Monday, June 28 to Monday, July 5, 2021 (Tunkwa Provincial Park, Logan Lake to Coquitlam, BC)

When I got up just before 6 a.m. Monday (June 28) morning, it was already 18C/64.4F outside/16C/60.8F inside. By 10:00, it was 30C/86F outside. Apparently, it’s supposed to get even hotter today! 

We sat inside reading all morning since the temperature was cooler inside than out. Just before noon we decided to drive into town, have lunch at the Pick and Shovel Pub, and work on the blog...along with other internet stuff!

We managed to get our blog up-to-date as well as some banking done. Reluctantly we left the coolness of the pub a few hours later and headed home.

Steve brought the small bedroom TV out and hooked it up so we could watch it outside. The temp inside was 39C/102.2F…even with the fantastic fans on full.
Steve spotted smoke from the Sparks Lake fire... 
Tuesday (June 29) was another very hot day. At least we had more wind today…but it was like having a hair dryer blowing hot air in your face LOL!

We got out for a walk around the campground before breakfast, showered and then basically spent the day outside in the shade reading. But by midafternoon, we needed a reprieve from the heat…it was 42C/107.6F…so took down the sunshade and awning (because of the wind gusts) and headed into Logan Lake to fill our water containers and have ice cream. Ahhh….thank goodness for an air-conditioned car!

Unfortunately, with the hot dry weather, wildfires are being sparked throughout the province. We noticed the smoke from the Sparks Lake fire, about 15 km/9 miles north of Kamloops Lake yesterday afternoon. It's approximately 30 km/19 miles away from us and today we learned that it has doubled in size and is out of control.

View as we enter the park...
View from our site a little later...
Steve spotted this cloud and thought it looked like a dog begging for treats...
Finally after a few days in this heat wave one of the park workers said we could run our generator as much as needed so we could run our AC to try and combat the heat. We gave it a try but our 3000 watt Honda generator went squirrely when the AC kicked in. After a few attempts we gave up...geez...what's up with that!

Between June 25th and July 1st a total of 777 sudden deaths during this heat wave in BC were reported and many are believed to be heat related with two thirds of the victims being age 70 or older.

Spectacular sunsets with the smoky sky...
Sparks Lake fire glowing at sunset. It's amazing how something so horrific could be so beautiful... 
The temperature when I got up Wednesday (June 30) morning was 21C/69.8F inside, 17C/62.6F outside…it’s going to be another hot one! We heard that another wildfire had started near Lytton about 68km/42 miles away…so that was the small smoke plume we saw over the mountain to the southwest last night. (Same direction as that doggy cloud photo) If you read our last blog we mentioned that Lytton broke the all time temperature record in Canada going back to 1937 reaching 46.1C/115F. Well they broke their new record two more times reaching 49.6C/121.3F yesterday! Sadly we later learned that the fire had consumed 90% of the small village of Lytton killing at least 2 people with several people still unaccounted for. The cause is still under investigation but is suspected to have been human caused and started in town. Some thought it was caused by a passing train.

Today we are going into Kamloops…Steve has to renew his driver’s license; we also need to renew our car insurance and pick up a few groceries.

Very smoky over Kamloops Lake...
After lunch out at Earl’s Restaurant, we ran a couple of more errands and then headed home…the temperature in Kamloops was 45C/113F and it wasn’t that much different at Tunkwa at 42C/107.6F.

Smoke from the Sparks Lake wildfire north of us still going strong...
Steve decided to try the AC again so fired up the generator. When he turned the AC on it ran for a bit then tripped the breaker. We got the AC running again but after about 10 minutes it tripped the breaker again. Steve gave up not wanting to start a fire…don’t know what is up with that, we had it running for 2 hours the other night during regular generator hours. Steve thinks that with the 40C/104F temps inside the rig that the electrics are being challenged???

My nephew, Kevin, stopped by for a bit and we stood outside in the heat chatting, trying to find a patch of shade, but there was little to be had.

With not much choice but to sit outside, we found a little shade between the trailer and the truck. It was also very windy out…at least there was airflow outside, whereas inside the trailer, it was stifling! However, with the wind, came the smoke from the wildfires to the west of us, blanketing the campground…ugh! Not only do we have the heat but we have smoke too!

As the sun moved around making more shade, we managed to watch the small TV outside…until around 10, when we went to bed and read for a while.

