Tagged with " oops"
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
May 5, 2009 -

Chilliwack to the Chasm

See this post with photos on A Life By Design.

The Gold Rush Trail!

My discovery of the day is that I can use the coffee grinder on the inverter with my new house battery!!!!!!!!!!

I left Chilliwack fairly early, before nine and eagerly pushed on past sort-of-familiar territory back to Hope where I finally began to head north! Of course, Transport Canada removes some of the thrill by labeling the highway direction as east.

This stretch of road is called the Gold Rush Trail. I cannot begin to describe the wave of emotion I felt when I saw the first sign welcoming adventurers heading north. I am certain that had I been born a century and a half ago, I would have been the same non-conformist heading north with her 1,000 lbs of personal goods.

I drove steadily, stopping occasionally to stretch my legs and take in the view. My longest break was at Hell’s Gate, after which I actually started to look for a place to stop for the day even though it wasn’t even eleven yet! I’d mapped out a couple of possibilities, but they were difficult to get into, so I pushed on, stopping just shy of one at a rest area to have lunch.

The scenery was breathtaking and as desert-like as I’d been warned. There were moments I could have sworn I was somewhere in the Mojave desert en route to Las Vegas!

Drama at Cache Creek

I stopped for gas in Cache Creek, which was much smaller than expected. On the way out of the service station, I clipped a guy’s mirror with the toad’s mirror. It apparently made quite a bang, but I heard nothing, just saw a a crazy looking livid man running after me yelling “YOU HIT MY CAR!” He was beyond reasoning with even though, after inspecting his car, it was obvious that the only damage was a tiny chip of paint lost on the mirror casing, The chip could only be felt, not seen, so, really, talk about over reacting! I had no damage.

Thankfully, his wife was able to diffuse the situation by seeing the damage done, not the damage that could have been done. I offered them a 100 bucks for their trouble, but she could see that there was barely a scratch on the car, nothing worth her husband’s undue fussing and she said that all was well. I still felt horrible, of course, but, really, that guy seriously over reacted!

Why Do I Trust Majel?!

Just after that, I followed Majel’s directions to get to Chasm Provincial Park. Must. Stop. Doing. That. I drove I don’t know how far out of my way before I saw a turn around point then… I pushed on. The area was so pretty I hoped to find a turn off where I could spend the night, but the road was too narrow. At the next turn around point I came to my senses and doubled back to the 97, wasting I don’t know how much gas.

I saw a sign for another provincial park that was open and had room for RVs, but missed the turnoff. Signage is really, really poor and I wish I had a co-pilot. Sometime later, I saw the turn off for the Chasm lookout point and here I am. There is no sign saying no parking, so I’m staying. I am beyond beat; the Cache Creek thing ruined my mood. 🙁

Chasm Provincial Park

The chasm lookout is barely a turnout, just a strip of  muddy road and not a particularly level place to stop. I picked the best spot and staked my claim. It’s very isolated out here and it feels so nice to be by myself.

The chasm is breathtaking, one of those gems you have to find on your own. It is at least as gorgeous as the Grand Canyon!

I arrived here around 4 and had a pleasant, homey evening that concluded with my watching a movie on the new laptop. Love the new laptop!!!

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Sep 12, 2008 -

Sweet Home Manitoba

I am presently in nowheresville, Manitoba, somewhere between Winnipeg and Brandon (closer to the latter), taking a much needed break. It has been a long, long journey from Nipigon to here. Now, it’s time to slow down and spend a couple of days at various strategic locations.

So, last you heard from me, I was about a 100 klicks shy of Thunder Bay. There isn’t really anything of note between Thunder Bay and Winnipeg, so I decided to do a short haul to Thunder Bay to recharge my batteries, then undertake the very long haul to the Winnipeg area, from where I could slow down.

Since I was in no hurry on Tuesday, I decided to follow the signs promising Canada’s longest suspended bridge. The road there was a bit scary in a motorhome, but the signs said that there were RV sites at the end of the road, so I took a chance taking Miranda down there and it turned out fine. I wound up on the bottom of gorgeous Eagle Canyon where a path took me up to the first of two suspension bridges.

I couldn’t cross them. I have a touch of acrophobia and these bridges were too much for me. I made it a quarter of the way across the shorter bridge before I started to see red. I don’t let my fear of heights stop me from living and I challenge it regularly, so I go easy on myself at times like these. I took some pictures, then followed the path down to the river at the bottom of the canyon, enjoying a brisk hike around a lake before returning to Miranda. It was a fantastic forty minute detour and well worth the 18$ access fee that is easily explained by the impeccable installation.

In Thunder Bay, I picked up two items that would make my life easier. The first is a coffee press. I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to discover these fantastic devices. I don’t think I could go back to drip coffee!

The second item is a speaker dock for my iPod. This enables me to now have music or podcasts on the road. Radio stations have been far between and satellite radio is as huge a monthly expense as would be satellite internet! I can also listen to music in the evening without having to start up the iMac or use headphones. I went into FutureShop not really knowing what it was I was looking for and the clerk figured it out in two seconds flat. Ah, it’s so lovely to be able to have something to listen to other than the cats meowing. 🙂

I slept amazingly well in Thunder Bay, waking up refreshed and relaxed. It was cold in the rig (13 degrees) and it was great to get up around 6 to use the bathroom and be able to turn on the generator to get the furnace going, crawl back under the blankets, and just doze with the kitties for a half hour until the temperature inside rose to a comfortable 16.5 degrees!

