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June 29, 2019

British Columbia to Alberta - Road Trip 2019

We left the Omak Stampede Park late morning to cross into British Columbia an hour away. It was too early and warm to stay at the Walmart, which still offers overnight parking. 

There are really not many services along this route.  Gas is much less expensive in WA than BC, but there are little other international services – money exchange, visitor center, etc.

Knowing Canada would not accept foreign fruits and vegetables Fran was busy turning our potatoes into potato salad, our lettuce into taco salad.  I diced our jalapeno and onions for the freezer.  We hid the last 3 limes as we approached Canadian customs.  At the booth we were told to shut off the engine and all that we were asked if we had cannabis to declare. 

After declaring none, a lecture ensued about ‘our age group’ being the biggest cannabis users caught at the border!  And a chance to declare what we might have.  I gaffawed at the suggestion, not the right response, but explained having worked with the FAA for decades I managed to miss the marijuana generation.

The drive up 97 in Canada is spectacular following the Okanogan River with dozens of lakes and hundreds of wineries.

We found a quirky little overnight spot at Tim’s by the River.  The sites are either huge or tiny.  We took one of the larger grass sites where Fran could hit a few practice golf balls.

Wells Gray Provincial Park in 2016 on our return from Alaska.  That blog can be found HERE.   
This time we are not here for the waterfalls, but to golf in this awesome setting of water, forests and falls.  But alas it’s raining, cold and cloudy … perhaps tomorrow.

We’re staying at the Wells Gray Golf Resort and RV Park with the expectation that we’d have a chance to play a round.  However, the rain is predicted to not just continue, but to follow us to Jasper and on to Banff.  During the 2016 Alaska trip we had 52 consecutive days with rain.  Again the rain is at the high point of the trip, we’ll try not let it dampen our spirits even though the distant views of the mountains may be shrouded in clouds.

The continual rain did keep us inside where we put Gone with the Wind into the DVD player.  Internet is available for $5 CAD, I splurged and bought a 24 hr window.   This allowed me to outline this blog, catch up on email and the last few Sudoku puzzles.

By late afternoon the rain became a pesky shower, but we felt there was not going to be a break and the waterfalls were waiting.   There are only a few of the 39 named falls that can be reached from the roadside parking lots.  Our first stop was Dawson Falls an easy walk from the parking area, except when the trail is also full of water.

I like Dawson Falls, it is reminiscent of SoCal falls, short and fierce! The angry water tumbles down the short embankment.

Next stop was Helmcken Falls where the mist and fog did not allow a clear view.

To reach Helmcken Falls a one–lane bridge at the Mushbowl needs to be crossed.

SUN! Well not much of it, but it’s not raining, as we pack up for another travel day.

Ok only one of us is needed to pack up, Fran finally gets to use all of the clubs she brought along.  The couple next to us was back early saying there was a bear on the 7th hole.  Fortunately Fran did not encounter the creature.
The trail to Spahats Falls is dry and even a few shadows as we leave the Park 

The falls from Spahats Creek looks like it is coming out of the rocks.  But it’s really not, as the straight walls of the canyon that give that illusion.

Today’s destination is a couple hours north where we’ll spend the night at an RV site at Tete Jaune Lodge.    It’s a nice spot on the Fraser River.   We came in the old road across another one-lane wooden bridge.  The river is quite high, nearly to the chairs in the park.

Our campsite was pull-in/back-out.  A bit unusual but did provide better views.  Including that of Mt Mica.

Despite the recent rain we’ve been having an awesome trip.   We’ll be in Jasper Alberta tomorrow to begin the Icefields Parkway.  No Bad Days!

June 25, 2019

On to Omak - Road Trip 2019

The ferry from Westport, Oregon is way too short!  In just 15 minutes we're in Cathlamet Washington at County Line Park.  It's an ok W/E park on the Columbia River.

While here we learned from my kid brother was check into Tacoma General with a cardiac anomaly.  Yup that's the same kid brother that should be in San Diego house sitting and mowing the lawn!  So many 'what-if' scenarios bounce around that we head directly there. 

