Nice sunset view as we pass over London, England, on our way to Albania.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Hiking in Albania, Kosovo, and Montenegro.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Porto, Portugal on June 25th!

Monday, December 31, 2018

Sometimes in Mexico you never quite know how something is going to happen...

Three years ago, Ruth and I had hopped on some local transportation and done a day trip to a waterfall. We suggested the trip to the group, and 10 of us decided to go. But it's tough to use local transport for a group of ten, so we contacted the same minibus company that had taken us to the butterflies, and they sent a van to pick us up at 10:00am.

But before we left, we had some laundry to do...

Sunday, December 30, 2018

What a great way to start off the new year!

From November through February there are near perfect daily conditions for paragliding here in Valle de Bravo. And with the fantastic views, this makes Valle de Bravo a world class paragliding location. Every single day at this time of year they are paragliding off the top of nearby Monte Alto.

 And every time we've been here we've thought about going paragliding.

Yesterday, we went to the central area and put down a deposit!

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Into Valle de Bravo for lunch, and evening birthday cake!

Yesterday was a day off for the group. Ruth and I needed to go into town to buy a birthday present and do some research on another activity for the group. We made plans to go into town with Roy and Sue, and while we were standing out at the road waiting for a collectivo (shared taxi) Garth showed up and he came along with us.

Pretty tough to get all five of us into a single collectivo because they usually already have at least 1 person in them when they come along, so Ruth and Sue took off in one, and the three guys waited for another one with a plan to meet up downtown.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Our 5th visit to see the monarch butterflies wintering grounds

This is a bucket list item for many people, and we've now done it five times... and it never gets old.

We rented a 14 passenger van for the group. It cost 2,000 pesos ($103 USD, $140 CAD) for the van and driver for the day. So with 14 people, it was 150 pesos ($7.75 USD, $10.50 CAD) per person. Not a bad deal. When these people signed up to travel with Kevin and Ruth, they get to share our frugality!

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Well that was a fun surprise!

We made a plan yesterday for the group to go to Velo de Novia (Bride's Veil) waterfalls in Avandaro on the opposite side of the lake.  I had been talking to our host Chago about arranging a minibus to get us there, when he made the suggestion to go by boat.

Ruth and I have been there a couple of times before, and we knew that you could access the trail from the lake shore to get to the falls... I thought the group would enjoy a boat ride over there!

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

It was a wonderful Christmas Day!

It started off with a bit of cloud in the sky for a change, but the lake was still calm, so I got the kayak all set up and we went for a paddle on the lake.

As a Canadian, some might say it's not Christmas Day without snow and cold... but we do not miss that at all. We think going for a kayak ride on the lake is a beautiful way to spend Christmas morning!

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Merry Christmas from Valle de Bravo, Mexico!

We love spending Christmas in Mexico. The traditions are a little different, and it's fun to experience the season from a different perspective. Here in Mexico, Christmas Eve is the big celebration and Christmas Day is pretty much just another day. The kids don't open presents on Christmas morning... that is saved for Three Kings Day on January 6th.

Another gorgeous day enjoying the sunshine, blue sky, and fantastic scenery.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Another great day in Mexico

Valle de Bravo is a popular weekend destination for people from nearby Mexico City and Toluca. It's surrounded by mountains and it's located on the shore of Lake Avandaro. A really beautiful spot and one that we love to return to.

We are staying at a marina on the other side of the lake, near the town of San Gaspar, 5 kms (3 miles) drive from central Valle de Bravo.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Great drive, until the very last kilometer...

We did a 198 km (123 mile) drive yesterday from the Balneario Pueste del Sol to Club Nautico Los Olas del Valle near Valle de Bravo.

Ruth and I have done most of this drive in the past, so we knew that we had a lot of twisty windy mountain roads to do and that it would take some time. We left at 9:00am, stopped for lunch for an hour and a half, and arrived at about 3:30pm... so it was about 5 hours of driving to do 198 kms (123 miles)!

And it went problem free until the very last kilometer!

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Learning the features on our new camera

We were given permission to stay at Balneario Puesta del Sol for one more night, so we decided to take a relax day. Nothing wrong with having a few relax days along the way!

Besides, I still had a bunch of little projects to do on Sherman. His heater fan had been acting up, sometimes not coming on at all until you give it a whack with your hand. I had taken it apart in Texas, and thought I had it fixed, but had bought a new one at the time just in case.

Friday, December 21, 2018

In the end, everything came together...

Yesterday was a driving day, however shortly into the drive, we learned that we weren't sure exactly where we were going to end up for the night.

I had made arrangements to stay at a water park parking lot, and I contacted them before leaving. I asked if they could make sure the gate is open for us when we arrived around 1:00pm.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Not a very restful day off...

Yesterday was a day off. But there was no resting to be done.

It started off on a high note though... I checked my bank account first thing, and the missing $625 from the ATM rip off the other day had been credited back to my account. Not feeling so ripped off anymore!

A few of us were going to the big La Comer grocery store and Wendy had volunteered the use of her Class B campervan provided that I did the driving. But she needed propane as well, and one of the other rigs uses 20 lb tanks and one of them was empty. So I took Paul with me in Wendy's van and we got her van and the 20 lb tank filled as well.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

We love market day!

A tianguis is an open-air market that is traditionally held on certain market days in a town or city neighborhood in Mexico and Central America.

San Miguel de Allende has a huge tianguis market. It is held on Sundays and Tuesdays, however the Tuesday market is the larger event. So yesterday, our entire group headed to the market!

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Nice day trip to Dolores Hidalgo, with a few glitches!

The city of Dolores Hidalgo (pop about 70,000) is where the Mexican Revolution began. The city was a small town known simply as Dolores when Father Miguel Hidalgo uttered his famous cry for the independence of Mexico in the early hours of September 16, 1810, in front of the parish church. After Mexico achieved independence, the town was renamed Dolores Hidalgo in his honor.

Today Dolores Hidalgo is known primarily for its ceramics industry, started by Father Hidalgo, which provides income to well over half the city's population. The inexpensive and mass-produced output of the town is marketed throughout the world.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Another great day in Mexico

Got the group together about 10:30am and called three more taxis to take us back to downtown San Miguel de Allende. If it were just Ruth and I, we would be taking the local bus. But, it's easier with the group to do taxis, and divided by four people in a cab it is relatively inexpensive.

One couple from our group is visiting a friend here, so Lynette and Paul haven't been around much. We'll probably see them again at happy hour today.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

San Miguel de Allende at night

A short driving day yesterday, so we planned for a 10:00am start. It's normally only 67 kms (42 miles) between the RV park we were staying at in Guanajuato, and the one we were going to in San Miguel de Allende.

However, we got to one turn that we needed to make and there were a bunch of signs saying the road was closed so we had to make a detour.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Ripped off by an ATM

Yesterday morning, six of us headed back to central Guanajuato. Ruth and I just wanted to wander around and see if we could find anything new to see, as well as showing the other four some of the neat things we had seen before.

Oh, and we wanted to go have enchiladas mineras for lunch... a local specialty dish.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Touring beautiful Guanajuato, Mexico

Guanajuato is one of our favorite cities in Mexico. Built into a very hilly area, the colorful city is a maze of narrow streets and alleyways. And with a large (30,000 students) university population there are a lot of young people about. It's also considered to be one of the safest cities in Mexico.

And, there is a lot to see and a lot of history. So as a group, we decided to hire a van and a guide.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Long hike in the mountains near Guanajuato

It was a free day for the group... nothing organized and everybody was free to do their own thing. Four of the group decided to hop on the local bus and head into the city of Guanajuato, about 13 kms (8 miles) from here.  Cost for the bus was 10 pesos (50 cents USD, 65 cents CAD).