View from our site...


Thursday (July 1)…    Happy Canada Day to all our family and friends!
It had cooled down to 21C in the trailer overnight but the smoke was covering us…perhaps not quite as thick (yet). The forecast is for the temperatures to drop a bit…into the mid to high 30’sC…still pretty hot but not quite as stifling.
We got out for a walk around the campground before breakfast…the weather and smoke has definitely kept a lot of campers away as there were plenty of empty sites on this long holiday weekend.

After breakfast, Steve decided to give the AC another go, so fired up the generator…maybe it will work better if he started it in the cooler morning 23C/73F temperature. And it did! Well, for a while, that is until we reached 27C/80F about 3 ½ hours later, as we are sitting inside reading, out of the smoke. The generator started going crazy and our surge guard was making a heck of a racket! So Steve quickly shut off the AC…no idea what’s going on with it. But at least the worst of the heat wave is over. It’s the smoke from the many wildfires in the region we have to contend with now.

We took a drive into Logan Lake to get propane. On our way home, we stopped for a chat with my nephew, Kevin. He leaves tomorrow, after a very hot, smoky week! Great seeing you after all these years!
The smoke gradually got worse throughout the day but by early evening, the breeze was obviously blowing in the right direction to clear a lot of the smoke…ah…a little reprieve!

Friday (July 2) morning we got up to much cooler temps…it was 15C/59F…much nicer! The smoke wasn’t too bad…yet…but with reports of more wildfires being sparked by lightning last night, along with the ones that are still out of control, it’s inevitable that it’s going to get thicker.

I headed out for walk around Leighton Lake at 8:00, leaving Steve to finish his resistance exercises, have breakfast and shower. About an hour later I was home…feeling like “pig pen”! I had tripped while avoiding cow manure on the narrow, and very dusty trail…I could just envision the puff of dirt that went up as I landed on the ground LOL! No injuries…just my pride as I got up and dusted myself off at the same time checking to see if any of the people fishing on the lake had noticed.

A new wildfire, sparked by lightning last night...this is the Durand Lake fire, near Greenstone Mountain, approximately 10km/6 miles to the east of us. We watched it grow all day...


It was just before 5:00, we were sitting outside with a drink when one of the park workers stopped and told us we had to evacuate. We were in total shock! They said we had time to pack up, so we both got to work...Steve outside and me inside. About an hour later, they came by again to tell us we had to get out NOW...the alert had been upgraded! So we dropped what we were doing, I grabbed some shopping bags and threw some clothes and toiletries in, and put them in the car. Steve fired up the truck and we were off, leaving our fifth-wheel, bikes and boat behind. If we had another 15 minutes we could have been hooked up and gone...so close!
On the map the 
Durand Lake fire within the circle to our east is approximately 10km/6 miles and caused our evacuation
Sparks Lake fire to the north is approximately 30/km/19 miles
Ashcroft fire to our northwest is approximately 27km/17 miles
Lytton fire to our southwest is approximately 68km/42 miles
Paska Lake fires southeast is approximately 16km/10 miles

As of this writing there are 208 wildfires in BC
As we arrived in Merritt, we pulled over and I called the Best Western Hotel and managed to secure the last room...it  was going on 7:30 by this point, and we just wanted someplace to spend the night. So we felt like we scored big time by getting the room. It was next door to the Boston Pizza restaurant, so after getting settled in our room, we walked over for a couple of cold brews and dinner.

Saturday (July 3) morning, after a rather restless/sleepless night, we got up, showered and went downstairs for breakfast...it was included in our stay. Afterwards, we called our son, Chris, in Coquitlam and asked if we could come stay with them, if need be...we'd know more once we met with the people at the Evacuation Centre.

We found the Evacuation Registration Centre in  Merritt and met with some very nice folks who took down our information. All evacuees are requested to register. They recommended that since we had family in Coquitlam, that we stay with them...the fire is unpredictable and they have no idea how long it would be before the evacuation order was lifted.

Steve had asked the nice young lady at reception in the hotel if we could leave the truck parked in their lot while we went down to the coast...absolutely no problem! Awesome! So we packed our "bags" and were off heading south on the Coquihalla highway...
A break at a scenic Zopkios Rest Area...
We arrived at Chris and  Angela's shortly after 12:30. Isaac was having a nap. After lunch, Angela and  I went up to Safeway to pick up a few things. When we got back, Isaac was up...and gave me a big hug and kiss (Gramma's heart soared, LOL).

