Our fifth wheel and the truck

Friday, June 1, 2012

Seattle at last!!!

I had composed these three blog entries as one but decided to split them up to make it easier to read!!!  Yeah right!!  Maybe I should have posted them on different days to make it easier or at least posted them on the days I wrote them.  Oh well I make the same promise I always do - I will try to do better next time!  Now now don't be so sceptical!!!!

We had two more stops before Seattle and stayed in two lovely parks. The first was Joe Creek Waterfall which was beautiful and did actually have its own waterfall and gorgeous water hole that would be fabulous for swimming in the heat of summer (does it get hot enough for that this far north???). The second park was out of Silverton, OR. and was lovely and although it would have been nice to stay longer however we are on a pretty tight schedule so no tarrying I am afraid.

It was a park in Silverton that Karen and Rick did us a huge favour! The amount of alcohol that we could take into Canada was a lot less than we had in the rv so they very kindly helped us significantly reduce our reserves. We will need some more help before we cross the border though, so they will need to help us a bit more. We appreciate their ongoing support!!!!!!!

We have driven through the most gorgeous country from North California up to Salem. Amazing mountains covered with fir trees, huge lakes, waterfalls, farming country and around Silverton there were numerous nurseries with the most stunning plants ready for planting.

I have been just blown away by the rhododendrons! When we were driving the Blue Ridge Parkway last year we were too early for them but this year and where we have been driving they are just stunning. I have taken quite a few photos of them but I really don’t think they do the flowers justice. I would love to be able to grow them, and the dogwoods from the east coast, at home but not cold enough or enough rain.

Finally! We arrived in Seattle and settled in to our usual park on Lake Sawyer. It was Memorial Day weekend so the park was packed but we lucked out and managed to get a ‘pull thru’. Norm and I are not that good with ‘back ins’. It is okay if we can back straight in but when we have to get the rv around a corner - well you could say it poses some difficulties!

We settled in and on Saturday night we joined Rick and Karen at Rick’s sister and brother in law’s home for dinner. We had an awesome dinner - Joanne is a great cook - and the company was wonderful. After a long day on the road we headed back to the rv and hit the hay very quickly. Another busy day coming up!

An early start to the day took us to Home Depot to buy Norm’s new toys. A generator (so we can boondock in Canada and Alaska), a new compressor (the other one wasn’t big enough) and a new tool box for the back of the truck to put it all in! Then off of Jo Ann’s to buy the foam for the bedroom skylight - don’t ask - long story!!! (Which we didn’t get but did get other essential (sewing) ‘stuff’!

We then headed over to see Don and Kelli and stay with them for the night. The plan was to stay with them some of Monday and then head back to the rv so we would have Monday afternoon and Tuesday to get all the jobs done before we crossed the border into Canada on Wednesday. Well!!!! That plan lasted about 5 minutes after our arrival. To say that Norm and Kelli ganged up on me is putting it mildly and then they brought in the heavy guns and Don joined in!! What chance did I have????? So the new plan was that we would stay two nights and I would get the washing done at Kelli’s.

If you are ever in Seattle I recommend having fish and chips at ‘Spuds’. It is THE best fish and chips I have had for a very long time. The restaurant is a Seattle institution and sits overlooking the water.

Back to Kelli and Don’s and a leisurely afternoon (or what was left of it) chatting, reacquainting ourselves with the gorgeous Greta and Faith and thinking about dinner. Don and I went done to the supermarket and bought some steaks for Norm to cook on the Barbie and we sat out on the deck having dinner. A gorgeous way to spend an evening.

Monday saw a leisurely start to the day with Norm and I taking off to get the washing and Kelli and Don going off to pick up Kane the guide pup they are currently training. Another gorgeous Labrador.

We visited the Chateau Ste Michelle and took a wine tour and tasting which was very interesting and tasty. Some of the wines were really lovely but patriotism means that I have to say they aren’t as good as Aussie wines!!!!

Home to a wonderful slow cooker dinner and visitors afterwards. Kelli is the most amazing cook. She thinks about something and then before you know what is happening it is done. We the friends coming over Kelli whipped up two raspberry and rhubarb pies. Just like that (click of the fingers)!!! Talk about yum!! What a wonderful evening just sitting around chatting and eating Kelli’s wonderful pies!!! Life doesn’t get much better!!!

Reluctantly saying farewell to Kelli and Don (we love you guys), the next morning we headed back to the rv and all the jobs to be done. Norm had to install the tool box and figure out where to put all his new toys and I had a huge shop to do, stocking up on goodies for the trip and a few other chores around the rv.

DRAMA!!! Norm opens the box with the new compressor and finds it has been used and is a mess. So off he goes with Rick, back to Home Depot where the lady is so concerned she gives him $30.00 off the price. Now it was $129 and discounted to $99 which now means that it was going to cost $69 however because they had already given Norm a $65.17 refund on the previous compressor that he returned it was now going to cost us $3.83 - sort of! You win some!!!

While Rick and Norm dealt with all the ‘men’ toys, Karen and I took off to the supermarket to do some shopping. I was stocking up on lots of bits that apparently cost an arm and a leg once you get into Canada and Alaska so all we will need to buy while up there will be the fresh produce. Well that is the plan anyway,

After once again helping us reduce the amount of alcohol we were carrying we all headed to bed in preparation for the drive tomorrow and crossing the border. While we have done everything we can think of to meet the Canadian requirements we are still hoping that we cross the border without having to go through the hassle of a search. Experience of other rv’ers is that if you are searched the officers remove everything from every cupboard and storage compartment and then you have to put it all back. We would prefer for that not to happen.

We set off early after deciding not to take Interstate 5 as it had lots of roadwork’s and was extremely heavy with traffic. We got a reasonably easy drive up to the crossing at Sumas, Washington and would you believe it the officer asked us where we lived, did we have anything that we wanted to declare or get rid of, did we own the rig or rent it, how long we were going to be in Canada and were we traveling with the folks in front? Oops forgot to mention he also asked us if we were carrying any firearms! Apparently anyone with Texas plates their vehicles is a bit suspect in that regard! We answered all his questions as he checked our passports and then he wished us a good trip and sent us on our way. Easy and painless.

Our first stay in Canada was in the most beautiful spot in Hope, British Columbia. The drive to Hope was just stunning. Mountains everywhere and the town is surrounded on all sides by mountains. Our rv was backed up against the Fraser River under fir trees and was just gorgeous.

Our next day is spent driving to the 100 Mile House Campground. We pulled in and pulled straight out again. Not a place to stay. Some young people told us that the camp hosts hadn’t been there for 6-8 months so many people just pulled in, boon docked for nothing and then left. We wanted something a little more up market so we headed for an rv park at Lac La Hache.

It looked a bit rough as we headed down a dirt road and as we approached however we had really easy pull throughs we a beautiful view of the lake behind us. The lady host also sold me a loaf of beautiful home made bread which would have been lovely for dinner however it was a bit late in coming so it made lovely toast the next morning and sandwiches for lunch.

When in Canada you say bye or au revoir. So au revoir for now and more to come in the next couple of days as we finally arrive in Dawson Creek to meet up with Jim and Jan, who have done all the planning for this amazing adventure, and the rest of our traveling companions.

Or as we say in Australia (sometimes) - Ooroo!

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