Well today was supposed to be our departure day but Mother Nature had other plans. With heavy rain (aka "atmospheric river") starting Saturday afternoon and continuing all day yesterday and all night, we woke up to a flooded campground.
We had an appointment to have our wheel bearings repacked this morning before heading to the border so Steve called to cancel until tomorrow if we can make it out.
Steve took this picture of Jack and Fay's Crusader to send them as they had left for Quartzsite the day before...
Steve noticed some of our stuff was floating around so had to go out barefoot to get his boots and raingear. You just know there has to be sewage mixed in with the flood waters...Yuk!!!
Steve had just picked up that wooden box and placed it next to a still standing tree minutes earlier...
So much stuff floating by...
It continued to rain heavily on and off all day. The water is now 13" deep, above Steve's boots and just above our second stair. The water continued to rise into the evening reaching 18" making it within an inch of our top stair.
Tuesday (Nov. 16) morning I woke up early in anticipation that the water would have miraculously disappeared overnight but it was not to be. A little difficult to pack up the satellite dish, not to mention the sewer and water hoses when the water is 13 inches deep and over Steve's rubber boots! Steve delayed our bearing appointment another day.
So we were basically prisoners held inside, not going out at all. So much floating debris...
Wednesday (Nov. 17) the water level had gone down enough for Steve to go out to the storage compartment to get his chest-waders out. No matter what, we are getting outta here today! Plus our toilet is burping and all the tanks are nearly full. Unfortunately we can't dump here and most of the sanidump locations we researched on sanidumps.com are closed except for Fort Camping in Langley.
We've never travelled with full tanks and know it puts us overweight. Hopefully the suspension holds up!
Not a very nice job having to disconnect everything in...basically in sewer water, ugh!
Draining the satellite tripod. Not our LP tank!
Although later than we wanted to be, we finally pulled into Vancouver Axle and Frame to drop the trailer off to have the wheel bearings repacked. We were so glad they were able to accommodate us this morning after so many cancellations.
It was after 11:00 by the time we were finished unhitching the trailer. They have a small parking lot so maneuvering is lots of fun! No room to just sit and wait either...besides they said they wouldn't be done until the end of the day. Yikes!
We decided to drive the short distance to Fort Langley and have lunch at the Fort Pub. On the way there, we decided to call and see if we could get one night in Fort Camping...that way we could dump our very full holding tanks, and then start our journey south tomorrow. Unfortunately, they could not accommodate us but we still needed to dump the tanks. They have the only sanidump station in the area (crazy...right?!) so we just had to hope the trailer would be ready in time to get back there to dump before they closed it at 4:45pm!
We parked the truck in the day-use area outside of Fort Camping and walked across the bridge to the pub for lunch. With all the flooding going on we were surprised the Fraser River wasn't higher as we've seen it much higher in the past...
Bales of hay have escaped and floated down the Salmon River partially plugging the small dam outlet to the Fraser River which is just on the other side of the buildings. Crews were there with long poles trying to retrieve them without much success...
The trailer was ready at about 3:30...enough time to get hitched and get back to Fort Camping to dump the tanks. YAH!
Needless to say, it was just before 6:00 and dark by the time we arrived at the US border crossing. There were only two cars ahead of us but the commercial truck lane was lined up for absolutely kilometres in two directions! All major highways connecting the Vancouver area with the rest of Canada have been shut down due to landslides, bridge and road wash-outs, etc from the heavy rains and flooding. So in order to get into the interior of BC, truckers must cross the border, go across northern Washington State, then back up into Canada. Absolute crazy the destruction and devastation as a result of flooding!
After a bunch of questions by the very friendly Border Agent...nothing COVID related, which we thought interesting...we were in Washington State! We fuelled up in Blaine and then carried onto Tulalip Resort Casino, our destination for the night.
It was 7:30 when we pulled into the RV parking behind the casino. There were very few RV's...and our favourite spot was available, so we pulled right in, levelled off and had a beer relaxing in the trailer. We are finally on our way...YAY!
Thursday (Nov. 18) was a long travel day for us. I only took a few pictures using my phone since I could not get the "big" camera to work. Turns out when the battery is out of it for awhile the date and time has to be updated in order for it to work...Geez...it's been awhile!
The Columbia River near the Longview, WA area...
