After leaving Bellingham on October 18th, we stopped in Portland, Oregon, where we stayed at the Columbia River RV Park situated on the Columbia River. We had not stopped in Portland before and wanted to explore the area. We visited Multnomah Falls at the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, it is the tallest waterfall in Oregon at 620 ft. in height. It was a rainy day as we left to drive to the falls, but it cleared up as we arrived to view the impressive two tiers of waterfalls cascading over basalt cliffs. Some interesting history about the waterfall; it formed around 15,000 years ago at the end of a hanging valley, and was created by the Missoula Floods. The name comes from the Multnomah tribe, and according to legend, the waterfall was formed after a young woman sacrificed herself to the Great Spirit to save Multnomah village from a plague by jumping from the cliff, and the Multnomah people were saved. After her death, water began to flow from above the cliff, creating the waterfall. If you can believe legends from long ago! The waterfalls were even noted in the journals of Lewis and Clark during their expedition down the Columbia River Gorge in October, 1805.
We began our 3 week Trans African Safari on September 17th in Windhoek, Namibia. We gathered together in the Terra Africa Guesthouse. At the Guesthouse we met Pat and Dan Bowen from Wisconsin; Joe and Carolyn Harley from Calgary; and four Australians: Steve and Toni Pearce from Newcastle; and Keith and Paulette from Melbourne. Along with Pat and Harry Koehler from Calgary and us makes twelve in our group. Our guide was Thulani from Zimbabwe, and our driver was Thamu.
We spent 3 weeks exploring Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe, experiencing the wildlife, culture and scenery only Africa can deliver. From marveling at the Victoria Falls to the breathtaking magnitude of Namibia’s dunes and big game interaction – this tour combined all the comforts of lodge accommodation with an unforgettable safari experience.
Bob, Keith, Carolyn, Paulette, Patty, Dan, Pat, Joe, Steve, Toni, Pat and Harry Continue reading
Cape Town and Table Mountain
September 11, 2019, finally the day has arrived to depart for our trip to Africa. We spent one night in Seattle and flew out of Tacoma/Seattle Airport on Thursday, September 12th, arriving in Cape Town Friday, the 13th at 11 o’clock in the evening. We stayed with Pat and Harry Koehler for three nights at the Blackheath Lodge Boutique Hotel in Sea Point on Cape Town’s Atlantic Seaboard. The Lodge has a rich history dating back to the 1880s. Its Victorian design, spacious interiors, high ceilings and wooden floors are combined with eclectic touches of African style and charm. We had a beautiful spacious room with high ceilings and elegant decor. The next morning we met Pat and Harry at breakfast before heading out on our first day exploring Cape Town. Our guide Wasfie Hattas, picked us up in the van at 9am, our first stop was to the Old Biscuit Mill Market where Cape Town meets for culinary delights and fine local designs. We explored the Old Biscuit Mill and experienced some of South Africa’s most innovative and creative designers, artists, photographers and connoisseurs of fine taste and decor. We sampled some of the delicious food, even vegan delights, and enjoyed the colorful art and clothing stalls. Continue reading
Before our African Safari we spent time in Bellingham, staying at the Cedars RV Resort in Ferndale, where we stored our RV when we will be in Africa. We got together with a friend of Bob’s from high School, Marguerite and her husband Don Shepherd. One day we walked the South Bay Trail, connecting downtown Bellingham to the Historic Fairhaven District. This iconic waterfront walk is 2.5 miles one-way and is mostly flat, including the Taylor Dock over the open waters of Bellingham Bay. We started in Fairhaven and stopped at benches along the way to soak in the views of the distant Canadian mountains for it was such a clear day. On our way back we stopped for dinner at Keenan’s Restaurant watching the beautiful sunset from our table. Another night we went out with Don and Marguerite Shepherd to the Hotel Bellwether, situated on Bellingham Bay, to listen to the Chris Fegler Band and have dinner. What a spectacular view from our table of the Squalicum Harbor Marina and the vibrant sunset. Bellingham is a fun city to live in and we certainly enjoyed our time here. Click on thumbnail to view images Continue reading
On August 5th, 2019, we packed up the e-bikes for a 4 day bike tour of the Gulf Islands. We drove the Jeep to the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal parking lot, and rode our bikes onto the Ferry heading for Galiano Island. Galiano is named after the Spanish explorer Dionisio Alcala Galiano, who explored the area in 1792. Galiano is 27.5 kms long and never more than 6 kms wide. We arrived at the Sturdies Bay Ferry Terminal on Galiano Island and rode our bikes to the Woodstone Manor where we left our bags before riding out to Montague Harbour Provincial Park, one of the most popular parks in the Gulf Islands. We stopped for lunch at the Crane and Robin Cafe on Montague Bay, and we had the best meal of salmon burger and jackfruit tacos. We continued the ride out to the Park and stopped for a quick dip in the ocean. Then back to the Woodstone Manor where we checked into our room, the Bridal Suite, for one night. The Woodstone is truly a special place with only 12 rooms, a unique dining Room & Patio offering meals prepared by their executive chef, and situated on 9 private wooded acres with pastoral views. We had the most beautiful, peaceful pastoral view from our room. We spent the evening sitting outside by the Patio fireplace talking with the owners Stefan and Roxanne Orlitzky, and later joined by Tommy Transit, who drives the local bus on the Island. The next morning after a delicious breakfast with Tommy Transit, who sold me his book, “Bus Tales”; we rode our bikes out to The Bluffs Park, which is Galiano’s oldest wilderness park, established in 1948. We rode up the steep gravel rode to the top of the Bluffs and had beautiful views looking out to Active Pass. One more stop at the Woodstone Manor to enjoy a fabulous lunch before heading out to the Ferry to Saltspring Island. Click on thumbnail to view images Continue reading