Others simply stayed back at the RV park and relaxed, or puttered around on their rigs. Ruth and I wanted to do a hike, and Bob and Denise wanted to join us.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Another driving day in Mexico. San Luis to Guanajuato...

Planned on a 9:00am start, and the group was ready to head out at 8:55am! Gotta love this group, they are always on time. We said goodbye to our host Peter at El Faro de Peter RV Park and thanked him for looking after us so well. Despite the negatives of the place, we wouldn't hesitate to go back.

There is no easy way for us to get through the city of San Luis Potosi, so this is one of those situations where we know when it's best to take the toll highway (cuota) north around the city.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

A day off with some great views

Yesterday was a rest day with no structured plans for the group.

It started off with an unfriendly dog lose on the property. It turns out that he belonged to the owner of the property. There are actually four dogs here and we hadn't seen any of them out of their cages until this fellow was lose. Not sure why or how he got out, but he was not very friendly! I went out with one of Ruth's walking sticks and made my way to the owner's house to wake him up.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Second day touring San Luis Potosi, Mexico

At 10:30am, we were back in our host Peter's Suburban SUV, ferrying the rest of our group into the city of San Luis Potosi.

When we arrived in the center, it seemed much quieter than it had been on Saturday. But, it's possible that everyone was still in church!

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Exploring the city of San Luis Potosi, Mexico

While the property here at El Faro de Peter RV Park is not as well maintained as it could be, our host Peter makes up for it. He's a friendly, helpful guy. We asked about taking the bus into the city of San Luis Potosi (the locals simply call it San Luis) and he replied in Spanish, "no, let me take you... I am at your service".

He has a big 7 passenger Suburban SUV. I asked the cost, and he said it was his pleasure.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Driving day in Mexico to San Luis Potosi and El Faro de Peter RV Park

As with our RV travels in the U.S. and Canada, we try to keep our driving days in Mexico under 200 kms (120 miles). And, we try to stay off the busy four lane highways here as well.

Yesterday's route was new to us, but we checked it out on google maps and google streetview, and I spoke to a taxi driver in Matehuala to make sure the route was okay for a group of eight RVs. Some of these small towns in Mexico are not suitable for RVs, and you have to be aware of routes that have bypasses around the central areas of these towns.

Friday, December 7, 2018

A great day trip to Real de Catorce, Mexico

We are staying with the RVs here at Matehuala. This is a common stopover for people heading south to the beach. We spoke to one couple here who have been here four or five times... and they had never heard of Real de Catorce. They're in such a rush to get to the beach that they don't look around to see what there is to see along the way. They are destination people.

But we are explorers! Nine years ago, we visited Real de Catorce and we knew that our group would enjoy it as much as we did back then. And, it's a great place to give our new camera a workout... so be warned... lots of photos to follow...

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Visit to central Matehuala and the doctor

A bit of a cold front going through this area for the next day or two. Overcast almost all day, and a high of about 17C (64F). But that didn't stop us from taking the group into the central area.

Matehuala isn't much of a tourist town... there's not really a lot to see. But they have an interesting cathedral and a typical market and for some of the group it is their first opportunity to see a small non tourist city.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Through the mountains and on to our next stop!

The group really enjoyed our stay with Chris and Juan at Campestre Monte Sur. But, it was time to move on! So yesterday we headed out right on time with our 9:00am departure towards Matehuala.

The day started off overcast, and looking towards the mountain range that we had to cross, we could not see the tops of the mountains which were up in the clouds.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

A great first full day in Mexico!

We wanted to do a walk yesterday morning here at Campestre Monte Sur, but Chris wanted to go at 7:00am, and Denise and Bob wanted to go at 9:00am. So in true Kevin and Ruth fashion, we went on both walks!

We did the same route each time, because we wanted to show Denise and Bob the same things that Chris had pointed out to us the first time around. We had 14 kms (8.6 miles) done before 10:30am!

Monday, December 3, 2018

First driving day in Mexico

As planned, we left the RV park in Mission, Texas at just after 7:00am Sunday morning. It's a fifteen minute drive from there to the Anzalduas bridge that takes you to the west side of Reynosa, Mexico.

But of course, once you pay the $7.00 USD ($9.25 CAD, 140 pesos) toll fee to cross the bridge you still have to stop at immigration and customs to get your tourist visa and your motorhome permit.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

On our way to Mexico!

By the time most of you read this, we will already be on our way across the border and into our first driving day in Mexico.

We're getting up early and making our way to the border station well before the crowds... and doing so on a Sunday morning because we know that all of the bad guys will either be sleeping... or in church!

Friday, November 30, 2018

Breaking news!

So we're sitting at the computers last night, and I see a flight deal highlighted on my facebook feed.

Any of our long time readers know that we are suckers for a good flight deal. Whenever we fly anywhere, we want to be the people on the plane who paid the least amount of money!

We took a look at this one... and after a five minute decision making process... we booked it!

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Getting ready for Mexico

Well, this is an enthusiastic group! Seven of our eight rigs are here. Just waiting for Garth and his Trek motorhome. I know he was having some brake work done before arriving here. And again, he doesn't have to be here until Friday afternoon.

But everyone else is here early, and very excited about our trip. So are we!

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

We made it!

And holy cow, that was a lot of driving over the last five weeks! I love driving, but even I am due for a break. In fact, we purposely drove a few extra miles the last couple of days in order to get to the Mission West RV Resort a little early so we could stay in one spot for a while!

We've got five nights in one place!

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Another winning casino stop

Back on the road yesterday morning, and headed for the Kickapoo Indian Casino just south of Eagle Pass. This was actually where we had planned on spending the night when we cut our driving day short because of the wind.

But we decided to stop in there anyhow, even though it was a very short detour to do so.

Monday, November 26, 2018

A good day, but we didn't make it very far!

Slept fine outside the Judge Roy Bean visitors center in Langtry, Texas. It's a pretty sleepy little town that hasn't grown much since the time the Judge died in 1903!

The visitors center opens at 8:00am every day of the year. It's actually run by the Texas Department of Transportation as a highway rest stop, even though it's well off the main highway.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Ruth goes sand sledding!

We hit the road at a decent hour yesterday, not sure of how far we would make it. With a full fresh water tank, and empty waste holding tanks we said a silent thank you to the town of Jal for the totally free RV sites at Jal City Park and we headed out, making our way southeast into Texas.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

A nice day with no driving

Woke up yesterday morning to the sound of birds singing... lots and lots of birds singing! They are here at sundown, and again at sunrise. Wonder where they go at other times. There are thousands of them! They are common grackles.

And then we spent the day working on Sherman. We never left the park!

Friday, November 23, 2018

Sherman is at the spa!

When we woke up yesterday morning, we were shrouded in fog! We had originally planned on getting up and doing some driving right away, but it made more sense to stay put until the fog burned off.

We got under way around 9:30am, and headed towards Jal, New Mexico.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Visiting with the aliens, and inside the caves!

Busy day yesterday! Slept fine in the Home Depot parking lot in Roswell, and then topped up the gas at $2.36 USD a gallon ($0.83 CAD per liter).

Then, the reason we came to Roswell... we were off to the U.F.O. Museum.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Valley of Fires and on to Roswell, New Mexico

We ended up doing a little more distance than originally planned. We had totally forgot about Thanksgiving Thursday being a holiday here in the U.S., and we had planned on visiting Carlsbad Caverns on Thursday. So the choice was to do that either Wednesday (today) or Friday.

