2 people , 3 dogs (maybe a cat ) and a canoe go on the road in our 1976 Dodge CamperVan
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Wednesday, May 1, 2019
Northern Adventure and wagging tails
We sailed on the last day of the shoulder season, which meant the smaller, "Northern Adventure " ferry with many locals aboard. You could tell them by their bedrolls, pillows and how they immediately made their way to the lounge to set up camp as the boat was an overnight sailing, stopping in Bella Bella and Klemtu at midnight and 2 am ish. We were entertained by the long and careful loading process ( over 2 hours) but rather that than a lifeboat ride in the middle of the night. The most interesting part was having to back the Van down the ramp into the lowest car deck and squeeze in between an old truck and giant RVs. We were so close to the Camper behind us that the back door only partially opened & we had to limbo getting out. I regretted the carbs for lunch . When they announced the car deck was "open" infrequently on the voyage, everyone had 15 mins to get down to their vehicles to let their dogs out . Our 3 always came bursting out in a desperate ball,and got wedged in the doorway so one of us untangled leashes and limbs while trying not to set off car alarms. The dogs were expected to do their thing on the car deck- Marlowe was happy to comply by peeing on all the fanciest tires, but the girls wouldn't do it, and we spent our 15 mins trying to persuade them it would be ok to "just go!" By the final allotted time before bed, Keevah left a long contrail of pee while looking in vain for some nice grass, and Maisie solved the issue by peeing on the mat inside and being just fine, thank you. The decked out 4 x 4 beside us had monster tires, cool snorkel and major gas leak, so we hoped not to find out the hard way that someone snuck a smoke down there. On the advice of Casey & Kim, we'd booked a cabin and it was cute, comfy , porthole with a view and private bathroom. Totally worth the cash to avoid the crowded lounge. The boat left at 630 pm and we had a gorgeous view of the sun sinking into the open Pacific before entering the passage between mainland and the many Islands . Neither if us slept much, Mike because he never does, and me being too excited and wishing I could've seen Bella Bella and Klemtu when we stopped. night vision goggles next time? It was fantastic waking up to sunrise through the porthole and so much to see. Just when we were on sensory overload of snowy Mountains, sparkling water, waterfalls and trees, it would get even more spectacular. It was a busy day racing back and forth on the stern sundeck looking at scenery on both sides, with occasional time out to charge down to car deck for our 15 mins of dog time. Arrived at Prince Rupert Port to be startled by how much it resembles Vancouver with Tankers, Silos, cranes and industry. We passed the giant piece of equipment Casey spent a month repairing after it toppled on to a pile of coal, and into the dock. Tired, and happy to have booked a campsite just out of town to catch up on dog walks and sleep, but lets just say that places don't always look like they do online. This campsite spent big money on a nice website but nothing else. It was so bad the next morning we drove to the first rest stop we found on the road to Terrace in our pjs , then made coffee, ate breakfast and regained some equilibrium before enjoying the drive. We'd been told to stop at every viewpoint, rest stop & pull out along the way which was good advice, as it was hard not to drive off the road while oohing and ah-ing over yet more astonishing vistas. Mike's by far the better photographer, but the Van needs a carb adjustment he hasn't gotten to, and has a habit of stalling, usually in front of oncoming logging trucks, around blind corners, going down steep dangerous hills or any other dangerous scenario where steering and braking are necessary. So, we had to make do with him keeping the Van ( and us) alive while I took blurry photos. We stopped in Terrace for dog food , new underwear and made it to Kitimat early afternoon. Great to see Casey & Kim and meet their new to us dogs Burton and Indy. It took an hour and we all caught up on human and doggie news. Now, 2 unleashed ,3 hour scenic hikes along the Kitimat river, viewing the Giant Trees later, we're settled in for a few days before rolling out of town Friday with them. We'll be in tandem for approx 5 minutes, at which point Casey will eye us in his rear view, mutter about slow old crap, and go find us a campsite in some distant town where we'll hopefully catch up much later. they can find us sites and start the fire.
After 20 years on the Sunshine Coast of BC, Mike & I retired to an Off Grid Island in the middle of Georgia strait. when we're not working on our cabin, gardening, hiking,boating or just lurking on the property away from it all, we are travelling BC in the old Van and visiting family and friends !
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Very cool and evocative! Poor puppies. That was a trip Ken and I always spoke about taking so thanks for the vicarious trip! :-) Love to all. <3 Karen :-)ReplyDelete