Travel Log for July, 2000

Updated August, 2000

Log Date: +820: 000701: 47N5'22.80: 122W23'48.00: JC's backyard, Spanaway, WA

We had parked in JC's back yard since Tuesday. Today was Saturday, the day for Ashlae and Jason Benson's wedding!!

We were the only relatives from the Penny side. On the other sides there were sisters, cousins, parents, step-parents, and a motley collection of friends wandering around the house helping (mostly helping themselves to the reception food) and waiting for the big occasion.

Ashlae and Jason Benson with FaythKrista has fixed up the front yard very nicely, and that was the site for the wedding. We all stood around for several minutes waiting for JC to come out with Ashlae. He finally appeared with Ashlae on his arm and the ceremony began.

It was a good wedding, with some comedy and much emotion. The wedding party looked so young and like they were play acting at being adults. It is sometimes hard to realize the young people have become adults, just like we did 43 years ago.

The newly married couple have a lot of hurdles ahead. They are still teenagers and already have a baby daughter. Such are the times we live in. Alice and I we wish them the best and much, much luck.

After the wedding ceremony, everyone retired to the back yard for the reception. It was a pleasant day for the event and the party continued until late afternoon.

Log Date: +821: 000702: 47N42'56.52: 116W54'42.84: Coeur D'Alene RV Resort, ID

We were up the next morning bright and early. The sky even looked crisp. JC showed me a sewer drain next to the back porch and I connected the macerator to the rig's dump connection and my 100 feet of green hose. I dumped right there. It was a relief that it worked. It had been over a year since I had used it.

We headed out with the intentions to go half way across Washington towards Glacier National Park for the first night. Then we planned to stop near the Park, spend a day touring it, then cross into Canada to the east and head for Calgary. We had tickets for the Calgary Stampede. But once we were on the road we decided we were trying to see to much in too short a time. Staying in Spanaway for the wedding had severely eaten into the available time.

We made great time and reached our planned stop early in the afternoon. Not seeing any signs pointing to the RV Park where we expected to stay we continued east on I-90. We had the DeLorme Street Atlas 7.0 disk in the computer and it was working well with the GPS. It has the feature of listing the Points of Interest along the route. Alice searched for RV Parks and she found one in Coeur D'Alene. She called ahead and checked that there would be room.

So I continued driving, finally driving a long 342 miles before settling in at the RV Resort. We kicked back for a scotch and got to bed early. The plan now was to head north up US95 and get into Canada the next day. We would miss being in the United States for Independence Day.

Log Date: +822: 000703: 49N30': 115W46': Baker RV Resort, Cranbrook, BC

We turned north on US95 just three miles down the road. It was a smooth, fairly level drive up to Bonner's Ferry. We stayed on US95 to go to the Eastport border crossing with Cranbrook, British Columbia as our plannned destination.

The last six miles into Eastport was quite a climb, but we made it without problem. There was virtually no traffic on the road.

We had prepared for our entry into Canada. We had our passports just in case, and Alice had the papers for Wolf. This was our first experience crossing the border and we were a little apprehensive.

The Canadian border guard was a lady with a bright smile. I stopped and turned off the diesel engine so we could carry on a conversation. She asked the usual questions about where we were from and where we were going and how long we would be in Canada. I told her about the Fun Days rally in Kamloops. She asked if we had any firearms or things like Mace and I assured her we did not carry those things.

Then she asked about fruit and vegetables. We had not really thought about that as an issue. We told her of the bananas, tomatoes, and lettuce in the trailer refrigerator, then I remembered the nectarines we had been eating. They were in the truck with us. I showed them to her and she said they were a no-no. So I handed them over -- I probably should have eaten them right there because she said they would have to throw them away.

Wolf was standing in the middle of the truck cab taking all this in with interest. He expects any guard at a gate to give him a bone, and nothing had come forth. He was getting antsy. She asked about his health and we said we had gotten all the shots and had the papers. She did not need to see them.

Then she asked about booze. We told her what we were carrying (boxed wine and scotch) and she said we were a little over the limit, but since we planned to be in Canada for six weeks, she expected us to drink it all and not sell it. I assured her that would be the case.

Then with big smile she waved us on. It was an overall pleasant experience.

We continued north on Highway BC95 until it joined Highway BC3. Then we drove on into Cranbrook.

