Sunday, March 29 to Saturday, April 4, 2020 (Peace Arch RV Park, Surrey, BC)

We woke up Sunday morning to no power...hmmm...that's odd. Thinking that the park had a power failure, Steve went outside to check. Nope...our 50 amp Surge Guard Voltage Regulator was still lit up so power was on and the breaker hadn't tripped on the 30 amp power pedestal. So he came inside and checked the breaker panel in our RV...none had tripped. Next he checked the inverter/charger display panel and the fault code LED was still off. We had left the inverter disengaged because we have been running our fireplace and electric heater and in case of a power failure while sleeping didn't want the inverter powering those and running the batteries down. Steve engaged the inverter and we had power so that part was working. Then he checked the troubleshooting section in the inverter manual but it only listed fault codes...none were listed on our display so that was no help. There was a section showing how to do a reset by doing a hard reboot on the inverter. When he held that button down for 3 seconds the inverter fan and all 3 LED's lit up then immediately turned off. He tried it a couple of more times with the same result. Back inside he engaged the inverter but it was no longer working...WT? He tried phoning Xantrex Tech Support, but being a Sunday and COVID-19 shutting things down there was no answer. Then he tried contacting the mobile RV tech we've used in the past but they don't work on Sundays so he looked up another online and he doesn't work Sundays either...Geez! Our only option was to hook up our 50' extension cord and run it through a window to the power bar for our TV and receivers. However while running the extension cord he noticed the 50/30 amp pigtail adapter from the 50 amp RV inlet connection and the 30 amp cord connector were burnt.

Electrical guru Earl later told Steve that it was probably a slow heat buildup that eventually opened the circuit and that's why none of the circuit breakers tripped. So Steve hooked up our 50 amp cord to the 50/30 amp pigtail adapter to the 30 amp power pedestal and once our "hard wired" 50 amp Surge Guard power protection unit did it's 128 second reset delay we heard it click in but still no  power!! Back to running the extension cord. Steve also turned on our solar system so our batteries will charge. For heat we hooked up our propane heater to one of our 30 lb tanks outside a window.

We got out for 2 walks today and with the sun going in and out all day, we managed a little time sitting outside reading.

Monday (March 30) we woke in the wee hours to wind and rain...and ended up getting up at 3:40 a.m. to put the awning in. Unfortunately, neither one of us had a good sleep after that...Steve's mind was racing wondering what the day would bring with our power issue.

After leaving a message with Paul's Mobile RV Service yesterday, Steve sent a text today...we were desperate to get some power! Dan from Paul's eventually called us and arrived just before 11:00.  Steve explained all he had done and checked. Dan grabbed his multi meter and checked the power coming from our 50 amp cord...all good so he plugged it into the RV. After the Surge Guard completed it's 128 second reset delay we heard it click in. Dan checked the DC power on the inverter and it was still charging the batteries. Next he checked the 120V input terminals and that was good but the 120V output had nothing and the inverter still wouldn't invert. I had him call Xantrex Tech Support and after Dan explained everything he had done they recommended taking the unit into a service centre. Luckily there is one in town and we still have 3 months left on the warranty, however they weren't answering their phones. Dan got us power by disconnecting the 120V and bypassing the inverter. Hopefully we can eventually get through to the service centre.

Jack and Fay, RV friends that we met in Quartzsite a few years ago, stay here at Peace Arch RV Park in the summer. They were through their 14-day self isolation so offered to pick up our grocery order this afternoon. Thanks so much Jack and Fay...very much appreciated!
After wiping everything down with disinfecting wipes, and putting it away, we got out for our usual daily walk.

Finally having our groceries replenished, Tuesday (March 21) morning I made some of my keto muffins while Steve tried phoning the service centre Pacific Yacht Systems with no luck. He decided to send them an email instead on their contact page. After lunch, we had our walk around the campground and then sat outside in the sunshine.

Wednesday (April 1), we woke early to the sound of rain on the roof...we got up at 5:30 to a chilly trailer. It was a cool 2C/35F...as a matter of fact outside, it has been a pretty chilly week. The heater has basically been going non-stop and we are being charged for electric.

Steve got a response from Pacific Yacht Systems saying they were open and apologized about not being able to get through by phone and wanted more info. Because of the COVID-19 Steve has decided to take a wait and see attitude before taking it in.

The rain eventually stopped and the sun came out...time for our daily walk. Not long after getting back, the clouds moved in again along with more rain.

Thursday (April 2) morning we had some sleet and very light snow. It didn't stick...but there was definitely white stuff falling from the sky!