Directly there meant missing great friends 40th anniversary party at the Olympia Yacht Club.  Where, childhood friend,  Doug Heath (Paul Revere and the Raiders) is performing live music!  Great Party J&R and congratulations on your 40th, and being such great friends to us..

As it turns out we missed the worst of the scare situations and he'll be discharged the day after visit.With not many options we leave Tacoma and head for our son's home in Bothell. We're a day early but they have room in the driveway for us. 

They also have a nice back yard where Fran could take a few practice swings and Jm and I could play Jenga. 

With both the kids having to work Friday morning we have grandson Jm to ourselves and the sons brand new DIESEL Chevy Colorado!  Surprised do not have a picture of the beautiful truck!

After visiting my mom's gravesite we took Jm to Snoqualmie Falls this is both filled with young memories for me and and a favorite stop for us.  For lunch we like The Attic at the Salish Lodge. We usually order the pear pizza, but Jm says their child's peperoni is awesome!

I should mention the 'House' wine and the views are also pretty darn good from a window seat at The Attic.

We're still a bit ahead of schedule for getting back.Woodenville is not much of a detour where there are a lot of wine tasting opportunities.  But we stop at ony Saint Miacale, one of my [many] favorites. 

However Ziggy Marley (Bob Marley's son) is performing in a few hours ... the place is packed!

After this diversion we are now back on track. Jm and clan are packing up their RV and we are all heading to Lake Wenatchee for a few days of bonding.  To get there we follow US-2 east with a train break at Skykomish.

Jm and Fran took a vride on the diesel train.  The rides are FREE and offered on weekends

Jm and family took a ride on the electric train

However the steam train was under repair while we were there.

Our destination for the long weekend with the kids was Lake Wenatchee 

Jm enjoyed the rock climbing while we engoyed the views along with an awesome driftwood fort,  

And finally s picture from Leavenworth where an accordion competition was being held.

Despite our brief visit to Tacoma General there were No Bad Days!  And we wll continue on to Canada.   

We will be crossing into BC tomorrow!

June 21, 2019

A bit of the Oregon Coast - Road Trip 2019

We find ourselves again traveling the beautiful Oregon Coast south-to-north. The viewpoints, turnouts and all of the beach trails are easily available for those traveling south.  Next year we have to plan our summer loop counter-clockwise.
Mike and Deb of Trekking With the Bs are volunteering at parks all along western Oregon.  Deb has assisted with my planning and can offer insights to anyone contemplating this trip.
We arrived in Brookings with a near empty gas tank.  Yea – diesel here is nearly a dollar less per gallon!
Typical trail along the coastal corridor
The Oregon Coast Hiway, US 101, is named the ”State Scenic Corridor” for good reasons.
Natural Bridges
Natural Bridges
The parking at Thunder Rock was more RV friendly than the lot at Natural Bridges. The view point loop trail from Thunder Rock also includes views of the Natural Bridges.
Thunder Rock
Just lots of beautiful beaches along the way.

The Oregon coast guide mentioned the “little known” park at Floras Lake.  It is not little known to the kite boarding community!  Friends Tony and Nancy, from San Diego, are on there way here.  Yup - they are here for the wind.
Floras  Lake
The ocean at Floras Lake is made up of coarse black volcanic sand. 
Ocean beach at Floras Lake
Many more stops for views along the coast, mostly or the views 
Which become large sand beaches … and morning fog!
Our site at Tilicum Beach
Foggy morning
The fog did burn off early making for nice walk.  This beach is huge, it’s easy walking without the crowds common on our SoCal beaches.
Tillicum Beach

Face Rock is an RV friendly stop, with trails leading down to the beach.
Face Rock

We decided to cross the Columbia River via the Westport Ferry, something different and fun.  It’s a short ride but worth the $12 (up to 30’) for the experience.
Waiting for Westport Ferry
Here it comes
and we're aboard
Goodbye Oregon
We certainly enjoyed our brief visit to Oregon.  We’ll next spend time with family in the Evergreen State.