Sherman, pulled over for a rest in between Chicken and Tok, Alaska! Photo taken late Friday afternoon.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Tok, Alaska.

Where are they going next? Beaver Creek, Yukon!

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Made it to Alaska!

Yesterday's post was late due to lack of decent internet. If you missed it, here it is...

Woke up to rain showers Friday morning, but they quickly cleared up and it became a decent day although it was pretty windy as we neared the top of the Top of the World highway on our route to Alaska.

We struck it rich, and now we're off to Alaska!

A little late posting... the following is based on our Thursday July 19th activities!

We were up early Thursday morning because we had an appointment to find some gold! We arrived at Klondike Experience at 8:15am, ready for the 8:30am departure to Bonanza Creek, the area that sparked the Yukon goldrush of 1898.

We met our guide Sandra and then our minibus picked up 5 other couples at various hotels around Dawson City, and then we did a short tour of the city itself before heading out to the gold claims area.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

It was tougher than we thought it was going to be!

Gorgeous day yesterday, so we made plans to go for a hike. We decided we had better go up to "The Dome", as they call the viewpoint look off above the town of Dawson City. Of course most people drive up there, but we needed to get some exercise.

I mapped out the route ahead of time, and at 10 kms (6.2 miles) round trip, it didn't look like it was going to be that tough of a hike.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

I tried to order a new camera yesterday...

Amazon in the United States gets a lot of great deals, but not so much at Amazon in Canada. So yesterday was Prime Day at Amazon, and we're in the market for a new camera.

Our Nikon P520 is now 5 years old and it has taken thousands of photos for us. And while most people would agree that the photos we post here are fine, I'm not totally happy with them. I have to do a lot of adjusting after the fact to get them to look natural. The photos the camera takes on it's own do not often look the way they should.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

A nice day in Dawson City, Yukon

In the morning, we walked over to the Dawson City Museum. We were actually a little later getting going than we wanted to be, but when we got there at shortly after 10:00am, we learned that it only opens up at 10:00am... so our timing was just fine.

The museum has been a museum since 1962, however the building has been there since 1901 when it was constructed as the Territorial Administration Building.

Monday, July 16, 2018

It's a small world...

We like that header photo so much, I think we'll just leave it there for a couple of days!

Through this blog, and facebook, we sometimes meet up with people who know us. Well yesterday, we met a bunch of people who know us, and some who we know through other people. Really strange!

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Beautiful hike to end our time on the Dempster Highway!

We got up at 6:30am Saturday morning and started driving right away. We only had to do about 70 kms (43 miles) to get to our hiking trail but we also had to stop in at the Tombstone Park visitors center and we knew that it didn't open until 9:00am.

The visitors center had lent us some paperwork and we had to return it. We arrived there at just after 8:00am, which gave us lots of time to have breakfast before they opened.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

We can see the light at the end of the tunnel!

It had rained hard Thursday night, but we think it stopped around 4am Friday morning. When we got up, the ground was still soaking wet, even though the sun was peaking through the clouds occasionally. We decided to wait out the morning and let things dry out a bit more before finally hitting the road again.

We had been parked up at Eagle Plains, Yukon for about two and a half days by the time we finally left at around 11:00am.

And the road was actually drier than we thought it was going to be.

Friday, July 13, 2018

The skies are clearing...

First of all, we are a little overwhelmed by the response to our Mexico RV Caravan news from yesterday! We have received 19 emails so far from people interested in joining the trip! Wow!

It's going to be a great trip. We are looking forward to finalizing things over the next couple of weeks.

But, lets bring you back to the present for now...

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Exciting news! Your chance to Travel with Kevin and Ruth!

Any of you who had read our daily reports about the Mexico RV Caravan trip we did in January through March of 2018 know that we weren't totally happy with a few things on that trip. Mainly, that it was too rushed, and it didn't include enough relax time. And there was quite a bit we didn't like about the route itself.

We have not been able to come to an agreement with the people who organized that caravan to do another trip through them this upcoming winter.

So we are going to run our own Mexico RV Caravan, with our own route and time schedule!

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Back in the Yukon!

We did 178 kms (110 miles) yesterday heading south from Fort McPherson, Northwest Territories to Eagle Plains, Yukon.

Definitely some rough roads along the way, and it's amazing how much they could change from the time we were on this road heading north almost two weeks ago.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

It is truly messed up.

We're in bed, sleeping... and there's a "knock, knock, knock" on the door that wakes us both up. Ruth says "one minute!", and I get up and quickly throw some clothes on. I open the door, and it's light outside. Momentarily confused, I think maybe it's morning.

There's an older teenage boy, and he says "what are you doing, sleeping?"

Monday, July 9, 2018

We're cutting it close, so hopefully we'll be okay.

We did some grocery shopping in Inuvik yesterday, making sure we had sufficient supplies to do us at least the next five days. We're hoping to be in Dawson City by Friday, but that may or may not happen due to a storm that's supposed to affect the area between here and Dawson City on Wednesday. We were originally planning to spend a couple more days in Inuvik, but our delays in Tuktoyaktuk, plus the upcoming storm are making us head south quicker. We tried to get into the big community greenhouse in Inuvik, but it's closed on Sundays.

We're hoping that storm isn't as bad as they're forecasting because we would end up stuck in Eagle Plains again waiting for the road to dry up... the same way we did on the way north!

Sunday, July 8, 2018

We have begun the journey south!

The forecast called for clearing yesterday afternoon, and so just before lunch I took a 4 km roundtrip walk up the road to see what it was like compared to the day before. It was a definite improvement, so we decided to have some lunch and then make a run for it!

We had watched quite a few vehicles coming in during the morning, and none of them looked very muddy. They were calling for rain again yesterday evening in Tuktoyaktuk, so this was our chance.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Stuck in Tuk!

The weather has not been co-operating here in Tuktoyaktuk. And not helping the situation is that the weather forecast changes by the hour. They obviously can't predict it, and the changes come so quickly I don't understand why they bother trying.

The problem of course, is the highway. Which is not really a highway, it's just a dirt road. And the first ten kms (6 miles) leading out of Tuktoyakyuk are not graveled yet. So when it rains, it becomes a mud road, not a dirt road!

Friday, July 6, 2018

Extending time in your RV without hookups...

It was a wet, rainy, windy, miserable day yesterday. We had been parked overlooking the Arctic Ocean, and when the cold front blew in overnight... it blew in hard! We were both woken up by the wind rocking Sherman, and howling through the electrical cables we were parked near.

Winds were averaging 50 km/h (30 miles per hour) and gusting to 70 km/h (42 mph).

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Life in Tuktoyaktuk

We tried again to get in touch with our "cousin of a friend" contact who lives here in Tuktoyaktuk. Still no answer on the phone, so I tried an email address that I had been given, and got a response right away. But it wasn't from Maureen, it was from her daughter Rebecca. She asked if we were parked out at the point, and I said yes.

She said to meet her around noon at the tent snack bar set up right here at the point!

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Way up up up up up in Tuktoyaktuk

As they forecast, things got cloudy and cooler up here in "Tuk" as it's often called. But, we still managed to get out for some exercise to explore the town a little bit.

We stopped in the grocery store and even bought a couple of things! Then, we tried to look up a friend's cousin who happens to live here!

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Wow. We can't believe we made it!

As you can see from today's header photo... we made it to the Arctic Ocean!

For those of you who don't know, the Dempster Highway has been able to take you as far as the town of Inuvik since 1971. But the village of Tuktoyaktuk (pop 900) on the Arctic Ocean has only been accessible via air, boat, or an ice road that operated only in the winter.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Made it to Inuvik for Canada Day!

We only had 40 kms to drive to get to Inuvik, and we made it in time for their Canada Day parade!

Inuvik is a town of about 3,200 people located 200 kms (120 miles) north of the Arctic Circle. The town has a fairly broad demographic, with 39% Inuvialuit (what we used to call Eskimos when I was growing up) 18% First Nations, 37% non-native. There are even about 100 Muslims, and they even have a small mosque here.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

June Expenses

About what we figured it would be, so no great surprises. We spent a total of $2,279 CAD ($1,750 USD) which is not bad considering we started the month in Dawson Creek, British Columbia and ended it to Inuvik, Northwest Territories!

And as expected, the biggest expense of this trip is fuel. We drove a total of 2,925 kms (1,813 miles) during the month.

The biggest surprise of the monthly expenses? Groceries!

Nice to be able to help some fellow travelers in need

Slept great at the Fort McPherson Airport. One lady drove up at about 8:00am and went inside the tiny terminal building, but otherwise she was the only person we saw the whole time.

We woke up to blue sky and sunshine and it's supposed to be that way for the next couple of days.

Oh... and good news! Remember when we entered Yukon, we began to have problems with our Telcel Mexico SIM card working in the phone? Well, as soon as we crossed into Northwest Territories and got ourselves close to the Fort McPherson cell tower... we connected again!

Saturday, June 30, 2018

North of the Arctic Circle in the Land of the Midnight Sun!

Once again, we woke up to a drizzly overcast day on Friday morning. We were parked up at the roadside Dempster Highway community of Eagle Plains, and with a decent source of internet, we were happy to simply wait it out.

Heading north out of Eagle Plains the road has a long steep downhill, and there is a lit up sign warning of slippery conditions and especially for motorcyclists to exercise caution. So we figured we were better off to wait until things dried out a bit.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Tire repaired, and better weather coming our way!

(This is our 5th blog post in the last two days as we get caught up after going 4 days without internet. If you missed any, you'll want to go back a day or two!)

Still no sunshine, and in fact we have been about five days now without seeing the sun. Sure, the days are very long but they have been long cloudy and overcast days! But, at least the rain stopped and the road was a little more solid as a result.

So yesterday morning I topped up our still leaking right rear outer tire, and around 8:15am we set off with the goal of making it to the roadside stop of Eagle Plains (population 9!).

Third day driving on the Dempster Highway... we didn't get very far!

The Dempster Highway is an unpaved highway stretching 736 km (457 miles) from Dawson City, Yukon to Inuvik, Northwest Territories. They started building it in 1959, and it was completed 20 years later in 1979.

I had read that the Dempster Highway is "well maintained", but I guess that is all perspective. When it rains, it is not "well maintained", and the highway becomes a mud pit in a lot of places.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Our second driving day on the Dempster Highway...bald eagles, and moose!

We've been without internet for the past four days so we're just getting caught up with the blog posting. If you missed them, you'll want to go back to the first two posts today...



