Well, we're down to our last couple of weeks here on Vancouver Island and time to get as much physically distanced family and friend time in as possible.
Saturday (March 20) morning we got out for a walk around the park and then Steve worked on his blog review project. I did a bit of puttering around and then sat down and did a little knitting.
We left around 2:00 to head over to the house...it was sprinkling out a bit, off and on. Luckily it didn't get any worse and we were able to get out on the trails for a hike with Rob and the boys.
After the hike, we got a campfire going...time to relax and enjoy a visit and hot dog roast. We had a brief visit with Angie and her parents before they drove off to meet cousins at a downtown Victoria restaurant.
We were home just before 9:00...a wonderful evening!
Sunday (March 21) was a pretty laid-back day...the forecast was cloud and rain but we managed to get out for a couple of laps around the RV park.
We had our weekly FaceTime call with Chris, Angela and Isaac...and later on, a zoom call with Earl and Allison. Always great seeing family and friends virtually...but look forward to "in person" visits!
Monday (March 22) morning we met Dave and Leslie for a hike at John Dean Provincial Park...it re-opened March 15.
It was a beautiful sunny day, so after our hike, we went into Sidney for a late lunch on the patio of the Rumrunner Pub and Restaurant. A lovely spot on the Sidney waterfront. Rob and Nancy just happened to be walking by and noticed us so stopped to say hi...
A perfect way to end a great hike! Oh...and this morning we had decided to try and get a site in the Vancouver area for a week. Looking at the 2 week forecast there was still going to be low temperatures and snow on the Coquihalla mountain passes. This would postpone our trip up to Merritt for a week, allowing the temperatures to warm a little. I tried Peace Arch RV Park but they were still full. Not expecting to be successful at Fort Camping in Fort Langley, I thought I'd give it a try anyway. Well, to my surprise, they called to say they might have a site and while at lunch, confirmed! Yay! This way we can also have a visit with Chris, Angela and Isaac...why hadn't we thought of doing this earlier? Good idea, honey!
Tuesday (March 23) and Wednesday (March 24) were pretty uneventful days....walks, blood work at the lab and grocery shopping.
Rob from Rees Mobile RV Shop finally came back to work on the hot water tank. So far with a new element, thermostat/hi limit, and control module which he took back, we were still only getting 100F water. So it was time to try out the only other thing in the circuit...a new 12vdc/120vac relay. This involved pulling out the hot water tank. After completing the installation Rob said lets have a look at your 50 amp cord plug before I leave. I have a 50 amp Surge Guard Voltage Regulator that plugs into the power pedestal. When Rob placed his hand on the Surge Guard 50 amp female plug receptacle it was hot so he twisted the plug over to discover the 50 amp male plug on my cord had a burn mark on it. He and his partner managed to clean up the plug and cut back the bad sections on the wires and reassemble it to get me going. So that was my problem all along and cost us about $500 including the new plug I installed. So why did everything else in the rig work fine...2 electric heaters, fireplace, microwave???? Going on 11 years on the road and still learning :)
Thursday (March 25) we left at 10:30 for the hour's drive up to Mill Bay Marina and Bridgemans Bistro. We are meeting Ray and Deb for lunch and returning their dehumidifier that they had lent us for the winter. It was very much appreciated...thanks guys! It pulled out 26 pints/12.3 litres of water out of our rig every day and a half!
Bridgemans Bistro has a patio but it is totally enclosed right now...once the weather improves, they open it up but we're not quite there yet, weather-wise. Ray and Deb had been here before and had just ordered takeout from the restaurant and taken it down to the docks where there are picnic tables. We were a little early for the restaurant opening, so we moseyed down to find our picnic tables.
We were sitting at the tables when a fellow from this 60 foot yacht came out and said that he was just about to have an espresso...would we like to join him? Sure! So Dean served us espresso and he and his wife, Lana, joined us. A very interesting couple! Boaters are very friendly just like RV'ers...
RCMP Patrol Boat just finished refueling at the dock...
We had a delicious lunch and a great visit with Deb and Ray...and then it was time to say goodbye. Great seeing you both!
Since we were so close to Cowichan Bay, we decided to go the short distance further to visit and say hi and bye to friends, Jim and Nan. Left to right, Gracie (Jim and Nan's granddaughter), Nan, Jim and me...