Speaking of cold mornings, the temperature fell to zero the night I was in Nipigon. According to Environment Canada, that’s the worst sort of night I can expect in the Okanagan Valley. If that’s the case, I have nothing to fear this winter.

So, I was bright eyed and bushy tailed in Thunder Bay and decided to head back east for a minute to the Terry Fox memorial, which I’d skipped the day before.

One of the reasons I felt I could do an almost 800km day, as I was ‘gaining’ an hour.

Tabitha spends our driving time in the overcab bunk, staring out the window. Neelix, however, likes to be right in the midst of the action (he is SO CUTE!).

Just outside of Kenora, I stopped at the Dixie Lake rest area.

I stood in that spot three years ago almost to the day, overcome with emotion. Back then, I had left Winnipeg about two hours before, knowing that from that moment on, my life was about to take a very different path. These first steps back onto the Canadian Shield cemented my decision for me. The next time I would go through that way would be heading west, hauling all my possessions and aiming for a new life in Winnipeg. I gave myself a deadline: March 2009. And then I went to work making this dream a reality. That dream died the first week of this past May, leaving room for an dream so much grander that I couldn’t have even fathomed it that September day in 2005. But, I did accomplish part of that initial plan, and six months early to boot. I felt almost like a traitor to Winnipeg today when I drove by her without stopping, hauling all my worldly possessions and zooming west, as though I was thumbing my nose at her and being ungrateful for all that she gave me these past three years. But I visited her in April and I remain convinced that she will one day be home to me. So, goodbye, but not farewell. I’ll be back this way again.

At any rate, the rest of yesterday leaves me with mixed feelings. After ten years of driving Ontario’s roads, I was pulled over by the O(ntario) P(rovincial) P(olice) for the first time, an hour from the Manitoban border, for going all of seven kilometres over the speed limit. Soon as the cop told me that, I relaxed, realising that he just wanted an excuse to pull over the young chick in the big ass RV. He spent about 10 minutes asking me questions about my rig, where I was from, and where I was going, and then he sent me on my way. Looking back, it was actually pretty funny. I need to get Miranda’s odometre checked, though. According to it, I was doing 94 in a 90 zone, not 97. Okay, speeding is speeding, but who the frell gets pulled over for doing 97 in a 90 zone? LOL!!!

I hit Manitoba soon thereafter and that’s where the day went to hell. I stopped at the tourist information kiosk to get directions to a dump station since I was planning on doing the Walmart thing again and was (am) still having issues with the black tank. I followed the woman’s instructions to the letter. They were wrong. I took the turn she told me to take, on a paved road, and promptly came to a dead end. No way to turn around without making major damage to both the car and Miranda. No way to unhook the car. No cell phone service to call for help. No help to be had on foot for ten kilometres. Result: one crunched RV back bumper (merely cosmetic damage), one crunched front car fender that is causing a noise that makes me suspect I’ll need to take it in for proper fixing, and one very disheartened and exhausted driver who isn’t exactly sure yet how much of that was her fault and isn’t convinced that she made the best decision.

Let’s just say I was in a foul mood (depressed and tired, not angry) when I got to the Walmart in Selkirk. This store was out of my way compared to, say, the one in St-Vital in Winnipeg south, but I was trying to avoid Winnipeg. 🙂 They had never had an RVer stay overnight before! The manager was quick to give me permission.

Back in Nipigon, I had met some semi-timers who RV 6 months of the year, who said that they gave up on doing the Walmart thing because they feel they have to spend at each one, and end up spending more than they would have had they gone to a campground. What I’ve been doing is making a list of the things I actually need and picking things up bit by bit at each store. This way, I have a bag of merchandise to hold up when I ask for permission to stay, but I’m not spending money I wouldn’t have needed to spend. Yesterday, I finally picked up a water pressure regulator, so tonight I’m hooked up to water for the first time (and to sewer also).

So, this morning, I took off in pea soup fog and stopped off at the first RV park advertising wi-fi (not free) and full service 30AMP sites. It’s a nice spot in the middle of nowhere (60 klicks to the nearest grocery store) and motivation to stay home tomorrow and get some things done around the coach.

I got settled in quickly (backing up is so not an issue!), then took off towards Brandon to visit the reptile zoo I’d been hankering to see. The map to get there sucked and the GPS was no help, so I’m really glad I went in the toad. When I arrived, I didn’t know what to think. The outside of the place looked like a dump! But it was open, so I went in, and paid the very reasonable fee of 5$.

The zoo turned out to be amazing and WELL worth the detour!!! I saw pythons and boas and anacondas, Nile crocodiles (the only ones in Canada, apparently), all manners of toads and frogs and turtles, big ass roaches, tarantulas, scorpions, geckos, and lizards, oh my! The owners need to do some major professionalizing of the place (especially when it comes to signage), but I can tell that the animals are very well cared for and that the owners are working on making the place look less amateurish.

Then, I made it to Brandon, where I got gas and groceries, then I headed home feeling absolutely exhausted. I immediately revised my plans for the next few days. I’m staying home tomorrow and will visit Brandon on Saturday (overnighting at the Walmart if I get permission).

Next, I’ll be moving on to the Regina area. I’d like to find a location somewhere between it and Moosejaw to hunker down for four or five nights so I can do day trips with the toad.

I’m a week into my journey and have but three left to go. It’s time to start pacing myself!

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Campgrounds, Canada, Cats, Communications & Electronics, Cooking, Driving, Homemaking, iPod Touch, Itineraries, Law and Government, Maintenance & Repair, Manitoba, Musings, Ontario, Personal, Technical, Travel, Weather, Why I Do This    14 Comments
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