But Friday is Black Friday and I have some work to do that day on my Facebook Amazon Deals Group. So we need to get to Carlsbad Caverns today!

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Just us on the road

Once again, we got up and did some driving as soon as the sun rose. Nobody on the roads at that hour, so we did 50 miles or so and then stopped at the town of Magdalena. We pulled in to an empty lot in front of the gas station to try for some free wifi.

But everything was secured, including the one coming from the gas station, and there had been no AT&T cell service along this whole stretch of highway so we didn't have any cellular internet either.

Monday, November 19, 2018

How does wood turn into rock?? And Sherman reaches a milestone!

Yesterday morning, we did a quick trip into Petrified Forest National Park. We actually didn't think there was going to be that much to see... but we were wrong! So it wasn't that quick of a trip. We ended up spending pretty much the entire morning there.

First stop was the visitors center at the south entrance to the park.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Got some miles done on the Interstate

We're at Petrified Forest National Park as I write this, and there is a lot more to see and do here than we thought there might be. More on that tomorrow!

Just giving you a quick recap of what we've done the last two days... essentially driving!

Saturday, November 17, 2018

We need your feedback please!

We're at the point in this trip where we had planned to put on some miles... so that's what were doing. Yesterday, we drove from the edge of Death Valley National Park, through the oddly named town of Pahrump, around the southern part of Las Vegas, and south from there to Kingman, Arizon. I have to say, the entire drive was nothing special. Even our free overnight spot was nothing special.

So to make up for that, I'd like to talk to you about something that MIGHT become something special...

Friday, November 16, 2018

Some things go fast, and some things go slow...

Well, that was a pretty interesting day!

The entire last three weeks could have easily taken us three months. There has been so much that is worth seeing and doing, and we've been skipping most of it. But we're on a deadline, so we're trying to see the highlights, and we're doing the best we can under the circumstances. But there is so much more.

First thing this morning, we did the very short hike from where we had overnighted, to the Mobius Arch in the Alabama Hills near Lone Pine, California.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Got some miles done on a very scenic highway

We had another great day yesterday. It started off with a soak in the hot springs. Well, for one of us anyhow!

We woke up to well below freezing temperatures again at 6,500 ft altitude. But as soon as the sun comes up, it warms up quickly. We had been parked near the Travertine natural hot springs, and so after breakfast we wandered over to have a look.

It was still pretty chilly out, but Ruth brought her swimsuit!

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Yes, they did say it was a scenic drive!

We didn't leave Danielle's place in Reno until just after 10:00am. We had nice hot showers, we filled our water tank, and I had cleaned Sherman's K&N engine air filter the day before, so had to re-oil and reinstall it.

A few people had told us that route 395 south of Reno was a scenic drive... and they were right! It's too bad our clear blue sky finally gave way to some cloudy periods... in fact, we didn't see the sun much at all for the whole drive yesterday.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Well that was a productive day off!

We needed a non driving day to get caught up on some things and Danielle didn't mind us hanging around for the day. We got some laundry done, we had a good consistent supply of internet, and managed to get some minor repair and maintenance completed.

And, Danielle had to run into town so we went with her to pick up a couple of things and have a short driving tour of Reno, Nevada since we were here anyhow.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Nice drive to Reno, Nevada

Once again, up at the crack of dawn and did some driving right away. Nobody on the roads at that hour. We stopped in Susanville, California (pop 17,000) for breakfast and internet time before moving on towards Reno, Nevada.

A pretty comfortable drive for change... some actual straight roads without too many hills!

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Through the smoke, and into clear blue skies...

Most of you will have heard of the devastation of the town of Paradise, California. We were supposed to be going right by there, but the main highway was closed due to the fires. So we altered our route to head across the mountains to Reno, Nevada.

But the winds were blowing the smoke right through our path. My thinking was that we should be able to drive through the smoke, and hopefully get far enough east to get out of it. We had enough smokey skies in British Columbia this past summer!

Saturday, November 10, 2018

"What the heck was that??"

We took off from the Bear River Casino and headed up highway 36 east towards the mountains. The first part of the road took us through another section of big California redwoods forest. Ruth took a video for you below!

After that, we climbed... and at some points, very steep. We had seen the warning signs at the beginning of the road, so we knew there were going to be lots of curves and steep grades. But I don't think Sherman has ever had to climb a long 10% grade before. Probably a few short ones, but never one that goes for two miles! He had to summon all of his horses for that!

Friday, November 9, 2018

Those are some big trees!

One of the reasons we wanted to come this far south before heading east was to see the big trees in Redwood National Park. We have in the past seen some big trees... such as Cathedral Grove on Vancouver Island. But those are douglas fir trees, and these ones are of course coastal redwood.

When we left the casino, we topped up the gas tank once more, this time at $3.25 USD a gallon ($1.14 CAD per liter). Fuel is expensive in California (often near $4.00 USD per gallon), so we will top up when we see it near the state lows. It will be cheaper once again when we enter Nevada next week sometime.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Goodbye Oregon, hello California!

What a great day we had yesterday... let me tell you all about it!

First of all, as you'll see from the photos below, it was a beautiful blue sky all day long. Temperatures about 60F (15C) which is perfect for doing a bit of hiking and exploring. And, there was a lot of exploring to be done... once again, every five or ten minutes there is somewhere worth stopping at along this section of coastline.

Settling or Being Realistic – What’s the Difference?

Have you ever asked yourself if you’re just ‘settling’ with your life, or do you make a more realistic and positive assessment of what is around you? You can ask this question about many aspects of your life—relationships, houses, traveling, friendships… basically anything.

Settling can mean different things. It could possibly signify that you are maturing and are ready for new and exciting challenges. However, it more usually has a negative connotation, meaning that you’re sacrificing your happiness. That is when you need to be concerned.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

We finally got a 100 mile drive done!

We actually got the required number of miles logged yesterday, despite the fact that we didn't really get going until almost 11:00am.

We have to be in Mission, Texas around the 28th of this month. That means, we're trying to do at least 100 miles (160 kms) a day on average. And even at that, we know there will have to be some longer days because we will want to have some rest days too!

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

More fun on the Oregon coast, and sunny days ahead!

Early start to the day yesterday because we had promised the folks at the Newport Municipal Airport that we would be gone at sunrise. Good thing we were too, because there was definitely some activity around the airport at that hour and there was not a lot of parking.

We actually hit the road at about 6:50am, but we only drove to the first scenic stop, which was not very far away. There is not much distance between attractions here on the Oregon coast!

Monday, November 5, 2018

October Expenses

No, I haven't been procrastinating due to the abnormally high expense report! But yes... we have had another expensive month. We're really looking forward to having a month go by without spending yet another $1,000 on Sherman!

But, it wasn't only Sherman's fault... whenever we travel back to Ontario we seem to spend a fair bit of money.

Well, we didn't get very far!

And no, Sherman is not giving us problems. He's doing just fine.

Its just that there is so darn much to see on the Oregon coastline!

We drive for ten minutes, we stop for half an hour... we drive for ten minutes, we stop for an hour.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Back to the Pacific coast!

First thing we did yesterday morning was go for a walk around the campus of the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum. It's a big property and we probably did 1.5 miles (2.4 kms) just walking around it.

Lots to see even if you don't go inside the buildings. They have a very cool indoor water park on the property as well.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

That was a full day!

Had a great sleep boondocking in the forest. It's not that easy to find decent free camping in the Columbia Gorge... it's simply too popular of a place, so there are a lot of "no overnight parking" signs around. You have to go up into the hills on Forest Service Roads, and we're just not comfortable doing that given how much rain there has been.

