Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Last Leg - Trip Home

There always has to be a last day, which means time to head home.

Up at 6:30am - CHECK
On the Road by 7am - CHECK
Ferry sails at 8:30am - CHECK

With an extremely early start, Tim Hortons was definitely the first stop, and not the only Timmie's for the trip. A warm tea & food in my tummy, and the last Ferry ride, Thankfully in the sunshine, I could see the ocean and enjoy watching the waves it was back to the mainland.

A girlfriend of mine had just recently moved to Vancouver, and thanks to Facebook, we arranged to meet up at the Vancouver Aquarium before I headed home. I long awaited visit for us.

I must have been only 10, or even younger since my last trip there during one of our family summer holidays, so I was pretty excited. Plus I was finally seeing some sunshine instead of rain (SUPER EXCITED), camera in hand, Tori and I headed in. Here are a few of the animals we seen, and there was a showcase / feater with belugas. So cool.

It was a beautiful day out and a great trip to the aquarium with a great friend. It would have been nice to have a little more time, but home was still about a 12 hr drive, so time to get moving.

The weather was still really nice, and so nice to be able to wear sunglasses again, until I started to reach the Coquihalla. The clouds were coming in, and you could tell it had definitely snowed / rained since I came through the first time.

It was a fun drive and was it sure every muddy and messy. An interesting spray pattern from the other vehicles on the road as well. Insead of hitting the lower half of my truck, the spray was pretty much windows up.
So straight to a Merritt Gas station to clean my very messy unclear windows.

Still daylight, on towards Kamloops for some dinner, and another Timmie's.

The roads and weather was amazing the rest of the way. The snow that had fallen in the past 12 days was untouched and looked amazing in the clear moonlight on the trip home. It was even snowing for me when I reached Calgary. Must have known I missed it and was happy to see it instead of the rain.

Pulled into the drive at home at 2:30 am on Wednesday Dec 29, 2010.
Total Km's - 2,872.8

Home safe and sound and some amazingly wonderful memories again. A much needed trip an amazing Christmas 2010.

Monday, December 27, 2010

One last day

One last day before I head back to the main land and travel back home.
I woke up to no rain on the roof of the trailer and I was extremely hopefully and wishfull that it would hold out all day. I still very much enjoyed the rest and was in no hurry so didn't head out till early afternoon, but the plan is up to Campbell River, Comox & Courtenay area.

A bit of a drive, but an area I didn't get to see last trip out here.
The weather heald out, not sun shining, but bright with could cover. Through Qualicum beach on onto the highway, I didn't hit rain till I was out, but it was light, and who knows it can change right??

So I got to Campbell River, and it was looking okay. Spitting but not pouring. YEAH!!

First stop always for me is the visitor information center for a persons personal opinion on what to see while there. I pulled up and it looked a little dark inside and sure enough CLOSED. Who the heck closes a visitors station over the holidays. Closed till the 3rd, so I was on my own. So I decided to drive along the coast, see what I could find. The water was pretty high along the coast line and the drive along OceanSide Trail.

So I stopped a couple of times along the way and got some pictures. They did turn out brighter that it actually was outside as the rain was starting to pick up.

About half way down my drive I noticed a Museum and thought hey, if it's raining I'll go indoor.
However, upon arrival and after pulling into a very empty parking lot, I found the hours sign. Well not closed with the hoidays, however Closed on Mondays.
So apparently not my turn to see a lot. But then again it's not really tourist season.

So I continued back into town to find a marina to check out. The rain started coming down harder, so grabbed a couple quick shots, and then to find a Tim Hortons and head back.

I decided I didn't feel like getting to wet, so back on the road and took the side road, Oceanview Road back to Parksville. In the daylight, it would be a beautiful drive, and I did get to see a little bit of it, but we are in the shortest times of the year right now.
But along the way back, did see a gas station at $1.09 (Score) only needed 1/2 a tank but filled up cheap. BC Cheap anyway.

So now back in the trailer, and packing up getting ready to hit the road tomorrow. Looking at schedules and thinking of what I want to get done, it's gonna be an early start for me.

Plan, up at 6:30am.
On the Road by 7am.
Ferry sails at 8:30am
Then a stop at the Vancouver Aquarium and meeting up with a friend, then home to Calgary.

And yes I will drive safe, I'll stop if I'm tired, and will take my tame.
Thanks all you mom's and dad's worrying.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

And we FEAST!!!!!!

So since my arrival to Parksville, BC the only change in weather is how hard the rain has been coming down.

Max Temp: 10.8 °C
Max Temp.Date: Dec.25 2010

Min temp: 4.5 °C
Min Temp. Date: Dec.23 2010

Precip Accumulation: 65.6 mm

So not a lot of outdoor activities to be done, however the Food has been amazing. # major feasts of some very rich tasty food.

1 - While shopping for groceries, we stumbled upon some pretty good deals on some more seafood. (we already picked up the crab and scallops for Christmas Dinner). So why not do crab twice. Plus Shrimp
Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm GOOD!!!!

2 - One staple on Christmas that has never changed (as long as I can remember) has been our BIG breakfast/brunch on X-mas Morning. And this was no different, and not short on Mickey Mouse Pancakes.

And also Dad's family tradition of Oysters cannot be missed either.

So after Breakfast, looking at the soggy ground (no changes) I seen the RV Park Bunnies. I seen them as little babies on my first visit in March, and man have they grown, but still so cute, and the White one has got some cool colouring on it.

And with the Rain hanging around, we stuck around the trailer all day. Opened a couple gifts, fixing/upgrading my computer and watching Dad's new gift. Blue-Ray DVD Player, and we watched Despicable Me.