I was very surprised by the environment. The road was quite level with only a few mild grades. There were mountains on either side of us, but our path was a piece of cake. As it turned out, much of the driving in British Columbia turned out to be like that. Only when you go across the backbone of the mountain ranges do you get steep grades.

When we reached Cranbrook it was time for lunch. We found a Denny's in the middle of town with a large empty lot next door where we could park the truck and trailer. We went in for lunch. As we left we asked for directions to a visitor information center. There was one a couple of miles further north.

We found the information center in Cranbrook to be very helpful. They had many maps and brochures of the attractions in the area and were very friendly. When I asked about camping, the young lady who was helping me suggested we go back into Cranbrook and stay at the Baker RV Resort in the middle of the town. We followed her directions and soon checked in. The office said to select a site and come back when we were parked.

The camping spots were on the side of a hill but they were all level. We found a good site and set up camp. When we returned to the office we found the young lady who had given us the directions. Her folks ran the RV Park. We kidded her about bias, but it was a good selection.

It was still early in the day, so we walked around the downtown. It was only four blocks away. We found an ATM and withdrew our supply of Canadian currency. We found this was the best way to convert from US to Canadian funds, and the rates proved to be the best. We also used our credit card whenever we could. We found the conversion by Master Card was also very good. Paying for goods in Canada with US money is not a good idea -- the exchange rates in the individual stores is often onerous.

That evening we went downtown and had supper at Heidi's Restaurant. It was an excellent meal and I recommend the place if you stop over in Cranbrook.

Tuesday the 4th we decided to drive up to Kimberly, a small mountain community that had started as a mining center and was now a place for tourists and skiers. They were having a street fair and many of the brochures we had been given told about how great it was. There was an International Accordian Contest going on.

On the way out of town I stopped at a sporting goods store and bought a British Columbia fishing licence, leader material, and some wet flies. I was getting advice from a hefty fellow who was looking at fishing gear. As we talked further, he said he was looking to replace all his fishing gear -- he had lost it all that morning. He and a friend were in a canoe on the St. Mary's River and got caught by a sunken tree. It dumped them and all their gear into the river. It sounded like he was lucky to be alive.

We drove up the road -- it was only about 12 miles. Along the way I saw the St. Mary's. It was too big a river to fish from the bank, and I surely didn't want to rent a canoe.

As we drove into Kimberly I found a good parking place a couple of blocks form the town center and we walked up to check it out. In the town square there was a stage where entertainers were performing. The square itself was full of people in their lawn chairs sitting and enjoying the music. I didn't see any accordians, but someone said that competition was in some other hall.

We found the Gausthaus Restaurant which had what looked like a good Austrian Alps menu and went inside for lunch. It was excellent food, especially if you like German fare. We could hear some of the music coming in from the outside.

While we were eating, the sky clouded over completely and then it really dumped rain on the party. By the time we were ready to leave everyone who had been in the plaza were under the eves of the businesses trying to keep dry. For us it was a matter of running back to the truck as fast as we could. We still got pretty wet. We continued driving along the loop that eventually took us back to Cranbrook. It was still spitting rain when we returned to the trailer. We stayed at home for supper and watched fireworks on the A&E TV station (by satellite).

Log Date: +824: 000705: 51N4': 115W22': Restwell RV Resort, Canmore, Alberta

Our next stop was Canmore at the Restwell RV Resort. We continued to the north under cloudy skies to Radium Hot Springs where we turned east on Highway 93 to cross the Kootenay and Rocky Mountain ranges to Banff. The highway goes through the Kootenay National Park, and we explained at the gate we were driving through. So it cost nothing.

The road started climbing a steep incline. Occasionally there were passing lanes and some turnoffs. The truck pulled along steadily at 25 miles per hour. I saw a sign that I thought read 11% grade for 8 km. Alice said it must have been 8% grade for 11km. She was probably right since most of the steep grades we found were no more than 8%. It was still quite a climb.

I watched the tranny and engine temperatures very closely, especially after we went by a couple of RVs on the side of the road, obviously in distress. They had passed us earlier doing 45 or more. The truck mechanics heated up, but nothing overheated.