The rain stopped around 9:00am, and we set off looking for the first waterfall of the day. There are lots of waterfalls in the Columbia Gorge Scenic Area!

Friday, November 2, 2018

Gorgeous views from Beacon Rock

We slept surprisingly well at the ilani Casino overflow parking lot, so close to the I-5. We must have been tired!

We needed to do a grocery shop, so I planned a route that would avoid both the I-5 and most of the congestion of Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington. We first headed to the town of Battle Ground, where they have a fairly new Walmart Superstore.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

We must be crazy!

It rained all day.

And we're getting pretty tired of it. But, we keep smiling because we know that it's a pretty safe bet we won't be seeing much rain during our upcoming four month trip to Mexico.

Still... it's just a little wet up here in the northwest United States...

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Sherman is back to his old self, and we are back on the road!

Parked on the street outside of Atwood Engine Services in Aberdeen, Washington is not the best place we have ever spent the night in the motorhome! In fact, it's probably near the bottom of the scale. I think somebody in Aberdeen could make a killing opening a muffler shop.... there are so many vehicles with loud exhaust!

Despite that, we slept surprisingly well.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Sherman's mechanical repair saga continues...

Yesterday morning at 7:45am (when the sun comes up around here!) I tried to fire up Sherman. I had changed all the spark plugs and plug wires late Sunday afternoon, and hadn't yet tested to see if it did any good.

He fired up fine, and idled fine to warm up. After 10 minutes or so, I put him into gear... moved about five feet, and he promptly sputtered and died. Arrrggghh. Trying to re-fire him immediately didn't do any good.

Monday, October 29, 2018

More mechanic work on a rainy day

We spent the day parked at the Home Depot. Not exactly where we like to spend our free time! But, it would have to do while we try to figure out these mechanical problems.

It rained most of the morning, just like they said it would. But then, it cleared up a bit, which was not in the forecast. When it did that, I seized the opportunity to go for a walk to the auto parts store... again!

Sunday, October 28, 2018

A little frustrated...

We got on the road yesterday morning to try to make it to Aberdeen, Washington... a distance of about 75 miles (120 kms). With Sherman not running properly, we honestly didn't know if we would make it. But the alternative was to call roadside assistance. We figured that if we drove, the worst case scenario would be that we have to call roadside assistance anyhow.

So off we went.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Obviously, there is more to the problem.

We spent the morning waiting for the new spark plug wires to arrive in Forks, Washington.

We walked over to get a few groceries. Pretty expensive! The prices were similar to Canada, except we had to add on 30% for the exchange rate. Yikes.

On the way back, we noticed a laundromat in the building right next door to where we had been parked the last two days. No idea why we hadn't noticed it before, but Ruth went over and got a load of laundry done while I was changing the plug wire.

Friday, October 26, 2018

A little bit of Mexico in Forks, Washington

When we arrived here in Forks, Washington Sherman was sputtering. There was a definite misfiring in the engine. We were still mobile... but you could tell something was not right.

We had to find somewhere to park for a day or two so we could get this problem sorted out.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Made it to Cape Flattery

One of the things we wanted to see here on the Olympic Peninsula was Cape Flattery... the furthest northwest point on mainland U.S.A.

And we made it! Sure glad we didn't attempt this in the middle of summer though. We can only imagine how busy this area is at that time of year. The weather may not be as nice now... but it sure is better that there's hardly any people around!

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

When you visit a rainforest... have to expect that it's going to rain!

We were actually pretty lucky yesterday though. The forecast wasn't great, and they're calling for showers on and off for the next week or so. Of course... the Olympic Peninsula gets a lot of rain.

First stop was a hike up to Marymere Falls.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Not the smoothest day, but it did have some high points too!

Slept fine at the 7 Cedars Casino. The fog looked like it was clearing, so we decided to go for a bike ride on the Olympic Discovery Trail located on the other side of the highway from the casino.

I got the bikes down off the rack... and Ruth's front tire was totally flat!

This actually didn't surprise me. When we bought the bike used, we knew the front tire sidewalls were badly cracked and the bike shop had given us two new tires as part of the deal. And I was going to install new tubes at the same time.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Lots to see once the fog cleared up!

Lots of photos from our day yesterday!

We said goodbye to Randy and Marilyn. Might be a while before we see them again! They always go to the Baja, and we will be doing mainland Mexico and the east coast for the next while. And we have no plans to come back to this area in the foreseeable future. Too bad, because we had lots of laughs. But, we're glad we were able to get together again. Thanks for the hospitality!

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Fastest border crossing ever!

Well, we are back in the U.S. of A.

It's always interesting crossing a border. You never quite know what's going to happen. Are they going to inspect your RV? Are they going to pull you in for further questioning? Will they take away any food? Will you answer all their questions properly?

We've crossed a lot of borders... this was one of the easiest ones ever!

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Last day in Canada, and a European RV for sale

Well, our time here in Southwest British Columbia is up! We're back on the road as of today, and heading across the border into the state of Washington. We're going to stay with friends in Bellingham for a night. I made our ferry reservation for Sunday after lunch to get across to the Olympic Peninsula from south of Bellingham.

We will meander our way around the Olympic Peninsula, and then head south along the coast and into Oregon.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Busy day visiting

Nice day here in southwestern British Columbia. Mostly clear skies, a little hazy, no wind, and highs of about 18C (65F). Not too shabby at all for mid October.

After breakfast, blog reader Shirley stopped by with her partner Richard. Shirley has been a regular reader of this blog since around the time we won a trip to Namibia.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Happy to be back in the motorhome!

Woke up to a chilly morning yesterday in Hamilton, Ontario. Breezy, overcast, and drizzly. Calling for highs of about 8C (46F). Nice day to be heading back to the west!

First thing we had to do was return the rental car. before 8:30am We drove out to the Avis location near the airport at 8:00am, dropped it off, and covered the bill. Hassle free. Total was $549 CAD ($425 USD). Not bad for a three week rental.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

If we were in the motorhome, that would have been a three day drive!

Long drive today as we made our way from Galetta (near Ottawa) to Ruth's sister's place in Hamilton, Ontario.

We decided to take the back route, which we would probably do again despite the fact the it took about two hours longer than if we had taken the main highway. Really nice scenery, and not much traffic.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Getting ready to head back to the motorhome

Well, our time here in Ontario is just about done. Our flight back to British Columbia departs Wednesday afternoon from Hamilton, and we'll be back in the motorhome for Wednesday evening.

But we're still in Ottawa area! So we'll take the day Tuesday to drive back to Ruth's sister's place in Hamilton, and then spend the night there before heading to drop off the rental car and then to the Hamilton airport for our Swoop flight to Abbotsford.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Fun weekend with the boys.

Great weekend away with the boys. Always lots of laughs. We all ate too much, and drank just enough. Sill, managed to not kill too many brain cells. We do find that we're pacing ourselves a bit better as we get older!

We're all the same age, so the conversation tends to revolve around retirement, travel, and our aging parents. And reminiscing about some of the crazy antics we got up to when we were young. In fact, I did a slide show of pictures from a ski trip we all did way back in 1985. Too funny looking back on those days.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Looking forward to the weekend!

Well, today is the start of my annual cottage weekend with the group of guy friends that I've known since I was 16 years old. We all keep in touch throughout the year via email and facebook, but it's pretty rare that any of us get together otherwise. This annual event has become pretty important for all of us as we get older and realize that we're not going to be around forever.

In fact, one of the fellows isn't going to be there because of a family health problem. Not his, fortunately, but it still reminds us to enjoy life to the fullest as we don't know when our own number is going to come up.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Dripping with sweat!

