Chillin in the Great White North

Sometimes reality just can’t be avoided and on upon our triumphant return to British Columbia we were hit with a good old fashioned dose of old man winter (snow and below freezing temperatures). More on this later but first I’ll torment you with a short poem I wrote after leaving the LTVA. I have tried to capture some of the spirituality I feel from my bike rides (with Steverino of course) into the desert back country during the Arizona winter.

The Coyote Grin

I rode out into the desert with a thirst I had to sate
Didn’t really have a plan to follow, some things are best left to fate
Got myself onto a burro trail that crossed across a ragged ridge
It settled in a gully under rocks carved like a bridge
A bridge can be a natural thing or perhaps a metaphor
If you’re not afraid to cross it, it can become a door
I crawled across the open space to see the other side
Not concerned at all with what I saw, I took it all in stride
There are strange sights you might see in the desert skies
Some can make you humble, some can make you wonder why
I climbed a cactus, but I was out of practice, even though I’d never done it before
So I waited til later, when my chances were greater, and my feet not quite as sore
I passed a coyote who gave me a grin, although it didn’t seem all that wide
Seemed to me that’s all he had, looking for a place to hide
Think he saw a change was coming to the desert and for all those who lived within
And there was no way the desert dogs stood a chance of pulling off a win
So I left him there with a vacant stare, feeling too sad to cry or maybe care
I made it through the long hot day even though I didn’t have a chance
Dreaming about a sunny beach somewhere in the south of France
You can never tell what your mind will find, it’s on an odyssey of its own
It might explode, it might implode, but it’ll get there in its own time
So you might want to ride out in the desert with a thirst you need to sate
But don’t drink it dry before looking that grinning coyote right in the eye
And promise him shelter until the storm abates
CC 2017

Back to the Great White North

Luckily (good planning) most of our trip north was pretty boring and uneventful. Bare roads and no snow or rain until we reached Pendleton Oregon. We holed up overnight there at an RV Park at the Wild Horse Casino to let a storm and cold front pass by and give DD a final chance to leave a US casino with some extra cash. And yes she did come out ahead but only by $40.00 after covering CC’s expected losses.

the Virgin River Gorge south of St. George Utah

just north of St. George

near Salt Lake City

sign on the dreaded Pendleton Hill

near Soap Lake Washington

starting to look like winter

well at least they plowed the road for us

Two days later we crossed the border at Osoyoos and made a decision to book into a local RV park (NK’MIP) there for a month as the long range weather forecast for Vernon did not look all that good (still winter) and it was unlikely we would be able to set up on our RV lot for at least a few weeks. Turned out to be good decision as we travelled up to Vernon a few days after arriving (March 8, 2016) and had to shovel over 2 feet of snow off the cement pad. DD still has ISSUES of being forced to undertake this manual labour.

the obligatory first stop when back in Canada

YUK

CC claims there is an owl in the tree??

our Grand Doggy Daughter after her first haircut by dad LLL

So while we wait to move further north we have made a couple of day trips to Vernon (a 5 hour return drive) to visit with our friends and neighbours. Our first venture up the valley to meet up with Bouncy Bernice took over 6 ½ hours because of an accident on the only highway north so it was a quick cup of coffee and back to Osoyoos. Seems some folks will go a long way for a good cup of coffee and a good friend. Driving was way better on the next trip and we were able get in a visit with Pauline and Uncle Normie and later in the day we were reunited with our Dinner Club group. Sad to hear but one of our Dinner Club members (Amy) as of this post has moved to the lower mainland.  Plans are in the works to take the show on the road (to Amy’s) this summer so hopefully the planets will align and we can all make the trip. For those who haven’t been with the Blog from the beginning the Dinner Club (former Baron Insurance employees) has been meeting fairly regularly every 6 to 8 weeks for the past 12 – 15 years.  A very special group of friends indeed.

Bouncy Bernice and DD

Dinner Group – CC, Amy, Virginia, Don, Wendy, Jim and Bouncy (Fearless Frank away at work)

OMG its Uncle Normie

a very happy reunion I think

Yesterday we traveled to Kelowna (only a 4 hour return trip) to spend the better part of the day with our “lumberjack” son Aaron.  He’s not really a lumberjack except in looks these days and it was wonderful to see him for the first time in over 18 months. His somewhat unorthodox and artistic lifestyle seems to suit him well and we hope to spend as much time as possible with him this summer as he is planning to move to Germany as soon as he has a sufficient grubstake.