The pass was near 5,000 feet, then we were over the top heading down an 8% grade to the Kootenay River valley. I left the transmission in second gear and turned on the engine brake. Once in a while I had to touch the brake, but for the most part I was able to "coast" along at a steady 35mph.

When we reached the bottom of the grade we turned north and drove along the river. Again it was miles and miles (kilometers and kilometers in Canada) of level roads with some wide sweeping curves to track the river. The mountains on either side of us were awesome, curling up from the valley to grey peaks above the timberline. There were patches of snow and clouds wrapped around some of the peaks. The milky green river itself was flowing strongly, obviously coming from snow melt. About half the time we were driving in tree canyons, but since it was a wide road, we could still see the mountains well.

Finally we turned more easterly and crossed the river. We started climbing and shortly we were over the pass through the Rockies and headed downslope.

We intersected TransCanada Highway 1 and continued eastward towards Canmore, following the valley of the Bow River. The Rockies were still on both sides of us.

We pulled off at the first exit to Canmore and drove into the Visitor Center. It was good to get out and stretch. The young man at the desk in the center was very helpful and gave us detailed directions to the RV park. We also collected brochures on Calgary, Banff, and Lake Louise.

We found the road to the Restwell RV Resort and registered. We had a nice level backin spot with full hookups. There was grass all around. We had driven 190 miles.

mountains above CanmoreMountains surrounded the area, so the scenery was spectacular. The peaks to the east were called the Three Sisters.

Thursday morning we headed out to explore Canmore -- and to get some fuel -- and to eat breakfast. The weather was pleasant, cool with a few clouds to set off the mountains and deep blue sky. We had breakfast at Craig's Way Station. It was okay but nothing great. We went back to the Information Center and they suggested we drive to the Information Center nearer Calgary for information about the Stampede.

We bought fuel at a Shell station and after we finally figured out the conversion of liters to gallons and Canadian to US currency, I think we paid about $1.45US/gal, which was better than it had been in Washington. We found a grocery store and restocked our larder.

That afternoon we headed further down (east) on TransCanada Highway 1 to find the Information Center. The weather had turned cloudy and threatened rain. The drive was smooth and fast over a good four-lane road. We decided to stop at the Olympic Village and it was good we did -- that was the Information Center.

When I asked about driving into Calgary and going to the Stampede, the fellow at the desk was very helpful and suggested I not drive into town. He said it would be very crowded and parking would be a problem. His advice was to drive over to the Brentwood Light Rail station and catch the train. It stopped right at the Stampede Grounds.

When we came out it was raining, but we made it back to the truck without getting too wet. We followed the directions to the Brentwood Station and went in to check on schedules and prices. Brentwood is at the end of the line and trains leave about every ten minutes. For $1.60Cn each way we could ride to anywhere on the line, and parking was free at the station. What a deal! That was to be our transportation into Calgary from then on.

The weather had mostly cleared by the time we made it back to Canmore. Alice wanted to look around the shops in Canmore so we parked and walked the five blocks of downtown. She was taken by the Grizzily Paw Pub, so we decided to have an early supper and went in. We had their fish and chips -- the meal was excellent!!

On Friday we had thought about going to the Stampede opening day parade, but the unsettled weather and general laziness kept us in the rig. Alice watched some of the parade on TV. I did some writing and thinking about Fun Days. We walked around the RV Park and Wolf enjoyed himself. There were domesticated rabbits running loose that got his attention once in a while. In the afternoon we went looking for an Internet connection. We finally found it and paid $5.00Cn for 30 minutes of time to collect email, download our portfolio prices, and do some odd bits of surfing on the web.

We had reservations for the Stampede Rodeo on Saturday. We headed down to Brentwood mid-morning. It was a 65 mile drive but went quickly. The train ride was pleasant and we had a chance to see Calgary along the way. Most of the people on the train exited with us at the Stampede station, so we just let the crowd take us into the fair grounds.

Calgary Stampede fairgroundsThe Calgary Stampede is a huge fair. There were several stages where acts were performing. There was a trade show building where vendors were selling all sorts of old and interesting kitchen utensils and gadgets. One of the nice things I noticed was that it was not so packed together as the trade shows I remembered from California. There were good crowds, but the aisles were wide, making it easy to move around.

I found a place selling cowboy hats, and since I had forgotten to bring my headgear, I bought a straw hat. With that addition I blended in really well. There were lots of other pot-bellied old farts walking around besides me.

