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Sunrise at Tombstone, AZ

Friday, 31 March 2017

Peace Arch RV Park Update March 26-30

Blog Warning!! As we are not travelling the blog is kind of just a day to day journal for me to remind me what I did so the whole 2 months we are here does not seem to be just a blimp in time. Most would not find this very interesting. lol :) Departure date tentatively June 1st for more travelling.

Sunday, March 26

Ray did a couple of errands, and I spent the morning/afternoon doing laundry, dishes etc. 3 pm found us up at Dad's so I could make him dinner as Sunday's are Larny's days off. I made pork ribs in my new Instant Pot. They turned out beautifully even though I had ramped down the spice rub and barbeque sauce for my Dad's taste. We were back home at 8:30 and watched some TV before turning the lights out. Our front PVR is not working properly and we have diagnosed that it is probably the transponder as after all wires tightened, on the roof and down below, exchanged the bedroom PVR for the front one ... it still has missing channels. There are 2 transponders on our dish for 2 PVR's (DVR) so I guess we will be calling Shaw Direct or a private company if Shaw won't help.

Monday, March 27

Woke up to rain again ... and apparently rain for the next few days until possibly Thursday! Oh well we have stuff to do so other than Freya tracking in a lot of mud we should be okay. The only issue we have had is that the coach settled slightly off level and we found that the rain water had come in onto the carpet in the bedroom on the passenger side. We quickly leveled and I think we got it fixed. Now to dry the carpet. :(

They have certainly had a wet winter. All of the farm fields in the area that do not have berry bushes are lakes with ducks floating on them. I think spring planting will be delayed until someone turns the tap off!

Ray's project this next week is to find out where to get the best tires for the car ... after 2 years our tires are trashed even though we were supposed to get 110,000 km on them, and we only have 57,000 km. We had our fingers crossed they would not blow before getting back to Canada so we did not have to worry about the exchange. (We ended up getting a 50% credit on the tires and will have new ones installed on Friday.)

Ray dropped me off at Dad's so Larny and I could do our bit shopping trip to Costco and Superstore. Larny still has her "L" and I had her do all the driving. I told her if she scares me and my hair turns white ... I will drive! lol :) Larny is doing much better so hopefully she will get her license before she goes on holiday for a month and my hair did not turn white!

Tuesday, March 28

Ray and I woke up to pounding rain. We have been here only a week and wow we are tired of this rain already. Poor people that stayed here through the winter. Our neighbour has water right up to his steps next door. So far we are okay with a walkable area outside our door. We have been having some water egress onto the carpet in the bedroom under the passenger slide. The coach has settled a bit with the soft ground and the rain off the topper on that side drips down onto the lower rail of the slide and sneeks through the rubber seal. We raised up that side of the coach enough to stop it twice and I put a rolled hand towel inside the rubber gasket to catch any residual drips.  Oh well I am managing to dry it all out with a small electric heater to prevent any mould problems.We will reset the level on the first dry day.

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For dinner I tried my hand at making pork belly. We had some on a pizza in San Luis Obpisbo several weeks ago and loved the flavour so had to try it myself. It turned out pretty good. A very rich dish that you only need to eat a small amount to feel satisfied. Served it sliced on a bed of Ginger Sesame Bok Choy. Yummm. Here is a picture from google with what mine looked like before we ate it. We were too busy eating it to take a picture! lol

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It poured all night really hard and still showering when we woke up Wednesday morning. Ray has had a bad couple of days with back spasms, his leg giving out and severe pain in his tailbone area when walking.   He was too sore to even go to the hot tub.  This morning he feels somewhat better so he will go and have a hot tub at the pool down the street from my dad's while I have a short visit. I am still in cleaning mode although washing the floor is a somewhat moot point with the dog coming in and out with wet feet so I am only vaccuming and sweeping. Here is some pictures of the campsite with the added rain last night the most rainfall in one day since 1937.

Our toes are not wet yet! Just!

Anyone have a fishing rod!
Tonight I made rack of lamb with mint sauce and zucchini chips with cheese gnocci with homemade marinara sauce and crisp pork belly nuggets. (I had made the marinara sauce before crossing the border with all of the tomatoes and vegetables I had left so I did not have to throw it out.) Ray said it was all a winner. He;s been in so much pain for the past week that I try to make his day a little better tempting him with good food.

