Vancouver Island and Salt Spring Island

We went over to Salt Spring Island to visit my sister, Sue and Denis for a few days, Aug 13th to 18th. We celebrated Bob’s 71st birthday at Auntie Pesto’s overlooking the Ganges Harbor. We played some pickle ball, went swimming in Vesuvius Bay and enjoyed relaxing on the porch chatting, drinking and eating together. We took a day and went on a biking trip over to Vancouver Island to visit Chemainus and Ladysmith.
We caught the early ferry from Vesuvius to Crofton and rode to Chemainus to view the wonderful murals that put this small town on the map. The first mural was painted in 1981, today Chemainus is painted with more than 40 murals, depicting scenes from the town’s history. We had fun riding our bikes around town seeing all the beautiful 40 large murals depicting the Cowichan First Nations, European exploration and settlement, fur trading, railway development and more…… After lunch at the Willow Street Cafe, we rode our bikes along the coast rode to Ladysmith and back to Chemainus, where we had dinner in a fabulous restaurant, the Sawmill TapHouse and Grill. We got the last ferry back to Vesuvius after a wonderful day on our bikes. Click on thumbnail to view images Continue reading

Whistler, BC

We booked an Airbnb at Whistler for 2 nights, August 3rd and 4th. The drive from Vancouver was sunny and beautiful but when we arrived at Whistler the smoke-filled air was everywhere. We decided to drive right to Joffre Lake Provincial Park and hike up to the lakes as far as was possible to still be able to see the views. This magnificent park, established in 1988, with jagged peaks, icefields, cold rushing streams and especially the three turquoise blue lakes is one of the best day hikes we have ever done. The trail passes the Lower, Middle and Upper Joffre Lakes, and each more stunning than the last. Their striking, saturated blue colour is caused by “rockflour” or glacial silt in the water that is suspended in the water and reflects green and blue wavelengths of sunlight. As we arrived at the Upper Lake the smoke was getting denser and it was difficult to see the glacier and the tops of the peaks. We turned around and headed back down the trail but had to stop for a swim at the Middle Lake from a balancing floating log. What a great hike and would love to return and camp at the Upper Lake. Click on thumbnail to view images Continue reading

Summer in British Columbia

Bob and Chris McKay friend from grade 1

We finally arrived back in Vancouver on June 1st, staying at the beautiful Eagle Wind RV Park in Aldergrove, for 4 months. We are looking forward to seeing our family and friends during our stay here. Our first outing was a weekend trip to Oliver, BC, staying at The Lakeside Resort, with Bob’s high school classmates for an all men’s golf tournament in memory of Dan Grimble. Myself and two of the other wives came along, Robbie Harper and Dawn White. We enjoyed our time visiting all the fabulous wineries in the Okanagan Valley, as well as shopping in all the wonderful boutiques in the area. The Okanagan Valley is BC’s premier grapegrowing region, with quiet family-run boutique vineyards to world-class operations. Oliver is considered the “Wine Capitol of Canada”, and is home to nearly half of BC’s vines and more than 40 wineries. We were amazed by the growth of the Okanagan Valley in the past 40 years and we will definitely make a trip back here again. Click on thumbnail to view images Continue reading

Summer stay in BC

Getting ready to ride with “Team Ralph”

Summer in Vancouver, BC, 2016, was filled with family, old friends, sightseeing, celebrations and biking. Arriving on July 15, staying at Eagle Wind RV Park, until Sept 15. We spent some time with Bob’s brother Ted and his wife Marg along with Bob’s sister Linda. We re-acquainted with Bob’s old girlfriend from high school, Marg and Don Sheperd, We had a great dinner together at the Granville Island Hotel and went to the Comedy Club near by. Enjoyed a mini Prince of Wales High School Reunion, organized by Ralph White, and what an amazing group of friends to come in such short notice. We had several wonderful biking trips with Ralph White and friends throughout the lower Mainland, and across the border. Culminating in the Tour de Whatcom, a 60 km bike ride around Bellingham, WA. Enjoyed a few beers with my brother, John, Lisa and Toby before leaving Vancouver. Click on thumbnail to view images Continue reading