We had a short outside visit with them and then headed back home. Glad we were able to have a quick visit guys, nice seeing you!
Friday (March 26) was basically the start of Steve's gradual pack up outside. He started by changing the plug on the 50 amp male plug on our cord. Then aired up all 10 tires on the truck and trailer and put new batteries in 7 of the tire pressure sensors that were reading low. With that done, we headed off in the truck to fuel up with diesel.
At about 4:00 we went over to the house to have a hike with the boys and then a campfire...and, of course, roast hot dogs. Rob got home just before 5:00...he is working big overtime right now, 4:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Should only be for a few days, thank goodness!
Saturday (March 27) morning, Steve was back outside. He touched up the paint on the bike rack that had started to rust a bit. Then we folded and put away the outside mats.
I updated the software/maps on our truck GPS and once that was done, I started on our Montana GPS's that we use on our ATV's. I took care of mine first but when I went to do Steve's, the box where his is usually kept was empty. Well, that started a search high and low...the last time he used it was on his hunting trip with Rob. So off to the house we went to check with his hunting gear...nope, not there; then a check of the cargo trailer...nope. When we got home, I took a look in the cupboard and low and behold, it was in an old binocular case that Steve had used to carry it on his hunting trip...phew!
Sunday (March 28) was a rainy, windy day...so no outside stuff today! We busied ourselves with odds and ends inside all morning.
After lunch, we met friends Rob and Nancy at Fresh Cup Roastery for a final visit. By mid afternoon, the sun had actually come out but it was still very blustery so the shelter they have at Fresh Cup was perfect...you're outside, but still sheltered from the wind.
Monday (March 29) we had a cold, clear start to the day...1C/34F. We went out to meet Steve's sister and husband, Nadine and Mike, at Serious Coffee for a final visit. We enjoyed our coffee sitting outside on their patio in the sunshine. A wonderful last visit with them!
Island Outfitters was just across the street...hence the reason for choosing this coffee spot. Steve wanted to do a little shopping in preparation for fishing this summer. Unfortunately, they didn't have everything he was looking for, so he'll be doing some more shopping in the Merritt/Kamloops area later on in the spring.
We were home in time to watch the 1:00 pm BC Covid Update on TV...not good news. New cases are spiking big time, so more restrictions have been put in place...no inside dining (patios and takeout only), group gym classes are paused, along with a few other things.
Just after 3:00, we carried our chairs and drinks over to Andy and Tami's to have a final visit with them. We first met them in the summer of 2019 when we were staying here...and have kept in touch. Although we haven't been able to get together again since our happy hour last September after we got here, we do see them for short chats "in passing". A great visit with them...hope to see you down south this winter!
Tuesday (March 30) was another cold clear start to the day. Steve went into Sidney for a haircut and to run some errands.
After lunch, we went into Sidney for our final walk along the waterfront....a beautiful day!
Today Steve decided to take pictures of all of the statues along our waterfront walk.
Eye Of The Ocean...using whale bones
The Salish Sea by a Tsartlip First Nation artist...
Ocean In Motion...
Tsunami...(Steve blew this shot!)
Wooden carving of a sailor looking out to sea on somebody's sundeck...
We were fortunate enough to have a nice day to meet Dave and Leslie for lunch on the outside patio of Med Grill Restuarant...another 'final visit' before we leave Thursday. Awesome seeing you both, and thanks for all the great hikes and walks we did this winter...you truly made our winter stay here much more bearable!
Back home we got a few more chores done...put bikes on the back of the trailer, and collected and cleaned solar lights, putting them away.
Then we went over to visit Rob, Angie, Conner and Bryce...our final visit with them. This time we had pizza delivered for dinner that we ate while sitting around the campfire.
Bryce playing around...
Wednesday (March 31) and yet another cold clear start to the day! We had a busy day planned today...shopping and last minute errands in Sidney for me...and packing up outside stuff for Steve.
By 3:30 we had pretty well all our pack up done...that could be done today. The rest cannot be done until the morning. So we joined our neighbours for happy our.
Neil, Donna (we're in their yard), Lorilee, Marcel, Steve and Leslie (Leslie's husband, Rob, joined us once he got home from work)...
And that completes our time here...tomorrow, we finish our pack up, hoping that the slides go in okay and the wheels go round and round! We plan on being at the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal early enough to wait in line for the 11:00 a.m. sailing...wish us luck!