Nimpo Lake to Whistler, BC
We said farewell to Frank and Kelly and continued our journey of the BC Discovery Trail heading to Whistler, B.C. We drove along Highway 20 through the Chilcotin Country past Tatla Lake, and turned off the main road onto Farwell Canyon Road to take a more scenic drive in the heart of the B.C. Chilcotin District. The road is gravel for 117 km, it’s a narrow dusty road, unless it has been raining, then it turns to thick mud which we experienced, but the views are stunning. We saw the huge sand dunes along the Chilcotin River, supposedly one of the largest sand dunes in B.C., and the hoodoos along the Canyon. We stopped to check out an old abandoned homestead down by the River. Continue reading
Ferry from Port Hardy to Bella Coola
A beautiful red/orange sunrise appeared at 5 AM, as we left to catch the ferry to Bella Coola. The Discovery Coast Passage route is served by the BC Ferries, Northern Sea Wolf, from June through September only. We booked on June 11th and we were so lucky to be able to get the last car space on the ferry on June 26th, as it holds only 35 cars. The ferry leaves the Port Hardy Terminal at 7:30 AM but you have to be there at 5:30 AM to get in line. From the time we left Port Hardy we were floating through unsurpassed scenery, as the fog slowly lifted and the views became more spectacular. This crossing to the mid-coast ranks among the world’s most scenic, as we cruised the Queen Charlotte Strait we saw sea lions, dolphins and even Humpback whales playing in the ocean. On the ferry there was a restaurant with great food, a passenger lounge, and outdoor seating on the top deck, where we spent most of our time. Cruising up the Burke Channel toward Bella Coola we were in awe of the snow capped mountain ranges on the mainland; it was similar to cruising through the fiords in New Zealand. Then we reached the North Bentinck Arm, the inlet where the town of Bella Coola is located. The almost 12 hour ferry trip passed so quickly that before we new it we had arrived at the Bella Coola Harbour Wharf. The fishing boats were right next to the ferry and we watched the fishermen unload their catch for day. We drove through Bella Coola to the Mountain Lodge where we stopped for the night, and they have a restaurant, called the Brockton Bistro where we had a delicious dinner. Click on thumbnail to view images Continue reading
The Discovery Coast Circle Tour: Part 1
Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal to Port Hardy:
This summer we decided to take time to explore BC, our beautiful province. The best way to see all that British Columbia has to offer is to take the Discovery Coast Circle Tour, roughly 1400 km (870 mi) of driving and 16 hours of sailing. We left Vancouver from the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal and stopped at Salt Spring Island to visit my sister then took the Vesuvius Ferry to Crofton where we began our drive north on Vancouver Island. We stopped for lunch in Sayward, located about 1 mile inland from Kelsey Bay. The village is named after William Parsons Sayward, a successful lumber merchant from Victoria, who came here in 1858 from California. We found a little gem of a cafe in Sayward, the Straits View Cafe, with a view of Johnstone Strait, and excellent food. I went wide and had fried BC shrimp for lunch and we shared one of their famous homemade pies for dessert. After lunch we wandered down to the Kelsey Bay wharf, once the southern terminus for the B.C. Ferries Inside Passage route until 1978, when Highway 19 was extended north to Port Hardy. Now it is a convenient stopping point for sport fishing and eco-tourism. Continue reading
We arrived in Aldergrove, B.C., on May 29th, 2019, staying at the Eagle Wind RV Park. Our first outing was to celebrate the Prince of Wales 55th High School Reunion on May 31st, at the Arbutus Club. It was fun to get together with Bob’s friends from high school and to celebrate my birthday with them. Next stop was to visit my sister, Sue and Denis, on Salt Spring Island. We took our e-bikes with us so we could ride around Salt Spring Island without having to worry about all the hills. We rode to Ruckle Provincial Park, one of the most beautiful parks in the southern Gulf Islands. In addition to its natural beauty, Ruckle Park is an area in cultural history. Irish emigrant Henry Ruckle first homesteaded here in 1872, marrying in 1877; and their descendants have farmed the Salt Spring property for more than a century. The Ruckle family donated their land to BC Parks in 1972 for the creation of Ruckle Provincial Park. We also rode our bikes to the west side of Salt Spring Island to the isolated area of Musgrave Landing. Musgrave Landing was the agriculture center of Salt Spring Island from 1870 to roughly 1904. It’s now a popular stop along the Gulf Islands Marine Trail. We always enjoy our stay on Salt Spring Island, visiting new sights and places, with Sue and Denis in their beautiful home and look forward to returning again soon. Click on thumbnail to view images Continue reading
May 25th, 2019, we spent two nights in Coeur d’Alene, staying at the Blackwell Island RV Park. We rode the Trails of the Coeur d’Alene, a 70-mile-long paved bike path around the Lake. We started in the Historic town of Harrison and rode about 25 miles out-and-back on a flat rails-to-trails paved path. The scenery was beautiful along the Lake, and we crossed over the Lake on the old railroad bridge to the other side. After the ride we went to One Shot Charlie’s for pizza and beer in Harrison. A great bike ride, can’t wait to do it again! Continue reading