympic Village location...
Nice face Steve!
Pat and I in front of the restaurant after lunch...

After lunch we wandered along the waterfront before returning to the dock to catch the ferry back to Granville Island.

BC Place Stadium, it has a retractable roof...
And we're back!
It was about 5:00 when we got back to Fort Langley. Such a great day! Thanks so much for inviting us, John and Pat!

Tuesday Steve dropped me off to pick up a car rental. On our way through Fort Langley, we passed a film crew...there always seems to be a lot of filming going on at various locations in this small community. They are filming Roberts Zemeckis's movie Women of Marwen with Steve Carell.
Although we were initially just going to rent a car for one day so that I could drive it to my appointment in Vancouver, we ended up keeping it for three days. Steve had to take the truck back to Bernhausen Diesel...and wasn't sure how long they'd have it.

After my appointment, I made a number of stops on my way home...shopping. So nice to have my own wheels to get around in!

Wednesday morning, I took off in the car (actually a Jeep Compass SUV). I had a lab appointment and then treated myself to a manicure and pedicure....ahhh!

While I was gone, Steve washed the truck in preparation for taking it into Bernhausen. He was still at it when I got home shortly after noon. We had a quick lunch and then he was back out finishing it off and I started preparing dinner...wanted to get everything ready ahead of time so that I could relax with a cocktail when John and Pat joined us. They are leaving first thing in the morning, so we have invited them over for dinner and one final visit.

Steve and I were all finished our work, enjoying a drink outside when our guests arrived...
A couple of hours later, it was time to head inside for dinner...
We had a lovely evening...so good seeing you both again and being able to spend some time with you! Safe travels as you make your way back to Calgary!


Friday, September 8, 2017 (Travel to Fort Camping, Brae Island Regional Park, Fort Langley, BC)

We had finished our pack up and were ready to hit the road shortly before 9:30. With big hugs, we said goodbye to Doug, Sue and Tucker...enjoy your winter and some well deserved "down" time! As we pulled out of the compound, I took one final picture...bye Tunkwa Lake!
We had an uneventful journey south to Fort Langley...well, with the exception of that old familiar squeal/whistle. Yes, it returned when the (new) exhaust brake engaged while exiting highway 97D onto the Coquihalla! WILL THIS EVER END!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If this occuredr again the tech at Bernhausen Diesel said to record the squeal with our phone moving it around the cab, so we did that a few times. They'll be getting a phone call on Monday!

It was just after 1:30 when we rolled through the quaint town of Fort Langley...passing our favourite hangout...The Fort Pub...
...crossing the bridge over the Fraser River, that takes us to...
Brae Island Regional Park, and Fort Camping...
After checking in, we pulled into our "regular" site, C-1...and were greeted by John and Pat, friends that we enjoyed time with while here last year. They are from Calgary and stay here when in the area to visit their daughter. They have been here almost a month and plan on leaving late next week...so glad we were able to connect before they left!

We chatted for a few minutes and then they went back to their site and we got on with our set up. A couple of hours later we were back with John and Pat (and Tasha) at their site...for drinks...
While we were sitting with them, my phone rang...the call display said it was Bernhausen Diesel. Really? Gee, their ears must have been burning! They knew we were going to be back sometime in September and wanted to followup on how the repairs have been working out. He was surprised to hear nothing has changed, so said to bring it back when we were ready. They are installing a Dynamometer next week and if it's capable of testing a truck our size they want to run it under a load to try and duplicate our issue. We were impressed getting the unexpected followup call, now if they could only figure this out!

John and Pat had also invited us for dinner...grilled burgers, corn-on-the-cob, and salad. Good job on the burgers, John...they were delicious!
We enjoyed a few hours with them catching up and then headed home...it gets dark so early now! Thanks for inviting us for dinner on our travel day!

I'll end today's blog with picture of the beautiful walking stick Ray made me. Great job, thanks so much Ray!
















He even carved out finger grips...and there is a natural hollow on the other side where my thumb fits...
"Diamond" Willow...
Diamond willow is willow with wood that is deformed into diamond-shaped segments with alternating colors. This is most likely the result of attack by a fungus (Valsa sordida and possibly others), which causes cankers to form in the wood in response to the infection. Diamond willow is prized by wood carvers and furniture makers for its strong contrasting colors (red and white) and its sculptural irregularity of shape.




