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Telegraph Cove, BC Canada
Summer 2 0 1 7

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Paddlers Inn picking up customers
Tuesday, July 25, 2017: Paddlers Inn is a lodge located in the Broughton Archipelego about an hour by power boat from Telegraph Cove. They operate from Telegraph Cove by picking up customers from our docks. The in caters to kayaks or human powered boats. It will take about two days to paddle from Telegraph Cove to Paddlers Inn. Because of the distance, and for those who don't want to camp on their journey to the Inn, you can take a water taxi or Paddlers Inn will pick you up. You can also fly to Paddlers Inn by chartering a sea plane. Once at the Inn, a customer can rent a kayak or just bring your own kayak as three customers on doing on this trip. This looks like a fun way to enjoy remote kayaking without having to bring camping gear and food.

New visitors to Telegraph Cove

Sunday, July 23, 2017: For the first time since our arrival, sea planes landed just outside the cove and then "taxied" to a dock, apparently for lunch. On their approach to landing they both flew directly over us.

Click the photo for a view of the Orina from Deer Harbor, Washington. It sailed into the cove yesterday. It is unique in shape and age for the cove.

An HDT towing an Elite Suites into the park

Easy way to get in and out

 

 

Saturday, July 22, 2017: One of the regular visitors to Telegraph Cove came in today with a Volvo HDT (heavy duty truck) towing an Elite Suites, a premium fifth wheel. I had to admire both the fifth wheel and tow vehicle. No doubt the fifth wheel is very heavy requiring a substantial tow vehicle but this one is over kill. I suspect the HDT was purchased for some other reason. One of the positives about owning a fifth wheel that they are generally larger and more convenient than a motor home. But the huge negative is arriving at the camping location then forced to use the large tow vehicle as a tourist vehicle. In this case, the HDT is a wonderful, safe tow vehicle but would be next to impossible to use as tourist transportation.

Click the above photo for an interesting photo of the marina on Malcolm Island.

Finding the north end of Nimkish Lake
A flower for my friend Richard who takes photos of every flower and leaf he sees. The beach at the south end of Nimkish LakeFriday, July 21, 2017: There is a 23 km long lake near us but we've never seen it because of the heavy tree growth. I drove some gravel roads and found both ends of the lake. No one is camped at the north end but lots of folks at the south end. Those are all wind surfing enthusiasts waiting for the right amount of wind. Click the above photo for the sunset I experienced last night. The flower at left is for my friend Richard who always takes photos of flowers. Click that photo for a panorama of Nimkish Lake. For a panorama of the south end of the lake, click the right photo.
Campsite at Ida LakeIda Lake
Rough pit toilets at Ida lakeThursday, July 20, 2017: Gwen wanted to stay home and sew today so I took myself on an adventure to try to find Ida Lake. We had already tried to find it another time but gave up. This time, I had a good map which would help. It is only about twenty minutes from our campsite in Telegraph Cove. To find it, you must drive 12 km on a well graded gravel road into the nearby mountains. It is a nice size lake, perfect for a quiet kayak paddle or for fishing. The campsites are cleared and level with a picnic table. The one campsite in the photo has a small concrete pad for some reason. There are pit toilets at the entrance to the camping area. This would be our campsite of choice if we were not hosting and if we didn't have to drive Miss Dory 12 km on a dusty gravel road. There are no services, no water and no other campers. Some of the campers coming into Telegraph Cove are shocked at the $47.25/night price tag for camping here. Now I have something to tell them of where to go for FREE camping. I doubt that one in a hundred would be interested but it will likely make the price tag on this resort space look more affordable. Click all photos for another view.
Costco in Courtney, BC

Interesting sign in a Campbell River storeWalmart in Campbell River, BC

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017: Today is our "day off" so we decided to drive to Campbell River to visit a quilt store, laundromat, Costco and Walmart. Campbell River is a long drive, two hours and ten minutes one way. Costco is located in Courtney, BC, another 45 minutes to the south of Campbell River, so it was a lot of driving today. We learned that food and gas is much cheaper in Campbell River. The weather is also about 10 degrees warmer, hence most tourists stop their northward travel in Campbell River. It is Campbell River where we stopped in 2004 to take the ferry to
Quadra Island, then another ferry to Cortez Island for our week long kayak trip into Desolation Sound. I was somewhat disappointed with Costco because, except for the hockey sticks, their inventory was the same as the states. Walmart was also the same except for the spelling of Supercenter (Supercentre). I DID find the orange sign in one Campbell River store to be funny, no firing of guns or playing with the toys in THAT store. The laundry was about $10 cheaper too.