Tuesday, June 26

Our second driving day on the Dempster Highway. The less than ideal weather continued, despite a forecast that had said otherwise! Still, it wasn't raining (yet!) so the road was in okay condition in most spots. However, I found that it was in worse shape overall than it had been the first driving day, and that a suitable speed was more between 40 to 50 km/h (24 to 30 mph) rather than the 50 to 70 km/h (30 to 42 mph) that we had been able to do the first day.

Beautiful views hiking in Tombstone Territorial Park...

This is the second post today. We were without internet for 4 days in a row, so we're just getting caught up. Go here to click on the first post if you missed it...

Monday, June 25

My older sister's birthday. Happy Birthday Elaine... we did remember, but of course had no way to communicate our birthday wishes. Hope you had a good day!

We had planned on doing a long day hike on the Grizzly Lake Trail, but the day started off windy and overcast. It's supposed to be a spectacular hike, but we would like to do it with blue skies. So we have put it off until our return to the area on the way back south. However, we still managed to do two hikes that totaled 14.8 kms (9.2 miles)!

Our first taste of the Dempster Highway!

(We've been offline for 4 days in a row! Can't tell you the last time that happened. We are now only 37 kms (23 miles) south of the Arctic Circle! Here's Sunday's blog post... I'll try and get you caught up with more in the next few hours...)

Sunday, June 24

The last thing we had to do on the way out of Dawson City was to fill the gas tank. By filling it when it's still above half, you don't get as much of a shock. But once again, we knew that gasoline would be the major expense of this trip, and it is what it is. So we topped it up at $1.49 CAD per liter ($4.30 USD per gallon). We went to the public AFD Cardlock station on the outskirts of town. Far cheaper than the stations in town that were selling for $1.67 per liter!

And so, with a full fridge, empty holding tanks, a full fresh water tank, and a full fuel tank, we set off on the Dempster Highway towards the Arctc Circle, Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Drink it fast, or drink it slow, but your lips must touch the toe...

We spent the last two nights at the Yukon River Campground, which is one of the Yukon Territorial Government Campgrounds. It's located on the opposite side of the river from Dawson City, so we had to take the free ferry back and forth whenever we went into town. These government campgrounds are only $12 CAD ($9.25 USD) per night, and with free firewood included.

There are no services other than pit toilets and hand pumped water, and many of the sites are very small and some are not very level. And, many of the sites are for tenting. Out of the 94 listed sites, I would say that perhaps 35 of them would have been suitable for Sherman.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Natives and dancing girls

As I said, there's a week's worth of stuff to see and do in and Dawson City, Yukon. We were lucky that we arrived here just before summer solstice, and here in Canada, June 21st is National Indigenous Peoples Day.

Yukon has a population of 36,000 people, and demographically, 25% are aboriginal. So there's a lot of First Nations culture in the Yukon, and almost half of Dawson City's residents are First Nation.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Fantastic scenic flight over Yukon's jagged Tombstone Mountain Range

We had to be at Dawson City Airport for 8:45am Thursday morning. The airport is located about 17 kms (10.5 miles) east of town, so we gave ourselves about a half an hour to get there just to be on the safe side. We parked up Sherman at the area where it said "No Overnight RV Camping", but of course we weren't parking overnight.

It's a big enough airport considering the town of Dawson City has only about 2,000 permanent residents. Although they say that the population goes down to about 800 during he winter! Air North does regular flights to Whitehorse from here, as well as Inuvik and also other communities that are only accessible by air.

But for our particular flight this day, we were looking for the offices of Great River Air.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Arrived in Dawson City, Yukon!

We didn't have far to go yesterday. From our campsite beside the Stewart River, we took off at around 7:30am and headed for where the gold rush took place... Dawson City, Yukon!

We stopped and had some breakfast and then also stopped at a couple of viewpoints along the way, and we even added to our wildlife count! Check out the lynx photos below!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

On our way to Dawson City

Tuesday morning, we were going to do the hike up Mt. Haldane. But we were still a little tired from our hike on Monday, so we decided to take a pass. There will be more hiking coming up shortly, and we knew we should give our legs a days rest before attempting another big hike.

So we set off driving from Keno City towards Dawson City.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

The things you see in Keno City, Yukon

We went exploring in Keno City yesterday morning. Keno City is a derelict mining town whose heyday is long over. But the official population of 20 people (although we were told it's 12 right now) refuse to let go.

As a tourist though, it's worth a visit!

Monday, June 18, 2018

Mayo to Keno City, Yukon and mama bear with cubs!

We camped at the free campground in Mayo on Saturday night. There are actually two, one by the river before the bridge as you enter town, and one closer to town. We think the one before the bridge as you enter town is probably the better one.

We did some time on the internet and had some breakfast and then we took our "Walking tour of Mayo" pamphlet and went to explore the town!

How to reach the top places to watch the sunset in Sydney

Sydney is an incredible city to visit but, besides all its history and its cultural highlights, while exploring it you should totally save some time to marvel at the beautiful breathtaking Sydney sunset which is becoming quite a big deal lately! If you are passionate about natural enchanting scenarios and you definitely don’t want to miss this show, this is the right guide to know how to reach the best 5 places to watch the sunset in Sydney. So let’s begin!

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Add another moose to the wildlife list!

We drove the short distance to Pelly Crossing yesterday morning. It is the home of the Selkirk First Nation, and home to the Northern Tutchone native culture. Population of the town is about 300 people.

They have a gas station and store on the highway, as well as the Big Jonathon House Interpretive Centre. And they have a lot of internet access. Except none of them are available to the public!

Saturday, June 16, 2018

It wouldn't be like us to back off from a little more exercise

Once again, we woke up early and hit the road right away. It's pretty tough to find internet access up here in the middle of nowhere and we like to get our internet work done as early as possible in the morning. So sometimes that means getting to the nearest town... and even that doesn't always work!

In this case, we headed for the town of Carmacks.

Friday, June 15, 2018

We finally met a bear on the hiking trail!

We woke up yesterday morning to rain. Not a heavy downpour at all, but not a drizzle either. Just a steady rain.

The plan was to go visit the Yukon Wildlife Preserve, about 20 kms (13 miles) northwest of Whitehorse. And, conveniently located another kilometer down the road from the Wildlife Preserve is the Takhini Hot Springs! But we wanted to do the 5 km (3 mile) hike at the Wildlife place, and then go soak ourselves in the hot springs.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

The land called Beringia. If you're headed to Yukon and Alaska, you should know this...

We had never heard of Beringia.

But, now that we know about it, we think it's important for other travelers to this region to know some of the ancient history of how Alaska and Yukon came about... before, during, and after the last ice age.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

A beautiful day in and around Whitehorse, Yukon!

We were sitting having breakfast yesterday morning where we had overnighted at the Yukon College beside the Yukon Arts Centre. There was not a cloud in the sky, and we were thinking of heading down to Miles Canyon to do some hiking. Ruth was reading some of the local guide literature we had picked up at the Whitehorse Visitors Centre, when she said "hey, there's a hiking trail right here"!

So right after breakfast we went for a 2 km (1.3 mile) hike through the forest.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Grocery shopping in Whitehorse, and Sherman's welding job is done!

We had an 8:30am appointment at a local auto body shop, but when we got there and he actually saw the job, he recommended a welding shop on the other side of town.

This problem has been with Sherman since before we bought him in 2007! And it's a common problem on all of these types of units. But it got worse with all the bumping around in Mexico this past winter and I've been wanting to get it repaired for quite a while.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Managed to get a two hour hike done yesterday.

It was raining fairly steady when we woke up, and it didn't let up until after 10:00am. The forecast said it might be okay after that, so we went for a hike along a trail by the Yukon River near here.

We actually weren't sure if we were going to be able to follow a trail out of the area where Jean and Art live, but it turns out there are trails all over Whitehorse area.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

We don't really have a schedule to keep

We actually slept in yesterday morning. And again this morning! Partly due to the fact that we were up late the night before, but also due to the fact that it's light out well up to midnight. In fact even after midnight, there is still light in the sky. So it does tend to mess up your system a little bit because even after 11:00pm you don't feel like you should be going to bed yet because it's still light out.

Normally, we go to bed between 10:30pm and 11:00pm, and are up around 6:30am. But lately it's been closer to 11:30pm for bed, and we don't even really notice that we're staying up later than normal.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Not everything goes according to plan

Not one of our better days, but it still ended up with a glass of wine, so it wasn't all bad!

The plan was to go for a drive up to Quiet Lake on the old Canol Road. There would not be any internet access up there, so we figured we would pay for internet access at Johnson's Crossing before heading into the boonies.

Friday, June 8, 2018

An interesting place, and a worthwhile stop

Hit the road again at 6:45am Thursday morning. This time, we wanted to make it to the community of Teslin, 130 kms (81 miles) west of where we had parked for the night. The Alaska Highway to Teslin crosses the border back into British Columbia for one stretch before heading back to the Yukon for the last time.

We stopped at a couple of scenic pull offs along the way, and it was after 8:30am by the time we pulled in to Teslin.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Beautiful, rugged Yukon scenery

We woke up at the Watson Lake airport and headed into town to use the free wifi at the visitors center. There's a cell signal around Watson lake, but for some reason my phone won't connect to the data. It shows a UMTS connection with no data, but the calling features work fine. Not sure what's going on there, but it's frustrating. (And then for no reason it started working later in the day. And now, in Teslin, it's not working again. Arg!)

Before leaving the airport though, we had a couple of things to do.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Made it to the Yukon!

Yesterday morning we arrived in the Yukon! We can't believe it took us 56 years to get here!

We did the drive first thing in the morning, almost 200 kms. We stopped a couple of times along the way, once to get gas and a couple of times to see the animals!

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

I would say this was worth the extra effort...

Once again, we got up at 6:30am Monday morning, fired Sherman up and hit the road right away in the pouring rain. It wasn't a far drive to Muncho Lake and the Northern Rockies Lodge where we stopped to have breakfast. I should clarify... we didn't have breakfast at the lodge. We simply stopped at the lodge to have our breakfast in the motorhome!

And, the lodge has wifi internet... a rare commodity in these parts where there is no cell service.

Monday, June 4, 2018

This is why we came here!

On the road before 7:00am again yesterday morning. We find it's better to get some driving done early. There are a lot fewer vehicles on the road, plus the odds of seeing some more wildlife are higher.

There are a lot of roadside pulloffs on the Alaska Highway. Obviously you can't stop at them all, but there are so many photo opportunities and things that we don't want to miss. We simply can't figure how anybody can drive right through, and yet many people do exactly that.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

No overnight camping allowed at the dump station

We woke up at 6:15am Saturday and got Sherman ready to hit the road. We figure that we might as well use the engine heat to warm things up rather than wasting propane by using the furnace.