Another exciting day, LOL...Steve watched TV and I spent a lot of time grocery shopping online. The websites are so busy that I finally gave up...I will try again later.

More TV today...and our walk.

Friday (April 3)...freedom day! We are finished our 14-day self isolation. However, we don't really see our daily routines changing much. But we are now able to go out shopping, etc..."if essential"...of course, we have to maintain a 2 metre/6 foot distance between ourselves and others. Otherwise they are asking everyone to stay home.

We headed out late morning...our destination, a BC Liquor Store. They are considered an essential service (of course!). We tried to get delivery from the beer and wine stores but they all use Skip The Dishes, and for some strange reason, which the person on the phone couldn't explain, was they won't deliver to an RV Park...only to houses and apartments! Steve offered to go in but I said it would be better if I did because this was our first trip to the liquor store since being back in BC and I had to re-acquaint myself with the wine brands and I wanted some Tequila. So off I went with my bandana on my face and hand sanitizer in my pocket . They only allow 10 people in the store at one time, so you have a line up queue outside with markers indicating the 2 metre safe distance. The line goes quickly because everyone just gets in, gets what they want and then out. I found everything I was after...and after the usual shock of BC liquor prices compared to what we had been used to in Arizona, I was on my way back out to the truck. We doubled our order so we only have to return half as much:)

Not wanting to go directly home, we went to nearby White Rock for a drive along the waterfront. The sun had come out and it was beautiful!

The White Rock Pier...they have actually closed down the pier and all parking along the waterfront because so many people were out walking and not obeying the 2 metre/6 foot physical distancing.


We had a wonderful video chat with our youngest son, Chris, his wife, Angela...and our grandson, Issac. The next best thing to seeing them in person!

Saturday (April 4) was back to our usual uneventful days...walks, reading and watching TV. We did have more wonderful video chats with family...awesome to be able to stay in touch virtually! Sure makes this "stay at home" order more bearable!

And that concludes our second week back home in BC...

Saturday, March 21 to Saturday, March 28, 2020 (Peace Arch RV Park, Surrey, BC)

Our first week back in BC has been anything but exciting...especially since we can't go anywhere or do anything. We have managed to get out for one or two walks around the RV park each day just to get some exercise...but ensuring we keep our distance should we come across anyone also walking. And that has basically been it...a lot of TV watching. Oh, and I have also spent a lot of time doing on-line grocery shopping, trying to find time slots where the store would either deliver or we pick-up. The first time slot I managed to get is for pick-up...on March 30, over a week away. There is such a high density of population in the Greater Vancouver area that the stores just can't handle the volume. I'm just glad I stocked up well when we were in Pahrump!

Saturday (March 21) was our last beautiful sunny day for awhile. We received a bit of disturbing news this morning...an email from Fort Camping where we have reservations for the month of May. Due to Covid-19, they were cancelling all short term reservations and closing until further notice. Fort Camping is a Vancouver Regional Park located in Fort Langley...our favourite spot that we have stayed at many times over the years. We were afraid this was going to happen!

Steve edited pictures taken on our trip home so that I could get started on a blog...and also flushed the tanks.

Sunday (March 22) ended up being a cloudy day. We got back into our resistance exercises routine (every 2 days), had great video chats with our kids and their families, worked on the blog...and of course got out for a walk.

Monday (March 23) morning we woke to the sound of rain on the trailer roof...we're in for some rainy days!

I called the manager here at Peace Arch RV Park to let her know that our reservation at Fort Camping had been cancelled and asked her if there was any chance we could stay here. I felt bad asking because when I emailed her to see if we could get in early (March 20 instead of April 1), she managed to do some switching around to accommodate us but said that we had to leave May 1...her words "departure date has to be respected".  At this point, she said that they were full and had not yet had any cancellations...but she would keep us in mind should something become available.

There was something gnawing away at me about Fort Camping's email...the terminology "short term reservations". So I decided to give them a call since we are booked in for one month. I was told that it was meant for weekend, one and two week reservations and since we were in for a month, we should be okay. She said "should" because everything is changing so quickly...and suggested I call back in April to confirm. Whew...we felt better about that! We will at least have somewhere to go May 1.

Our options expanded later on in the afternoon when I got a call from the manager here...we can stay until July 20, should we need to! I explained to her that we may be able to go to Fort Camping after-all...she asked that we let her know as soon as we confirm with them. Now the thing is...Fort Camping has put in a policy (a couple of years ago) that you are only able to stay a maximum of 30 days in a calendar year (this is during the spring/summer months...they have a winter program for long term folks from mid-October to Mid-April). With this Covid-19 pandemic, we have no idea when we are going to be able to travel again...so unless Fort Camping relaxes their 30-day policy, we would be better off to stay here where we know we have a spot until July 20.