Cruise ship, "The World" passing in the strait
Tuesday, July 18, 2017: I happen to be at the marina when the cruise ship, "The World" passed by in the strait. Most of the boats in our marina are here to fish. We often get large cruisers or sailboats who enter the cove to refuel. But those boats leave quickly to continue exploring the strait and beyond. Click the photo for a larger view of "The World". It is unusual for a cruise ship to be in the Johnstone Strait. 90% of the cruise ships sail on the other side of the islands in view of the cove. The islands hide the cruise ships.
Gwen and me in a double kayak

Hiking to Blinkhorn Beacon

Monday, July 17, 2017: This was a special day for us because we got to participate in a four hour paddle to Blinkhorn Beacon and return on the Johnstone Strait, BC Canada. We are only 150 meters from the North Island Kayak company. They take out many tours each day starting at 2 hour trips up to 8 day trips to beautiful locations on the islands surrounding us in Telegraph Cove. We did the half day trip after an invitation from NIK management. We love the perks of being a host at the Cove. While on our paddle, we saw Bald Eagles, Dalls Porpoise, Sea Urchins, schools of fish, and a deer only a few meters from us on an island. Our destination was the Blinkhorn Beacon toward the east. We reached it at the halfway point, beached our boats and took a short hike to the beacon. It was good to stretch the legs after being unexercised in the kayak. I used my action camera for both stills and a short video of the trip. You can see the video here. Click both photos for more views.

Gwen is shell hunting again
Sunday, July 16, 2017: We take a hike to a cove near our park which is not visited by others because the trail is not marked well. While there we saw kayakers returning to North Island Kayak, a Bald Eagle, a large fishing vessel and, Gwen did her usual search for shells. I did a 180 degree panorama, click the photo to see it. There is a small island just off the cove and another small island on the other side of it. We may get to kayak tomorrow so might get a look at the other side of these islands.
Filomi Days in Port Hardy
The bag pipe band Bucket Ride How high can we go?
Saturday, July 15, 2017: Filomi Days in Port Hardy, British Columbia, the northern most city on Vancouver Island is this weekend. Gwen and I went today and saw parts of the parade which included fire engines, timber cutting equipment, huge rolling cranes and school entries. We were anxious to see the native crafts and unique art work with all the booths set up for the occasion. We were disappointed with few "creative" booths and the ONE item I wanted to get, we couldn't figure out were we would put it so, passed it by. In fact, all we bought was for the grandkids. We enjoyed watching the people at the festival and all the kid activities. I took a short video of the Build-a-Car-Race. Watch it here. Click every photo for another view.
Another small boat in the marina
Friday, July 14, 2017: Another 50 foot boat in the marina today. This one came loaded with two kayaks to. It's unfortunate they can't afford a washer and dryer, note the laundry hanging along the side. Click the photo for a better view of the cockpit. I also took a photo of the yacht Gwen and I can afford.
Ferry to Sointula and to Alert Bay
Crew watching the ramp descend Quadra Queen leaving Sointula Visitor information for Sointula
Bikes to use on the island Pebble beach Sointula Bakery
Thursday, July 13, 2017: While Gwen stayed home to sew, I took the ferry from Port McNeill to Sointula on Malcolm Island. The Sointula community has an interesting history. A group of Finnish immagrants got a land grant from Canada to establish a "place of harmony" in Malcolm Island in 1901. It had a rough beginning with a tragic fire in the early years. But it slowly grew into a location of peace and harmony. The residents learned to survive by creating a lumber and fishing operation. Today, they have one co-op general store, a bakery (with a lazy baker according to the visitor information lady), two restaurants, co-op hardware and a hotel. I toured the museum and the thrift shop where I got 10 cds for $1.50 and a 50¢ puzzle. I plan to donate all the CDs back to them once I've ripped them to my laptop. I'm listening to a Deutsche Grammophon recording of Beethoven's Piano Concertos # 4 & 5. Deutsche Grammophon is a premium CD recording so my eyes popped when I saw it. I had a light lunch at the bakery before talking to the visitor information person who recommended Coho Joe's. I'll return there when Gwen is with me. I was hoping for something unique in the General Store but found nothing. They do have a serious fishing boat marina with a few pleasure craft too. My time was limited due to the ferry schedule so did not do any of the hiking trails. The visitor center has bicycles to loan, perhaps we will try that next time. Click all photos for more views.
Alegria
Wednesday, July 12, 2017: This little yacht took the place of Wildest Dream today while we were shopping in Port McNeill. We also took our dog, Morgan to the vet today for a problem with her right rear leg. She will be 17 in November which is very old for a Golden Retriever so every little thing bothers her. We met a very nice Canadian vet, Laura, from Saskatchewan. She treated Morgan's leg and we all hope that is all it will take. Morgan is enjoying Telegraph Cove because we have some nice cool grass she can lay and watch people all day.
Wildest Dreams
Making marina arrangementsTuesday, July 11, 2017: Since our Verizon phones don't work here, the office cell phone was loaned to us. When the office is closed, the voicemail says to call this cell number. Today after the office closed, I got a call from a yacht waiting in the Telegraph Cove entry wondering where to park. I told them I'd have "Rod", the marina manager call them. Meanwhile, I began walking to the marina. I dialed Rod's super secret private number and it went straight to voicemail so I left a message. I then called, Lynne, the marina owner and it went straight to voicemail. By this time, I was walking onto the dock and waving at the yacht (Wildest Dream) to come over to my side of the dock. I told him to park on his starboard (right) side but as he maneuvered into the marina, he flipped the boat around to park on his port side. By this time I was on the phone again to Iian, who seems to take care of everything in Telegraph Cove. When I told Iian what I had done, he yelled, "No! A 50 foot yacht won't fit!", "Too late", I said, "I've already got him parked and tied up." "I'll be right there," replied Iian. In a couple of minutes, both Iian and Rod came walking down the dock. I was so excited at how good a job I'd done I could hardly talk with either of them. What a beautiful boat the Wildest Dream! This link is to the Marine Traffic site. I was able to upload a photo to the site, check back if it hasn't posted. Meanwhile, click both these photos for additional views. This was the most excitement all day.
Telegraph Cove General Store