Amazingly on Thursday morning we woke up to all the puddles gone. This campsite does have pretty good drainage after all. Looking forward to cleaning up our site and putting out our rugs etc. I also have to go to Service Canada and put in my papers for CPP. The only good thing about turning 60 in July is getting a paycheck again! lol The rest of the day I spent running errands and Ray stayed at the coach as we had a plumber coming to reattach our kitchen sink. It has been dropping down and no amount of caulking was helping so the whole thing had to be taken out and redone. Apparently the guy said it had not been put in correctly from the factory as the caulking was not adhering to the counter probably because they had not cleaned the counter top first before caulking. As well, with the weight of the sink there was no strapping to help hold it up only about 8 half inch angle brackets. Not the right way to install an undermount sink. Since he was doing that I had him install 2 new sink drains as all the finish had come off. Kerry also replaced all of the plumbing under the sink as he said the stuff previously installed was very thin and "cheap". Everything now looks beautiful and new. Thanks to Brian's Plumbing. Their work is guaranteed.

Friday morning yeah still no rain with some clouds. We will head out to Dad's, I will visit while Ray goes to the pool for a hot tub. Later today we are getting new tires installed on the car.  Today is Garrett's 36th birthday. Wow hard to believe he is that old ... I guess because I am that old. lol Tomorrow the family is getting together for dinner at a restaurant in Surrey to celebrate. Kristi and Jason are coming over from the island and we will have my dad and Larny as well as Grandma Kyle for dinner.

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Back in BC at Peace Arch RV Park, Surrey

We actually ended up crossing the border yesterday, March 20th. The security people came by at around 10 am and told us that the area where we were parked was employee parking only and we would have to move into the RV area. Bummer. We have stayed at the end corner of this lot the last 3 times as it is next to a grass field that Freya loves. So, if we have to pack up we might as well make the run across the border. Another factor was the sun was out today but rain was the forecast tomorrow. I phoned the RV Park and they said it was no problem to arrive a day early.

Ray and I were all set up by 3 pm. A pretty tiring day so we kept "incognito" and did not call anyone until Tuesday afternoon to say we were home. Ray spent the rest of the day on his back in bed as we had visited relatives the past two days and his back was pretty sore. We did drop in on Ray's mom Tuesday after lunch for an hour or so in Burnaby and made sure we left shortly after 2 pm to miss all of the rush hour traffic coming back to Surrey. She is pretty frail and moves very slowly after her fall a month ago. At least her face has cleared up from all of the bruising.

While at the Tulalip Casino, I went into Walmart and purchase my new kitchen appliance, The Instant Pot, which will take the place of the slow cooker. It acts like a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker and warmer and.... and... and... 7 things anyways. I have been reading about them for awhile but when I found out that it was $79 USD at Walmart in Washington and $165 CND from Amazon I bit the bullet before crossing the border. Tonight will be my first "trial" with pork roast and veggies. It turned out marvelous. The roast was done in under an hour.

Wednesday, March 22, we woke to rain again. I'm starting to really miss southern California!

Thursday, we were off to the island to see Kristi and Jason. We've taken the ferry to and from the island many times over the years but never took any pictures!  Anyway, after paying the usual exorbitant fee and pulling into the line far away from the terminal building, off we went.

How many do you want?  Sunglasses, clothes, beads, remote vehicles, etc.

Classic picture "Kids 'n Candy

Ray's breakfast, Palmier's.  Don't see these in many bakeries.

Into the bowels of the ferry.

Near Miss.... Not

The Smoking Deck

Entrance Island into Nanaimo Harbour...... It becomes Exit Island on the way back out!

Arrived in Nanaimo at 12:30 and ran up island to the Nori Sushi Restaurant, only the best sushi anywhere. It was incredibly busy there even though it's after 1 pm on a Thursday. Ray and I sure enjoyed our meal.

The owner with some fresh delivery,

The quantity assures leftovers.... yummmm!

Back at Kristi and Jason's for the rest of the day. Ray and I bought KFC for dinner as Kristi had come off post call and had to work her clinic until 2 pm. The dogs had a great time playing together ... well mostly Freya. lol

Friday morning Freya got to go to doggy daycare for the day with Athena and Zeus. They all came back at 4 pretty tired. Kristi has a service that comes twice a week and picks up the dogs, runs them on trails for the day and brings them back late afternoon. Thanks Kristi for sending Freya. Ray and I went to our Dr appointments and then ran up island to collect our mail from Ray's brothers place.

Saturday morning we took the 10:15 am ferry back to the mainland.

Coal Terminal

Container Terminal next door

Ferry Terminal

We spent the rest of Saturday relaxing and then used my instant pot again and made sweet and sour pork with veggies and rice. Yummm.