The carnival area was very colorful and gay. The people who were attending the fair really seemed to enjoy playing the games and taking the rides. It was not all kids, there were more adults than children everywhere.

Our tickets for the Stampede (which I had ordered over the Internet a couple of months earlier) had tickets for food at the Chuck Wagon, which turned out to be a place with many different venues of food. We loaded up and enjoyed ourselves, definitely eating too much. Then we headed for the afternoon rodeo.

Calgary Stampede rodeo bullThe best seats for the rodeo are on the other side from the Grandstand. But we had good seats up about halfway in the Grandstand. Though we were watching from a distance, we could still see the action quite well. The stock was the best I have ever seen in a rodeo. The bulls and the horses were energetic and really gave the riders a run for their money. The riders were also very good. It was a good rodeo.

Clouds over the RockiesAfter the rodeo ended we went through a few more exhibits then boarded the train to return to Brentwood. We were both tired when we finally arrived home and went to bed early. The next evening we were treated to some spectacular clouds at sunset in the Canadian Rockies.

We had tickets to the Sunday Chuck Wagon Races and the stage show that followed. The Races didn't start until later in the afternoon, so we took our time getting out. At the grounds we found the crafts building and spent a bit of time there. The winning entries were really good, and there was some outstanding painting and sculptures showing. We could have spent more time, but we still had to eat and get to the races.

We again ate at the Chuck Wagon, only this time we tried the Chinese Wok food. It was less of a kick on my stomach than the barbeque from the day before.

The Chuck Wagon Races were a real kick. I halfway expected there to be paramutual betting, but there was not. The races were competition between the chuck wagon teams for the prize money. The rules make things complicated and interesting, because the teams have to load stuff into the wagons and then follow the wagon on their horses through a figure eight course out onto the track itself. Once on the track the horses and wagons really ran.

There was an intermission between the races and the stage show. Then as it was getting dark the show started. It was a dance and singing review and had some very good acts.

About one third of the way through the clouds really started rolling in from the southwest. Then there was lightening in the skies on either side of us. Finally it started sprinkling. Luckily for Alice and me, our seats were back under the overhang, so we were nice and dry.

The stage was open with no covering whatever, but even with the rain the show kept going. The clouds got darker, the lightening got brighter, and the rain got heavier. Finally, it was pouring down rain. This was during the juggler's act. His finalle was to juggle machete knives while on a unicylce. He did this in the pouring rain, but several times it looked like a close one. As he ended and left the stage, they announced they were pausing the show to let the rain pass.

We sat for about thirty minutes, hoping it would stop raining. I went over to the side of the Grandstand so I could see to the southwest, and there was another band of rain coming through, with even more lightening. When they pulled the fireworks wagons back into the barn I told Alice we should just leave. Besides, we had seen a fantastic fireworks display in the sky already. Shortly afterward, they cancelled the rest of the show.

We finally made it back onto the train along with several hundred other bedraggled people. But everyone was in good spirits. By the time we got to Brentwood the rain was mostly past and apart from the flooded parking lot around the truck, there was no problem getting out and heading home.

The next day was again partly cloudy. We sat around the trailer and took life easy. We did go back down to collect email again, and I got a bit upset when it became apparent there were several very, very long emails to be downloaded. As it turned out, it was four 1 megabyte pictures from my son. I sent a nasty, nasty email back telling him to not bother sending emails like that again. He did apologize when we saw him the next time.

Tuesday morning Alice gathered up the dirty clothes and took them to wash there at the park. As she was finishing up this other lady who had brought her clothes in to wash called Alice by name. It took a short time for Alice to finally realize it was Sandy Chamberlin. Sandy and Paul were our assistants at the upcoming Fun Days.

Pennys and Chamberlins at Lake LouiseWhen I dropped by to help with finishing the laundry, Paul also arrived, and we had a great time talking about our journeys into Canada. Paul offered us a ride up to see Lake Louise that afternoon, and we took him up on the offer.

After a quick lunch we settled down in the Chamberlin's Saturn and headed northwest along Highway 1. It was about 40 miles up to Lake Louise along the Bow River in the middle of the Rockies. It was a beautiful drive, and this time I was not driving so I got to see more of the scenery than normal.