Catamaran entering Telegraph Cove Marina

 

Monday, July 10, 2017: Just strolling around today enjoying the weather and watching the boats enter and leave the marina.

The General Store is looking good for the busy month ahead.

Click the catamaran to enlarge. It made me think of the Wynns who are about to sail around the world in their catamaran.


MarineTraffic.com
Many in the RV park wanted to see the Disney Wonder
The Disney Wonder as it cruises by
Sunday, July 9, 2017: After arriving here, I subscribed to MarineTraffic.com to anticipate the ships we might see from our park. We like to watch for the large cruise ships as they pass going to Alaska or returning to Vancouver. The problem, nearly all these cruise ships take a route on the other side of the island just off shore from Telegraph Cove. I noticed the Disney ship, "Disney Wonder" coming our way with a destination of Vancouver. It seemed to be headed on our side of the island. Once I was sure, I walked around our campground to let the campers know it would be passing close by at 8:26 pm (I had made the calculation from the reported speed and the distance it was away from Telegraph Cove). I believe nearly everyone found a location to watch the ship as it went by. Click the waiting people photo above to see the Disney Wonder approaching us from the distance. Click the ship photo to enlarge.
Chuck is taking us to help pull up his crab traps
Pulling up the traps Hold them like this. Better bait mean better crab
Yes, it's a male and it's legalComing in to Telegraph Cove
Saturday, July 8, 2017: Our first trip on the water with Chuck and Lynne's boat. Chuck invited Gwen and me to accompany him while he checks his crab traps in Beaver Cove. Chuck has a really nice size boat. It's economical to run, has a nice size motor, a nice size cabin and is multi-use. We have never seen how crabs are trapped, so educational for us today. Chuck steadily pulls up the trap and carefully handles the crabs. Only males can be kept so we learned how to tell the difference. They also must be of a certain size. The first traps was all female except one and it was too small. The second trap had one male and it just fit the gauge. Chuck re-baited the traps with better bait hoping for bigger males to enter for lunch. Click all the photos for more views.
I'm not alone with night photography
Friday, July 7, 2017: I've been watching the moon rise over the RV park so decided the time would be right to catch a night time photo. I thought it a unique idea but as I climbed the hill behind our RV, another photographer was already mounted on a rock waiting for a sunset photo. After setting up my camera, pointing the opposite direction to catch the moon, I walked back to say "hello" to this photographer and let him know about the moon rise once the sunset disappeared. I quickly learned he didn't speak English other than, "nice view" so I didn't attempt further conversation. This last week we had 80% Germans in the park. Most spoke English but several spoke NO English but we managed. Click the photo to see the moon over the park and Miss Dory.

Spotted this coast guard ship headed east as it passed Telegraph Cove.