Monday, 20 March 2017

Eugene to Tacoma to Marysville

March 18th - Tacoma, WA

Up early and hit the road by 7:30 am to make it through Portland before it got too busy. We had a 4 1/2 hour drive ahead of us to get to Ray's sister's place in Tacoma, our destination for our overnight stay. Traffic was crazy just before Portland for no apparent reason again. There were 2 accidents as well. Took us a little longer but fortunately we made it by our scheduled meet time of 1:30 pm.

Had a great visit with Judy and Milt. Dinner was yummy lasagna and lots of wine was consummed! We said our goodbyes at 9 pm and went straight to bed as it had been a hard day for Ray driving. Up early at 6:30, once dressed and the coach prepared for leaving, we went in for a quick breakfast and were on the road by 8:20 am. Thanks guys for a great dinner and visit.

March 19th - Tulalip Casino, Marysville, WA

Ray and I left early as we wanted to get through Seattle before the Sunday drivers came out and we did it! We only had about and hour and a half's drive to the Casino. At 11 a.m we went out for lunch at The Ram, a brewery restaurant across from the Oulet Mall. They have great beer and food.

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Back to the coach for the afternoon for Ray to rest up for this evening. We are going to Ray's cousin's house in Lynwood for dinner with them, his aunt and other cousins who live across the street.

After a relaxing afternoon we were off to Nikki and Mikes' for dinner. A traditional Irish dinner of corned beef and cabbage. Yummm. Thanks guys. It was nice to have a short visit with Val and Katie as well before Val left for work and Katie went back home.

Happy Birthday Katie, Love from Auntie Irene

Mike, Nicole, Aunt Mary and Deb
A lovely visit to catch up.

 Monday, March 20th,

This is a rest day for Ray before we make the jaunt across the border back into BC tomorrow. My chores will be to finish up making a marinara sauce to freeze to use up all of my fresh vegetables before going back to BC and boiling eggs. I hate throwing out food. Left some stuff at Ray's sisters and gave some to Nikki so the crispers are now empty. Nikki and Mike are the recipients every year of any extra alcohol we need to dispose of before crossing. They sure do not mind having us for dinner! lol Looking forward to being back in BC tomorrow to see my Dad and Ray's mom.

Friday, 17 March 2017

Santa Cruz, CA to Eugene, OR

Tuesday, March 14th - The worst travel day ever all winter!!!!

Jacks up by the ripe old time of 10 am (time change you know!) We wanted to miss the San Jose morning traffic anyways and made our way up Hwy 1 and the GPS said "Continue on CA-1 N. Take CA-17 NI-880 NI-680 NI-80 E and CA-113 N to E Main St in Woodland. Take exit 37 from CA-113 N". 

The traffic until we got past Santa Cruz was bumper to bumper and slow. Once on Hwy 17 it was better but that highway is very narrow and windy and people refuse to let you in. With the heavy traffic we were stuck behind slow moving trucks.  Ray was very frustrated today with all of the inconsiderate drivers. We almost got hit twice! This unfortunately was the norm until we got onto the I-680 and it was better. The 3 hour drive felt like forever with all of the traffic and very bumpy highways. I had things move that have never moved before! Anyways we are now all tucked in for the night at the Woodland Walmart. Apparently you are not supposed to stay overnight here now but unless someone tells us personally we are parked. I did purchase the equivalent of one night at $50 in the store anyways. There are 2 other motorhomes here as well. Ray has a plan B though, the building across the road has a large empty parking lot and the building is still empty after 2 years so that is where we will move if they kick us out tonight. Fingers Crossed!

Well at 5 pm security did come and said the new manager decided to eliminate overnight parking. The guy said he was about to call the cops on one of the two rigs as he refused to move overnight. Apparently the truck drivers caused previous problems, I'm guessing garbage, so across the road we went. There are several homeless people we noticed here, so we parked away from the buildings close to the road. We will have a somewhat uncomfortable night. Car is attached, jacks are not down and we will pull in the front slides before bed ... just in case. As Ray pointed out we have stayed in the Walmart parking lot 100 feet away 2 years in a row and no one bothered us but we will strike this Walmart off the list for the future.

Oh No! The owner of the vacant building and lot came by at 8 pm and suggested we not stay. The city has wanted him to tear down the buildings to get rid of the homeless problem and apparently the 10 or so people who camp there get quite unruly and the cops are there all the time! The owner is waiting for his "credits in writing" from the city so he does not have to pay any assessments etc before he tears down the buildings.  He will start building a 7-11, gas station and Wendy's before he tears down the buildings. Fortunately I had everyone fed and everything washed and put away in the event we had to move. So at 8:30 pm we were on our way again, 20 miles down the road to Plan C, the Pilot Travel Centre in the dark which is something we avoid. When we arrived at the Pilot Travel Station in Dunnigan, overnight parking lot of 140 some odd sites were all full ... we carried down the road a short ways and ended up parking in the Ritchie Bros. Auction House lot. At least we felt safe but what a noisy night with all of the truck generators going all night. We were in bed by 9:30. What a day! It was so hot out but we had to keep most of the windows closed and just the roof vents open. We all kind of cooked until after midnight when it started to cool.