It doesn't take us very long to get going... we have done this so many times that even when we aren't ready at all, it only takes us 15 minutes to get things packed away and secured for travel. We both know the drill and what has to be done, and before you know it we're on the road.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Scenery along the Alaska Highway

We actually drove 205 kms (127 miles) yesterday! We're trying to average about 200 kms (124 miles) a day, but we haven't been able to that very many times... there is too much to see along the way.

Lots of oil and gas activity up here! In fact, it's amazing how they get so much equipment and manpower, and be able to house and feed all the workers. Especially the 300 kms or so north of Dawson Creek.

May Expenses

Not a bad month considering we flew to Ottawa and back, and we rented a car for a week. But, we also spent two full weeks working at the park, and we hardly left the park during that time so we didn't really have much opportunity to spend any money.

In total, we spent $1,591 CAD ($1,250 USD) for the month. Here's how it all broke down...

Friday, June 1, 2018

A great first day on the Alaska highway!

Okay, bear with us... long blog post today with lots of pictures because we saw lots of neat stuff!

We said goodbye to Wayne and Karen, and thanked them for their hospitality. Great to meet people along the way! Forgot to get a photo of Sherman's overnight spot... we had parked in the storage area of the little community where Wayne and Karen live. Their motorhome was in for service work, so we were able to use their spot.

On the way into the center of Dawson Creek, we saw something interesting!

Thursday, May 31, 2018

The World Famous Alaska Highway... Mile 0

Up at our normal time around 6:30am yesterday morning. Had to get things done and give the place a bit of a tidy up, because we were having visitors over for breakfast. Doug and Arlene were coming over for pancake breakfast and to give us a few last minute tips around the city of Grande Prairie.

Then, we followed the signs for Alaska!

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Before we knew it we were sitting on their back porch having a glass of wine!

On the road again fairly early yesterday morning after a great sleep despite the highway noise. I had read that the Valleyview, Alberta visitors center had good free wifi, and they weren't lying! Not a bad place to park for an hour and get caught up on things.

Then, we headed to the nearby Williamson Provincial Park to go for a walk.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Too close to the highway, but at least it's a nice setting!

Slept fine at the church, but moved early this morning to have our breakfast at the mall using the unsecured wifi coming from Domino's Pizza. Nobody was in there eating pizza for breakfast so it was pretty fast wifi with us being the only ones using it!

Then, we made our way to the Whitecourt Visitors Center located in the Forest Interpretive Center.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Because if you don't ask, you don't know.

We sure are getting lots of daylight as we get closer to June 21st, the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere. And of course it's even more noticeable as we drive further north.

On Saturday night, the official sunset was at 9:57pm. And then sunrise is at 5:20am! But the interesting thing is that when then sun sets... it lasts for a long time!

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Well, that was a different day!

Up and on the road early yesterday. We were trying to beat the moderate winds that were in the forecast, and we were trying to make it to Edmonton by 11:00am or so.

We were not successful in either endeavor.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Into the province of Alberta!

Woke up with a bit of a breeze in the air, and it continued all day. Fortunately, it wasn't a cross wind, but it wasn't a tailwind either! Yes, we had a fairly strong headwind all day. Not good for Sherman's fuel mileage!

But, we had to carry on towards Edmonton. We crossed into Alberta just before 10:00am. Sherman hasn't been to Alberta since the fall of 2007!

Friday, May 25, 2018

We packed things up and decided to search for something else.

Because of the two hour time change related to our flight from Ontario back to Saskatchewan, we both woke up before 6:00am. Might as well get up and start the day! After a bit of computer time, we decided to head to Walmart and do a grocery shop while the store isn't busy.

After that, we went to a heavy truck and trailer place that advertised welding, but it was crowded for parking and I didn't want to hang around. Actually, truth be told I couldn't wait to get started on our trip to Yukon! Besides, the welding job isn't pressing, but I've been wanting to get it done for so long and keep putting it off. I'll keep my eyes open for a small town guy who hopefully can squeeze me in without waiting.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Back in the motorhome!

Lindsey followed with her car while we headed back to drop off the car rental. As expected, the price for a full week with taxes included was $135 CAD ($107 USD). Not bad at all. The rental agent says "How did you find a deal like that?"

Well, I look for deals... they're out there if you look for them.

Then, she drove us to Ottawa airport.

10 Best Israel Beaches

Make your next trip to Israel a beach-tour and be sure to visit some of these ten stunning beaches while you’re there.

Nahariya – Sokolov Beach
Located at the end of Nahariya’s famous promenade, Sokolov Beach is a public beach that is free of charge and open to swimmers. If you are professional surfer, Sokolov Beach is your dream as the waves are known as the largest in Israel.

Haifa – Dado Zamir Beach
For a lovely beach that offers so much, look no further than the Dado Zamir Beach in Haifa. This beach has flower gardens, restaurants, pubs, coffee shops, and plenty of seating areas for relaxing.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Today we return the car rental and head for the airport.

We thought that we were done with work for this year, but apparently not. We spent the morning working on Ruth's father's house. I cut the grass and did the vacuuming while Ruth was cleaning out the fridge and freezer and cupboards of food that either had gone bad, or would go bad over the next few months. We brought a bunch of stuff back to our daughter Lindsey's house for them to be able to use.

Then, it was back to my mother's for lunch and some odd jobs for her.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Another day accomplishing what we came here for.

We had another good day visiting with family yesterday. First on the agenda, we went and picked up Ruth's father in Arnprior and took him out to Wheeler's Pancake House near Lanark, Ontario. It's a bit pricey, but he likes the place and it's good to get him out for a drive in the country. About an hour and ten minutes each way on nice country roads.

Beautiful spring day, with sunshine and a high of about 25C (77F).

Monday, May 21, 2018

Good to get our morning exercise in...

After a rainy Saturday afternoon and evening, the forecast was for clearing skies on Sunday. And, Sunday did end up being a nice day, but the morning was still a bit cloudy and cool.

We had stayed in downtown Ottawa at our son's apartment located close to the Rideau Canal, so we went for a nice walk along the canal in the morning.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Rainy afternoon in downtown Ottawa - Canada's capital city

Ottawa is a nice city to visit, and we like heading to downtown when we're here. Our son has an apartment right in the center, and he was going away for the weekend with his girlfriend to her parents so he let us stay at his place for a night.

Unfortunately, it wasn't the nicest afternoon!

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Chester the dog

We stuck around Lindsey and Justin's house for the day, with the exception of taking Chester the dog for a nice long walk. Lindsey went with Sadie on a kindergarten school field trip, and of course Justin was working all day. With the kids in school until 2:30pm or so, we had a nice relaxing day with just us and the big dog.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Not always easy dealing with aging parents.

After we saw the grandkids off to school, we hopped in the rental car and drove up to Ruth's father's place. It's a bit of a difficult situation, and one of the reasons that we chose to come here. He has recently made the decision (somewhat against his will) to move to a retirement home. And his doctor has recently taken away his driver's licence at age 83.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Sorry we lied to you!

But we were planning a surprise, and we couldn't let the cat out of the bag!

Yes, as it says above in the "Where are Kevin and Ruth now?" line... we are in Ottawa right now.

We had bought the tickets about three weeks ago and we figured we would surprise the family. So we didn't tell anyone about it. But of course as the day got closer, we had to sort of fib here on the blog!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

First day back on the road

We got up at 6:00am. It's not that we had a really far drive planned... in fact, we didn't really have a plan at all, except to head towards Saskatoon. But I just wanted to get going! We still had some things to do and empty the holding tanks and fill with fresh water... that kind of thing.

And, we managed to get out of the park right at 9:00am.... which is the time I sort of had in the back of my mind.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Getting back on the road!

Ruth woke up this morning and said "I'm glad I don't have to pick up another mop or rake!"

Boy, is that a fact. Our two week work stint here at the park is up, and I although we're tired of cleaning up leaves, we're glad we did it. Steve and Jo still have some work to do, but the worst of it is done.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Recharged our Mexico SIM card for use in Canada!

I recharged our Mexico cellular account yesterday. I had let it expire at the end of April because I knew that we didn't need it while we were here at the park. But we'll be hitting the road tomorrow and so I wanted to make sure I was going to be able to recharge it online from here.

It turns out that it was fairly easy to do, but there are a lot of options and some are fairly expensive if you're not careful!

Sunday, May 13, 2018

We are boondocking for the next couple of days!

Can you boondock in a developed campground?

Well here at Cabri Park you can!

We've been parked in a full hookup campsite for the last week and a half. And while it's been nice to have our electric heater on to take the chill off in the mornings, and have our fridge plugged into electric, and be able to use the office wifi... we really wanted to be parked in a nicer place.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

12,410 days and counting...

On a Saturday afternoon in May of 1984, Ruth and I strolled down the aisle and said "I do"!

We had only known each other since March of 1983... fourteen months. Many people thought it wouldn't last! But here we are, after 34 years of wedded bliss!

Friday, May 11, 2018

Who reads our blog?

Well obviously YOU do!

I find it interesting to follow who is reading what, and where our readers come from. And, to see the continued growth of readership of this blog. Blogger (Google) is the hosting platform I chose ten years ago. I kind of wish I would have chose Wordpress because I've read that there are more options, but I'm not going through the hassle of changing it all now, especially since this is working fine for our needs.

While we were in Mexico, this blog achieved two milestones! Apparently there were a lot of people interested in our Mexico RV Caravan adventures.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Some pics around the park...

Windy day yesterday, but we still managed to get more cleanup done. Two out of five bathrooms are up and running, but they are calling for cool, windy and rainy today so it's not likely we'll get much done today.

I knew we were going to get spoiled with the great weather we had for the first week. Today, they are calling for a high of 11C (52F) and 13C (55F) tomorrow, then back to nice weather on the weekend.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Installed our weBoost Drive 4G-X RV Cell Signal Booster

A bit of a rainy afternoon yesterday so I took a couple of hours and finished the installation of our new weBoost cell signal booster. We don't get a very good signal here at the park, so I was excited to try it out here and see what difference it makes.

Heading up to the wilds of the Yukon and Alaska, we want to be able to share our adventures with you, and there aren't that many cell towers up there. So if this thing works as advertised, we should be able to get much further from a cell tower and still be able to get on the internet.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

One week down, one week to go!

Wow, it sure seems odd to be working here at the park and knowing that we're half way through already! Mixed emotions though... we will miss the park this summer.