 

Thursday, July 6, 2017: We took a hike to the water east of Telegraph Cove to learn what we could see. Weather is clear so you can see for a long distance. Several kayak groups were returning to Telegraph Cove then we saw this ship passing. It's the color of Canadian Coast Guard boats so I'm making an assumption it was Coast Guard. I use MarineTraffic.com to watch for ships and identify those we see. However, I could not find this one when I returned home.

Below right is the Malispina, a smaller passenger ship which carries only 499 passengers. We were lucky to see it, few of the passenger ships pass so closely to Telegraph Cove and we happened to be on the beach when this one passed. It went to Seattle and hopefully takes a different route than the larger passenger ships since it's much smaller.

The MALASPINA, a small cruise ship with home port, Skagway, AK. The Stubbs Island Whale watching boat returning to Telegraph Cove
Folks lined up for the next whale watch cruise on the Stubbs Island Whale WatchAt the above left is the Stubbs Island Whale Watching cruise returning to Telegraph Cove. It is the most popular tourist attraction in Telegraph Cove. Passengers pay $105 each for 3.5 hours of searching the channels for whales and other sea life. Everyone we've talked to has been happy with the cruise and has seen whales. At left, the next boat load of tourists is loading to search again. There are hydro phones onboard the boats so they aren't searching blindly, they can pin point where the sounds are coming from and head to that area for a sighting.

Two Canadian Coast Guard boatsGreeting us at Port Hardy

 

 

Wednesday, July 5, 2017: It was a 50 minute drive today to Port Hardy, the city furthest north on Vancouver Island. We were here to see the sights and do some grocery shopping. It is also a Canadian Coast Guard base so I took photos of the two ships at dock. We visited the North Island College, one of four campuses. I was looking for a baseball hat with the college logo. They had none so gave us stocking caps, a logo shopping bag and logo pens. It was a good visit.

The view below left is from the coast guard dock back toward town. What you see are apartments and residences.

The photo below right is of Storrey Beach near Port Hardy. It's a sandy beach the locals like to hike.

Driving this portion of Vancouver Island is like driving in a long green cave. There are solid green foliage walls on both sides with blue sky overhead. If there is anything around, we wouldn't know because it is behind the green walls.

The view toward Port Hardy from the Coast Guard dock.Storrey Beach at Port Hardy
Ham at a good price.View toward Johnstone Strait, click to compare
When grocery shopping you must think metric. The ham I purchased for sandwiches was priced per 100 grams, I ordered 300 grams of ham. Some was on sale for $1.99 per 100 grams. This last photo on the right above I took to illustrate an ordinary photo of the Johnstone Strait with snow capped mountains in the distance. Click the photo to learn what can be done with the right software. Click all the photos for additional views.
Alder Bay near Telegraph Cove

Hidden Cove Lodge and dockTuesday, July 4, 2017: There are other lodges, marinas and RV parks located near Telegraph Cove so we took a tour of a couple. The view up top is of the Alder Bay Resort Marina. It is directly across from Cormorant Island where our Internet comes from. The RV park was not as nice as ours but $10/night cheaper. We also noticed no protection from the wind.

At left is the Hidden Cove lodge. It appeared to be empty and I saw no guests. You must drive 3 km on gravel to arrive at the Hidden Cove. I'm not sure when their season starts but it better be soon. Click both photos for more views.

North Island Kayak, only a few meters from Miss Dory
"Garage Sale" at North Island KayakSunday, July 2, 2017: During the Canada Day holiday weekend, North Island Kayaks, only a few meters from Miss Dory, is having a "garage sale". I was thinking the right price might temp me to buy a kayak to use for the next three months, however, the prices were WAY too high (IMHO) so I was tempted. I didn't see anyone buying so apparently everyone thought as I did. There were plenty of people going on kayak tours or launching their own kayaks. Gwen and I once owned very nice kayaks and seeing these launch made us wish for our kayaks. However, after buying everything needed to carry our kayaks AND tow a fifth wheel, we decided we were just asking for TOO MUCH. It's not just the kayaks but all the gear that must go with the kayaks filling our storage bins. Still, it would be exciting to get on the water again with the kayaks. Click both photos for more views.
The beach on Johnstone Straight
Gwen is negotiating the rocks

Wildlife on the beach

Saturday, July 1, 2017: Happy Canada Day! It has been very quiet here at Telegraph Cove for a national holiday. The whale watching, bear watching and kayak tours are busy but the RV park is quiet. So Gwen and I took ourselves for a hike to the beach (about 200 meters from our coach). The tide was out so we saw most of the beach. Kayakers taking lessons, deer, beach sea plants and shells plus snow capped mountains on the mainland and Gwen took photos of everything. I took my share of photos so click each of these photos for another view.

