Friday, June 29, 2012

More of the Same

Since our last writing, the weather has not smartened up much.  We still face unseasonable weather - with mixed rains between sun and cloud.  It is often quite cool out too.  When the sun appears, the humidity (uncommon here on the west coast) rears its ugly head.

But, we have accomplished a few things:
One week ago today I pressure washed the fence on the RV parking side of our home.
It was our objective to stain the fence to match our home trim colour.  We made good on that.
Much improved look, in our view!
Jeanette patiently staining the lattice.
We had 11 panels to stain and we actually made good time.  We had completed the task within five hours. One more home improvement job completed!
We will be re-building the pond....raising it somewhat...then including a small waterfall.  It's a work in progress.  No timeline on completion.

Another job in the future is to remove the lava rock, prepare the ground for sidewalk bricks from the sidewalk to the shed, install the bricks then sand the crevices.  That too is a future plan and will be completed over time. 

We moved the 5th wheel back into its locked compound.
Our son in law and daughter's home.  They are building a garage.  It's taking shape.
Ginette is busy mowing the front.
Jeanette dropped by our daughter's place.  She spent a bit of time visiting with Easton while his mom and dad got some yard work completed.
Kuma the cat keeps watch over Easton while he sleeps.
So, that pretty much sums ups our limited activities these past few days.  With Canada Day approaching - this July 1st - the long weekend is when we opt to stay close to home rather than fight the weekend campers as they head off. 
Our dogwood tree in full bloom.
Not a whole lot more to add to this blog.  Life is pretty much more of the same.

Happy Canada Day!  Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Water, Water....Not So Routine....But?

With the 5th wheel out on the front driveway, we thought it best to pressure wash the fence and re-stain it to match our new trim colours.  Once that's done, we'll park the fiver back in its rightful storage space. 
Having been away from home for almost an entire month, Jeanette was quick to get into her flower garden and clean up the weeds.  The cool and damp weather - with mixed rains - had us working on the yard between downpours. Highly unusual weather for this time of the year.
Not warm enough for short sleeves and short pants.
The weather has been great for the strawberry patch.  Check out this collection!
 The heavy rains and erratic downpours - combined with the quick snow melt in the mountains - have wreaked havoc for residents who shoulder the mighty Fraser River.  Many residents have been forced to leave.  Heavy flooding and raging waters - not seen in the past 40 years - have once again shown the wrath of mother nature.
The Fraser River at Fort Langley.
When the skies cleared up a bit we motorcycled out to the Fraser River to take a first hand look at the flood damage.
RVers and tenters at Derby Reach were out of luck.  The road is washed out and the camp spots are under water.

The campsite table looks lost out there.
The camp host had to make a quick exit too. Below is his satellite dish that now sits in the Fraser River. 
An unusual site for a satellite dish!
The picnic grounds were not accessible.  Where there would be numerous families enjoying the great outdoors and picnics, Saturday was not to be.  The area was abandoned.

A tug boat making its way up the Fraser River.
The north side of the river is where the municipality of Maple Ridge lies well protected by the high river banks.  Further up stream, flooding has caused some major damage.
Maple Ridge on the north side of the river.
A lonely fire pit.
Riding along River Road, east of Fort Langley, ended quickly when the road was covered in water spilling over from the Fraser River.
Threatening skies.
With the skies threatening to open up, we quickly headed for home and we're parked in the garage when a heavy rain storm unleashed its fury.  That pretty well ended our outdoor activities.

We have bright, sunny skies today.  We'll take advantage to get some needed work - such as fence staining - completed.

Thanks for dropping by.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Back Home!

Sure was nice to get back home after 23 days away - visiting in the Okanagan, dealing with RV repairs and a funeral.

Driving away from Edmonton for Hinton, Alberta, on Wednesday morning, we arrived at Cars RV near noon.  Our fiver was ready.  We inspected all of the work, spoke with the astute RV tech and, after paying for the repairs, we hitched up.
Westbound on the Yellowhead Highway 16 for Hinton, Alberta.
Pulling into Hinton.
The 5th wheel sits...waiting to be hitched up.
Theran, the girl Friday at Cars RV and Marine, was a pleasure to meet.  We had had so many telephone discussions, over several days, to diagnose, order parts and get the undercarriage repairs completed.  She is clearly a valuable asset to the business. For a twenty something woman, she had the organizational and people skills of a much more seasoned employee.  Her customer service skills are second to none. 
We hooked up and drove to the Kal Tire store.  Two damaged tires needed replacement.
We were fortunate that the tire shop had two identical brand tires.
The photo below shows the new new springs, shackles, counter balancers and shocks that were replaced, on both sides.  The initial shackle break was worrisome and we felt it necessary to replace them all.  Good thing too!  All shackles were showing serious wear.  That is not customary and the RV dealer felt the metal fatigue and wear was not normal.