We finally found a parking spot on the third level and then walked past the lodge all the way to the top end of the lake. It was a spectacular view all the way, and I took several disks of pictures. I produced a panorama from one set, with the lodge in the distance on the left and the top of the lake on the right.

Panorama of Lake Louise

We had a great time just talking with Sandy and Paul. They have very similar personalities to ours and we have many interests in common. When we got back to the lodge we relaxed in the bar for a while and then headed back to Canmore. They were interested in a good place to eat, so we guided them to the Grizzly Paw Pub and again had their fish and chips. Yumm!!

Finally, it was back to the rigs. It was time to start preparing for the trip further west. We would see the Chamberlins again in Kamloops.

Log Date: +831: 000712: 51N: 118W: Canyon Hot Springs, Revelstoke, BC

Wednesday morning we dumped the tanks, pulled in the slides, and headed on up Highway 1. We bought a season pass for the Canadian National Parks as we entered Banff National Park. We got the senior discount, so it only cost $57Cn. We drove past Banff (it was off the highway) and then past Lake Louise. Shortly afterward the road went back to two-lane, but the pass occurred within a few miles and the grades were small, so I did not slow down traffic very much.

Canada's Glacier ParkThe road had more grades and curves as we headed west across the backbones of the different ranges, but even so the drive was quite smooth, not what I had expected. We crossed the Columbia River as it headed to the north and then climbed into the Columbia Mountain Range. We had thought about stopping in the Glacier National Park, but as we went over the pass we decided to go further down the road.

About 35 miles beyond Glacier we saw road signs for the Canyon Hot Springs RV Park and decided to check it out. The resort office was up on a hill and I was leary about driving up there, not sure of how I was to get out. Alice walked up to check if there was room for us and then came out to motion me to drive on up. We registered for three nights and found the exit road. We camped down on the flat in a nice pull-through. Our trip had been 172 miles.

Shortly afterward we found that the campground was surrounded on three sides by the railroad tracks of the CNP. It is a very busy line, but then you do get used to these kinds of noises when you are a full-timer.

Columbia River damThe next day we drove further down the road to shop for groceries in Revelstoke. We also went up to the dam above Revelstoke across the Columbia River. The river had grown quite a bit from the previous day. We stopped at the gift shop but did not go down to the observation point at the base of the dam.

Walking amongst devil clubsWe also visited the Hemlock Boardwalk, a stop along Highway 1 in the Revelstoke National Park. It was a delightful walk among some of the old trees with descriptions of the fauna and stories of the past. It told of the Devil's Club, and I had to agree it was an awesome looking plant with its large leaves and spiny stems.

What I have not shown you is all the beautiful pictures of flowers I was able to take. For a website it would be boring, but I still enjoy going back over the pictures to see the beautiful colors we found on the road through Canada.

On Friday we drove back east on Highway 1 to the pass in Glacier National Park. While we were there we went by to look at the campgrounds. It was a good thing we did not pull our rig up the road to the campground. We would have had a hard time getting it turned around and back out.

Log Date: +834: 000715: 51N30'7.08: 119W49'59.82: Lake Monte RV Park, Lake Monte, BC

We pulled out Saturday morning on our way to Lake Monte. We had no idea what it would be like, but the campground had been listed in one of our BC guides and mentioned fishing and rockhounding. It was also only 151 miles away and 40 miles from Kamloops.

Beyond Revelstoke we mostly drove alongside lake after lake. We knew we were supposed to take Highway 97A to the south, and were faked out when the highway was announced. Then we realized it was a loop, and we had further to go.

We finally found the road, though the entrance to the highway was a kilometer beyond where the highway headed up the side of the valley. After finding our way (it was not really that hard) we started along Highway 97A. It started climbing steeply.

Most of the major roads in BC, like Highway 1, follow the long level valleys. If you want to get off of the beaten track, you have to leave the valley you are in. That usually entails climbing a steep grade, usually an 8% grade. So up we went and went and went. When we reached the top of the plateau we were once again in a long level valley, just one several hundred meters higher than the previous one. We followed it along until we came to Lake Monte and halfway along the lake we came to the Lake Monte RV Park.

The RV Park was built on the side of the hill, meaning as soon as you left the highway you started climbing. There appeared to be only one other RV in the park. I wondered what we were getting into.

