Tagged with " chilkoot"
May 12, 2009 -

A Book Rec for Those Who Think I’m Nuts

If you can find a copy of Ian and Sally Wilson’s Gold Rush: Reliving The Klondike Adventure In Canada’s North you will be able to quickly ascertain that I am a perfectly rational person.

I read this book straight through. It was funny, though provoking, informative, and incredibly entertaining.

The authors decided, on a whim, to try to relive the Klondike era. They spent a few months gathering the info necessary to set off for the Yukon via the Stikine Trail on horseback, with pack horses in tow, even though they had never ridden before. Their year led them over the Chilkoot Pass, down the Yukon River in a homemade barge, through the dead of winter in an isolated cabin, camping in forty below weather, and finally making contact with a modern-day miner living life 1890’s style.

The more I got into this incredible tale, the harder it became to scrape my jaw off the floor in amazement at what Ian and Sally Wilson did during their adventure.

Like me, the authors are people not afraid of doing something radical and not entirely well thought out, of setting off into the wilderness in search of their dreams, and of treating life like it’s meant to be one great big adventure after another. And, like me, a good attitude ensured a positive outcome.

I’ve got to find myself a husband like Ian. 😀

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Personal, Recommendations    2 Comments
May 5, 2009 -

The Chasm to Lake McLeese

See this post with pictures at A Life By Design.

This day was like the one from Thunder Bay, starting off great, with no warning of the disaster to come.

I hadn’t had a good night’s sleep in about a month, so imagine my shock on Monday morning when I discovered I’d slept ten hours straight! The chasm turned out to be a great spot for a good night’s sleep, being pitch dark and blessedly quiet.

This was my first time ever waking up somewhere that did not require me to be out by a certain time, not counting Revelstoke that required me to leave because of my non-existent battery issues. I took my time, savouring the crisp, cold morning. I had fretted about how to get out of the site without unhooking, finding the turn to be very sharp for an RV, but the The Milepost, my bible for this journey, kindly informed me that Chasm Road loops back to the 97 highway.

I stopped just 30km from the Chasm to climb up to Begbie Summit, where there is a fire watch station. This was a 10 minute hike that told me that I really need to do more of these if I want to be ready for the Chilkoot. 🙂

My next stop was for lunch at the 108 Mile Ranch site. I’d topped up the groceries at the Save-On-Foods at 100 Mile House, so I had a very nice picnic.

My water levels were getting low, my tanks were getting full, my house battery was ready for a bit of juice, and I had a mountain of laundry to do. So, I decided that a night on full hookups was in order.

Using the Milepost, I determined that the McLeese Lake Resort, between Williams Lake and Quesnel, would be a good place to stop as it boasted full hook-up sites, easy RV access, and wi-fi.

Well…

This was a beautiful resort, but really not made for RVs over the size of a class B. I took a turn too sharply to get into my site and clipped the post holding the water outlet, then drove straight over it with the toad. Miranda has a nice scrape down the side of the battery compartment door and one of its closures is dented.

Damage at the site looked really bad and the owners thought they would need to call in for a backhoe to get to the underground leak. I was told that I was looking at a 500$+ repair bill. They were very nice about the whole thing, but I was beyond mortified and freaking out. My trip was over if the bill came to fruition; I’d have to dash straight to Whitehorse to get work.

Several hours passed as I did laundry, puttered around the house, and otherwise tried to keep myself occupied as I waited for the final verdict.

Finally, the groundskeeper came around to announced that he got to the leak with just a couple of spadefuls. As it turned out, the water hose was just that, a flexible hose, not a pipe, and all I’d done was rip a connection apart. It was a two minute repair. As for the post, it seemed pretty rotten and did not factor into the equation when they came up with a bill for me–50$ for the inconvenience and labour. Fair enough. *relieved*

The people at the resort were just so nice about the whole thing. I paid them in cash last night, but still went into the office this morning to make sure that everything was okay. The manager took me around the outside of the office and showed me where someone had just about taken the roof off the porch with their rig! I could tell that she was trying to make me feel better and it worked somewhat. She told me I’m welcome back anytime, but I’m not going back there!

The resort is absolutely gorgeous. I had a nice spot by the water, something that enchanted the kitties. But the ‘pull through’ site was barely so and their wi-fi is WEP encrypted so I couldn’t get on. So, while my night there wasn’t a complete and utter disaster, it won’t bring back pleasant memories. 🙂

Now, photos… The new laptop does not have iPhoto, the app that let’s me create photo galleries with just the push of a button. Turns out this app was part of a bonus app suite included on the iMac and I would need to pay 90$ to get the suite for the laptop. Doubtful this is going to happen. I should technically be able to upload large quantities of photos using the flash uploader for WordPress, but the stupid thing is broken again. *rolls eyes* So, I have tons and tons of photos to upload, a fantastic internet connection, but not enough time to manually code pages. *sighs*

So, we’re going the old fashioned and sucky route. You can browse the pictures in the directory by clicking on each one manually. You will see pictures of Mount Begbie, 108 Mile Ranch, Williams Lake (59 and 60), and McLeese Resort. The picture of food cooking is a secret message to my former boss. Thanks for the bag, it was delish! Photo 61 is of Tabitha being absolutely enchanted by the waves on the lake. Check out her perch, LOL!