Today happened to be Chris's 36th birthday...so happy to be able to be here to celebrate with him! He had a few co-workers over and we all sat out on the patio. They all work at Phoenix Labs a video game developer. 
Left to right...Chris, me, RA (RuthAnn), Angela, Ian, Brian and Doug...
Angela ordered a variety of pizzas for dinner...Isaac and Angela...
No birthday candles on the cake but Isaac helped Daddy blow out a candle he held...
Yummy ice-cream cake!
We all sat around the propane fire afterwards...
And made s'mores!
Needless to say, we were up way past our bedtime, LOL! What a fun evening and a great group to share many stories and laughs with!

Happy 4th of July to all our American friends!
It was a pretty laid back, lazy kind of day. Chris made us all bacon, eggs and toast for breakfast and after getting cleaned up, we just chilled outside on the deck.

Mom helped Isaac put on his new bathing suit and sun-shirt...and he came running out saying "it fits", he's so darned cute!
Ahhhhh....a relaxing day in the pool...it was another warm, sunny day! Look Grampa...I caught a fish!
In our mad rush during our evacuation Steve had forgotten to turn our LP tank regulator to both tanks for the fridge. So we called friends in Logan Lake and asked them if they would be willing to drive to the park and "if permitted to enter" to turn the other tank on and switch the regulator. Without hesitation they said yes!  We can't thank our friends enough for their assistance during this stressful time. They even rescued our unlocked bikes and folded up our sunscreen!

Monday (July 5) morning we saw Chris off to work. A little while later, Angela and Isaac headed off...Isaac was going to visit Nonna and Nonno, while Angela met a friend for brunch. 

Before they left, Gramma and Isaac read some books...
And Grampa and Isaac had breakfast together...
I did some banking on the laptop and then made sure all pictures were download so Steve could work on them. After a bite to eat for lunch, I headed off leaving Steve in peace and quiet to do his picture editing. I had some shopping to do...a few essentials that got forgotten in the trailer. We also forgot our walking shoes...good thing we both need new ones! That shopping will have to wait until tomorrow, though.

Who knows how long it will be before we are able to return to our trailer...only time will tell. We keep checking the BC Wildfire Services website and it says the fire is still out of control...so far, thankfully, it hasn't reached the Park. I hope it's not going to be too long...but BC seems to be "on fire" with new wildfires springing up everyday. There are now over 200 wildfires burning in the province.


12 comments:

  1. So glad you are all safe! Although categorized as out of control it doesn't appear to be growing in your direction.

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    1. Fingers-crossed it doesn't make it to the park!

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  2. So scary, and so close to being hooked up and out of there. Thinking of you guys and hoping for a positive outcome. We've been evacuated due to flooding but never because of fire, however, this summer we're keeping a really close watch. Already had one fire within 10 miles of our park.

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    1. It was a pretty stressful and emotional time for everyone involved in the evacuation. Especially when the wind can change so quickly and the danger level is unknown.

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  3. Wow, the heat, the fire, what is next? Glad you guys are okay. On the bright side, the smoke makes for some incredible sunsets and maybe you will be getting a new rig after all!

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    1. Yes, the sunsets are beautiful...the smoke, not so much.

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  4. Those temps are just crazy! I could not deal with that. Is there a reason you didn’t move to a park with electric for that week? Especially with the smoke. That cloud sure does look like a begging dog. The sunsets are always sadly, amazing! I sure hope you can get back soon. Also hope the propane holds out! Keep us updated. We’ll be thinking of you.

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    1. We are set up for the summer in a long-stay site. We pay every four weeks. The smoke does make for some pretty spectacular sunsets!

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  5. It was so wonderful to meet you! Here's hoping that everything comes out okay at the park!

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    1. Such a fun evening! Glad we were here to meet you all! We're keeping our fingers crossed that we're able to return to the park soon.

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  6. Oh, my! So sorry for everyone in your area. I couldn't believe how many lightning strikes and fires. Our evening news even covered it. Glad you got out safely, but sorry you left so much behind. Fingers crossed the fire doesn't get to the park. Thinking of you both.

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