Note: Since we are in Canada for three months, I plan to learn to speak "Canadian" so I will speak in kilometers, meters, liters, kilograms and the temperature on my weather station is in Celsius. Today it got to a very comfortable 17.8°C with no wind. In a previous lifetime when I was a fifth grade teacher in California we were given the job of teaching our students the metric system because the USA was to join the rest of the world. Unfortunately, politics and rednecks stopped the change, a big mistake! I also must learn to add "eh" to the end of every sentence.

Our security camera viewl
Gwen and I visit the Port McNeill Visitor CenterFriday, June 30, 2017: We did our "chores" today as camp hosts then drove to Port McNeill, the nearest "city" for groceries, hardware and the ferry to the islands we can see from Telegraph Cove. The IGA grocery story was very busy because tomorrow is "Canada Day" which makes this a three day weekend for many Canadians. After returning to Telegraph Cove I got my weather station online with Wunderground. Then I set up our security camera to view the entrance to Miss Dory so we can actually see customers approaching with the curtains down. It will also record any movement or alert to a sound. Click the Port McNeill photo to see the Port Mcneill Marina. I'll take photos of the ferry once we take it to the islands around.
 
The older side of the marina. The red building has the Stubbs Whale Watching headquarters and gift shop plus a whale museum.
Thursday, June 29, 2017: We took ourselves for a short walk to the marina today while waiting for instructions for our assignment. It is a very picturesque cove with historic houses on the red-building side of the cove. Each of these historic cottages has been restored and can be rented, even those on the wharf. I spotted at least three coffee shops, all with comfortable seating so I will have to tryout all of them. We believe Heike is the new owner of the Stubbs Whale Watching tour company. We learned that, Jim, was the original owner. He has a wonder home on the point overlooking the Johnston Straight. He also has an aqua phone in the water to listen for the whales and calls the boats to let them know what kind of whales and where they are located in the straight. I hope to meet Jim and listen to the whale sounds myself. Click this photo for a panorama of the Telegraph Cove Marina.

Couldn't believe the crowd this morning waiting for Costco to open at 10 a.m.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017: We promised to arrive at Telegraph Cove today. We have more than 300 km to drive but first, a stop at Costco. I can't believe how many people are waiting for Costco to open. By the time we walked out, the parking lot was full. The drive to Campbell River was on a four lane freeway with a speed limit of 120 km/hr, that's 75 mph. I took Miss Dory up to 65 mph, that's enough for her. From Campbell River to Telegraph Cove the road changed to two lanes, rougher and more sharp turns. Reminded us of several Oregon mountain roads. The photo below shows the whole RV park we will host. We are third from left in space #3 with the long windsock. Captain Wayne who drives the whale watching tour boat is in space #1, Heike is in space 2 and Mark is in space #4, all are friendly. My first impression is that the park and area are better than the photos we saw on their Website. This was a late day for us so we setup and to bed. Click the photo below for a better view of our camp location.

Our summer home, we are parked in space #3 with the long windsock
Gwen is pickup up free brochures at the BC visitor centerWaiting in line at the Canadian border
Waiting in line at the ferry terminal Loading the Ferry Onboard cafe
Ship's navigation and communication towerParking at Nanaimo Costco overnight

Tuesday, June 27, 2017: Traveling from Ferndale, Washington to Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada. Our ferry reservation was at 5:45 p.m. so we got a lazy start to the border. We arrived at the border about 11:00 a.m. Unfortunately, the Canadian Border guards didn't have enough to do so they parked us, searched us personally, then had us wait in the terminal while they searched through Miss Dory. About 45 minutes later, they gave us our passports, vehicle keys and told us to go on our way. I asked if it was some answer we gave to one of their many questions which caused the search and they replied that they do "random searches". We drove only about 100 yards to the visitor center and picked up brochures about Vancouver Island and exchanged US cash for Canadian cash. Our bingo winnings at the FMCA rally amounted to MORE in Canada. We learned Tsawwassen has a huge new mall so we killed time in the mall before heading to the ferry terminal. Our ferry sailed about 15 minutes late for the two hour journey to Nanaimo where we planned to stay the night in the Costco parking lot. We chose to have dinner onboard our ferry and Gwen got us a really good table with a view from the stern of the ferry. I took a short video at the beginning of our ferry ride which you can view here. The Nanaimo Costco was easy to find. We parked in front of the store while I walked around the building looking for a good location to spend the night. We decided on the backside of the building where we parked next to a high retaining wall. Click the Costco photo and you will see only the roof of Miss Dory against the retaining wall. That made for a nice quiet location. By the time we were settled it was 9:30 p.m. so we saw nothing of Nanaimo.