We arrived at Seven Feathers Casino Resort in Canyonville just before 4:30. They have a $24/night special on right now, so we decided to "splurge" at this beautiful RV resort...besides we hadn't showered for a couple of days because of the flood situation...LOL! I had called ahead to make a reservation...so glad that I did as there is a big concert happening at the casino and they were busy.
Getting the special promotion required going to the casino and getting our Player's card updated. So as soon as we got settled into our site, we took the shuttle over. We took care of that and headed right back home. The casino was very busy and were not comfortable being inside, particularly when there was a mask requirement that was not being enforced.
We relaxed...celebrating our second night "on the road" and then had long hot showers!
Friday (Nov. 19) morning I called reservation for the RV Resort to see if we could stay another night...a day of RnR would be nice...but they were full due to the second night of the 'Old Dominion' concert.
Before leaving Steve washed everything that had been in the flood, sterilizing the water hoses, filters, water regulator, washing the satellite cables, and hose. (Other campers must have thought I was very anal about my stuff if they were watching. Steve:))
So we packed up, had a heck of a long wait at the truck stop...and were finally on the road by 10:45. Some beautiful scenery as we travel south through Oregon...
Well they say things happen in threes. First it was the fires and evacuation we experienced last summer, then the flooding. Next we thought it might be an earthquake because we live in an earthquake zone! It seems if we didn't have bad luck we wouldn't have any luck at all.
All was fine as we continued south on I-5...until we were going down the Siskiyou Mountains in southern Oregon and we heard a big "pop". The turbo hose on the truck had blown! Luckily it was all downhill and we managed to get across the California border to the Agricultural Inspection Station where we pulled over...and the fun began 😟
Unfortunately, in order to get at the turbo hose, we have to off-load the boat, unbolt and tilt the boat loader, so that the cab can be tilted. Four people are needed for the boat loader...luckily a fellow and his family stopped for a break and gave us a hand.
We off-loaded the boat again...then we waited for someone else to pull off so that we could ask for help with the boat loader.
With no one stopping and it getting late on a Friday afternoon, Steve called Skinner's Mobile Mechanic to come help. A tow truck driver had recommended them when he briefly pulled over looking for another call.
While we were waiting, a semi from Surrey, BC pulled in beside us...and there happened to be 2 guys in it. With their East Indian accents they were hard to understand, but asked if we were okay and had no problem helping us with the boat loader. They even gave us a couple of cans of pop before heading on their way. Nice friendly guys!
On further inspection Steve could now see a bulge and tear in the hose...
Steve grabbed the spare turbo hose and got to work installing it. He had one side installed when the fellows from Skinner's arrived. Seeing how we're paying for the service call and they are the mechanics, Steve let them finish up with the install. They gave us a hand lowering the cab and lifting the boat loader. They also stayed around to watch us put the boat back on, and were impressed with our setup.
They said there was a casino with a huge parking lot in Yreka...that sounded good to us! Glad we were back on the road before it got dark!
Mount Shasta at dusk...
We arrived at Rain Rock Casino just after 4:30. I went into the casino to register with Security and then we drove around the empty parking lot trying to find a level spot. That was pretty much impossible but with the ramps, we managed to do the best we could.
OMG...glad that day is over !! Yes, some adult beverages were badly needed LOL!
Saturday (Nov. 20) we woke to a cold frosty morning...-4C /28.4F. Thank goodness for the propane heater!
We decided it was just going to be a short travel day today...going to Rolling Hills Casino in Corning, CA, which had been our original destination yesterday. So we weren't in any hurry...let it warm up a bit!
Our spot at Rain Rock Casino before pulling out...
We were on the road at 9:20...with beautiful blue sky, until we ran into some fog...
Basically 2 1/2 ours later we pulled into Rolling Hills Casino. We fuelled up at the truck stop and then found our spot on the edge of the parking lot. So glad to have the mountains behind us...well, all except Tehachip Pass, that is.
We had a relaxing afternoon. Steve got the WD-40 out and lubed all the locks...and did a few odds and ends. Other than getting out for a walk around the Casino RV Park, we just chilled for the rest of the day.
Sunday (Nov. 21) we woke up early to the sound of a truck running next to us. He had pulled in nose first sometime in the wee hours of the night but I hadn't really noticed until Steve got up just before 5:00 to put the coffee on.