I stopped at the base of the hill and a young boy came up. I told him we had called ahead and were looking for a full hookup site. He told me I could park in any of the four sites that had full hookups and pointed them out to me. I chose the lowest. Even so it was a matter of coming around to the back of it then up a steep grade so I could pull through. There were some tight turns but we made it up to the first terrace okay.

The water and sewer connections were fine, but the electrical connection was poor. It was an old 15 amp connection and the voltage was around 106. But at least it should keep the batteries charged. When I tried to set up the satellite dish I found the trees formed a perfect barrier, so we spent the next two days without USA TV. We could watch local television but it was fuzzy.

Without TV I got quite a bit more writing done. I even fixed up the fly rod and went over to the lake to fish. Then I dropped the fly reel and broke its base. I still mounted it on the fly rod and shortly thereafter I lost the fly in the bushes behind me. I am still not sure if I want to get back to fishing.

At least we were able to head into Kamloops with empty holding tanks and a tank full of fresh water.

Log Date: +836: 000717: 51N30'7.08: 119W49'59.82: XLA, Kamloops, BC

Monday morning we stowed everything and headed back down the hill to Kamloops. We turned north on Highway 5 and then followed the signs into KXA, the Kamloops Exhibition Arena. We started getting our SKP hugs and meeting other members of the staff. A friendly member of the parking crew came by to lead us to our parking place.

We backed in on the grass and set up the rig. There was some power, but we never really depended upon it. There were going to be 15 rigs sucking on one 100 amp circuit, and whoever turned on their microwave or coffee pot would take out the breaker.

About that time it was lunch and the Deans suggested the Country Corner Cafe which was just on the other side of the fence. It was close but neither of us enjoyed the food that much. We soon found there were better places to eat in Kamloops.

We went by the Fun Days office and said hello to everyone working there. Then it was back to the rig to set up housekeeping and get ready for the busy time ahead.

Tuesday morning we had a staff meeting with Pat and Arden Houser to get things squared away on handling the Jr. Escapees (those kids who came along with their grand-parents or other guardian to Fun Days). The Chamberlins, our assistants for the Jr. Escapees function, arrived a little later in the morning and parked their motorhome next to our rig. Later Paul turned it around so our doors and awnings faced each other. It became a favorite meeting place.

We all joined a group that went to Joey's Only for fish and chips. That was the first great place to eat that we found. Then we went shopping with Paul and Sandy to start collecting some of the supplies we needed for games and prizes. Later in the day we boarded a bus with 40 other staff members and went to have supper out on a hill where the Kamloops CattleDrive was camped. It was quite an experience.

On Wednesday it was more planning and shopping with the Chamberlins. We stopped by Milestone's for lunch and went by Costco where I bought some smoked salmon we had for supper. Bud Lewin from Jojoba Hills came by for a visit. He and Marge were staying at an RV dealer in north Kamloops. Bud had dropped his trailer onto a fence post and had become an RV salesman while waiting around to get it fixed.

Thursday we added to our staff. Mary Ayers joined us and Arizona Rooney was helping to keep the early kids occupied. We handled the staff registration and registered four kids. At least it was a start. We had ham on croissants for lunch and went back to Milestone's for supper with the Chamberlins.

Friday we had a check meeting with the Housers. Everything seemed to be going well. Alice and I took the afternoon off to wash clothes in North Kamloops at a place suggested by Bud. Then the staff had a dinner in the big tent. Alice won a door prize.

Saturday we signed up a couple more staff kids. Ed and Shelba Burke (friends from the Bay Area) and Treva and Joel Swicord (Chapter #13 from Jojoba Hills) arrived. We did more arranging and collecting of supplies. That evening we and the Chamberlins went to the Halston Diner/Pub with Bud and Margie. We ate far too much food. While we were eating a rain storm came through and cooled things off. It really helped.

Finally it was Sunday and people started arriving enmass. Unfortunately, the rains had continued during the night and the fields were muddy. Some of the people were stuck in the mud at their staging spots. Even so, we had a good turnout and registered another 14 kids. We had a meeting at the Rugby building which was to be our center of operations and then lead them all into the main building for the opening ceremonies. It had become quite hot and humid, and there were a couple of kids that almost passed out. At least they became somewhat distraught. I did not feel well either. Finallly, they had the ceremony for the Jr. Escapees and we could all head out.