Tuesday (March 24) it rained pretty well all day...although we did manage a quick walk after lunch. My chore for the day was defrosting and cleaning the refrigerator.

We had a beautiful rainbow though...
Wednesday (March 25) was another cloudy drizzly day but by late afternoon, we managed to get out for a walk. The sun actually came out and after our walk, Steve set the chairs up in the empty site next door where we enjoyed the sunshine...
Thursday (March 26) and Friday (March 27) were rainy days...more TV and reading. We did enjoy a video call with our oldest son, Rob and his wife, Angie...wishing them a happy 10th wedding anniversary. Hard to believe that it was 10 years ago when we were in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic! What a great time we all had!

Saturday (March 28)...a repeat of the last few days! After a walk, Steve and I had a few games of Rummikub. Much different playing with just 2 people compared to 4! I won 2 games to Steve's one!

And there you go....one week down! And on day 10 of our 14 day self-isolation (which is now mandatory)...


Monday to Friday, March 16 to 20, 2020 (Travel to Peace Arch RV Park, Surrey, BC)

We managed to get on the road fairly early this morning, around 8:30, but unfortunately we had conflicting GPS directions that took us around in circles until we figured it out. Serena, our Garmin Truckers GPS wanted us to retrace our route part way back to Las Vegas, before heading south...Google Maps told us to go the other direction to highway 372 and cross the mountain range. We finally decided to go highway 372...and learned the reason why Serena wanted us to go another way. Apparently there was a length restriction warning that 65 feet was too long...as soon as I changed our length to 63 feet, we were good to go. It ended up being a fabulous route!
Very scenic...too bad it is cloudy though...





A dry shallow lake bed ahead on the left...




The highway took us to Shoshone and the junction with highway 127, where we turned left (south). If we had continued right that would have taken us to Death Valley on the other side of the mountain range...

Colourful mountains...
There is a huge off-highway area...Dumont Dunes OHV Area...
Sand dunes...
One lone van in this huge boondocking/OHV area...

Mountain reflections in this shallow lake...
Soda Mountains Wilderness Area...a dry lake bed...
That was a very scenic route with very little traffic. At Baker, CA, we hit I-15 and headed southwest towards Barstow. Another shallow lake...
Flowers blooming along the highway...


Don't know what happened here but obviously the driver lost control and rolled his car...
Once we passed Barstow, CA., we took the exit to highway 58 west, towards Bakersfield. Lots of  yellow flowers covering the desert...
The forecast is for a big snow storm in the Tehachapi Pass for later today, 2"- 4" and 55 mph winds so we had our fingers crossed that we would get through the pass and down into Bakersfield before the storm hit. Doesn't look good...
Hundreds of wind generators as we near Mojave and the start of Tehachapi Pass...

A train winding it's way through the mountain tunnels...

Blowing dust in the farm fields in the valley below as we near the bottom of the pass...
We made it through without any snow, thank goodness! But as we passed Bakersfield and went north on highway 99, the rain started, and by the time cut across to the I-5 on highway 46, we were into major rain...
We arrived at our destination for today...Harris Ranch Inn and Restaurant...just after 4:30. It is our first time stopping overnight here so we weren't really sure where we could park. Earl texted us some pointers, though, and we found it was easiest to cozy up to 3 motorhomes parked on the edge of the truck stop lot. Today's travel was almost 8 hours, 623 km/387 miles...
After we got settled, we decided to get out for a walk and check it out more. There is a parking lot between the restaurant and the hotel that a couple of RV's had taken...we may have been able to get in as well but we know for next time. It certainly would have been much quieter than beside the I-5 and the trucks running all night!



We looped around the property...and then navigated around puddles the best we could. All these other RV's are all heading home to BC. In fact we kept running into them at our next two overnight stops. Kind of reminded us of our Alaska trip where we kept running into the same people over and over and have become great friends with some since...
We were up extra early Tuesday (March 17) morning...not a very restful sleep in the truck stop, especially right beside the I-5! So we were on the road before 8:00...with a very foggy start!
The fog finally lifted and we had a mix of sun and cloud as we headed north. An orchard in bloom...
A young orchard...
We saw a number of these signs..."Disinfect 2 Protect Wash Your Hands"...
So many semis on the freeway...and lots of vehicles, both RV's and trucks/cars, with Canadian licence plates heading north.  A very colourful roadside...
Crossing the Sacramento River north of Sacramento...