Lummi Tribal artOvernight parking in the Silver Reef Casino Parking lotMonday, June 26, 2017: This was a travel day from Puyallup to Ferndale, Washington. We chose this location because it is only 18 miles to the Canadian Border and we plan to cross into Canada tomorrow. We learned of the Silver Reef Casino using the Escapee Days End database. Parking is free and is in the quiet country side. We also learned that Monday is 1/2 off the buffet meal so we pay only $4.95. As it turned out, this meal was excellent and would be well worth the full price. Unfortunately, we will likely be disappointed with the Seven Feathers Buffet in Canyonville from now on. While at the casino we view some of the Lummi Tribal art on display. Click both photos for more views.

Elks RV park in Puyallup, Washington
Sunday, June 25, 2017: Today was a travel day from Longview to Puyallup, Washington. Since 400 rigs needed to leave Longview before noon we decided to get an early start. We were up by 5:20 and out by 6:00 a.m. That put us in Puyallup Elks RV park by 9 a.m. We have two nights to kill before our ferry reservation so we chose Puyallup for it's grassy RV park location and Bellingham, Washington tomorrow night. It's another hot day so we were looking forward to the power hook-up in Puyallup, however, I discovered they only had 99 volts due to the number of RVs using their air conditioning so we reluctantly turned off their power and started our generator with a nice clean 120 volts of power. There is a swimming pool but we shopped at Costco instead. Finally, I wanted to mention the good dinners we had at the rally. The dinners were catered but the servers were all volunteers. Click the above photo to see the serving line.
Mt. St. Helens
Entertainment two nights, Bernie and Red, then Brady Koss on Saturday night.

Johnson Observatory overlooking Mt. St. Helen
Saturday, June 24, 2017: This is the day we chose to leave the rally and visit Mt. St. Helens. It exploded in 1980, so 37 years ago. It's impressive seeing all the new growth as well as the devastation of an exploding volcano. This was a hot day so we enjoyed the cooler temperatures at the higher elevation. Click all photos for more views.

I also wanted to mention that we had professional entertainment both Friday and Saturday nights. Friday night was Bernie and Red, a rally favorite since they have their own FMCA chapter. I was most impressed by Brady Goss, our Saturday night entertainer. I would travel a distance to see him again. I've never seen this much musical talent from the front row before.

A rally is a time to use you generator After three days, this fellow needs a pump-out
Friday, June 23, 2017: I just wanted to make a little side note here about attending RV rallys. If you have followed us at all you know we often "dry-camp" without running a generator because we have solar and know how to use it. 95% of those attending a rally such as this one don't have solar or don't know how to use it. So a rally is a time for them to run their generators. That makes it uncomfortable for us because of the noise but in this case mostly because of the exhaust fumes. I've put red arrows in the above photo to show where the generator exhaust is located on the two motorhomes next to us. The motorhome on our third side also runs his generator but his exhaust is vented to the roof. We wouldn't be parking next to these folks in the desert (of course, they would be in the full-hook-up park down the road anyway). The photo to the right is of the pump-out truck. He is pumping out a fellow who arrive here on Tuesday. Something must be wrong with his water management.
Touring new motorhomes Giant bathroom in this one

Joanne sold me a new Blue Ox hitchJune 23 continued: We spent the morning wandering through the new motorhomes which are always on display at an RV rally. These ranged in price from $150,000 to $510,000. It's a good chance to see what new features the motorhomes have and get ideas for upgrades to our own. We enjoyed the tour but didn't find any we would trade Miss Dory for.

This is Joanne. She sold us a new Blue Ox tow bar for our Forester. We had the old tow bar serviced this morning and the technician showed us how much "play" there was in the rod extensions. He suggested they could fail. I went to see Joanne and tested the rod extensions on the new tow bars and figured the technician was right. We purchased the old tow bar used so we don't know how old it is or how many miles it has been used. We felt we couldn't take the chance while visiting Canada so replace the tow bar. Click the photo to see Jim installing the new tow bar. You can also click the new motorhome tour photos above for more photos.

Below is our first dinner at the rally. Tonight's menu was meatball stroganoff, vegetables and rice. It was good and we were hungry. Judy and William sat with us but when Judy sat down she wanted us to know the table she sits at is almost always chosen last. Indeed, our table was chosen last. We told her we wouldn't sit with her again.

