Browsing "British Columbia"
Apr 16, 2013 -

I Can’t Believe This Weather

I crossed into the United States five months ago yesterday. So I have four weeks left to get back north. From where I’m sitting, I need four solid days of driving to make it to my property. I’m exhausted just thinking about such a cannonball run!

When I saw that the weather this spring was going to suck, I gave up on my plan of a leisurely few weeks of tourism through the plains. Instead, I thought to spend a few days here in Dallas, one night around OK City, two or three nights in Wichita, and then sit at a donation-only campground near Omaha for three days of clear weather to make a dash for the border.

But Wichita is still freezing at night and Omaha is still getting snow. My village is still sitting at well below freezing during the day.

Ms. Cinnamon, gracious host that she is, is in absolutely no hurry to send me on my way, bless her. I am really grateful to be pondering my options in hot sticky weather! But the fact is, I do need to get going and four weeks are going to speed by. And at the rate we’re going, even if the weather warms up a little, I am still going to be heading into frosty nights and then a sodden piece of property that will turn to liquid mud in short order.

What I need to do hit me like a ton of bricks last night: I should be going straight west across the mountains (UGH) and then north into the Okanagan. I need (spoiler alert) to be in Kelowna in late June anyway so if I can find a cheap place to hang out for two months (big IF), this plan doesn’t really set me off course. But Osoyoos, yuck!

The hiccup is that I have the money to get back to Saskatchewan from here ($600ish), but it could cost me upwards of $1,200 to get to BC through Nevada and California, then up into Oregon and Washington. I just don’t have an extra $600 right now. As you might remember, I gave my truck $600 in New Orleans.

I’m also not too keen about doing any mountain driving. Croft and Norma are presently stranded in Las Vegas, but I’ll be watching their route west closely when they get going again.

There is of course the option of extending my US trip by going to Mexico for a month or two. If I was of retirement age, that’s what I’d do. But I don’t want to push my luck with US Customs. While such behaviour would follow the letter of the law, it would be in violation of its spirit. I told customs I was heading back to Canada in April and that’s what I’m doing, with no excuses. I don’t want to jeopardize my fall crossing.

I picked a great winter to go south, but the worst kind of spring. 🙁

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British Columbia, Canada, Countries, Itineraries, Nice Folks, Saskatchewan, Social, Travel, USA, Weather    3 Comments
Aug 6, 2012 -

Woman Lives in Her RV in Vancouver for $500 a Month

There is a lady living in Vancouver in an RV for $500 a month. The police actually recommended the park where she lives. Kudos to the authorities for dealing so positively with the housing crisis in Vancouver!

I did find it sad that life in the RV is seen by the narrator as so hard and full of sacrifice with few luxuries. This lady has a nice, big, class C. She is fortunate to have all the comforts of a small apartment, a great view, and no rent in one of the world’s most expensive cities! I look at this as fortunate misfortune. She might be out of work and poor, but she has a real home in the city she loves.

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British Columbia, Canada, Social, Travel    2 Comments
Mar 18, 2012 -

I’ve Had Better Road Trippin’ Weather

Movin’ through the Rockies by way of the Crowsnest
These rocks are cursed, thrown up by some god
Who turned his back on a word called love
— Paul Gross, ‘Angels’

I set off for Fort Steele at about 8:30 yesterday morning. I’d been following the forecast for a week and knew that I could expect some flurries through the Crowsnest Pass, but expected good roads since that forecast kept improving day by day. HA HA HA HA HA. By the time I hit Fernie, the roads were pretty slick. But I knew I was heading downhill from there and had a better chance of hitting good weather quickly if I kept going west than if I turned back east.

I was right. The first 50 or so klicks out of Fernie were abysmal but, without warning, the pavement became dry. It was really quite amazing. I pulled into a turn off to let an idiot race past me only to discover that half of the turnout had several inches of snow and the rest of it was bare! So it was smooth driving to Fort Steele from that point on.

I arrived at 12:45, only 40 minutes ‘late’ as per my GPS’ initial arrival estimate. So that just goes to show that slowing down for the conditions really doesn’t add that much time to a trip when compared to having to wait for a tow truck because you spun out into a ditch!

Donna wasn’t home from work when I arrived, so I had a few minutes to snuggle my favourite dog in the universe while Ken brewed me a very welcome cup of coffee. Donna arrived with vittles and we had lunch and gabbed for most of the afternoon.

We went into Cranbrook for dinner, all enjoying a very satisfactory dinner at ABC Country Restaurant. This is a BC chain of casual family restaurants; I ate at one in Victoria. Donna and Ken had been there a few times and had a few recommendations, including getting the roasted red-skin potatoes in lieu of baked or mashed. Yum!

Back at the Ark, we gabbed some more, then Ken retired for the night. Donna and I chatted into the wee hours of the morning as she ran down the battery on my iPad playing a game. It’s a good thing I brought it. I’m not sure how she would have entertained herself otherwise. 😉

Needless to say, we all got a very late and lazy start to today, which included watching two movies. I headed out around 3PM in good weather conditions and had nice dry pavement all the way through the Crowsnest. I thought I was home free. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA.

The sky became more swollen and angry the further east I drove and it finally erupted over Fort McLeod. I pretty much crawled for the last 50 klicks of the drive in near zero visibility with big fat snowflakes clinging to my windshield wipers. It’s still snowing and it’s sticking. Yuck! I am so glad to be home. I just checked the forecast and Lethbridge is under a winter storm warning.

Even though the driving conditions were less than ideal, I am so happy that I had a chance to visit with my friends before the spring migration. Based on today’s projections, we will see each other again sometime next summer…

Before I sign off, does anyone care to guess what the liquor store in Blairmore is meaning to say with this sign?!

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Alberta, British Columbia, Canada, Communications & Electronics, iPad, Nice Folks, Restaurants, Social, Technical, Travel, Weather    9 Comments