Glacier NP, Canada

The next day we were allowed to hike up Abbot Ridge in Glacier NP Canada. Due to the abundance of bears in the area we were not able to do a lot of the hikes unless you traveled with 4 or more hikers. The Abbot Trailhead starts at the Illecillewaet Campground and is 4.3 miles one way, with an elevation gain of 3,375 feet. The trail passes by the Marion Lake on its way to the ridge, and we took a side trail to a viewpoint above the Trans Canada Highway where we could see trains coming from or going into the Connaught Tunnel, completed in 1916, to protect rail traffic from the deadly avalanches of the Rogers Pass. We continued to hike up into true alpine tundra the land above the trees and ends on a narrow ridge. It was a strenuous hike but well worth the effort once we reached the summit, where the views overlooking Mount Sir Donald and the Illecillewaet Glacier were breathtaking. We paused at the top for lunch and a few yoga poses before heading back down the trail and back to the KOA. Great day and hike, love the mountains in the Canadian Rockies. Continue reading

Revelstoke, BC

We arrived at the KOA in Revelstoke after missing the turn-off from the highway, and unhitching the Jeep before turning around to get to the road to the KOA. Then we went into the town of Revelstoke to explore and have dinner. Great small town atmosphere in the heart of BC, where we happened to find the Revelstoke Railway Museum. It is one of Canada’s premiere railway museums and presents the history of the Canadian Pacific Railway in the Columbia Mountains, as well as the role the railway and its workers have played in building Canada as a nation. Bob loved seeing all the old steam engines and cars that were on exhibit. We enjoyed a delicious dinner at a restaurant on the Square while listening to some of the local talent on stage. Continue reading

Kelowna, BC

On our way north from Vancouver, first stop was Kelowna, staying at the Holiday Park RV Resort for two nights. The drive up the Coquihalla Highway has great views and is the main highway link between Kelowna in the Okanagan Valley and Vancouver. The next day we decided to visit the magnificent wineries in the Okanagan Valley that we heard so much about from friends in Aldergrove. We went to the Quails’ Gate Winery for the wine tasting and lunch. The beautiful Old Vines Restaurant has an exceptional vineyard side location on the slopes of the Boucherie Mountain Bench with expansive and picturesque southern views of the vineyards and Lake Okanagan. After lunch we went to visit the Mission Hill Winery, established in 1966, and was rebuilt in 1996. The centerpiece and focal point of the design was a 12 story and 85 foot bell tower with four bells cast by Fonderie Paccard in France. The largest bell weighs nearly 800 kilograms. The architecture was magnificent to walk around, we didn’t taste any wines here because we had our fill at the first one and bought several bottles to take home. There is a lot to see and do in Kelowna but we are leaving to head east to Revelstoke Continue reading

Salt Spring Island, BC

Our favorite place to visit is SaltSpring Island where we can stay with my sister, Sue and Denis Russell. We always have fun playing pickleball, fabulous home cooked meals, and Sue even hosted a party at her place with all her friends on the Island. This was the start of my golfing adventure. We took a great lesson with the Golf Pro at the local Golf Club, then Bob and I played 9 holes and I got a par on my first hole. It was down hill from there, but at least I am still enjoying the new sport. Bob even partnered with Sue for a Charity Golf Tournament, but he didn’t do very well after the lesson either. The weather has been very hot here for the last 3 months, and the swimming was quite pleasant in the ocean. However, the forest fires are numerous and the smoke-filled air is a serious threat to the area. Looking forward to returning here next year! Continue reading

Around Vancouver, BC

Friends & Family in Greater Vancouver
On June 8th we finally arrived in Canada and we are settled in at the very comfortable Eagle Wind RV Park in Aldergrove, for about six weeks, to visit with family and friends as well as the beautiful city of Vancouver. One of the must see sites in Vancouver is Granville Island and we had a couple of delicious dinners there with family. I would do all my shopping here for food if I lived downtown, however it is very expensive to shop and live in Vancouver. So most people move away from the city where they can afford to buy a nice house. One of the outside cities is Surrey where our friends Paul and Linda Sutherland live and they had us over for a reunion dinner with Pete and Heather Paget, and Ralph and Dawn White. Great food, drinks and laughs were enjoyed by all until 2AM. I think they thought they were all back in high school together and could stay up and party all night! NOT!!!! Continue reading

Chemainus and The Cowichan Valley Trail

On June 30th we took the Vesuvius Ferry over to Crofton and drove south to the town of Lake Cowichan. Here we rode our bikes on the Cowichan Valley Trail all the way to the south end of Shawnigan Lake. The trail follows the gentle grade of the former turn of the century CN railway line that served pioneer logging and settlement communities. It was a pleasant ride through the trees and over eight trestles, with the largest one at the end called the Kinsol Trestle, here we turned around. The historic Kinsol Trestle is one of the tallest free-standing and most spectacular timber rail trestle structures in the world. At 614 feet in length and standing 145 feet above the Koksilah River, it is an incredible structure. Coming back was harder and longer than going and we were happy when we got back to the car, not sure of the mileage but it had to be at least 60 miles. Continue reading