Dinner in the event center

Opening Ceremony this morning
I promoted the Workhorse Chasisis Motorhome ClubThursday, June 22, 2017: This is the official opening day of the FMCA Northwest Area Rally in Longview, Washington. The photo above is of the Mayor of Longview welcoming us to the town and suggesting some things to do while visiting. After the opening ceremony I quickly visited the Blue Ox booth in the vendor area. For $35 they will send a technician to Miss Dory to service our hitch. I signed up for the program and hope to watch the technician while he works. Later in the day, I volunteered to promote the Workhorse Chassis Motorhome Club (an FMCA related club) at the "Chapter Fair". I have been a member of WCMC since owning Miss Dory who has a Workhorse Chassis. The club is a source of valuable information about this older motorhome. As a chapter exhibitor I was automatically entered into an exclusive raffle prize drawing and won the top prize ($50). After my Bingo win last night I'm beginning to think I should buy a lottery ticket. Unfortunately, no one stopping at my table was a Workhorse Chassis owner. So I took the newsletters I had printed and walked the entire parking area of the Cowlitz Expo looking for Workhorse motorhomes. I found ten of the three-hundred motorhomes parked at the expo. Workhorse is a Chevrolet product with a Chevy 8.1 liter Vortec engine. This chassis has not been available to manufacturers for a few years so that must be the reason few are at the rally. According to the club, Workhorse will return someday soon. Click both photos for more views.
Dale is working "Will Call" until noon Gwen finished her jigsaw puzzle
Dale never plays Bingo but when he does, he wins BIG!Wednesday, June 21, 2017: Today is my "work" day as a volunteer. I was assigned to "Will Call" from 8 to noon with Kathy and Gary. We sat, talked and watched the parking crew chit-chat until 11:10 when the first of several motorhomes arrived. I expect the afternoon crew was much more busy. Kathy was the expert but she wants me to apply to be on the Will Call crew at the rally next year. I made a time lapse video of the parking crew over a 50 minute time period (once the motorhomes began to arrive). Meanwhile, back at Miss Dory, Gwen finished the jigsaw puzzle she has been working on. I never play bingo because the game is so boring. But Gwen likes games so I went to the FMCA Bingo game. The last game (tenth game) was the blackout game which I won $147. That was enough to almost pay our rally fee. Douglas and his wife are from Nampa, Idaho. They won none of the ten games so I paid for their cards ($10) out of my winnings. Gwen always plays Bingo so she was more excited that I was about the winning game. She grabbed the $137 left of the winnings and put it in our Canada "fun" money.
Gwen is cleaning the wall where the mirrors where at one time. Looking to the west, new field in the distance
Tuesday, June 20, 2017: Yesterday, when Gwen brought in the living room slide, the edge of the slide caught one of the mirrors on the wall and moved it several inches. These two mirrors Gwen did not like anyway so we removed them the rest of the way today. They came off the wall in-tact so I've listed them several locations as FREE items to be picked up. I was expecting to have them gone immediately but I guess no one wants to look in a mirror because I still have them. Click Gwen's photo to see the mirrors leaning against the rear of Miss Dory. The other photo is of the event center, gray roof on the far right. On the left you'll see a field in the distance. Since our field is now full, I'll be working tomorrow morning to help fill this new field. Click this photo to compare our field with what I posted yesterday. You will see a panorama nearly 360 degrees. Be sure to enlarge the photo by clicking on it a second time. Toward the left of the panorama you will see a tiny blue arrow pointing at my WiFi antenna mounted on the front of Miss Dory. Keep scrolling to the right to find a tiny red arrow pointing at my weather station mounted to the ladder at the rear of Miss Dory. That gives you the idea of the range of this panorama. You can see all the motorhome parked to the sides, front and rear of Miss Dory. We are totally surrounded in an open field with no hookups. We chose no hookups because we don't need them with our solar. The disadvantage is only one motorhome near us has solar but he doesn't know how to use his so runs his generator all evening. Of course, all the others around us are running their generators since they have no solar. So much for a quiet campout. These folks are NOT the same kind of RVers as we find at Senator Wash! I did buy an air conditioning refrigerant kit today but learned that's not the problem so afraid I will have to pay a professional to fix Miss Dory's air conditioning.
At the FMCA rally, Cowlitz County Events Center, Longview, WA
Monday, June 19, 2017: This was a short travel day from Saint Helens, Oregon to Longview, Washington to the Cowlitz County Events Center to attend our first FMCA (Family Motor Coach Association) rally. I have volunteered to be on staff so we are arriving 3 days early. This was a hot day and we have learned that the chassis air conditioning is not working. I've already watched a YouTube video of how to fix it so I'll take care of that tomorrow. Click the photo to see a roof top panorama of our location. Our view will change today as more motor coaches arrive. We will have a sea of motorhomes in front of us. At my orientation meeting this afternoon I learned I will have a four hour shift in the "Will Call" booth on Wednesday morning which will be my only duty. The rest of our stay is for pleasure. The only WiFi signal is in the convention center, about 200 yards from our parking location. I'm picking up a very weak signal using the Ubiquity antenna but it IS working so I'm pleasantly surprised. Vendors will begin setting up tomorrow and my goal is to find the Blue Ox vendor to learn if they will inspect my hitch. I have also volunteered to represent the Workhorse Chassis Chapter on Thursday. Finally, I've put up a spinner on a long pole above our motorhome. So far I'm the only one to do that which will make it easy for others to find our coach.
Farming of all sorts including flowers Floating home (houseboat) between the island and mainland Osprey
Gardenia Ace, vehicle transport Sauvie Island Map Columbia River beach
Sunday, June 18, 2017: Following Tim and Dana's suggestion, we drove to Sauvie Island today. This is a large island (about 10 miles long and 3 miles wide. It is only about 13 miles from Portland so a rural farming island very close to the largest urban city in Oregon. I can understand why those living in Portland would want to escape to this rural farmland. It is also popular with the cyclists, generally quiet roads and no hills to climb. We purchased a parking pass for $10 which is required to park at any of the wildlife areas. We saw an Osprey pair on their nest, a flower farm, a hundred floating homes, a beach on the Columbia and a vehicle transport called Gardenia Ace. Click all the photos for more views. The weather turned out to be perfect by afternoon, a slow start with sprinkles in the morning.