Colourful along the freeway...
We pulled into Rolling Hills Casino in Corning just before 2:00...almost a 6 hour drive, 476 km/296 miles. It was pouring out and windy!
We lucked into the corner spot in the truck parking lot, quickly got levelled the best we could, and hunkered down inside. The casino appears open but we are self-isolating...do not want to expose ourselves to the Coronavirus (Covid-19) anymore than necessary. It sucks, though, we would normally go inside for drinks and dinner....now I've got to cook! Drats!

The view of the RV park out our side window...
Lots of RV's started arriving to park for the night...
Wednesday (March 18) morning...and up early again. Mind you, we are going to bed at 8:00 p.m. to watch the 12-volt TV...power management! After showering and doing the dishes, we still managed to be on the road at 8:40 a.m.

Just north of Redding, CA, there was a vehicle inspection set up...ensuring all vehicles were carrying chains. This backed traffic up for over 6 miles!
Also a long line of traffic behind us as far as you can see!  As we inched along...for about an hour or so...the traffic sped up. Apparently they had removed the check-point. Steve had actually purchased chains for the truck last fall before we headed south...we plan on carrying them, but never having to us them!
Lake Shasta in the fog...
There had been a storm in the mountains the other night...fresh snow!
Today we have many mountain passes to conquer...
We experienced very light snow flakes through here...yikes!
Black Butte...unfortunately Mt. Shasta was hidden in the clouds...
First time we've seen a Rolls Royce pickup...very cool!
We arrived at Seven Feathers Casino, Canyonville, OR to find it closed...
The main parking lot was blocked...
But luckily the RV parking area was open. There were only 2 other RV's when we arrived but there was a steady stream coming in shortly afterwards. And look!...blue sky and sunshine! Today was a 6.5 hour day, 433 kms/269 miles...
After getting settled, Steve got the chairs out and we enjoyed some sunshine. It seems the further north we went the weather got better.  That's a helicopter pad...
Looking back to the RV parking area from the helicopter pad...
After fuelling up and getting propane at the travel centre Thursday (March 19), we were on the road at 8:30. We had thick fog again this morning...
But the fog burned off and we had clear blue sky the rest of the day. About to cross the Columbia River in Portland...
The traffic through Portland, Olympia, Tacoma, Bellevue (we took 405 Seattle by-pass route) was busy but not the stop-go slowdowns we are used to. So it was a much more enjoyable drive...if you can call going through such a busy section of the I-5 "enjoyable"!
We arrived at the Tulalip Casino, just outside of Marysville, WA, around 4:30. We knew that all Washington Casino's were closed but were hoping that they would leave the RV parking area open...but not so, all parking lots were blocked. So, plan B was to try Cabela's, just adjacent to the casino. Luckily we managed to get the last truck/RV parking spot...unlucky, though...it happened to be right beside an old beater motorhome with the engine running, smoking and sounding like it was ready blow...
Then they decided to start their 7500 watt construction generator that smoked as bad as their motorhome! We had to sit inside with the door and windows shut because of the smoke all the while listening to it for over an hour, which happened to be right outside our side window!
Steve eventually had enough and went over for a talk. Apparently they lost their air which locked up their air brakes so they were running the generator to power this huge portable air compressor they had. They said if they could get their brakes to release they would be leaving. Eventually they turned off the generator and didn't leave so I guess that was a failure...Ahhh...peace and quiet finally, except for the noise of I-5...

Friday (March 20)...and the last leg of our journey home! Its a short drive today and although we started out with a sunny sky, we ran into fog again...

As usual, whether on our way south or north, we stopped at the Pilot Travel Center in Ferndale and filled up with diesel...$2.76. It was shortly after 10:00 when we arrived at the border. There were only a couple of vehicles ahead of us and the crossing was a breeze. We were asked when we left Canada, how much did we spend on goods to bring back into Canada...and if we felt sick or had a fever. No questions about how much alcohol and/or tobacco! He then asked if we were aware that we had to self-isolate for 14 days, gave us an info sheet...and we were on our way...
It was a short drive to Peace Arch RV Park. They have put in precautions for Covid-19...only one person can go into the office to register and we must stand 6 feet back. Although check-in time isn't until 1:00, she said if the site was empty, we could go in. Unfortunately when we pulled up to our site (C-9), the folks were still packing up so we had to wait for about 15 minutes or so until they pulled out.

We got situated on our site, level and unhitched...and both of us got to work on our set up routine, then showered. The sun was wonderful...it was much warmer sitting outside than it was inside our trailer!
So once the work was done, it was time to relax and "cheer" our return to Canada! But we maintained our 2 m/6 ft social distancing, LOL! Todays travel day was just under 2 hours, 139 km/86 miles...
Ahhhhh...it's good to be "home"!