Aaron and his Mommy

seems like CC is the short one in the family

Time to go as its time for Hockey Night in Canada. YIPPEEE

By stubbs99

Fire (nice) and Ice (not nice)

The Captain and Debbie Dewdrops are huddled up in Eagle 5 waiting for a snow storm to pass before making a final run to the Canadian border and back into British Columbia on Wednesday March 8th. Just by sheer “coincidence” we managed to make it as far as the Wild Horse Casino near Pendleton Oregon before stopping!!!  With good planning and a bit of old Irish luck we managed to make the 2400 km trip from the LTVA to here with dry roads and mostly sunny skies. Oh well all good things must end.

UPDATE: DD wins $40.00 and CC loses $20.00. Some things never change!!! LLL you’ll be glad to note that DD won on the Lucky Larry’s Lobstermania 3 (LLL3) machine!!!

The first section of the trip from Parker AZ to Valley of Fire is a traveler’s delight as the road winds through scenic mountains and valleys via Lake Havasu, Kingman and the Lake Mead National Recreation Area.

north of Parker

Lake Mead Parkway

Alluvial Fan for the #1 fan of the fan namely the Hawk

north end of Lake Mead

along the Parkway

And of course what would a road trip for the Captain and DD be without DD and some ISSUE.   This time it is relatively minor as DD is feeling the effects of a cold that she blames, believe it or not on MODD. Is it any wonder MODD has declined several lucrative offers from the Captain to MODD for her to retake ownership of her darling daughter DD.

DD and the Captain were intending to move the Eagle 5 onto their new RV Lot at Swan Lake Resort in Vernon right away however as winter is refusing to loosen its icy grip, it now seems likely we will stay farther south in at the NK’Mip RV Park near Osoyoos for a few weeks pending  the spring thaw.

Valley of Fire

It is difficult for DD and CC not to wax poetic and stumble over adjectives to describe our feelings about the Valley of Fire. Simply said it is our #1 place to camp and hike and once again our 4 days there on this trip did nothing to dissuade us to lower it in the rankings. Must be a lot of other folks who feel the same as both campgrounds were full all week and we just managed to snag the last available space when we arrived on Tuesday February 28th. For the most part the weather was warm (not too hot) and sunny and despite DD’s cold we did manage to get in a series of shorter hikes.  So without further ado I will let the pictures do the talking. I believe I can hear several “thank goodness’s out there” so here they are.

our campsite

one of our neighbours

our backyard view at sunset

campfire on last night

Atlatl Campground Hike

view of Atlatl campground

DD finds a stoned Kokopelli

Atlatl Campground from other end

Arch Campground

DD high on hiking

Mouse’s Tank

DD “live long and prosper”

hieroglyphs

enjoying some sunshine

Rainbow Vista

really

so I took a picture

but somebody was missing

Silica Dome

who is that up there

ya its CC

White Domes

the road out to the White Domes

The White Domes Trail – the whole story

entrance to a slot canyon

a favourite site for movies

remains of the set of “The Professionals

these rocks are not what they “seam”

is it safe to come outside??

well I guess

along the road back

Video on the road back to the Visitors Center

We also biked down to the deserted Overton Beach which in its day was a very busy vacation spot but sadly the lake dried up in this area over 15 years ago and the place is now a “ghost” beach although DD was put off (ISSUE) by a bull watching her ride by on the way in.

all that’s left of the lake here is a small stream

the old boat ramp

the main building

The following photos although included for the benefit of the Coach, who often sees things no others do in clouds and rocks, may be viewed by others as well.

Domino Duds

I have been chastised amongst other things by DD and BBB for not posting the final results of the 2016/17 Desert Domino Challenge. As you can well guess this year the Girls team took advantage of a distracted Boys team and squeaked out a 13 to 9 result. The 2016 challenge started out in the Chinese Year of the Monkey (the girls win) but 2017 will start in the Chinese Year of the Fire Rooster so expect the boys to be hot next season and reclaim the Championship.

By stubbs99