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Blog, British Columbia, Campgrounds, Canada, Cats, Cooking, Finances, Homemaking, Maintenance & Repair, Nice Folks, Ontario, Personal, Social, Technical, Travel    2 Comments
Apr 27, 2009 -

Of Hiking Gear and Roof Racks

First stop today was Mountain Equipment Co-Op. I have mixed feelings about my shopping experience there, my first at MEC. On the one hand, they had everything I needed but on the other, service was abominable. I’d suggest to novice gear hunters that they call ahead and ask if it’s possible to request a personal shopper.

I started off with boots. I’d done a bit of research before hand and knew that I needed their backpacking boots. I only buy Italian ‘full grain’ leather hiking boots, so that narrowed the choice down even further. Perhaps I sounded too sure of what I wanted, but the clerk just dumped three pairs of boots in front of me and never spoke to me again. Thankfully, this wasn’t my first time buying hiking boots and I knew what sort of fit I needed, so I’m fairly confident I made the right choice. Hiking boots are probably the only thing for which I never consider price. You can be soaking wet and cold out on the trail, but if your feet are comfy, life is good. Also, good boots will last you a long time. My last pair lasted through eleven years of real use, including a month of backpacking around Scotland in 1998.

Next up were socks. I couldn’t believe that the exact same socks and liners I’d bought for Scotland expedition were still available!!! I loved that combo and have, in fact, only just recently worn through my last pair! I had no qualms dropping sixty dollars total for two sets!

Then, I moved on to clothes. I walked around the ladies department for at least a half hour looking through everything and waiting for a clerk to show up in this section. Just as I was about to just walk out without anything, a clerk walked right by me and I must have given enough of a sigh or a LOOK for her to spin around and notice me. She guided me through my clothing options and was helpful enough, but soon as I was ready to examine my options on my own, she left and didn’t come back to see if I had any further questions.

It’s really hot out today, so much so that I left home in capris, sandals, and a short-sleeved top for the first time this season. So, let me just say that it was very uncomfortable in the changing room wearing the following:

-cotton underpants and bra;

-polyester longjohns and undershirt;

-hiking pants and lightweight top;

-fleece jacket;

-wind/rainproof Gortex-style pants and shell

*laughs* I didn’t need to buy all these layers, of course, but I wanted to try them all on to make sure that the shell layer, which I was buying, would fit.

I left MEC much, much poorer than I’d entered, but I was long overdue to renew my hiking gear, so much so that I’ve actually passed up on some hiking trips due to lack of appropriate equipment. Now, I’m all set to do the West Coast trail whenever I get to Vancouver Island, or to try any number of other trails I’ll pass on my way north. In fact, I have to try a few trails so I can break in those boots!

I’ll pause here to mention that MEC has a (pay) parking lot accessible from an alley behind the store. This lot is the equivalent of two stories above street level. The view from up there was stunning; I was surrounded by snow-capped mountains. Vancouver’s beauty never ceases to astound me.

Next stop was Rack Attack, just a few blocks from MEC. Their site boasts that they carry every Thule product in stock, so it seemed like the place to go to get geared up to carry the bike and kayak. My experience there was great! Service was excellent, with the clerk being very knowledgeable. I just about passed out when I got the total bill for the roof bars (400XT Aero Foot), the kayak rack, and the bike rack, though! The bike rack cost was exorbitant and I decided to pass on it for the time being. I’ll just stuff the bike in the trunk for now. The kayak rack, though was reasonably priced.

Being a DIY kind of gal, I passed on installation.

I wish I hadn’t.

First, the Swedes have got to start hiring proper translators!!!

Second, this rack was supposed to take 15-30 minutes to install. 3 hours later, I’m not even close.

I am not impressed with Thule products. Some parts seem very shoddy and flimsy; I kept thinking I was going to break something! Moreover, I bought a fitting kit made specifically for my car that specifies the bar span between the two mounts. The dimension is incorrect. If they can’t get that right, what can I trust? Lesson learned: just because a brand is the most popular doesn’t mean it’s the best, just that nobody’s invented anything better yet. I feel like I got scammed. 🙁 Hopefully, I can figure the stupid thing out before Saturday morning. I’m almost afraid to think of what the kayak rack is going to be like…

The race to departure is on. Four days left!

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British Columbia, Canada, Finances, Preparations for Departure, Shopping, Technical, Towing and Toad, Travel    No Comments