Another warm day yesterday here in the Ottawa area. But it's the humidity that kills you around here. Same thing all summer.

After having spent the last five summers in Saskatchewan where there is very low humidity, we could never live in the Ottawa area again. So much more comfortable in Saskatchewan.

But, the humidity did not stop us from going out and getting some exercise. We drove down to the Morris Island Conservation area where there are some nice walking trails.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

We didn't bring any shorts!

And we didn't bring any shorts with us on this trip, because we didn't expect the temperature to get up to 27C (81F). But that's what happened here in Ottawa yesterday, and when things get warm in Ottawa, there is usually fairly high humidity... so it gets muggy too.

But, we're okay with that. Still, it would have been nice to have a pair of shorts on instead of jeans!

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Thanksgiving Monday

While most of you were having a normal Monday, up here in Canada we were having Thanksgiving Monday! Yes, it was a holiday here in the great white north... and time to get together for a feast with the family.

Originally, we were just going to have our son and his girlfriend stop by for hamburgers. Then, Ruth spotted a turkey on sale for 95 cents a pound or so. And the next thing you know, we were pulling out all the stops for a big meal!

Monday, October 8, 2018

What's up for the next six months...?

Sherman the motorhome is waiting for us in British Columbia. We arrive back there on October 17th.

From there, we have about five and a half weeks to get from the Vancouver area to Mission, Texas. We could take a direct route that would be about 4,000 kms (2,500 miles), but there are some things we want to see in Washington state and Oregon, and northern California.

Sunday, October 7, 2018


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Saturday, October 6, 2018

"You're not going to die or anything, are you?"

Took a break from the blog yesterday. We're always really busy whenever we come back to Ottawa for a visit. There is always something on the go, and when there's not, we want to spend time with the grandkids. They grow up so fast!

And on Thursday evening I went out and played some pool and had a few beers with an old friend of mine. And didn't get to bed until after 1:30am! Yikes. Good thing I don't do that very often!

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Out for a walk on the tracks

So we're visiting with our daughter and her family the other day, and grandson Cameron (age 7) has been taught by his dad how to play chess.  He wants to play against me. Now, I remember how to play chess, but it's probably been 40 years since I've played!

But how tough can it be...? He's 7 years old!

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Back in Ottawa

Despite the fact that Saskatchewan is now officially home, we still feel like we're coming back home when we arrive in Ottawa. We lived most of our lives in Ottawa, and brought up our kids here, and still have lots of family here... so we enjoy coming back for a visit to see all of our family and friends once or twice a year.

On Monday, we drove from Toronto up to Ottawa, with a detour to Sandbanks Provincial Park. Unfortunately we did not visit the park itself!

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

September Expenses

Well, here's our September expense report. Grand total for the month was $2,735 CAD ($2,150 USD). Not bad, especially when you consider that we spent yet another $1,000 on motorhome repairs.

But on a year to date basis for the first nine months, we're way higher than normal because of the now $8,200 CAD ($6,500 USD) that we have spent on repairs and maintenance this year.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Into the big city of Toronto

We had a late breakfast with Ruth's family in Guelph yesterday morning. Didn't get any photos. Just a greasy spoon breakfast, but we left with our stomachs full and we didn't need any lunch.

From Guelph, we headed into downtown Toronto.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Busy couple of days!

Well, a little catching up to do today as we missed doing a blog post yesterday. That hasn't happened for a long time!

When the alarm went off yesterday morning at 6:30am, we proceeded to fall right back to sleep because the AirBnb where we are staying has a third occupant in the room beside us who was not very quiet!

Friday, September 28, 2018

Always love to get a great deal!

Went out for a 9 km (5.6 mile) walk yesterday before lunch. Took us an hour and a half, so we had a pretty decent pace going.

Not that scenic though... just went through a few neighborhoods here in Hamilton, Ontario, and then up on the escarpment that gave us some views, although the views weren't that spectacular!

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Younger next year

Well, we got caught up on our sleep, and really didn't do much of anything else yesterday. I had already got my exercise for the day when I walked from the airport to the car rental place. I did exactly 4 kms (2.5 miles) in 36 minutes so I was moving at a pretty fast pace!

When we were visiting my uncle in Prince George last month, he gave me a book to read. He's 73 years old, and in pretty good shape. They do lots of hiking, biking, and kayaking.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Made it to Ontario

Another nice day yesterday in Crescent Beach, British Columbia.

Just hung around and chatted for the morning, and Ruth did a bunch of laundry and got the fridge cleaned and made some enchiladas for lunch for the four of us.

While she was doing all of that, I was cleaning Sherman's awning.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Beautiful day in Crescent Beach

Gorgeous fall day yesterday. High of about 18C (65F) and beautiful sunshine.

Went for a walk before lunch yesterday just to explore the area. Crescent Beach used to be an area where Vancouverites would have summer cottages, but as the greater city expanded, it is now full of expensive homes itself as many of the cottage properties have been removed and big pricey homes have been put in.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Fun times at the big RV Show

We said goodbye to longtime friends Cory and Elaine. We've known them 11 years and yet we've only spent time together twice! But getting together is almost like we do so on a much more regular basis. Lots of laughs, and I'm sure we'll be seeing them again sooner than 11 years from now!

We hit the road, heading towards Vancouver, and the big Abbotsford RV show.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Future travel plans

Yesterday was the first time in a long time that we did not take any photos! That's because it poured with rain pretty much the whole day. Once in the afternoon it stopped for a few minutes, and Ruth and I decided to go for a walk and get some exercise. We went into the motorhome to get our jackets on, and it started spitting again. We thought we would wait it out a few minutes, but it just got heavier, and heavier.

I went to have a nap instead!

Saturday, September 22, 2018

In true "Kevin and Ruth" style, we found a cheaper way

Said goodbye to our new friends Alison and Richard at about 10:30am. Richard had actually left for work at 7:00am, so it was only Alison and the dog, Roxy left behind.

We left Savona, and had a short drive to Cache Creek where we would then head south towards Hope, British Columbia... about a 232 km (144 mile) drive.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Lots of people to visit in this area!

As we were saying goodbye to Lorraine and David, she suggested that we stop in at the O'Keefe Ranch where David was doing some work. It was along our way anyhow and we were certainly curious about what he was building there.

He had told us about the short term contract he was completing there... constructing the popular "Field of Screams" haunted corn maze in time for the Halloween season!

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Finally, Sherman's repairs are complete!

We arrived at the Kal Tire store at the north end of Vernon at around 9:00am. When it was my turn at the front counter, I pointed back at the motorhome and explained that I'm trying to get a front wheel alignment. The guy took a glance over towards Sherman and said "it won't fit on our alignment rack."

I walked out of the office and past the service bays. And as I walked past the bays with the wheel alignment machines I thought to myself "why won't it fit??"

So I returned to the office to ask the question.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

This is becoming a frustrating problem.

So at 8:00am yesterday, we arrived at the place in Kelowna where we had an appointment for Sherman's wheel alignment. They took one look at him and said "oh, sorry, we can't do an alignment on that... the heads don't stick out far enough from the wheels".

And I knew exactly what they meant... some laser wheel alignment machines have heads that mount onto the front wheels, and because Sherman's wheels are inset from the body, they wouldn't be able to read the laser properly.

So that was a waste of time.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Kelowna is definitely a bike friendly city

We had an early lunch and set off for a bike ride. Actually, the plan was a combination bike  and hike, but when we got to the top of the hill the burnt trees from recent forest fires didn't look that enticing for a great hiking experience, so we headed back down the hill and used some of the many bike trails in Kelowna area.