That evening we went to Rick's Grill downtown for supper. I had some very lightly grilled Ahi. It was excellent.

Monday the Fun Days was into full swing. We had a pancake breakfast then gathered the kids at the Rugby building. I told them about the skit and started collecting players. We ended up with most of the kids in the skit. Later in the morning we started playing games. The kids especially enjoyed the water balloon volley ball. Soon it developed into water balloon tossing the all-out water balloon wars. The weather was right for that kind of action and some of the kids were totally soaked.

At the announcements and door prizes at 4pm, I was able to get the kids to all come in with the expectation that they might win a prize. They began to suspect that everyone was going to win sometime during the week, and once they won something they were much harder to control.

Later that evening the buses came by to take all the SKPs into town for shopping and whatever. We and the Chamberlins ate supper at Kelly O'Briens. Another excellent meal.

Tuesday was more of the same, though I was beginning to wear thin. We had a couple of skit practices, including one where we had to teach the kids how to speak into the microphones. I almost lost my cool a couple of times. That evening we had live entertainment and the SKP BBQ dinner.

Wednesday morning we ended the scavenger hunt and handed out prizes. Once again, one of the children, Jenna, had scored 100% on the hunt. She had asked almost every person at the Fun Days for the various items. She will go far. At the closing ceremonies Pat Houser told the assembled throng about my coming into the office and blowing my stack about the kids -- she thought it was funny. Looking back, it was.

We went to supper with the Chapter 13 and Jojoba Hills people at the Plaza Hotel and then hurried back to put on the skit at the Fun Days Follies. The kids did a great job and were a major hit of the show. Finally, the Fun Days were over.

Log Date: +846: 000727: 51N30'7.08: 119W49'59.82: Knutsfrord RV Camp, Kamloops, BC

Or at least it was almost over. We still had the hitchup breakfast. We went down to the center and said goodbye to all the people we could find. We had formed some new friendships and definitely had had some new common experiences.

Back at the rig, Alice called around and got us some reservations at a nearby RV Park. It is good she did -- if we had just driven up they would have been full.

We pulled out about 11am and drove the 7 miles up the hill to Knutsford RV Camp on Highway 5A. We asked about staying longer but were told there was a Canadian holiday coming up and there was no room at the inn. Alice then called Cultus Lake TTN Park and found they were also booked full. After talking it over we decided we would return to the states and go to Mt. Vernon TTN when our time ran out at Knutsford.

The weather continued rainy and cloudy, but that was fine with me. I just wanted to rest and recover.

Friday we went by the post office and procured our mail then it was back to Joey's Only for another round of fish and chips. Saturday and Sunday we just took it easy. We did go into town to shop for groceries and for Alice to cash in her door prize, but other than that we were just lazy.

Log Date: +850: 000731: 48N33'55.66: 122W20'42.75: Mt. Vernon TTN Park, Burlington, WA

Monday morning we rigged for travel and headed south on Highway 5. There is a toll booth at the mid-point on the highway, but it only cost $10.00Cn for the truck and fifth-wheel. That was a good price for the nice road down to the Frasier River valley.

We were again going across some mountain range backbones, so there were some places where we slowed for the grades and curves, but all-in-all the roads were excellent.

We had lunch at a roadside rest next to the Frasier and soon afterward turned south to Sumas and the border crossing. We again had a cheery border guard who listened to our story and then waved us through with a smile. We found our way through the flatlands north of Bellingham until we caught I-5 and headed south. Alice remembered that the turnoff we needed was Bow Hill Road, and shortly we were there. I remembered the rest of the route past the casino and on into the Mt. Vernon TTN Park.

We registered and paid for nine nights then went looking for a site in our favorite area. We wanted to be around the grassy area so JC and Krista could set up their tent. We found a spot that was close but across the street from the grass. We hoped to move later in the week.

That evening we drove back to the Skagit Casino for some gambling and supper. We collected a couple of $3-off coupons for being seniors and the buffet supper was good. Then I hit the roulette table and won nicely. That was the beginning of a good run of luck, but most of that happened in August.

[RV Travel Log] or [year 2000] or [June 2000] or [Aug 2000]