We had been doing really well on leaf cleanup, until yesterday afternoon when the wind picked up and changed direction. A storm blew in and swirled everything around. Fortunately, the leaves had already been removed and dumped, but even when it's cleaned up more leaves seem to appear out of nowhere!

Monday, May 7, 2018

We know how to deal with mosquitoes...

There have been several comments about the possibility of us encountering mosquitoes on our trip north. Yes, we hate those little bloodsuckers as much as the next person, and we would rather not be in an environment where the mosquito thrives... however we've dealt with them before, and we won't let them win!

So... we're going into this with our eyes open, and we are well prepared!

Sunday, May 6, 2018

The plan for the next couple of months

We both belong to a facebook group called RVing To Alaska 2018. The people in that group sure do a lot of planning. We think it's kind of funny because there are some people there asking questions about their possible trip in 2019 and even 2020! I'm afraid we don't put much thought into our trips until it actually gets closer to the date.

And, it is getting closer. We start heading north on May 15th, so I figured I would begin looking at our route, and things to do along the way.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

We had a visitor!

Spring cleanup continues here at the park. We've been really lucky with the weather, probably the best early May that we've ever experienced here.

We had a visitor the other day! It was a little bit funny, because neither one of us recognized her. She started off by saying "You probably don't remember me..."

And it was true!

Keeping Yourself Occupied on Long Road Trips

While travelling the length and breadth of a continent in an RV is nothing short of a thrilling adventure, the day-to-day reality can actually be a little bit different. Watching the landscape change while conversing with your travel buddy is one great way to pass the time, but even this can become tiresome surprisingly quickly.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Reflecting on our Mexico RV Caravan Adventure

We promised you all some insight into our Mexico RV Caravan adventure. And now that a month has gone by since we exited Mexico, it's a good time to give you some of our thoughts about that trip and what we feel about the possibility of us doing it again.

The trip was scheduled for 86 days. Just under three months. There were 11 other rigs, each carrying a couple. So including us, there were 24 people.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

It's a good thing we have Sherman with us.

There are two water systems here at the park. One is used for trucked in municipal water, and it feeds the concession building, the house trailer, and the cookshack, as well as an outdoor tap for the campers. The other system is for the lake water and it supplies non-potable water to the washrooms and campsites.

Well normally, the first thing we do here is get the municipal water supply turned on to the house trailer because that's where we have been living the last four summers.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Received an interesting email yesterday

From Amazon Mexico.

You'll remember back in early March when we were stuck in Puebla and had ordered some parts from Amazon Mexico for the motorhome. These parts were purchased through Amazon Mexico, but sourced through Amazon in the United States, and then shipped to Mexico.

Well it turns out that we're getting a refund!

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

April Expenses - Yikes!

Well, we knew it was going to be bad.

We spent a record high $6,302 CAD ($4,950 USD) during the month of April. Yes, we spent a lot of money on motorhome parts and repairs, but even if we subtract that $3,493 we still spent $2,809, which would have been a high month anyhow. We're going to have to tighten our belts for the trip up to Yukon!

Monday, April 30, 2018

Our two year North America RV Adventure

Yesterday, we drove from Lafleche, Saskatchewan to Swift Current, and then to Cabri Regional Park. In our mind, this completes the first quarter of our two year RV trip!

We left Ottawa on November 16th and picked up the Mexico RV Caravan group in Mission, Texas on January 6th. From there, we toured Mexico for 86 days, and then have spent the last four weeks making our way from Texas back to Cabri Regional Park.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Back in to Canada!

We weren't originally planning on crossing the border yesterday, but with an early start and several other factors, we decided to make a late day border crossing.

We've been battling the winds the last few days, and it is usually the most calm just after dawn. So we got up when the sun did, and began driving immediately.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Another great free campsite!

We left the Gillette Airport at just after 9:00am yesterday. Beautiful blue sky all day long and with a temperature of about 75F (24C), it was just about perfect.

Heading north out of Gillette, it is coal mining country. We had seen the long trains full of coal that run the rails along the highway south of Gillette, and it was interesting to pass by some of the facilities that fill the rail cars.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Heading north through an accident scene

We said our goodbyes to our Boondockers Welcome host and headed out around 9:00am. First stop was the town of Douglas, about 65 miles (104 kms) north.

We actually wanted to stay in Douglas... I had read about a city park where they allow three nights free camping and have a water and dump station. We stopped in to have a look. One other rig there, but a nice park. If we didn't need to put some more miles on, we would have stayed and visited the town. Another time.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Installed our new Winegard RV Internet Antenna

They were calling for a nice day yesterday and our Boondockers Welcome host Sally had generously offered to let us stay a second night, so we decided to take a day off from driving. We'll have to make that up though with a couple of longer driving days because we want to be back at Cabri Regional Park for Sunday, giving us only four driving days to get there.

I took advantage of the beautiful day to get up on the roof and install our new Winegard Connect 2.0 RV Internet Antenna.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

A chilly day exploring Cheyenne, Wyoming

Up early, and our Verizon cellular internet ran out and I'm not going to renew it because we're only six more days in the United States. If the price was reasonable, I would... but at $35 USD for 2 GB of data, they can keep it!

So we got up and drove into Pine Bluffs, NE where we parked outside the library and used the free library wifi while sitting in the motorhome and having breakfast.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

50 Campsites, and we were the only ones there...

Yesterday, we continued north from Brush, Colorado into Kimball, Nebraska. Kimball is at about 5,400 feet and is very close to the highest point in Nebraska. But the municipal park campground in behind the fairgrounds wasn't the nicest and looked to be on soft ground and they were calling for rainshowers yesterday evening.

We carried on east a little bit to the Oliver Reservoir State Recreation Area where they have about 50 numbered camp sites... and it's totally free!

Monday, April 23, 2018

Who said there's nothing to see?

Sure, the scenery may not be fantastic, but there is still stuff to see if you look for it.

Yesterday, we drove from the Neegronda Reservoir north up to Brush, Colorado. No, it's true that the scenery is not fantastic. But there are still some interesting things to see along the way if you look for them!

Sunday, April 22, 2018

It wasn't worth taking the chance...

Yesterday, we drove from Boise City, Oklahoma to a reservoir at the Queens Wildlife Conservation area just north of Lamar, Colorado. I had a few ideas of where we could park for the night, but there was a heavy rainfall the night before and many of the gravel side roads were still pretty soft.

We ended up walking in to what would have been a beautiful spot, but I was worried Sherman would get stuck!

Saturday, April 21, 2018

As expected, that was an expensive repair bill...

Well, I had guessed the bill would be around $2,000 USD and it came in at $2,273 USD.

Of course that's hard to swallow, but it really becomes a lump in your throat because we have to pay for it with Canadian dollars... almost $3,000 Canadian dollars!

But, we have spent very little money on Sherman over the years so I suppose we were due for it.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Sherman is almost ready...

The first day they did the transmission service, tightened the power steering belt, installed new front wheel bearings, and new front brake pads. The front pads weren't terrible, but they had the wheels off anyhow so I figured why wait until they are terrible.

Yesterday, they installed the new inner and outer tie rod ends on the driver's side and had a look at the rear brakes. It's not easy with the rear brakes because there is only a little inspection hole unless you take the brake drums off. I told them to take the drums off so we could all have a better look. It's a big job because you actually have to remove the axles. I'm glad we did though.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Jack Sisemore's RV Museum

We left Sherman in the capable hands at S&L Auto and Truck Service in the east end of Amarillo and we took off in the rental car to do some exploring.

First stop was Jack Sisemore's RV Museum.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Into the city of Amarillo... and we picked up a couple of packages for you all...

We weren't in a huge rush to get into the city of Amarillo, but we did want to get there before the winds picked up. That would mean before 10am or so. We were a little later than planned because we filled up with water and stopped at the dump station before pulling out of Palo Duro Canyon State Park

Fortunately, the day started with a bit of a tailwind.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

We took the detour, and it was worth it!

Woke up to the wild turkeys gobbling. We got up around 7am, and they were all outside, probably ten of them. The males had their feathers spread wide as they showed off for everybody.

I took some pictures through the window, but only one turned out half decent...

Monday, April 16, 2018

From one state park to the next...

We woke up at Caprock Canyons State Park, and went to sleep last night in Palo Duro Canyon State Park. Yes, making as much use of our Texas State Parks pass as possible.

We didn't have a cell signal at the campsite at Caprock Canyons, so we drove over to the interpretive building where they have free wifi. But as with most campgrounds, the public wifi is either not good to begin with, or if more than two or three people are using it, it's almost not usable. But, from that location I managed two bars of Verizon signal, so between the two managed to get the blog posted yesterday and some internet work done.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

We got a nice site in the horse camping area at Caprock Canyons State Park

We were up at 6:00am yesterday morning and on the road at 7:00am in order to drive as much as we could without the wind, which was forecast to increase after 9:00am. And the forecast was pretty accurate in that regard. The winds did pick up, but at least it was a head wind... not great for gas mileage, but at least it was relatively comfortable to drive in.

At least until we got to the town of Turkey. After that, we had a minor problem.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Heat warning on Thursday, wind warning on Friday!

We had planned on leaving Paul's place at 9:00am in order to beat the worst of the winds, but for some reason we were a few minutes later than that. We knew the forecast was calling for wind, but it was supposed to be from the south so we were hoping for a tail wind.

Instead, it came from the west and we had a nasty cross wind that got worse as time went on.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Boondockers Welcome

Woke up yesterday morning after  a great sleep at Foster County Park, free camping for the night. Nice little park by the river, and quiet during the week, although I've read that it can get busy on the weekends.

One of the things we love about the transient RV lifestyle is opening the windows in the morning to see where we are! Yesterday morning, we had ducks and geese and turtles to see!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

No logic at San Angelo State Park

We woke up to a beautiful sunrise at Menard County Park in our spot by the river. Didn't have to get an early start, so we puttered around on the free wifi and took our time getting ready to go.

But by the time we did leave, it was getting windy. We should have left earlier!

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

A perfect day

What a perfect day we had yesterday. Perfect weather, and a perfect campsite by the river. If we didn't have more exploring to do, we might have stayed even longer but we want to see San Angelo State Park today, and we have a booking with a Boondockers Welcome host tomorrow.

Spent most of the morning cleaning Sherman. Then after lunch, we took the kayak out on the river!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Yup, this will do for a couple of nights!

Knowing that it's still winter in Canada, we made a conscious decision to stay here in Texas as long as possible where the temperatures at this time of year are more suitable for human habitation.  If that means we have a few long driving days in the last week of the month, then that's the price we are willing to pay!