It's definitely a bicycle friendly city.

Monday, September 17, 2018

The big city...

With a population of around 130,000 people, Kelowna obviously isn't that big of a city. But it's the biggest city that we've been around since we skirted around the Edmonton area at the end of May. And it's pretty busy, and there seems to be a lot of traffic. But I guess that's the case with any city, isn't it?

I guess we've been out in the countryside for too long!

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Just another great day living and traveling in a motorhome

Woke up here at Twin Lakes Golf and RV Resort and had pretty much decided to stay another day. There's a short hike up the hill behind the park that we wanted to do, and the back roads here are great for cycling. In keeping with our desire to stay active, it seemed like a good spot to spend a day.

Plus, we didn't really want to be in Kelowna until this afternoon, and staying here would mean we didn't have to look for another spot to stay along the way. Besides, Kelowna is only 88 kms (55 miles) away.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Getting lots of use with our new bikes!

In Oliver, we noticed a Telus cellular store across the street from where we had been parked at the car wash. Our cell phone hasn't been working for about two weeks now. I'm still using a Telcel Mexico SIM card in it, but I didn't know if the problem was with the SIM card, or the phone itself. I had done an online chat with Telcel, and their records show that the account is active and there are no problems.

When in the Telus store, we put the Telcel SIM card in the sales girl's phone. Nope. "Cannot register on Network". However putting her SIM card in our phone? It worked right away. So at least we know the problem is not with our hardware.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Repairs done, and back in Canada!

We spent yesterday morning at the mechanic shop in Oroville, Washington. Arrived at 9:00am, and they went right to work changing Sherman's right lower ball joint and control arm assembly. We stayed in the waiting room for the entire 3 hours it took to perform the operation.

The patient came though it all successfully, but he still needs a wheel alignment.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

A short hike is better than no hike at all!

First thing yesterday morning, we drove into town from our camping spot out at Palmer Lake. No traffic on the road at all, except for one border patrol vehicle that passed us.

Got ourselves parked up in our usual spot behind the public library in Oroville. We've been here in the Oroville area since September 4th now! On that day, I said "No worries, we have lots of time and can wait here a week if we have to."

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Our package appears to be on its way this afternoon

We dropped off the part to be returned at the Fedex outlet near Oroville, WA. In the meantime, I was keeping an eye on the tracking details for the shipment we are waiting for.

The part had shipped from Seattle... so you would think it would not take long to get to Oroville! However... they shipped it to Oakland, California first! Then, it flew from Oakland to Spokane, where it is now awaiting delivery by truck to Oroville... scheduled to arrive before 4:30pm this afternoon!

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Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Change of scenery

I spent much of yesterday morning getting our part sorted out for Sherman. That part is now on it's way from Seattle, but likely won't arrive until tomorrow. And, of course we still have to get the incorrect part returned to the supplier who sold it to us. They sent us a shipping label, and we have to take the part to the Fedex pickup location here in Oroville this morning in order to return it and receive credit.

We went over to the park where our friend Tioga George is still patiently awaiting the possible return of his pet Boid.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Stuck in Oroville, Washington.

Which is not too bad, really. It's better than being stuck in Tuk!

But, we really had no intention on being in the U.S. quite this long. It was supposed to be two to three days, and now we're going on six days and it will probably be three more! All because of a mis-packaged part!

Sunday, September 9, 2018


Yesterday morning, we did a nice bike ride along the Similkameen River. It's an old railway line that's been turned into a horse/walk/bike trail. So far, it's only 4 miles (7 kms) long, so 8 miles (14 kms) return. But there are plans to extend it, and based on how they've done it so far, it's a fairly expensive trail!

It was another beautiful day, and the temperatures have cooled off a bit. High of about 75F (24C).

Saturday, September 8, 2018

It's a good thing we like it here!

Because it looks like we're staying a few more days.

We had Sherman at the mechanic's for 9:00am, as agreed. We got the bikes off the back, and left Sherman to have his lower control arms installed, as well as the new bell crank for the driver's side that I had bought in the spring and never had installed.

We rode our bikes from the mechanic's to the park where our friend Tioga George was looking for his missing Boid.

Friday, September 7, 2018

August Expenses

Well, I had better stop procrastinating on this!

August was another expensive month. In fact, 2018 is ramping up to be our most expensive year ever since we embarked on this travel based lifestyle in 2007!

Mostly, related to motorhome expenses. Sherman treated us really well the first ten years, with only minimal basic maintenance type of expenses. And, it helped that I was able to perform a lot of the repairs myself. But this year there has been a lot of stuff, starting with the break down we had in Mexico.

Meeting Tioga George!

They were calling for a warm day, so we got a fairly early start on our hike up Whistler's Canyon. Plus, we had made plans to meet a special visitor after lunch, so we didn't want to be too late returning from our hike.

I had sort of figured that it was about a 6 mile (10 km) hike, but as we got into it I realized that it would be a little longer than that!

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Everything ran perfectly!

We left our fantastic free overnight spot at the trailhead and drove the short distance into town and parked up behind the library to use their fast free wifi internet. One of the things I had to do was to track down what happened to the other control arm we were waiting on for Sherman.

Long story short, it turned out that it had to be shipped from a different warehouse, and that warehouse was located in Indiana. Even though I had ordered it through Amazon, it was a 3rd party supplier and they made an error by only sending one tracking number.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Into the United States for a few days

Wow... we loved this area between Greenwood and Osoyoos, British Columbia. Just gorgeous scenery.

We stayed in the supposedly $10 a night municipal campground in Greenwood. The sign said that someone would be by to collect the fee... but nobody ever showed up. So we left. Don't feel too guilty about it though... we donated $10 to their library for some used books. And really, if you're not going to come and collect the money, then we don't have a lot of sympathy for your loss! It was just dry camping anyhow... no hookups, so we didn't cost them anything by staying there.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Movin' on down the road...

We said goodbye to friends Betty and Jim yesterday morning, after Betty made us delicious omelettes for breakfast! They sure looked after us... thanks guys!

Again, we did not drive far. Our destination was the "smallest city in British Columbia"... Greenwood, population 708.

Monday, September 3, 2018

There were still bugs from the Yukon plastered on there!

We had breakfast together at Jim and Betty's place. Ruth made some pancakes and we brought over a jug of our coveted real Canadian maple syrup to share with them.

Then, we had a walking tour of their 10 acre property here beside the Kettle River and then set out in their car to have a look at some of the sites to see in the Christina Lake area.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Arrived in time for happy hour!

We woke up to a bit of a smoky day in Castlegar, but we decided to go to a park and get a bike ride in. Not much to see in the downtown area, but we did enjoy the riverfront path and a visit to Zuckerberg Island.

After lunch, we drove to the Christina Lake area, still heading west on highway 3 towards Osoyoos.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Spent some more money

I'm not looking forward to adding up our August expense report later on today! It was another costly month! And we added to it again yesterday.

We drove from Salmo to Castlegar yesterday, as we are slowly making our way west to Osoyoos.

Friday, August 31, 2018

If they call it the Balancing Rock Trail, there must be a balancing rock somewhere!

Another beautiful day, and again with much less forest fire smoke. Unfortunately, the fires are still burning here in much of British Columbia, but I guess the winds have shifted enough that the smoke is not bothering us in this area.

We like to take advantage of the perfect hiking weather, so that's exactly what we did!

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Looks like we're taking a little detour into the U.S. next week...

We had a nice day yesterday! The weather was perfect, and there wasn't very much smoke in the air. We had parked overnight at the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area, right at their info center. So when it opened, we went in to see what trails were the best.