So Feast # 3 -
Fresh Crab, Bacon Wrapped Scallops and Roast Potatoes. YUMMY!!!!
And man were we full after. But so amazing.

And it wouldn't be a Crab dinner with me and my camera with out the classic shots of "preparing" (butchering really)

Despite the rainy weather, the holidays with Dad has been everything I wanted for Christmas. And the rest and relaxation is exactly what I needed, even if it wasn't on the agenda.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Off to the Island

I left for the Island at 10am on the 22nd. 2 Ferries to catch, it was going to be a long day. And as they don't have very many Ferries leaving for the second strech I had to time it right and plan ahead.

Ferry 1 - Departure at 12:20pm
Earls Cover to Saltery Bay

I made it there with about an hour to go, but I wasn't about to miss it, and early is always better. And being early I was 3rd on and got to see where we were headed as it was quite open, and took in the 40 mintues of Beautiful Scenery.

Ferry 2 - Departure at 5:15pm
Powell River to Comox

We unloaded pretty quickly and it was a quick 30 minute drive up to Powell River. Didn't realize it would be so quick, so found the information center to see if there was anything I could do till I needed to head for the line up.
I was informed of a couple of walks and an option to drive about 20 mintues up to Eagle River Falls, so that peaked my interested.

I found a little sports pub for something quick to eat, and then headed on the trek to make sure I had enough time to get back.
The Falls were unmarked and a gravel side road takes you down under the bridge, and it's about a 10 mintue walk, this is what I was told.
I arrived drove across the bridge and headed down to water soaked leaves and a dirt trail. After putting the truck in 4x4 to be safe and stepping out in the constantly running stream, I looked down the path and debated wether I should continue or not. If I get down, can I get back up?????
After about 2 mintues I decided against it, and hopped back in the truck.
Here is a photo of the falls to give you an idea of what I passed up.

So I headed back to Powell River, grabbed a quick Timmie's and then off to the Ferry for about an hours wait.

Travelling during the shortest days of the year SUCKS!!! But Christmas with Family is definitely worth it.
Onto the Ferry, for an hour 20 minute trip to the Island. Had a nice nap, reading, and back down to the truck for docking. I HATE This part. You can't see anything, and make me feel queasy. But I made it. Phewf!

Into Comox, and thanks again to my GPS, made it through and down to Parksville, in the dark, in about an hour. Had clear roads and not a lot of traffic.

Got in some really good visiting with Dad again, and called it a night.
Woke up a few times listening to the Rain on the trailer, thinking this is so wrong. It's Christmas and there should be snow, but apparently I left it all in Calgary.
Woke up a few times during the night, and got up to constant rain today. It definitely wasn't going to be a great day for sightseeing, but on the road again.

Today I decided to go to Chemanius, BC. It's a cute little town, and it was a quick visit there last time so I wanted to hit the shops. So in the rain I walked up and down the Old part of town and just enjoyed an hour. Cute little places.
With all the rain I left the Camera in the truck. But here is a few I found online.
Little town kinda famous for there murals on the sides of Buildings.

Apparently more rain for the next few days, but I'll get some more attractions in.

And it's a good day I got the traveling done, as the ferries I took yesterday were all cancled today, or delayed.

Total KM's : 1403.7

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Some Hang Time with Mom

The last 3 days I've spent Hanging with Mom, shopping, seeing some sights and enjoying this raining Sunshine Coast.

Event #1 - Snowshoeing at Dakota Ridege (still not sure the name of the mountain)

They provide rentals, and the truck ride up as it is HIGHLY suggested you need 4x4 and chains to get up there. And why not just let someone else do the driving, I've been on the road pretty secluded for a few days. I was more than happy passing off that responsibility.

The custom altered bus/van got us up to some beautiful sunshine and so much snow. It was georgeous.
Our Driver Jamie, got mom and I hooked up in our Snowshoes (as our first time we had no idea) and up to the map where we got a few of Jamies suggestions.

So after getting our quick rundown, here we go, and got so see some amazing views, and breat taking paths of untouched snow just a few paths. Here are a few of the shots along the way.

As we made the 1/2 way point, the trees open up and you get this amazing view. It reminded me of a scene out of The Grinch Movie, Whoville. Chirstmas I know. But it was amazing. We stood there for a bit taking it all in.

So mom and I had up hill and straight figgured out pretty good. Downhill, was a little trickier. First attempt, I went first and kinda skiied down on my bum. Don't know what attempt mom was trying here, didn't turn out so well either.

We made it back to the hut and rested till the the van was ready to leave again. We had a great hike but didn't feel ambitious enough to make the other circle. But the weather was beautiful and the sun was out all day. It was an amazing day.

After a big day of fresh air we headed back for a quick warmup, out for dinner and a nap and veg on the couch that night. Perfect way to spend a Sunday.

Monday was pretty quiet as well. Sleeping in a little, a little shopping, dinner out followed with a puzzle and movie. Worked quite well for me and mom.

Tuesday we planned a little more. My last trip to to Gibsons/Roberts Creek we spent the day hiking and watching the Skookumchuck Narrows. It's the narrowest section of where the water passes through creating these amzing currents and actually changes directions depending on high and low tide.
Dec 21st being the shortest day of the year, and it also being winter, the change and water wouldn't be quite as spectacular, but the walk out is awesome and we figured why not. So in a little bit of rain, we made the hour drive out and had another amazing day out in the fresh air. Who would have ever imagined growing up in Alberta, to be walking in a spring coat right before Christmas. It was great.

It's back on the road tomorrow. 2 ferry rides, approximately 2hrs & 40 mintues, plus driving time.