But, we still did some driving north yesterday.

Monday, April 9, 2018

March Expenses

Okay, have to post this mid day to get caught up. If you missed the earlier post, you can read it here...

We spent a total of $2,763 CAD ($2,200 USD) in the month of March. Yes, quite a lot higher than expected. Most of that was due to Sherman's breakdown, but we were also far higher in gasoline and toll road expenses than we would have preferred.

Not thrilled with South Llano River State Park

First thing in the morning, we drove over to the library in Junction, Texas to use their free unsecured wifi internet. I checked Verizon's coverage map... for some odd reason there is simply a huge gap in this area. Very strange.

But, at least we know it's not our device that's the problem.

Then, we did the short drive over to South Llano River State Park.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Very pleased with Junction, Texas

We weren't in a rush to leave Garner State Park, but we left our site at about 9:00am to drive through the park and down to the store where the laundromat is located. Haven't done any laundry since March 29th in Mazatlan.

That's also the last time we emptied our holding tanks, so it had been 8 days and we can normally go 10 if we're careful, so the grey tank was starting to get full. Probably could have gone another few days on the black tank though. Anyhow, we got the laundry done and emptied the tanks on our way out of the park.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Not that we would really mind if somebody stole them.

We rode our bikes over to the office again to pick up our windshield pass for our third night here. That was our morning exercise.

We then decided that we had better get some cleanup done to Sherman, so Ruth worked on the interior while I cleaned the bugs and grime off the front exterior. They were so plastered on that I had to use Greased Lightning spray cleaner to get them off. That, and some elbow grease.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Exploring Garner State Park

Woke up to a bit of an overcast day yesterday, and we didn't see any sun until late afternoon. But, it never did rain and the temperature was perfect to go out and get some exercise and explore the park.

Like I said yesterday, it's a big park so every time we go anywhere on the bikes, we know we're in for some exercise. That's okay, because we were kind of lacking in that department over the last three months and we need to get ourselves back in hiking condition because we're planning on doing lots of hiking and biking over the next six months!

Thursday, April 5, 2018

We are liking Garner State Park!

Yesterday morning, we did the short drive from Uvalde to Garner State Park. Amazing how much the scenery changes when you get into Texas Hill Country. Of course it's called Hill Country for a reason... there are hills!

We wanted to arrive at Garner State Park early so that we could enjoy the day there. Plus, we had read that it's a big busy park, so we wanted to ensure a good site. In fact, Garner State Park is the most popular state park for overnight camping in all of Texas. Turns out we had nothing to worry about!

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Knock, knock, knock... "It's the police..."

Got on the road early yesterday morning, and headed to the Carizzo Springs Walmart to do a big grocery shop and use their free wi-fi. But the Walmart in Carrizo Springs is just a basic Walmart store without much of a grocery section.

We did some internet and bought a refill card for our Verizon mi-fi so we can stay connected to you all for the next four weeks in the U.S..  Only bought a 5 GB package for $60 USD ($77 CAD) so we'll try and make that last. Still have some data remaining on our Telcel SIM card, and it's supposed to work in both the U.S. and Canada, so we'll see.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

We are now into the United States!

But boy, they don't make it easy. Having been to 34 different countries, we have crossed a lot of borders. The United States makes things the most difficult.

And of course we have to put up with the border circus because it's part of travel. But sometimes it just makes you shake your head. Such as it was yesterday.

A long driving day in Mexico!

If we wanted to cross the border on Monday, then Sunday was going to have to be a long driving day! Still traveling with two other rigs, we were up and on the road at the crack of dawn.

Originally, our destination was the city of Saltillo, and the Imperial Hotel where we had stayed our very first night with the Mexico RV Caravan group. But traffic is busy in the city, and considering we were only staying the night and just needed somewhere to park, we nixed that idea and figured we would wing it.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Fantastic day at a Mexico National Park!

It's Semana Santa (Easter Week) and it's the weekend. A lot of Mexicans head to the beach during Semana Santa, but that doesn't leave the mountain spots untouched, and such is the way it is here at Sierra de Organos National Park.

There aren't a lot of camping spots here, and it's pretty busy. We had music well into the night, but that's the way it is in Mexico so we expected it. But they are friendly people, just having fun with their friends and families and we have no problem with that.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Here's how our day went on Friday...

Three of the group left Isla de la Piedra at 6:00am. A few of us were even up to wave goodbye. They wanted to get an early start and a long days drive in to head towards the Arizona border on Sunday and get back to Canada for various reasons. Next, at 7:00am, seven more rigs pulled out, again heading towards Arizona, but this group won't cross until Monday.

Then at 8:00am, it was our turn. Us, with James and Karen behind us, and Kenny and Gail bringing up the rear. We are down to a three rig caravan!

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Just a short note

To let you know we made it to the National Park. No cell signal unless we do a hike to a lookout! That's where we are now. Using my phone to do this blog post. Normal blog post will resume tomorrow!

I've never tried doing a blog post from the phone. Hope this works!

Friday, March 30, 2018

Mazatlan, and saying goodbye

We walked the the ferry dock here at Isla de la Piedra and took the panga boat to Mazatlan. It crosses the shipping port and is about a ten minute journey.

We were meeting up with Steve and Rebecca, a couple who had hosted us at their place in Duluth, Minnesota back in 2013. They've been loyal readers of this blog since 2011!

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Mazatlan Countryside Tour

The bus was here to pick us up at 8:30am yesterday morning. First stop was the village of Puerta de Canoas, about 57 kms (35 miles) from where we are camped at Isla de la Piedra.

This is where there is a guy who trains dancing horses. Plus, it's just a nice little typical village. I always find it interesting how you only have to be 16 kms (10 miles) outside the hustle and bustle of the big city of Mazatlan to find yourself out in the country. You'd never know that you're so close to the city.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

February Expenses

Better late than never, right?!

If you remember, Sherman broke down on Thursday, March 1st. That week, and the following week were a little hectic for us, and we kind of got out of schedule and the February expenses never got posted. So I'm posting them now.

February was a pretty reasonable month, which is a good thing because March was not! However, we have to keep in mind that February was only 28 days...

Last driving day with the group

We did the short drive from Teacapan to Isla de la Piedra yesterday. We had a 9:00am start because it's only a 131 km (81 mile) drive. A couple of us needed to get fuel, so we left 20 minutes early to stop at the station up on the road, but when we got there they had one pump closed and it was pretty congested. We decided to carry to to El Rosario where there was a bigger station.

And, we took the free road again. It's in pretty good shape, so it's one of those situations where you can't justify spending the money on the toll road.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Planning our exit from Mexico

Six more nights in Mexico. Hard to believe. But, all good things must come to an end, so they say!

We have only one more drive with the whole group, and that is today from Teacapan to Isla de Las Piedra near Mazatlan. Then on Friday, we split ways and most of the group is exiting through Nogales with the leader of the Copper Canyon group, while Ruth and I take two rigs out through Laredo.

Monday, March 26, 2018

The beach goes on for miles...

We went for a walk on the beach yesterday morning. The last time we were here, two years ago, we walked all the way to town which was about 10 kms. We didn't feel quite that ambitious this time around, and so we took off in the opposite direction to see what there was to see.

The beach goes for literally miles!

Sunday, March 25, 2018

RV camping on the beach in Mexico

We had to get an early start yesterday morning. Saturday is market day in Lo de Marcos, and it would have been tough (maybe even impossible) to get all the rigs out through the town if we waited until later. So, better to be safe than sorry and we were all out of the park by 6:30am!

Also, better to get an early start to do the twisty windy road up the mountain towards Tepic.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Nothing wrong with a soak in the hot springs!

Just a short update today.

We went with Mike and Linda up to the Aguas Termales De Nuevo Ixtlan. 

What is that, you ask?

Ruth and I have been there before. It's a natural hot springs up in the mountains northwest of Puerto Vallarta.

Friday, March 23, 2018

This is the first time

This is the first time during this three month trip that we have had time to relax. And there's less than two weeks remaining in the trip! Overall, it's been an okay job, but it's a pretty hectic schedule and it's been more work than we thought it would be.

Of course, if we do it again next year it should feel like less work because we will be totally familiar with the route and the schedule.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

I think one of those hammocks has my name on it...

Ruth had a couple of haircuts scheduled for yesterday morning, so while she was doing that I went for a walk around the property here to take some photos for you all.

Tlaquepaque is a resort hotel property with bungalows and rooms for rent, as well as 70 RV spaces. In our opinion, it is one of the nicest RV properties in Mexico. And, it's fairly pricey, but sometimes you get what you pay for.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Arrived at Lo de Marcos

Managed to get 16 rigs out of the Laguna del Tule Trailer park in Melaque. We decided to group up at a nearby gas station, that way everybody could get out of the park at their own pace before our 8am scheduled departure. It all went pretty smoothly and thankfully there isn't a lot of traffic at that end of the town.

We had some leftover members of the Copper Canyon caravan with us for this drive, so we split into two groups of eight, and the second group departed 15 minutes after the first group.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Relax day at the beach in Melaque

We needed to get some exercise, so before it got too hot we took off for a walk. Of course, when we start wandering we never know how long we're going for... or how far!

We set off through town, then part of the beach. We ended up doing about 8kms (5 miles)!

Monday, March 19, 2018

We are back on schedule!

Went for a nice breakfast yesterday morning with Heinz and Uli, Becky and Jerry, Doug and Cathy, and Nancy at La Cocinita restaurant in Valle de Juarez. Nice of everybody to join us. Our favorite breakfast place in Mexico! The fresh orange juice was the best I've ever had. And with a delicious mushroom, onion, and chorizo omelette. Total price with tip included, 85 pesos ($6.00 CAD, $4.55 USD) each.

With full stomachs, we made another attempt to go see Whiskey's Tree at Hacienda Contreras RV Park.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Terrible roads, but we made it!

Up at 6:00am yesterday morning and we left Trailer Park Las Americas in Cholula at 6:45am, 15 minutes later than we planned. Sherman fired right up and was ready to go. As I put him into gear and we crept forward, the springs creaked as they settled into place.

Next question? How is the alignment?

We waved goodbye to the gate guard and carried on to the main road. So far, so good...

Saturday, March 17, 2018

We're on the road again!

At least we hope we are. The last time I said that, it didn't go so well.

The mechanic Pedrito had finished up the passenger side (the side that broke) on Thursday evening, and he was coming back Friday morning to change the lower ball joint on the driver's side. Both ball joints had been changed at the same time a few years ago, and with one giving up, I didn't have a whole lot of faith in the other one.