It's mostly a wetlands area, but there is some forest as well. We decided on a one hour hike to get the blood flowing. It's only 4 kms (2.5 miles), but we wanted to do a bike ride afterwards as well.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

No schedule for the next four weeks!

We were in Creston, British Columbia with the motorhome back in November of 2007, and my comment on the blog at the time was's a really nice town. Seemed like a place we could live, actually.

And we still like it! In fact, we might hang out here for a couple of days. We have no schedule between now and September 25th when we have to be at Abbotsford (a suburb of Vancouver) to fly back to Ontario for Ruth's nephew's wedding.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Not a very smooth day, but we did get a couple of things accomplished

Well, lots to talk about today!

From the Wasa Provincial Park, I called the Kal Tire store in Cranbrook, only about 35 kms (22 miles) south of the park. Fortunately, Sherman's two front tires had arrived! They said they weren't very busy, and should be able to install them without much of a wait.

Lindsey and Justin followed along to see if we could figure out how long it would take to do the job, but by the time we got there it was almost 11:00am. I sort of figured they would end up carrying on on their own towards Kelowna because they fly out of there on Wednesday morning.

Monday, August 27, 2018

A nice hike, a beach, and some rain!

We said goodbye to the relatives, and got Sherman packed up to hit the road. Not going far though, only to Wasa Provincial Park between Fairmont and Cranbrook.

First stop though, was just outside of Fairmont at the Hoodoo Trail. Only a short 3 kms (1.8 mile) hike, which is enough when you've got a 5 year old with you! Cameron (age 7) is pretty good, but Sadie isn't quite into hiking just yet!

Sunday, August 26, 2018

They finally arrived!

So yesterday morning we were waiting for our daughter Lindsey, son in law Justin, and grandkids Cameron and Sadie to arrive. They had been stopped by a highway accident that closed the road and they ended up having to get a motel room for the night.

Then, they got on the road at 5:45am to do the final part of the drive here. They still had another two and a half hours or so two go when I got message from our daughter... the road was closed again due to another accident!

Saturday, August 25, 2018

It didn't take long to remember why we don't use RV parks

Woke up Friday morning to a few drops of rain on the roof. We decided to get up and drive down the hill we were parked on and into the town of Invermere about 25 kms (15 miles) away. Good thing we did, because on the way it actually rained fairly steadily for about 45 minutes, so we didn't have to deal with the wet gravel road.

Found the visitors info place in Invermere and they had a good size parking lot and fast free wifi. Had breakfast there and then went to stock up on some groceries because our daughter Lindsey and her family were scheduled to arrive yesterday evening.

Friday, August 24, 2018

We didn't play tourist for very long!

We got up at 6:00am yesterday morning and started driving right away. We were only about 100 kms (62 miles) from Lake Louise, and we figured we would get there before the crowds.


Thursday, August 23, 2018

Jasper, Lake Louise, and Banff are beautiful, however...

They are not so beautiful during busy tourist season! What a circus!

We never "planned" on being in this area at all. And certainly not at this time of year. But when I checked the map to figure out our route down to Fairmont Hot Springs, coming down the Icefields Parkway was the only route that made sense. To go any other way would have added at least 250 kms (155 miles). Although, it might have been worth it!

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Shattered into a thousand pieces...

The day started off fairly clear, but as we made our way to the town of McBride, it got smokier. Which is a real shame, because that area is beautiful with the mountains on either side of the Robson Valley.

We were wanting to do a hike, but there was really no point. Not good to be breathing in the smoky air, and we wouldn't get much of a view anyhow.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Another great free campsite!

Said goodbye to my Uncle Dave and Aunt Melissa, and hope to see them again somewhere in the world! They were talking about going to Newfoundland and renting an RV, so maybe they'll do that while we are there next summer. That would be fun.

We took off on the Yellowhead Highway #16, heading southeast towards Jasper National Park.

Monday, August 20, 2018

A nice day around Prince George, British Columbia

We had a really nice day yesterday. Uncle Dave and Aunt Melissa planned a three hour hike for us all, and we were going to do it in the morning, but as 10 o'clock rolled around we decided to go out for lunch first and then do the hike afterwards.

They took us out to the Northern Lights Estate Winery. We didn't go for the wine... but we had a really good meal!

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Seems there is no escaping it

We were laughing the other day about how long it takes us to get anywhere. Our regular readers know that when we're traveling in the motorhome, 200 kms (124 miles) a day is a long driving day. But that's because there is too much to see along the way!

And every little town has an interesting story to tell. Yesterday was a good example.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

An interesting day... a bear scare, forest fires, and helicopters

We had delicious bacon and egg breakfast with my cousin Calvin and his wife Brenda, but being a work day they were soon off to the daily grind, leaving us to depart whenever we were ready.

I decided this was a good opportunity to change Sherman's engine oil, so I got everything out and crawled underneath Sherman to drain the oil and change the filter. I was about to screw on the new filter when I saw something move out of the corner of my eye. I looked over and had to do a double take!

Friday, August 17, 2018

Well, four new tires are better than none

We went back over to the Kal Tire store first thing Thursday morning to get Sherman's new tires installed. But unfortunately, the two tires we were waiting for didn't show up! When I had ordered them, we were told they would be in "Wednesday at the latest"... but it didn't happen.

So, there were four tires there. The other two they were now told would show up Monday, which is too late for us!

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Out with the old, and in with the new...

We knew that Sherman's new tires wouldn't all be delivered to the tire shop until close to noon, so we headed out early to the Twin Falls Recreation area near Smithers. We had read that it was just a short hike to the falls, but we wanted to do a little more than that so we parked where the paved road ended and walked the 2 kms (1.3 miles) each way on the gravel road to the trailhead.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Well, we spent a chunk of money yesterday.

And the spending is not over yet!

It used to be, during our full time working days that when we spent a bunch of money, the attitude was "oh well, we'll make some more tomorrow!" But it's not so easy any more with our sporadic income.

Let me tell you how we spent $776 CAD ($600 USD)...

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

A bit of frustration, but it ended up better than expected

Yesterday's first stop was back at the visitors center in Hazelton to use their free wifi. They also have a free RV dump station there, so we took advantage of that by using Sherman's shower and dumping the grey tank and filling the fresh water tank.

Hazelton is what we would call an RVFT. What's an RVFT, you ask...?

Monday, August 13, 2018

We can't believe there are empty campsites at this beautiful place

And last night, we were the only ones there!

Like I said yesterday, Anderson Flats is a kind of an odd Provincial park. We found out a little more about it when a couple of conservation officers stopped by to warn us about the current fire ban. The area has only been a provincial park since 2007. Apparently somebody (with the last name Anderson) died and left the land to the province.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

We think we'll stay here another day!

Another beautiful day. Clear blue skies and high of 28C (83F).That doesn't help the forest fire situation southeast of here, but it sure is nice for us travelers!

We had originally thought about making it to Smithers yesterday because it's not that far. But we're in no rush, and we got sidetracked to a beautiful campsite!

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Totem poles near Kitwanga, British Columbia

We had a nice drive yesterday from Stewart to Kitwanga, British Columbia. And the weather was perfect. We didn't leave Stewart until almost noon. I tried cleaning the idle air control valve on the throttle body to fix Sherman's high idle problem, but as I expected it didn't change anything.

It may need a new one, or it could be something else entirely. We'll get it checked when we get to Smithers.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Sherman is getting old

Just like the rest of us!