We were packed up and on the road before 8:00 continuing south on the I-5...not our favourite route but the most direct to take and at least it was a sunny day today!
Flooded rice fields as we near Sacramento...
Our travel day today was 296 miles...and about 5 hours (with rest breaks), long enough for us! We pulled into the big gravel parking area at Harris Ranch Inn and Restaurant near Coalinga and backed into a spot.
I decided we were having take-out from the Express BBQ for dinner tonight...very quick and easy to order with their on-line ordering webpage! We walked over just before our pickup time and brought home an order of Baby Back Ribs and an order of Beef Brisket that we split. Yum!
Monday (Nov. 22) morning we were on the road just after 8:00...it was a foggy start...
We made our way off the I-5 to highway 58 east at Bakersfield, CA...a feat in itself! We only made one wrong turn which had our GPS "recalculating" LOL!
Then up Tehachapi Pass...beautiful drive!
Just a few minutes past Barstow we arrived at Peggy Sue's 50's Diner just after 1:00...5 hours on the road is long enough. We prefer to get going early and then off the road early. We've eaten here once but have never stayed the night. It's a must see if you're ever in the area, with a very cool interior décor and memorabilia, great food, and the waitresses wear the 50's style uniforms.
Peggy Sue's is a very popular diner built in 1954 with paved parking on either side of the building for cars and a huge gravel lot on three sides as well...for truckers and RVs. We pulled over to the edge of the gravel lot on the east side and went in to confirm it was okay to park for the night...no problem, just ensure you're on the gravel and not blocking any access.
Back out to the rig, Steve checked to see how level we were...dead on! That doesn't happen very often! We did our usual set up and then Steve went out to take some pictures.
I was relaxing in my chair when I happened to look up and notice the facia above the large slide room sagging...oh wonderful! Steve checked it out and hummed and hawed about the best way to fix it.
Beautiful sunset tonight!
Dinner was take-out again...from the diner. Steve ordered the Buddy Holly Bacon Cheeseburger and I had Frankie Avalon Philly Steak Sandwich (which I only ate half of...dinner tomorrow too!)...each came with 2 sides of your choice. Both were absolutely delicious...we highly recommend stopping there if you are in the area! A great overnight stop with great food!
Tuesday (Nov. 23) we were up early and on the road by 7:30. Peggy Sue's is slightly out of the way, between I-15 that goes north to Vegas and I-40 that goes east to Needles. But it was a short 3.4 miles south to get onto I-40.
A bit of a slowdown here...a terrible accident involving a semi that went off the road...
At Needles, we left I-40 and headed south on US 95...
...to Vidal Junction and then took highway 62 over to Parker, AZ...we lost an hour here
...and then AZ 95 down to Quartzsite...
We arrived at La Posa South LTVA (Long Term Visitors Area) at about 1:00 AZ time to find the gatehouse closed...you have to go across the highway to La Posa Tyson Wash to purchase permits. They are apparently having trouble getting volunteers to man the gatehouses so I guess they alternate between gatehouses.
So we thought we'd try going to use the dump, fill up with water, find a spot...and then get our permit afterwards. But that was a no go...the sani-station is monitored and the fellow said we'd need the permit before he could let us use it. Fair enough...he was nice and only doing his job. It was worth a try! So back we go to get our permit from the gatehouse across the highway.
With that done, the holding tanks empty and the fresh water filled, we proceeded into find a spot. Along the wash is very busy, but we managed to get the last spot. It was a little difficult for us to get into because of all the small bushes but we did it!
We had our first beautiful Arizona sunset tonight!
As we write this blog under beautiful clear blue skies and a temperature expected to reach 27C/80F today our thoughts are with the people of our home province of BC dealing with the continual devastation from flooding. Four people had died and one was still missing. Thousands of farm animals have also died. The Sumas Prairie is a landform in the Fraser Valley near Abbotsford that continues into Washington State. The 134 sq km Sumas Lake was located there but drained in 1925 for flood control and agriculture. Part of the 40 km dike system failed, flooding the Sumas Prairie. Some cities in BC have had partial or total evacuations. Since we left they have had another three atmospheric rivers come through. All highways to the rest of Canada are either closed or have limited openings to essential travel only. Fuel rationing of 30 litres/6 US gallons per fill has been implemented until the middle of December. Thankfully all our family and friends haven't been affected.
We are so glad to be here !