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Thursday, May 9, 2019

Bear with us

days 11-14 of our trip : I write this from Vernon in a lull of the family storm as Ari sleeps and everyone else is out socializing and mini golfing. ( GP) Grandpa) is already in bed. We left Kitimat a half day ahead of Kim & Casey ,as we can only do 80 km , no matter what the posted limit is. Mike spends a lot of time pulling over to let others pass. Its interesting how few drivers signal a thank you for this anymore and so many scream by in stupid places -usually just before a double passing lane. K&C caught up with us after Kim finished work on Friday , and we met up in a campsite near Houston BC,about half way to Prince George. They could've easily gone a lot further, but were considering the slow oldies. The campsite was not our style but did the job, and had an open field for the dogs. We packed up and left early next morning while they slept in , drove right through PG except for gas . The prices are, thank fully, better than on Vancouver Island when we left . We've paid as high as 1.77/L and as low as 1.39 on this trip so far, becoming as familiar with service stations in BC now as Lordco s. We met one bored gas attendant in a small town, possibly practicing for a stand up routine, who regaled Mike with tales of various customers in an extremely politically incorrect way . He was on quite the roll when he said to Mike " What, did your wife take everything and now you have to live in your Van ? harharhar! " My cue for popping out the back door and saying, "nah, I made him buy it" Taking the Yellowhead highway out of PG is always a pleasure and it was a great drive- light traffic and incredible scenery, still lots of snow on the sides of the road. It was good we'd fuelled up in Prince George though, as there wasn't another service station until Clearwater. Its a long, lonely highway with no cel service. Just outside of town we saw 3 Bears (no Goldilocks ) then, along the roadside at various intervals, seven more! Seven Bear sightings in one day is a personal record! Casey & Kim caught up wth us in Clearwater and were running on fumes as they hadn't stopped. They saw two Moose on their trip. We all arrived at Canoe river Resort campground, (just south of Valemont) by dinnertime and got premium real estate along the river . it was lovely and quiet, although I wouldn't go near the place at rodeo time as the grounds are next door. We had to make a cardboard shield as our roof vent was missing & temp dropped to -1 overnight. (Turns out vent cover had blown off but was wedged inside the canoe,and an easy fix to put back later. Must've been those super high speeds we were doing) The next day ,amazing scenery of Rocky Mountains,and, the Rocky Mountain Tour train . They took pictures of us as we took pictures of them taking pictures of us. All was well with the drive into the sunnier , hotter climate of the Okanagan until just outside of Kamloops we smelled burning rubber ,and trust me ,it wasn't the tires . The conversation went something like this : me " I smell something burning, shouldn't we pull over?" Mike " I'm sure its not us, lets take this cool side road . Look at those Hoodoos!" . Many kilometres of bumpy, winding road later, we crossed onto the freeway, and the smell of burning rubber became stronger. Mike, " that might be us" Me "Yes! pull over! what if its something serious?!" Him " I'm not pulling over on the freakin freeway, done way too many repairs on the sides of freeways" This continued for many miles until we we finally stopped to let the dogs out at Monte Lake rest stop and he took a look under the hood. The fan belt had come loose ,was dropping onto the hot engine periodically and burning,causing the smell. He sighed, got out his coveralls, tools and fixed it in 15 minutes while I walked dogs along the Lakeside. The rest of drive uneventful, we arrived in Vernon by dinnertime,and as K & C were booked into the Cedar falls campsite in town,joined them there for a couple of nights. Visits, campfires, barbecues ,and this doting Grammy getting to spend time with Ariana, and BOTH my own kids ( and their spouses). Awesome. Casey and Kim leave tomorrow ( Friday May 10) to go back home and do the long drive in reverse, but this time not having to cater to the slow parents.

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