Saint Helens Elks Club, Oregon

 

Saturday, June 17, 2017: A travel day from Keizer, Oregon to Saint Helens, Oregon. We have parked at the Saint Helens Elks Lodge which has a deck overlooking the Columbia River. Our friends, Tim and Dana told us about Sauvie Island. It is only 20 miles from Saint Helens and we are told of the wildlife, hiking trails, bike riding and a couple of country stores. We plan to check it out tomorrow. Click the photo for a panorama of the Elks Club parking. Note the new Ubiquity WiFi antenna on top of Miss Dory. We have been able to get good enough WiFi to be able to watch NetFlix.


Rummage Sale nearbyFriday, June 16, 2017: Rain all day in Salem but enough time to walk around the corner to the Lion's Club rummage sale. You can spot a few Elks RVs in the top left corner. The Elks "garage sale" is tomorrow morning. So a rainy day is good for laundry day and the Elks RV park has a small laundry facility with new washers and dryers. Tomorrow we move to the Columbia River and the Saint Helens Elks Lodge RV parking. The weather forecast is for greatly improved weather and we are looking forward to it.
On the road to our summer adventure.
At the Kaiser Elks Club RV ParkThursday, June 15, 2017: Considering the winter we have had in Oregon it is understandable that we must begin our summer adventure in the rain. Both Miss Dory and the Forester have been washed for the trip but driving in the rain reverses all that. We began with breakfast at Rice Hill Dennys, only about 12 miles north of Sutherlin. We originally planned to drive north on the coast but learning the Reedsport bridge was closed by a hit/run driver damaging the Umpqua River bridge changed those plans. We drove north on Interstate 5 instead to the Kaiser Elks Club RV park and arrived in time to capture the last site. There are 41 sites so this is a busy park, partly because of the low rates and quality sites. It rained most of the 2.5 hour drive and rain is forecast for tomorrow too. We have friends, Tim and Dana in Salem so spent the afternoon and evening with them. They are planning a spectacular summer adventure beginning in August. Click this photo for a panorama of the Elks park. Today was my second time to set up the Miss Dory network. After watching part of the video for a "refresher course", I got it working as best it could work with this over used WiFi in the park.

Telegraph Cove, BC Canada
Tuesday, April 11, 2017: While visiting Dave and Brook at Harris Beach State Park I received a phone call from Tyler, the person who purchased our Dodge pickup truck nearly two years ago. Tyler said, "We own an RV park on the northeast shore of Vancouver Island and need a camp host, would you and Gwen like to spend the summer here?" What a surprise! For the next couple of days, Gwen and I telephoned Tyler and his mother who is also an owner and the RV park manager. The host position sounded like it would give us time to see the area and meet new people. We chose to accept the offer so beginning about July 1, we will be on the northeast shore of Vancouver Island as hosts of the Telegraph Cove RV Park. I've started this new page and will continue once we arrive at the park.
 
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