Tagged with " Vancouver Island"
Apr 26, 2010 -

Finetuning Departure Plans

Six months and ten days ago I pulled into Croft and Norma’s driveway. I am expecting them any time today. I am a little boggled that so

much time has passed. That’s the thing about life, it slips by quietly  and quickly; the only way to slow it down is to account for every single second of it. The end of October straight through the end of January were just about scraping by in a weary sort of daze, but February, March, and April sure have been manic!

I’m well on my way to being ready to go. There is still an hour or two’s worth of work to be done inside Miranda to get everything secured. Outside, the most pressing thing is to flush my fresh water system and fill my tank with that sweet Campbell River water I will miss so much.

My departure plans are evolving and I am starting to favour a mid-morning Friday pull-out, with an overnight in Nanaimo. There is a ‘ten-minute’ oil change place here in Campbell River that I would go to first since both the motorhome and the toad need new oil. They would also check the tire pressure for both vehicles, so it would be a convenient stop. The very friendly person I spoke to there said that I shouldn’t have too much of a wait, if any, before noon on a Friday. The estimates were reasonable and I reiterated several times that I just need oil changes since both vehicles had thorough checks last fall. These places always check other things for the price, like the tire pressure and other fluid levels, but I wanted to make it clear that I’m not paying for anything other than the most basic package. It’s these basic packages that make me reluctant to learn to change my own oil; for an extra $25 or so, all the basics are taken care of and I get a heads up on other things that may need to be fixed that I would have missed myself. I’ve never had a problem with these quick-lube places pulling the wool over my eyes and having a $50 oil change turn into a $100 job full of useless upgrades, although I have had one turn into several hundred dollars worth of necessary work!

From there, it would be a leisurely drive to the Walmart in Nanaimo. I just called them to ask about overnight RV parking and the answer was “no problem, just park at ‘the top’ near the road.” I had considered having my oil changes done there, but their service bays do not take motorhomes.

Being in Nanaimo Saturday morning would allow me to take an earlier ferry, most realistically the 8:30, which would put me on the Lower Mainland by late morning. I could do my Ikea stop, take on propane and fuel in Chilliwack, and then shoot straight up to the Chasm at a leisurely pace to arrive by dinner time. This would save me a day on the road, but, most importantly, a lot of stress and a huge to-do list on the day of departure. I could then spend two nights in Prince George and from there savour the rest of the journey north, no matter how much, or little, time it takes.

I will confess to being more than a little eager to be settled in my spot at Bonanza and back to the manic pace of a Klondike summer, and that this eagerness is slowly overtaking any desire to explore. I’ll see how things are once I hit the road.

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British Columbia, Canada, Maintenance & Repair, Nice Folks, Preparations for Departure, Social, Technical, Towing and Toad, Travel    4 Comments
Apr 23, 2010 -

North Island

What a difference three months makes… Back in January I was feeling blue about not doing any traveling or renovating this winter and here I sit in my nearly ready to go rig with a new layout and I have been from one end of the Island back, as well as across it. I have just returned from Port Hardy, the northernmost community on Vancouver Island.

I’ve been through every single Vancouver Island community highlighted on that map!

The point of today’s road trip was to pick up my friend’s daughter at the Port McNeill ferry terminal. We arrived there at 11:30 only to find out her daughter missed her ferry and that we would need to kill two hours. So, we turned back south to see the absolutely tiny community of Telegraph Cove and when we saw that we still had plenty of time on the clock we headed north 50km from Port McNeill to Port Hardy just so I could say that I’d been from one end of the Island to the other. I made sure to thank my daughter’s friend for missing the ferry. 😀

We had just had two beautiful sunny and hot days, so of course today was rainy, cold, and generally miserable, but it sure gave a lot of atmosphere to my pictures!

Port Hardy is an important destination for Alaska-bound travelers as it is from this community that the Inside Passage ferry departs. I would have loved to have taken the ferry from there to Prince Rupert, but the total trip cost would have been double.

I really didn’t do much tourism today since the conditions weren’t right for it, but there really wasn’t anything to see and do at this time of year. I am satisfied with simply having gone and back. It gives me a sense of closure to my Vancouver Island winter, at least from a tourism point of view.

Tomorrow, I will continue to work on trim and finish my fight with the sawdust in the workshop to bring the renovating portion of the winter to a close.

I leave Campbell River a week from tomorrow. Where has the winter gone?!

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British Columbia, Canada, Travel    7 Comments
Apr 20, 2010 -

Thirty-Three Hours

I have four shifts left at the gas station, for a total of thirty-three hours. I am beyond excited to get out of there, but grateful that the job turned out much better than I would have thought.

While I am off the next four days, I aim to be just about ready to go by Thursday night. This means that I have a minimum amount of stuff left to pack and only exterior things, like flushing the fresh water system, left to do, and that the workshop and house are ready for Croft and Norma’s imminent return!

Friday, I am taking a road trip north Island with a friend from work. We’re not going to the northernmost community, Port Hardy, but almost since we will be going to the ferry terminal in Port McNeill. I’ll have managed to see a lot more of Vancouver Island this winter than I would have expected!

Departure is still slated for May 1st, next Saturday! I had thought it would be nice to sneak out a day earlier than that, but don’t want to get ensnared in Friday night Vancouver rush hour, even if Saturday afternoon probably won’t be much better. I’d like to catch the 10:30 ferry from Nanaimo, meaning that I will need to leave Campbell River no later than 7:30 after dumping. It’ll be an early morning! That would put me in Vancouver around 12:30 and in Chilliwack by mid-afternoon after running an errand for a friend in Coquitlam. By the time I take on gas and propane in Chilliwack, it’ll be a reasonable time to hunker down and crash at the Walmart!

Last night, I planned my trip to Dawson to see what is the minimum number of days I’d need to get there safely and enjoyably: nine. That would give me six days flex time in case of weather issues. I do plan to spend two days in Prince George but would otherwise be thrilled to get to Whitehorse on schedule since that would give me extra time to putter around the Yukon before shooting up to Dawson. It’ll really depend on the weather.

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British Columbia, Canada, Finances, Itineraries, Nice Folks, Preparations for Departure, Social, Travel, Work    4 Comments