Wednesday, March 15th - Seven Feathers Casino, Canyonville

With it being so noisy I hardly slept. Ray did not have any problem though! I was awake at 4 am and Ray was up at 5. We were back on the road by 5:30 am. We did not want to get into trouble parking as there was a sign knocked down "No overnight parking"! I think this is the earliest we have ever travelled barring catching a plane or ferry. Three and a half hours later we arrived at our overnight spot, the Yreka Walmart. Being only 9 am we looked at each other and decided to carry on as his back was OK so far. (This place would be okay to stay for future reference.) Ray went in to the grocery store and bought coffee and some donuts to carry us through another 3 hours to Seven Feathers Casino in Canyonlands. Ray and I had chosen "free" places to stay on the way home but with yesterday's fiasco and the long drive today I knew a good hot tub was in order for Ray to survive to drive another day. Two days ago my right knee was kind of bothering me, slept funny or something. It ended up getting much worse last night overnight so I could hardly walk in the morning. (My crutches came out of the basement!) For some reason I have pulled a muscle behind my right knee so the hot tub sounded pretty good to me too. The drive today was quite easy with light traffic and just overcast skies. The Siskiyou Pass was fine, the coach handled the grades with no problem and very little braking so making it a much easier drive for Ray, especially with the light traffic. Even Freya was out of sorts today until we reached here. She did not appreciate yesterday's ups and downs either.

Ray and I arrived at Seven Feathers just before 12:30 pm and by 1 pm we were in the hot tub. Ahhhhhh. Ray's back felt much better, my knee was able to bend.

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Picture from Google

This is a lovely RV Resort. The RV spaces are large and the landscaping is very pretty. All for a price... $46 with Good Sam discount. Love the pull throughs though.

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Picture from Google

After Ray took Freya for her second walk we took the shuttle to the casino for a light lunch. They have a Bbq Buffet for $7.99 tonight so we shall go later to that. Once back from lunch Ray and I both laid down for an hour's nap. Looking forward to dinner later, another hot tub and then an early night. After we were all set up it started to rain and continued all night.

We shuttled back to the casino at 7pm and were told that it was an hour's wait for a table at the buffet so we sat ourselves down in the lounge, had a beer and listened to a jazz group of 7. One lady from the audience was dancing in her wheelchair and another lady who was 88 years old, danced with the lead singer. An enjoyable way to spend time while waiting. Ray and I actually did not get to sit down to dinner until almost 8:30. Not happy campers! They did not page us and there were at least 20 tables empty when Ray went to check. Dinner was just okay, nothing special, so fortunately it was not too much money. Too late for a hot tub now. We watched a short TV show and then went to bed.

Thursday, March 16, Eugene, Valley River Centre Mall

I slept in until 8 am after the long day yesterday, and lack of sleep the night before.  Fortunately my knee is much better today so the crutches are back in the basement! After a couple cups of coffee  and a bowl of cereal, we went over for a final hot tub before hitting the road. Once back from the pool it was time to shower and stow everything. We fuelled up and filled the DEF tank as well, as their fuel prices here with the players card was very reasonable. It was a nice, short hour and 40 minute drive to Eugene with the sun trying to peak out. We arrived at noon and after Freya had a walk it was off to the nearest Brew Pub. We chose the Steelhead Pub. Great beer and great food.

Ray took Freya for another walk along the river and apparently she was ahead and started to bark at something and then came running back to Ray. He went to look to see what she was barking at and it was a huge rat called a nutria. So much for Freya protecting us! You see these rats in shows like Duck Dynasty and Swamp People. Apparently they have become an invasive species here in Eugene. What a huge rat. This picture came from the Eugene Newspaper! Glad I did not see it. "They are what looks to be a cross between a beaver and a rat.  The nutria are an herbivorous, semiaquatic animal."


Tonight for dinner, we bought some fresh crab to cook up ourselves a feast! The Fishesrman's Market was featured on Diners Drive-ins and Dives some time ago and you can either eat in or buy fresh fish to take home.

Yummm! More than we could eat at once so we have 1 crab left to eat tomorrow.