Saturday to Thursday, September 2 to 7, 2017 (Tunkwa Provincial Park, Logan Lake, BC)

Well, this is our last week at Tunkwa...and a smokey one it was! The wildfires do not appear to be letting up with over 150 still burning (last I heard). If we're not getting smoked out from the BC wildfires, we're getting it from our neighbours to the south in Washington and Oregon with major fires burning there as well. Rain is needed...and lots of it!

This being a long weekend, the park was a little busier. Steve and I worked a split shift, cleaning all of the outhouses both in the morning and late afternoon. In between, we had a visit from Ray and Deb...they will be leaving Paska Lake Thursday and wanted to get one last visit in with us before they continue on with their fall/winter travel plans...

As usual, we had a lovely visit...and then after big hugs, they headed off and we got changed to go to work. Ray, Deb and Freya...
Sunday we woke to smoke along with a little ground fog. Last night the smoke rolled in rapidly...we had been watching TV with door and all of the windows open when all of a sudden we could smell smoke. We quickly closed everything up...so we weren't surprised to wake to all of the smoke. In fact one of the campers came into the compound last night wanting to know if there was a new fire nearby...

Around 9:00 we were off for our first round of outhouse cleaning....Steve took some picture along the way...


This is the busiest the park has been since the July long weekend due to the wildfires...


And we're done for the morning! Another round will be done again later in the afternoon.
Monday morning we both started work at about 10:00...but we went separate ways today. I cleaned all of the outhouses by myself while Steve cleaned sites at Tunkwa. I only had to do one round of cleaning today, so I was finished for the day shortly before 12:30. Steve was done at about 2:00.

Tuesday...another smokey day. Ray and Deb had left Freya's water bowl when they had visited us Saturday, and since we had to go into town to pick up a couple of groceries to make it through the next couple of days, we arranged to meet them at the Pick and Shovel Pub for lunch.

As we were approaching this herd of cattle, we could see dust being stirred up...well I guess a couple of the bulls were having a scuffle. By the time we got to them for a picture, they seemed to have calmed down a bit but were still butting heads...
 Lunch at the pub...
Ray surprised me with a new walking stick that he had made for me out of a Diamond Willow branch. He had been working on it the last couple of days trying to get it ready when he found out that we would be seeing each other again. It is really beautiful...thanks so much, Ray! Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of it...so stay tuned, I'll show it in another update.

Late Tuesday afternoon, everyone gathered at Hugh's site for the "end of the season party". Brian, co-owner of Brandywine Environmental, who has the contract to run Tunkwa, along with a number of other parks, came out from Kamloops with a cooler full of food and drinks. Neil, the area supervisor, also came out, as did another fellow who works for Brian...Rick. This is a shot of Hughes spot (#93) at Tunkwa Lake Campground...
It was a nice gathering...we munched on prawns, cheese and crackers before Brian got to work on barbecuing steaks. Left to right, Brian, Neil, Sue, Doug, Hugh, Rick, Brian (Barb returned to the coast this morning) and me...
 Brian grilling steaks...
The steaks were accompanied with potato salad and ceasar salad...delicious! Thank you for a lovely evening and a great meal!

Wednesday morning we did our final round of cleaning outhouses. The smoke was really bad and our breathing was difficult at times.
Yay...that's a wrap!





Once we were finished, Steve headed out on the lake for one final fish. Normally he wouldn't go out with so much smoke. Also in the last few days the lake has become a mess with a blue-green algae bloom. Unfortunately it has killed 3 cows and a dog. Warnings have gone out to everyone in the park to keep their kids and pets away from the water and the ranchers have been busy rounding up their cattle and stringing a temporary electric fence.


A few hours later Steve was back. He had taken our new Go Pro camera set to run a 5 minute video loop if he caught anything. Unfortunately the only fish he caught was the smallest to date and not picture worthy. Then it was time to pack up all of the fishing gear and load the boat back onto the truck.

Thursday was clean and pack up day...and it took all day. After sitting for so many months in a dusty compound Steve brushed the dust off of the slides and slide toppers, then lubed all the slide mechanisms. I also did one final load of laundry, ensuring all of our uniforms (shirts, jackets, vests and hats) were all clean and returned. By late afternoon we were pretty much done...so we took our chairs next door and had one final visit with Doug, Sue and Hugh. .

We plan on hitting the road around 9:30 tomorrow morning...putting an end to our summer at Tunkwa Provincial Park. We really enjoyed working at this park. It was unfortunate that with the wildfire situation it was a slow season leaving us with very little work at times and no ATVing with the closure to OHV's in the back country. Thanks for the opportunity Doug and Sue, it was great working with you, Hugh, Brian and Barb. Enjoy the rest of your season!