We woke up yesterday morning and drove the short distance back across the Canadian border from Hyder, Alaska to Stewart, British Columbia. It was just starting to spit with rain as we pulled up to the border station. The Canadian guard asked a couple of questions, and scanned our passports and we were back in Canada... almost as if we never left.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

We heard a commotion with lots of splashing water!

It's an interesting situation here at the border of British Columbia and Alaska.

The town of Stewart, British Columbia (pop 500) is located right on the border with Alaska. And the town of Hyder, Alaska (pop 84) is located right at the same border. There is a Canadian border station here, but there is no U.S. border station. It's probably the only place in North America where you can legally cross in to the United States and not be interrogated by the border patrol people!

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

This has to be one of the best drives in Canada...

We've done a lot of driving the past four days! That's actually a good thing though, it gives us the opportunity to take a couple of rest days as we want to if we're at a place that we think warrants more time.

And we think we're at one of those places now. The scenery around Stewart, British Columbia at the border with Hyder, Alaska is amazing!

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Forest Fire!

Yesterday, we planned on driving as far as the town of Dease Lake. But at our first stop of the day at Boya Lake Provincial Park, we spoke to the park operator and she said "oh, you won't want to stay in Dease Lake, it will be a zoo". Apparently there was a bad forest fire burning at the nearby community of Telegraph Creek, and that area is under a full evactuation order.

We had all day that we could drive, so we weren't that worried. We stayed at Boya Lake and had breakfast and went for a 3 km (1.9 mile) hike to get the blood flowing.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Goodbye Yukon!

Wow... that was a great trip to Canada's north, wasn't it?

It was on June 5th that we arrived in the Yukon, and we crossed the border heading south into British Columbia yesterday, on August 5th. So while we figured we would be approximately two months in the north, we didn't plan it to be exactly two months!

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Fantastic views above Carcross, Yukon

We wanted to get our hike in early, and we had overnighted at the trailhead, so we were on the trail at 8:15am.

We've been using a great website called Yukon Hiking and they listed this trail as "moderate". Well, maybe it's moderate to a 25 year old, but for us we would have rated it "difficult". We sure wouldn't want to do a hike any more difficult than this one!

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Good thing we didn't meet any oncoming traffic!

We went into downtown Whitehorse on Friday morning, filled up the fuel tank, and emptied the holding tanks. Also did some stocking up at both the grocery store and the liquor store, There aren't many services along the Cassiar Highway so we wanted to be prepared.

Then, we headed back down the highway that takes you to Skagway, Alaska. Only as far as Carcross though! I had read about a fantastic hike in the area, and we wanted to have a better look at the town as well.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Ready to hit the road!

We've been parked up at our friends Art and Jean's place in Whitehorse, Yukon for the past 4 nights. They've let us use their water hose to give Sherman a much needed clean up!

Even though we had used a pressure washer when we were up in Tok, Alaska to get rid of some of the Dempster Highway mud off Sherman's underside, there was still a lot of it that I didn't get at the time.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Day trip to Skagway, Alaska

I can understand why people choose to live in Whitehorse. Especially in the summertime, when you've got so many daylight hours! There is just soooo much to see and do within a two hour drive.

Yesterday, our friends Jean and Art took us in their truck for a day trip down to Skagway, Alaska... only a 160 km (100 mile) drive each way.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

July Expenses

Well, not a bad month considering we spent almost a thousand dollars on fuel! We knew that was going to be our major expense up here in the north, so it's not that much of a shock.

We spent a total of $2,069 CAD ($1,600 USD) for the month.

Here's how it all broke down...

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Chinook salmon in the Yukon River

The Yukon is still experiencing a heat wave. It's beautiful though... sunny, clear blue sky and the temperature yesterday was about 28C (82F). Supposed to be the same today.

We had parked up in downtown and I took the bikes off to go for a ride to the fish ladder. They have a nice cycling and walking path here in Whitehorse that runs on both sides of the Yukon River.

Monday, July 30, 2018

We are back in Whitehorse!

We left Whitehorse on June 15th, so we've been off exploring the Yukon for about six weeks. And of course, that included a few days in Northwest Territories and Alaska as well.

Since we left Whitehorse, we have driven about 3,700 kms (2,300 miles), and much of it was on dirt roads!

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Much better than a busy campground...

We headed further south in order to do more exploring of Yukon's Kluane National Park. There were a couple of other hiking trails along the way we wanted to do. The first one was listed as "a short 0.6 km hike to the rock glacier", so we stopped there and got to the trailhead where the sign said it was 1.6 kms each way. Hmm.

So, we went back and got some water and set off to do it anyhow.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

A steep hike in Yukon's Kluane National Park on the King's Throne Trail

We had made plans to meet up with Dan and Isabelle at 9:00am down in the day use area at the Kathleen Lake Campground in Kluane National Park.

We left our motorhomes parked there, and we set off on the King's Throne Trail. There are two sections to the trail... the first part leads to "the seat" of the King's Throne... and then the trail branches off to the summit of the mountain. But the summit is 19 kms (12 miles) return, and it's a rated as a difficult day hike.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Doing some camping in Kluane National Park

There's not a whole lot to see in Haines Junction itself, other than the visitor's center and the fact that it's a fairly scenic location. But, it does have an interesting little church as well that's worth a stop...

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Up close on the Kluane Icefields and Canada's Highest Mountain

Wow. What a day we had yesterday! I don't even know how to come up with the right term to describe it. We thought the scenic flight we did in Yukon's Tombstone Park was spectacular (and it was!) but this may have been even better!

The largest non-polar icefield in the world is located in Yukon's Kluane National Park. The ice and snow stretches for further than you can see, and in places, the ice is over 700 meters thick.

To see it all up close is a very surreal experience!

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Grizzly bear sighting!

You may have noticed that we haven't mentioned a lot of animal sightings lately. That's because we haven't seen any! Well, that's not totally true. We saw a couple of caribou off far in the distance on the Top of the World Highway. And a few rabbits and other small mammals. But other than that, we hardly saw anything all the way up to Tuktoyaktuk and back... and we hadn't seen a bear for over a month!

Until yesterday...

Money in Monaco – a quick traveller’s guide

Even if you’ve never heard of Monaco, you’ve probably heard about Princess Grace. She was an American actress named Grace Kelly, and she won the heart and crown of the Monaco monarch, Prince Rainier III. She was a big Hollywood star from age 20 to 26, when she retired from acting to marry her Prince. Also, Monaco citizens are called Monégasque. This is the ethnicity and language of indigenous natives, though Italian, French, English, and Occitan are also common tongues.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

The shores of Kluane Lake, Yukon

Another gorgeous day in the Yukon, which along with Alaska is experiencing a northern heat wave. Yesterday was 28C (83F) and sunny where we are.

We drove from our beautiful boondocking spot near Snag Lake down to the community of Burwash Landing, and then to Destruction Bay. Lots of gorgeous scenery along the way...

Monday, July 23, 2018

A dead end with a beautiful view...

We slept in Sunday morning... didn't  get up until almost 8am. And by the time we had some breakfast and got ourselves ready to go around 10am, the campground had pretty much emptied right out!

Still, we wandered down to the waterfront before we left to see if there was any wildlife about.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

I bet we were carrying 500 lbs of mud!

The town of Tok is not a tourist destination. It exists to service travelers as they pass through on their way to a tourist destination. So there's not much to see or do there. And other than the mountains that are visible far on the horizon, it's not that scenic of a place.

However... it has all the travelers services you would need. A couple of full service RV parks, 3 or 4 fuel stations, a big visitors info center, some tourist trinket shops, a couple of mechanics, a couple of motels, a grocery store, and a small airport.

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!