Friday, March 16, 2018

We've got some catching up to do...

Yesterday, the Mexico RV Caravan group carried on from Villa Corona to the Pacific coast beach town of Melaque. They are in for a five night stay at Laguna del Tule Hotel and RV Park.

Because they are there for five nights, we want to arrive there by Monday at the latest because they move on again on Tuesday. That means we've got some catching up to do.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Maybe it's better that we're not heading out today!

When we woke up and got on the computers yesterday morning, I checked the status of Sherman's parts. They said "out for delivery", with a promised delivery time of "end of the day".

I went up to the security guy at the front gate and explained that I would have two packages arriving at some point today. He said he would let me know when they show up.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Meanwhile, back at the caravan group...

While we've been sitting here waiting for Sherman's parts to arrive, the caravan group has carried on according to the schedule. Michel and Louise, a couple who had expressed interest in leading their own caravan next winter had taken over as temporary wagon-masters until we can rejoin the group.

The group did three nights in Patzcuaro, and then yesterday they moved on to Chimulco Water Park in Villa Corona near the big city of Guadalajara.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Sherman's parts have arrived in Mexico!

I ordered the parts on Friday morning at around 11:30am. Amazon Mexico's system said the parts would arrive in two to four business days, with a guarantee they would be here by Thursday March 15th.

With a weekend in between, I thought that was pretty good, but figured on Thursday being the day. This morning, I checked the shipment tracking, and they have already arrived in Mexico City!

Monday, March 12, 2018

There's always something interesting to see in Mexico

Ruth made some chocolate chip cookies in the morning, while I did some work on the computer, and some more cleaning on Sherman.

Then we decided to walk into Cholula to the big market and find some lunch. Lots of people out enjoying a beautiful Sunday, and of course the Cholula Pyramid is free to the locals on a Sunday, so that brings in the crowds to the main attraction in the area.

Gas motorhome, or diesel motorhome?

If you're shopping for a motorhome, do you choose gas, or diesel?

When we bought Sherman, the answer was easy because we didn't want to spend a lot of money.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

We're going to be here for a few days...

We had a knock on the door early yesterday morning just before the caravan group was about to depart for Patzcuaro. It was Randy, telling us that if we climb the water tower here in the park we would get a beautiful view of the Popocat├ępetl Volcano.

So up we climbed!

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Parts are ordered, and now we wait

Yesterday morning, Ruth went with the group to the tour of downtown Puebla while I stayed with Sherman to deal with the best way to get the parts that he needs. There were several choices, including several choices of how to do the repairs that are necessary.

I wanted Moog parts. In my opinion, they are the best aftermarket suspension and steering parts out there. You can buy the ball joints two different ways... individually, or included with the lower control arm assembly.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Sherman is broken... again!

We were on the road yesterday morning at about 7:15am. Made our way through the already busy town of Juchitan, and headed north on the 185 up towards the main east west toll road, the 145D.

Our planned 622 km (386 mile) drive was ambitious. If we wanted to make it to Trailer Park Las Americas on the far side of Puebla, there would be very little time for rest breaks.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Reunited with Sherman

We were up at 6:00am Wednesday morning to wave goodbye to the group at their planned 7:00am departure from Oaxaca to Puebla. It's only 360 kms (223 miles), but an early start is better.

They had a Green Angel escort today, and it's a good thing. He arrived right at 7:00am, and I went over the route with him.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Walk into town, and a creepy visitor...

A day off for everybody yesterday. Some people went back into the center of Oaxaca City, and some people went into the nearest town of Santa Maria del Tule, where the big tree is that we showed you the other day.

Ruth and I decided we needed some exercise and walked into Santa Maria del Tule.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Change of plans, and another busy tour day

This time, the vans arrived to pick us up at just after 8:30am. But first, while everybody was gathered around, we had to have a quick group meeting to discuss how Sherman was going to get caught up with the group.

As the group leaders, we had decided that everyone would spend two extra nights here at Oaxaca, and have the group carry on to the next destination of Puebla on Thursday morning. Ruth and I will return to Sherman on Wednesday. Then, with any luck at all Sherman would be ready on Thursday and we would catch up to the group in Puebla in time for their departure on Saturday morning to Patzcuaro.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Busy day touring around Oaxaca

The two vans arrived to pick up our group at 9:00am yesterday for a busy day touring. Almost too busy!

First stop was a place that does rug weaving. I thought it wouldn't be up my alley, but the local Zapotec woman who's husband revived this art form was really interesting, and it was almost kind of odd that her English was so good.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Good news, and bad news...

By 8:30am yesterday morning, there were two guys underneath Sherman working away to remove the right front lower control arm and ball joint. It turned out that the ball joint itself had not broken at the stud... it had broken at the collar that holds it together. And strangely, it doesn't even seem to be that worn.

Anyhow, it needs a new ball joint, and we are going to get the one on the opposite side replaced as well.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Sherman - Towed to a truck mechanic shop in Juchitan, Mexico!

We sat on the side of the busy road for a total of about 28 hours. Essentially, doing nothing. Good thing we had a decent cell signal so we had communication and internet access.

The tow truck had been arranged the night before, but they had said they couldn't make it there until about 11:00am. We had the impression that the towing company is very busy and that there aren't many towing companies in this area. The roadside assistance people were not able to find one to help us, and they had said that they would reimburse us up to $300 USD if we submitted the invoice to them once we found help.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Houston, we have a problem...

A big problem.

The day started off as planned, with a scheduled 8:00am departure from the orphanage. We got on the toll road going south towards Arriaga, and it was a decent enough road, although fairly busy.

Great scenery too!

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Sumidero Canyon boat trip, and back to the orphanage

The van was there to pick us up at 8:00am Wednesday morning to take us to the boat launch at Chiapa de Corzo. That is where you get the tour boats to take you into the nearby Sumidero Canyon. Ruth and I had done the canyon boat tour back in 2009, but we were looking forward to a return visit.

The dam was built in 1981. At that time, the river was just a series of un-navigable rapids, but with the rising waters from the dam, popular boat tours started in the spectacular canyon.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

San Cristobal and the surrounding villages of Chamula and Zinacantan

Yesterday was the day trip to San Cristobal de las Casas. Ruth and I have been there twice before, 3 nights in February of 2009, and two nights at the end of February 2013. We like San Cristobal, but it sure has grown in the nine years since the first time we were there.

San Cristobal is located in the mountains at an altitude of around 7,000 ft. Where we are parked with the motorhomes is only 1,400 ft. And San Cristobal is only 50 kms (30 miles), away so it is up hill all the way.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

We've said it before... smaller is easier when exploring Mexico in an RV

We sure enjoyed our experience at the orphanage, but boy it sure wasn't very relaxing for Ruth and I. On the go again yesterday morning as we had to finish spending the money. First stop was a papeleria... a paper goods store. The small town Mexico version of Office Depot!

This was a little one man operation, and he had everything! Veronica had made a list again, and it took them almost two hours to get everything together. Just adding everything up was time consuming...

Monday, February 26, 2018

Shopping for the orphanage

We had a long drive yesterday morning and we hit the road at 8:00am. Well, not that long as in distance, at only 333 kms (206 miles), but we know that you don't get anywhere fast in Mexico and so we planned on it taking five hours with minimal stops.

There was no easy way to get from Villahermosa to Ocozocoautla. The most direct route at 230 kms (143 miles) is a curvy mountain road that goes through small villages. If Ruth and I were on our own, we would have done it, but with 12 rigs it would have been a long slow journey.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Mexico RV Caravan Travel Day - Palenque to Villahermosa

We left Palenque on schedule right at 9:00am.

By 9:05am, we encountered a change in plans!

Entering the main road that runs beside the town, we saw some police cars, and then some detour signs. There was some kind of special bicycle race going on, and they had the main road closed off. The detour went through the town!

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Wow. We are a little overwhelmed...

By the generosity of our readers.

Two days ago, we asked if anybody wanted to help us buy some things for a local orphanage we will be staying at with our Mexico RV Caravan group.

In two days, 20 readers have donated a total of $1,670 in combined U.S. and Canadian dollars. Either way, it works out to over 30,000 pesos!

Friday, February 23, 2018

The fabulous Mayan ruins at Palenque

Our guide Salvador showed up exactly on schedule at 9:00am with two minivans to take our group to the Palenque archaeological site.

Ruth and I visited the Palenque ruins at the end of January 2009, and it has been our favorite ruins site out of the probably 10 or 12 other Mexico ruins we have been to. It has the best architecture, and the best surroundings, in our opinion.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Mexico RV Caravan Travel Day.... and a request...

On Wednesday morning, we were on the road from Conhaus to Palenque at 9:00am. Very often, we have the Green Angels travelling with us, but not always. It depends on their availability and the route we are on. Anyhow, they were supposed to show up at 9:00am, and they are normally early. This time, we were pulling out and they had not yet arrived. We leave on time, Green Angels, or not.

Just as we were about to pull out onto the highway, there they were!

3 Outdoor Adventures in Wrightsville Beach

Wrightsville Beach is a paradise for lovers of water activities and outdoor adventures. It's got water sports like surfing and paddleboarding along with scenic cruises along the waterways around the island. There are fishing spots along the piers and charter boats that go further out onto the ocean for deep water sportfishing. It's a small town full of seemingly endless outdoor adventures on the water. Following are three outdoor adventures that are not to be missed while on a trip to Wrightsville Beach.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The remote ruins of Calakmul, and the bat cave!

Well that was an interesting day!

We were on the road at 7:00am Tuesday morning! Sometimes the schedule isn't to everybody's liking, but if you want to see what is on the planned route, you need to take the good with the bad. In this case, it was going to be a very busy day... but we think that everybody enjoyed the final outcome!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Boat trip on beautiful Lake Bacalar, Mexico

As part of the Mexico RV Caravan Tour, we arranged a boat trip and lunch from Calderitas to Lake Bacalar, about 45 minutes away.

Lake Bacalar is really interesting because it is fed through the underground water system of the Yucatan Pensinsula, and it has the interesting turquoise colors of the tropical seas... and yet, it is a lake.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Puppies and ruins

The road out front of the Yax-Ha Trailer Park here in Calderitas has a nice bike friendly section that goes north of here. One bit branches off to go to the Oxtankah Mayan ruins. So we went for a nice bike ride with with Michel and Louise yesterday to go check them out. It was 6.2 kms (3.8 miles) each way.

Ruth and I had been there nine years ago, so it was interesting to see what has changed.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

It's an oil change... how tough can it be?