Friday, March 17

Woke up to cloudy skies with rain imminent. This will be a rest day for Ray and I before heading to Tacoma tomorrow to visit with Ray's sister and husband. As we had the generator on I made Pecan Date Muffins for our travelling breakfast for the next few days. All in all a very quiet day.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Carmel By The Sea and Monterey, CA

March 13th

As it was Sunday and we did not want to get in the way of the Sunday drivers, we stayed at camp getting caught up on some chores. We did step out to go to a local fruit and vegetable stand to pick up some fresh Artichokes ($5 for 5). The plants they grow from look like thistles or poppy bushes. Also fresh strawberries are now being picked daily. Yummm.

Ray also noticed in the store, these Barbecue Sauces and had to snap a picture! Real good shit, honestly. lol

All of this for $15. Unbelievable. It will all have to be eaten in the next week.

The traffic to and from the fruit stand was unbelievable, bumper to bumper at about 10 miles per hour for about 5 miles instead of the 65mph. Fortunately we'd decided not to go to Carmel or Monterey earlier as this would have been pretty painful to keep driving!

There is this huge beechwood tree in the front of our campsite and it drops these nuts from a hundred feet up ... mostly at night it seems. Almost sounds like gunfire!

As you can see fairly spacious lots but it should be at the price!

Monday morning Ray and I were out the door by 9 am on our way to see Carmel-By-The-Sea, where the mayor in 1986 was Clint Eastwood. The traffic was much better today than yesterday.We wound are way down from Hwy 1 on the very narrow and twisty streets and the first stop was at the Carmel Mission Basillica. One of the missions on the El Camino Real. Lovely gardens.

You can go inside for the price of $9 each. We decided to save the $18 and put it towards lunch. lol We continued to wind down the streets and made it to the Carmel River State Beach. There is a free day parking lot and a bathroom with a flush toilet. I imagine this is packed in the summer. Not really a surfing beach though so probably less people use it. There is the Carmel River Lagoon & Wetland Natural Preserve right beside the beach making it a great walking area too. This picture shows the Carmel River reaching the ocean.

We noticed this rock formation from this beach as it kind of looks like a face but when we got up closer via the road it really is just a pile of rocks.

Back in the car to go to the beginning of  the Carmel-by-the-Sea scenic drive which does end up at the picture above.

Absolutely stunning houses along this road. Lots of old craggy cyprus trees. There was one small house for sale with a poster box so I grabbed one for shits and giggles. Yup going to buy it tomorrow!

After this 4 mile scenic drive we went back to the beginning and then turned right to take the 17 mile scenic drive into Monterey. They charge you $10 per vehicle for the privilege, but it's so worth it. The first stop was the Pebble Beach Golf Course and Resort. Beautiful.

Very picturesque

The Lodge at Pebble Beach #19

18th hole

If your ball goes over this side of the sand trap you are doomed!
One of the houses that overlooks the golf course.

Here is a picture of the dining room looking over the water. 2 pieces of fish and chips $29 ... no thanks.

Ray snapped a few picture of the trophies they have on display.

At the gate house they gave us a map of the points of interest along the way. Of course we are going backwards back to #1 to have the sun in the right position.

Point of Interest #18 is Pescadaro Point.

The houses along this drive are fabulous and I am sure more than the $8.5 million of the other one.

Next up for us that was picture worthy was #16, The Lone Cypress. You see that they had put a guide wire on it to help support it from the wind.

Path/stairs down to the lookout.

At site #14, Cypress Lookout I was able see a hole bunch of sea otters playing in the kelp bed. So cool! I had seen a couple of seals here and there as well as one or two other otters but this was amazing to see so many in one spot.

The next stop was one of the nicest, #13 The Fanshell Overlook. The water colours are amazing against the white sandy beaches.

Seal Rock Picnic Area #11. This also has flush toilets and two tour buses stopped here for lunch as well. No seals today but lots of birds nesting on Seal Rock.

#4 The Inn & Links at Spanish Bay.

Notice the tee off box in the upper left corner above

Once off the 17 mile drive it was time to head towards Monterey for lunch.

Getting closer to town we spotted Lover's Point, it sure has some funky trees.

Yeah we are finally at Cannery Row so we can have lunch.

The Cannery Row Monument pays homage to nine important characters that played pivotal roles in Cannery Row's history.

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Something to quench our thirst while our lunch is being cooked.

Traffic was not too bad going back home. Ray needed to lay down so I took Freya to the beach. There were quite a few people there so she only got to play in the slough water chasing her ball. Yuck! Oh well they have a dog washing station back at camp so I used it!

Freya's not too impressed!