Severe tire damage  necessitated replacement.
Because these tires had heated up from heavy friction, we replaced both on the passenger side.
These were new tires some 5,000 miles back.
All set and ready to roll.
We left Hinton at about 2:00 pm and continued westbound toward our overnight stay in Valemount, BC.
Jasper National Park.  Wildlife are often seen on the road.
We had to make several stops for wildlife blocking the highway, road construction and one major semi trailer rollover.
A brief stop just west of Jasper to do a complete walk around.  I had to make sure that the undercarriage on the fiver was operating well.  It was!  Everything looked fine.
We continued west on Highway 16 into British Columbia. The photo below is where we had to leave the 5th wheel, two weeks earlier, when our troubles began.
Two weeks after leaving the 5th wheel on the side of the highway....with a broken shackle.
Two weeks earlier....
We arrived in Valemount, BC,  near 4:00 pm.  Although we could have continued south, we chose to pack it in.  We found a really nice RV park, with long pull throughs, in the heavy pines.   A great spot!
This is a large RV park and only two RV's were there overnight.  The other RV was a smaller Class 'C' with a couple traveling from Holland.  We met them briefly and after exchanging some thoughts and ideas on their RVing plans, we continued our set up.
I was looking forward to getting set up and, after opening the slides, undertaking a complete systems check.  I guess I needed some reassurance that all systems were functioning well.  They were.  It was time to relax, light a fire and enjoy the late afternoon sun.

Thursday morning - southbound on Highway 5 towards Blue River, BC.
The scenery on Highway 5 is great.  We never tire of this drive.  Of interest were the recent high temperatures and heavy rains that were increasing the snow melt and swelling the creeks that feed into the Thompson River. The river was running very fast.
Thompson River to the left.  A typical BC scene with trucks hauling logs to local mills.
The tire technician in Hinton suggested we stop at the Kal Tire dealer in Clearwater, BC, to have the wheels re-torqued.  We did just that.  
Good to continue our journey for home.
The need for diesel and lunch had us stop in Little Fort before continuing south through  Kamloops, the Coquihalla Highway and home on the coast.  We were in front of our driveway by 4:45 pm. 
Backing into the driveway.
Once backed in the driveway, and unhitched, Jeanette and I unloaded the necessary things before calling it a day.

I will wash the fiver today, we'll clean and vacuum the inside, then we'll leave it where it is while we stain the fence (between expected rains) in the days ahead.  After that, the 5th wheel will be pushed back into its locked compound to wait for its next adventure.

Thanks for dropping by.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

5th Wheel is Ready for Hitching! Can't Wait!

We finally received word, mid yesterday afternoon, that our fiver was ready.  Although the repairs were completed on Monday, we received a call that the wrong springs had been installed and the tires were too close to each other.  After removing the 26" springs in favour of 25" the problem was cured.

Now, we aren't there (nor were we these past 10-12 days) to oversee any of the work so we have to rely on the good work of the RV repair facility.  I guess we'll find out today - or the next day, or later - just how well the fix up is.
Last Sunday evening.

 Returning to the family farm after visiting with Jeanette's mom, the late evening sky was showing some great form and colour.
Grain bins waiting for the fall harvest.
The rolling hills and treed countryside are a treat to see.  This lakeland country offers some quality scenics - any time of the year.  There is beauty in the prairie landscape.  Winter is less inviting though.
A mid-Monday coffee with Jeanette's mom.  Mary was sad to see us leave back for home. 
It was tough on my mother in law to see us leave but she understands.  Jeanette will resume her regular telephone calls and that will help keep Mary up to date on things.  She did say how nice it was to have everyone together although the reason for that was a sad one.  'C'est la vie'!  Life goes on!
My nephew Brad with Easton and Ginette. He is my older sister's youngest son.
We drove to Edmonton, mid-afternoon on Monday.  After a short shopping spree to pick up some groceries for an evening BBQ at our son's Edmonton home, we arrived and prepared the turkey burgers and other foods for the invitees.
Brad's wife, Jamie and second daughter Alyssa.
It is always nice to get some family members together.  The evening proved to be a nice one for an outdoor BBQ.  
Brad and Jamie's daughter Meghan - with boyfriend and Major Junior hockey player Stephan. He plays for the Edmonton Oil Kings.
The gathering, on a lovely evening.
With great food, equally great family members and a great evening, it was fun to catch up on everyone's lives.  These moments mean more to life and living than any material goods.  Jeanette and I cherish every opportunity to get together with family members.
I got to meet Amelia, my middle brother's daughter Michelle's 18 month old.
We had not had the opportunity to meet Amelia before.  What a nice treat...and what a sweet 18 month old girl.  She sure reminds us of her mom and dad. My middle brother, Roland, passed away, accidentally, 11 years ago.
Everyone is enjoying banter and laughter.
Michelle's brother, Justin - the hockey aficionado!
Roland's son Justin joined us for the meal too.  We do get to see him almost every time we are in Edmonton.  He lives close by our son.
Jamie gets to have some face time with Easton.  It was the first time they met.
Once it cooled off outdoors everyone poured into the house to continue the visit.  Some left earlier to prepare for their work lives.  We settled in for the evening.
A couple of thunderclouds came over and quickly dropped their loads!
Although Tuesday was a very nice day in Edmonton, two dark gray clouds rolled over and it was a deluge of rain in a very short time.  Sure works to keep the dust down and the streets clean.  The lawns seem to thrive from that too.
Last evening.  Deni and I with Easton.
Our son in law Trevor flies into Edmonton on Thursday - joining Easton and Ginette for the weekend.  They are here to attend friends' wedding events.  Ginette and Easton were to fly in with Trevor but chose to advance their flights when Jeanette's father passed away recently.

So, with that said, we will head west to Hinton, Alberta, this morning to hitch up and continue out drive to the west coast.

Our 5th wheel undercarriage has been beefed up.  We chose to replace all shackles, springs and shocks.  One damaged tire needed to be replaced.  According to the RV repair facility, we're good to go. We'll report more on that later.

Thanks for dropping by.