Another perfect day here in Chetumal. What a beautiful campground this is, despite the lack of RV services.

One of the problems with traveling in this part of Mexico is that many of the campgrounds don't have the type of hookups that many RV'ers would be used to in Canada or the United States. For boondockers like us, it's simply not an issue. We don't even think about needing to be hooked up.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Mexico RV Caravan Travel Day - Paamul to Chetumal

This is the second blog post for today... in case you missed it, you can visit the first one here...

Our visit to Xcaret

We had arrived back at Paamul RV Park at about 10:00pm Thursday night, and we had an 8:00am Friday morning start for our scheduled travel day to Chetumal. So there simply wasn't time to sort through the days photos and write a long blog post.

Visit to Xcaret theme park near Playa del Carmen, Mexico

On Thursday, we arranged a couple of vans to take us to the Xcaret theme park just south of Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Going to an amusement park is not something we would normally do in Mexico, but since it was one of the included tours with the RV caravan we are leading, we figured we might as well go and enjoy the experience. And ultimately, we did enjoy it.

Xcaret is a little different than your typical Disney style experience. There are no "rides" as such. Well, except for a small boat tour on a short narrow river. And everything is themed Mayan, or Mexican.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

We decided we needed some exercise

Just a bit of a relax day yesterday, although we did mange to get out and about a little bit.

Most of the Mexico RV caravan group has learned that Ruth used to be a hair stylist, so it's been convenient for them, and some pocket money for us. She had two haircuts scheduled for this morning.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The most expensive RV Park in Mexico

Other than a bike ride to get to an ATM, we stayed here at the "gated" expat community of Paamul yesterday.

We knew what we were getting in to, because we've stayed at two similar RV parks before... one in Cabo San Lucas way back in 2008, and a couple of times at the Diamonte Trailer Park south of Acapulco because it is conveniently close to Acapulco airport.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

While some people love the area, it's not our style

We were on the road at 9:00am yesterday morning, but it turned out that we would have felt a lot less rushed if we would have started at 8:00am. We only had 204 kms (126 miles) to drive, but we wanted to stop at another cenote for a swim, and we had to do a fuel stop, a grocery stop, and make our way through the now very busy community of Playa del Carmen.

Oh, and to top it all off, we lost an hour due to time change!

Monday, February 12, 2018

The ruins at Chichen Itza, and cenote swim

A bunch of taxis arrived just before 8:00am yesterday to take the group of us to the Chichen Itza archaeological site located less than two kilometers away.

Ruth and I were here in December of 2008, but at the time I stayed in the motorhome with our dog and Ruth went in to see the ruins with our friends Glen and Steve. We had seen a lot of ruins by this point, and Chichen Itza is one of the more developed sites, and with lots and lots of Cancun tourists.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Mexico RV Caravan Travel Day... Merida to Chichen Itza

Ready to depart from the Rainbow Maya RV Park in Merida right on schedule at 9:00am. Never a problem getting this group organized on time. Onto the Merida periferico (ring road), and headed east towards Cancun.

We don't actually go to Cancun. There are no RV Parks up that way that are suitable for a caravan.  Along the way though, is the tourist infested ruins of Chichen Itza.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

At the Rainbow Maya RV Park

Ruth and I decided we needed a relax day yesterday. Some of the group took off to Celestun to see the flamingos. Others went to Progresso to mingle with the cruise ship passengers. Well, I'm sure that's not why they went there, but when there's a cruise ship in port I expect that's what you would be doing.

One of the guys said he stopped in a restaurant/bar to have a beer, and they wanted 50 pesos. Yikes. Normal price for a beer in bar in Mexico is between 20 and 30 pesos. So far, the Yucatan area is a bit pricier than the rest of Mexico. We'll reserve judgement for another couple of weeks, but I think when we design our own RV caravan tour route for the winter of 2019-2020, it's not going to include the Yucatan Peninsula at all.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Everybody loves a parade! The beginning of Carnaval in Merida...

Our tour guide and bus arrived to pick everybody up from the Rainbow Trailer Park in Merida. The bus was partly open air... so it definitely makes it better for trying to take pictures, although it's always tough to get decent pictures from a moving bus.

Merida is a big city... population of about 1 million people now. And it's a hot city... the average daytime high is around 31C (88F) in the winter, and 35C (95F) during the summer. We like warm, but  on an every day basis that's too hot for us!

Thursday, February 8, 2018

We made it to the hot and busy city of Merida.

On the road right on schedule for our 9:00am departure for the drive from the Uxmal archaeological site to the northern limits of the city of Merida. Only an 89 km (55 mile) drive, and we planned on stopping half way at the Yaxcopoil Hacienda.

The hacienda dates back to the 17th century, and it is privately owned. Seems to be a bit of a work in progress as there is some discrepancy between what the website advertises and what is actually there.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Mayan ruins and chocolate!

Everybody was ready to go for our 8:00am tour of the Uxmal ruins.

Ruth and I were here in December of 2008. At that time, it cost 48 pesos which with the exchange rate then, it was ($4.50 CAN $3.65 US).

Now, you have to buy two tickets. As I understood it, one is for the state, and one is federal. The total entrance fees are now 234 pesos ($15.90 CAD, $12.75 USD).

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Made it to Yucatan!

Our group crossed the border from the state of Campeche to the state of Yucatan yesterday. This caravan tour was billed as the "Yucatan RV Caravan Tour" because we spend a fair bit of time on Mexico's Yucatan peninsula, however that peninsula is actually made up of three Mexican states... Campeche, Yucatan, and Quintana Roo.

We had a 9:00am departure from the Kin-Ha Balneario in Campeche. Only a planned 160 km (100 mile) driving day, so with one fuel stop we would easily make it there by noon.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Wandering around the streets of Campeche

Yesterday was a day off. The group spirits have definitely improved along with the weather, and the hectic pace of the first two weeks is forgotten. There are still a couple of people who are not feeling 100%, but I suppose when you have 24 people together there is bound to be always 1 or 2 who are a little under the weather.

Most people used the off day to return to the Campeche city center and do some more exploring.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Mexico RV caravan travel day and fun tour of Campeche

Up and on the road at 8:30am yesterday morning. The blue skies and sunshine continue!

Nice easy drive from Isla Aguada to the city of Campeche. Only 171 kms (106 miles) on pretty good roads for a nice change. We made one gasoline stop in the town of Champoton at about 10:15am , and arrived at the Kin-Ha Balneario at about 11:30am.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

A relaxing day off watching the pelicans

The day started off cloudy, but by noon there was nothing but blue sky and sunshine.

We decided we needed some exercise, and the bay that we are in has very few waves. Seemed like a good time to get out our Intex Challenger K2 Kayak for a little paddle.

And exercise it was!

Friday, February 2, 2018

I don't give up so easily

I mentioned yesterday that we had another surprise for the group.

Our original schedule had us spending three nights here at Isla Aguada and then today moving on to the city of Campeche for three nights. We have a city tour of Campeche booked for 3pm on Saturday.

But the RV parking in Campeche is at a balneario (swimming resort) in an open field with minimal services. The weather here at Isla Aguada has been great and people are just enjoying relaxing. So I asked Gabriel, the owner of Caravans de Mexico if we could make an adjustment to do four nights here and then two nights in Campeche. If we left here at a decent hour on Saturday morning, we would still arrive in Campeche with lots of time to do the city tour starting at 3pm.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

January Expenses

Well, it was yet another higher than expected month. Although when I think about it, we really didn't know what to expect because we've never traveled this way in Mexico.

Because we make a contract income for leading the group, as part of the deal we are still responsible for paying our own fuel and toll fees. But some of those fuel and toll fees are expenses that we wouldn't have if we weren't leading the group because we don't travel the same way.

We have another surprise for the group today!

We woke up yesterday morning cautiously optimistic that we were going to have a nice day with the weather. Ruth checked back, and we had endured nine days of overcast and rain, with (literally) only a few minutes of sun here and there.

In fact, since we left Canada on November 16th we could probably count on one hand the days that included the magical combination of blue sky, warmth, and sunshine!

There were a few clouds when we woke up, but the skies cleared nicely and it was a perfect day...

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

RV Caravan Travel Day - Villahermosa to Isla Aguada

We were on the road right at 9:00am again.

It's only 234 kms (145 miles) from Villahermosa to Isla Aguada, but with lunch and fuel stops, I figured we might arrive at 2:00pm or so if we were lucky. As it turned out, it was closer to 3:00pm!

There is a fairly new toll highway that bypasses the city of Villahermosa. But because we had come into the city to use the Sam's Club overnight, we had to backtrack a little bit to get back to the toll bypass.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Armed guards overnight

With a 308 km (191 mile) drive ahead of us, we planned for an 8:00am start. Once again, everybody was ready to go and we pulled out right on time.

We knew ahead of time that road conditions were bad for today's drive. We had spoken to a couple who had arrived at the RV park in Catemaco and they had just come from the way we were heading. We asked how the toll road was, and he said one section was new, but the rest was "horrible".

And he was pretty much correct.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Lots to see around Catemaco, Mexico

Both Saturday and Sunday were scheduled rest days here at Catemaco. But, Ruth and I are not ones to sit and do nothing. Especially when there is a lot to see in the area. We could easily spend two weeks here. There are at least a dozen waterfalls within a 50 km (30 mile) radius. A dormant volcano to hike. Unexplored coastline north of here on the Gulf of Mexico. The Sierra de los Tuxtla mountains are a daytrip. We need to spend more time here some day.

But for the time being, we wanted to get the group out on the lake. Both the waterfall trip on Saturday, and the Sunday lake tour were not scheduled tours as part of their itinerary. But we like to get them out to see things that they might otherwise not see.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Our timing was not the best!

Yesterday turned out better than had been forecast. The morning actually had some sunny breaks! It really should have been the time when we could have gone on the boat tour, but more people seemed interested in the waterfalls so we made a plan to get four taxis to take 16 of us to see them.

But first, I had a fridge problem to fix.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Lots of beautiful birds in Catemaco

On the road at 9:00am yesterday morning. Only 170 kms (105 miles) to drive, so we should be able to get there by noon, right?


This is Mexico! And this part of Mexico is well known for it's terrible road conditions.

Friday, January 26, 2018

I keep reminding myself, at least it is warm!

Yesterday, we woke up to the wet, windy day that had been forecast. The wind kept up all day, but the rain did stop occasionally and as I keep reminding myself, at least it is warm! Temperatures of about 24C (76F) during the day, and 19C (66F) at night.

Given the weather, we all decided to forego the trip into the city of Veracruz. Nobody was thrilled with the idea of visiting the aquarium, and the only other indoor activity would have been to go to a movie. Veracruz will have to wait for another time.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

It's not all sunshine and roses right now...

Everybody was ready to go right on time again. We pulled out just before 9:00am onto the busy pot-holed road towards Veracruz. It's amazing that some sections of this road are actually considered toll road and you have to pay. And yet, the road is in terrible condition and there doesn't appear to be a free road alternative. The tolls are not high... but it still doesn't make any sense.

So, slow going for the first half of the drive. It took us just over two hours to do 100 kms (62 miles).

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

City of the Thunder God

The bus picked us up at 9:00am to take our RV caravan group to the El Tajin Ruins. This is another of the guided tours included with the price of the caravan. Our guide today was Andres... he was pretty good, and had a good sense of humor!

It was only 68 kms (42 miles) to the site, but it took us about an hour and fifteen minutes. You don't get anywhere quickly in Mexico!

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

There's a reason things are so lush and green in this area...

Yesterday was a day of rest, and I think pretty much everybody used it that way. We're at the beach, but it wasn't really beach weather. There's a reason things are so lush and green in this area... it rains fairly regularly! They had called for a 50% chance of showers, but it never rained at all and was simply overcast all day.

So people just took it easy. Some puttered around on the beach looking for shells. Some puttered on their vehicles.

Monday, January 22, 2018

RV Caravan Travel Day... Mexico City to the Emerald Coast

One of the things that we love about Mexico is that you can be from the mountains to the beach in under four hours from anywhere in the country. Well, it takes slightly longer than that when you're traveling with 12 rigs in an RV Caravan, but you get the idea.

Yesterday, we did 352 kms (218 miles) from the outskirts of Mexico City to the Emerald Coast north of Veracruz on the Gulf of Mexico.

Our List of the Top Five Most Intriguing Movie-Inspired Theme Parks

One of our favorite pastimes to keep ourselves entertained as our beloved Sherman takes us from one destination to another is talking about the places we’d like to visit next – of course! Sometimes, we revisit old favorites on our list, other times we toss around slightly extravagant ideas and, often, we make lists of destinations that revolve around a theme. Last week, for example, we talked about theme parks as we remembered Arsenal Park – that interesting and weird Soviet military theme park that we visited a couple of years back while roaming Romania.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Third largest pyramid in the world...

Day two of our whirlwind two day trip to Mexico City. Knowing that the bus was picking us up at our downtown hotel at 8:30am, we had to get some breakfast before leaving. Hotel breakfasts are often a bit pricey, so Ruth and I went out in search of something a little more local.

We didn't have much success. It turns out that on a Saturday morning in the central area, even the breakfast places don't seem to open up until after 8:30am. I'm quite certain it's different Monday to Friday, but on Saturdays things are definitely a bit slower.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Mexico City!

The bus was there to pick up our group just before 8:30am. We were only located about 42 kms (26 miles) from the center of town, so you would think that it shouldn't take too long to do the drive, right?


It took an hour and forty five minutes to do that 42 km (26 mile) drive.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Relax day in Tepotzotlan

Nice to have another day off. Ruth and I hung out with Sherman for the morning and just did some cleaning and puttering around. Most of the group had wandered into town, and we did exactly that after lunch.

We've never been to Tepotzotlan before, and we had heard that they have a worthwhile church to visit.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

RV Caravan... Cuitzeo to Mexico City

We planned for a 9:00am start, knowing that it would probably take us an hour or so just to get out of the RV park and through the narrow roads of the village below.

This group is great... always ready to go right on time! One by one, we made our way down the steep hill and on to the rough gravel road towards the village. It was pretty quiet going through town... until we hit the cattle drive!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Nice to have a rest day for a change

We're definitely going to be making some route and schedule changes for next year. Everyone on the caravan agrees that the first part of the trip doesn't have enough rest days.

Don't get me wrong... everyone is thoroughly enjoying their trip, but it could be even better. We all know that we have more rest days towards the end of the trip, but we need to even things out a bit.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Absolutely amazing... a must see in Mexico!

This was our fourth time to go see the monarch butterflies at their winter home. There are actually 15 different regions in the mountains of Michoacan and Mexico State where the butterflies congregate, however only six of them are open for public viewing. We have been to three of the six, and yesterday's trip was our second visit to the Chincua colony.

The butterflies arrive at the beginning of November and stay until early March. The best viewing is between mid January (now) and the end of February. However, even during those periods, conditions need to be optimal for the best experience. And so your trip will depend on the weather.

Monday, January 15, 2018

We didn't think everyone would make it... but they did!

Ruth and I did this exact drive with the RV caravan group we led for a month back in February of 2016. From Bugamville RV Park on the outskirts of Guanajuato, to San Juan del Lago RV Park near Cuitzeo, Michoacan.

So, we were pretty familiar with the route and we opted for a 9:00am start. Even thought it was only 160 kms (100 miles) we prefer to start out early and arrive early. Besides, we knew that once we arrived past Cuitzeo, getting to the park itself is a bit time consuming!

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Busy day touring... almost too busy!

The tour bus was back to pick us up again at 8:30am Friday morning.

Friday's schedule took us through the city of Guanajuato and on to the road leading through the mountains to the historic town of Dolores Hidalgo. Then a quick stop at Atontinilco before having a late lunch in San Miguel de Allende.

This is our third time visiting this region, in December of 2012, and most recently in February of 2016.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Tour of beautiful Guanajuato

One of the complaints that we have about this 86 day tour is that it's not long enough. What I mean by that is that you are kept so busy that you don't have enough time to relax or do your own thing. When you're not busy with official tours, it's because it's a driving day.

We think the route is not bad, although we would make some changes to that as well. And the perfect trip length would be four months. This enables you to take advantage of the consistently great Mexico weather (something Arizona, Texas, and Florida can't offer) as well as have a few more days to catch your breath and simply relax.

Friday, January 12, 2018

A bit of a stressful drive today, but we made it!

With a planned departure time of 9:00am from Zacatecas, we were all moving around and getting our rigs in order by 8:30am. So far, a really good group of people!

We had just over 300 kms (180 miles) to do, so with a lunch stop that should get us to Guanajuato between 2-3pm if all goes according to plan.

But the one big question mark was going to be the big busy city of Aguascalientes.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

A great day wandering around Zacatecas

Wednesday was a free day with our RV caravan group, so we could each choose our own activity. Most of us wanted to head back to the central part of Zacatecas City to see a little bit more of what we had been teased with during our bus tour the day before.

Uber is becoming very popular here in Mexico, and it's easy to see why. In a country where taxis are typically very inexpensive, Uber makes it even more so. Add in newer vehicles and friendlier drivers, and it's a recipe for success.

So we stood in the parking area, and ordered Uber on our phones. What a fantastic system!

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

A beautiful day in Zacatecas, Mexico

The cold weather we experienced in the United States is nothing but a distant memory now. The sun is brilliantly warm, and the temperature is hovering around 20C (68F). Considering that we are at 8,000 ft in altitude, it is simply wonderful, and we are now into consistently beautiful Mexico weather for the next three months.

Today, the tour bus came to the RV parking area at the Baruk hotel where we are staying on the outskirts of Zacatecas, Mexico.

The RV park itself is not ideal... but it's the only game in town if you have a larger RV and you wish to explore the city.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Mexico RV Caravan.... Saltillo to Zacatecas

It's a busy job looking after the group members, especially for the first couple of days as everyone is getting used to the routine.

It's so busy, that sometimes I forget to take pictures that I should. For example, we had an 8:00am start this morning for our approximately six hour drive to Zacatecas. So, we were up at 6:30am, slightly before the sun. And I still had to run to a bank machine down the road to get some pesos. Wolf down a quick bowl of cereal, had a hot drink, and before you know it, the Green Angels are showing up to escort us out of the city of Saltillo at 8:00am.

I forgot to take a photo of where we had been parked at the Imperial Hotel.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

First day in Mexico... went pretty smoothly!

Well, lets start at the beginning! We got up at 5:30am Sunday morning, in order to be able to leave with the RV caravan group at 6:45am. No problem getting up that early, because I wasn't sleeping anyhow. Ruth said that she slept okay, but I didn't. Too many things racing through my mind.

Everybody was ready to go at 6:45. We all pulled out on the quiet street out in front of the RV park, and got lined up in the order that I had assigned them.

I counted all the rigs. Eleven.

Huh? There are supposed to be twelve of us!

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Last blog post before Mexico!

Most of our regular readers know that we write up a new blog post for you every day. And it's normally published before 10:00am, depending on what time zone you're in. But that schedule could deviate a little over the next three months!

For example, tomorrow we will be up before the sun in order to make it to our border crossing at 7:00am!

Friday, January 5, 2018

Meeting our Mexico RV caravan group

We had a couple of stops to make yesterday morning before heading to Mission West RV Resort in Palmview, Texas.

We were looking for an old steel cookie sheet. Yes, we could have gone to Walmart to buy a new one, but for what we were using it for, it didn't make sense to buy new. I found a goodwill store along our route, and we stopped in there to see what there was.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Minor propane problem

We knew we weren't driving very far yesterday, so we waited for a couple of hours in the morning before heading out from Falcon State Park down to past McAllen, Texas.

At Falcon State Park, they have a propane truck that comes through and if you put your name on the sign up list, he'll stop at your site and fill you up. We were just getting ready to leave when the propane truck pulled up.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

As much as we love dogs... we don't want another one right now!

I was deleting some photos from my phone, when I came across one that I forgot to tell you about. When we were boondocking at the country park near here last Saturday, we had walked a mile and a half to a store to buy some milk and eggs.

On the way back, we noticed a little black dog following us. Just like she was coming for a walk with us. We never touched her or tried to make friends with her. We just kept on walking.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

It was kind of funny to watch

Our almost 8 year old Trojan T-105 batteries are apparently still doing pretty well. We haven't seen the sun since Christmas Day. And we had been parked up boondocking at the free county park near Falcon Heights, here at the Texas/Mexico border for three nights.

But by day four, with our batteries at 12.2 volts we knew that they needed charging. Solar panels work great, except when there is no sun!

Monday, January 1, 2018

Our frugal travel 2017 year in review... and expenses

Looking back at 2017, we had a fantastic year!

On this day a year ago, we were flying to Spain to tour Spain and Portugal for two months in a little motorhome. Then we flew to Italy where we rented a car and explored for three weeks. Then the tiny countries of San Marino and Monaco, and a couple of days in Nice, France. And on to interesting Morocco for two weeks before heading back to Barcelona for our return to Canada in April.