Tuesday, April 29, 2008



MONDAY, APRIL 14, 2008



Although the weather was frigid, I got up early, took a shower and got on the road to B.C. It was only ten minutes to the border and my fears were groundless. The customs inspector didn’t bat an eye when I said I had been away since September 9, 2007. He looked at my passport while Ripley growled, but didn’t ask for her health certificate nor did he ask me how much liquor I had! So, I suppose I could have brought in much more – but you never know when you might get inspected.

At any rate, just on the other side of the border was a Visitor Centre, where I was asked to pay $3.95 for a map of British Columbia!! In the U.S. the maps are free.

It was just a short drive then, on Highway 17 to the Tsawassan Ferry long term parking lot, which is on native Indian land. After discovering that it would cost me over $200 to take Philippa across on the ferry, I chose instead to leave her in the parking lot at $10/day and carry a backpack with my clothing, camera, binoculars, etc., plus my laptop suitcase, and to take Ripley on a leash to hop on the shuttle bus which took us to the terminal. There I bought a ticket to Victoria (Swartz Bay) for $13. When I had spoken to Anne and Robin, they were concerned about Ripley not being in a crate, but as it happens on the ferry I caught, there is a special heated room for pets on the car deck, so we were quite comfortable during the 1 ½ hour trip. The only problem was that I had to remain with her and could not watch the scenery. We were joined by a couple with their Shih Tzu, and we traded newspapers to pass the time. The ferry is gigantic and can take long tractor transports, as well as RV’s and lots of cars, on two levels. Upstairs in the lounge area (where I was not allowed to go because of Ripley), there is a restaurant, gift shop, game room and glassed-in seating area.

At Victoria, I had to put on my heavy backpack and laptop case once again, go upstairs in the building, then back down after buying my ticket to Saltspring Island. Then I had to walk over to another building carrying my heavy load, and walk upstairs to the waiting room. The ferry was much smaller this time, and Ripley and I sat in with the few other passengers for the half-hour ride. So I was able to watch the scenery as we wended our way up northwards.


Anne and Robin were waiting for us when Ripley and I landed on Saltspring Island, their summer and soon-to-be retirement home. I’ve known Anne Zeller for many years. She was the Teaching Assistant for Professor Frances Burton when I first started taking courses as a mature student at the University of Toronto and, because of our mutual interest in non-human primates, we have kept in touch. We share an experience with orangutans in Borneo. Anne has taught at Waterloo University for many years, and Robin Irvine is a retired lawyer. They spend the winter in Kitchener, but Anne is on sabbatical this year, so they are making the most of their B.C. home. Robin’s house is rented out, and the two of them currently live in Anne’s cute five-room cottage. It is located on a quiet dead-end road, surrounded by tall trees, with a brook running through the back end and a garden in front. Their long-haired dachshund Bella greeted Ripley and I was relieved to see that they would probably get along.

Robin, Bella and Ripley
Saltspring Island is much less developed than I would have thought, and many of the houses are hidden by trees, making it a truly beautiful place. It has attracted many artisans and hippies back in the 60’s and I noticed that many people know each other in the little village of Fulford Harbour, where the ferry arrives.

We took the dogs for a walk, first to a nearby beach where we collected fresh clams, and then up the curving road from the house, past a sheep farm, up a hill and around the corner to a very large private property where the trees were huge. It has been divided up amongst the children of the owners and must be worth a fortune.

Ripley and I shared the den, with a door that led to a small outside seating area and where the music of the nearby brook could be heard. It’s just too bad it is too cold to sit outside. The front of the house has a large deck with views of hummingbirds, pine siskins and other birds as they come to the various hanging feeders that overlook the garden.

There is a bathtub, so I took advantage to have a long soak with a view into the woods behind.

Supper was a delicious chicken stew, after which we watched Dancing With the Stars in the cozy living room where the wood stove is located.


We all slept in. One nice thing about the house is that the yard is completely fenced in, so that Ripley was able to go outside off a leash and to investigate to her heart’s content. She and Bella seem to have come to an arrangement simply to ignore one another!

The day is cool, but sunny and I enjoyed watching the hummingbirds at the feeder through the large kitchen window while Anne and I ate our oatmeal. Robin prefers cold cereal.

Anne and Robin are building a new house which is much bigger than what they have now, and we drove over to see it. They seem to be having a lot of fun choosing the various construction pieces and sourcing out bargains, especially doors. They were able to find some in a repo yard at less than half the price of the new ones. The house is their own design, is an L-shape on a lot with a nice view of Fulford Harbour. They hope the contractor will be finished by summer, but there is still quite a bit of work to do inside. However, it will be gorgeous when it’s finished – and huge. There is a den, kitchen, dining room, living room on one wing, leading to a sunroom (with a full-length deck) and two bedrooms with walk-in closets and a bathroom. Upstairs there is a library, another bathroom and a large study, leading to a balcony. So, it should be large enough to hold all of the collectibles that they have accumulated over the years.

Anne and I went into Ganges, the largest town halfway up the island. We dropped Robin’s old, but still in good condition, Mercedes off at the garage for an oil change while we went to the market and the library, where I was able to log on and check my email. As we walked along the street, Anne greeted several people and it seems as though most people know each other. It’s difficult to describe the atmosphere on the island, but I guess the closest I can think of is casual. No one is in a rush and everyone is friendly.

Terry and Ann joined us for a supper of chicken, baby carrots, orzo (an interesting pasta that I had brought from Pike Market in Seattle), salad and home-made ice cream and grapes bought at the Ganges market – and of course, wine. Terry and Ann are long-time residents here.

Anne treated us to a viewing of her new educational video that she has put together and which she plans to sell to schools who teach primatology, her specialty. She has made several, but this particular one described six different macaque monkey species that can be found around the world, featuring the footage that Anne herself had taken in various countries.


We had another leisurely morning, and I spent some time downloading my photos and labeling them. Anne had arranged for me and her to have a massage, something I badly needed after hauling my heavy backpack around. We returned to Ganges where Lucia, the Registered Massage Therapist has her business. I suggested that Anne go first so that I could explore the nearby harbour.
Ganges Harbour
The steep hill led down to a marina where I watched a pair of common mergansers as they searched for fish close to shore. This is an interesting bird because the male and female look so very different. The male has a showy white body with a black head while the female has a grayish body with a reddish brown head with a ruff at the back.

I wandered around admiring the many boats moored in the marina before making my way back up the hill in time for my turn for a massage. It’s interesting that every RMT that I have been to has a slightly different technique, but they are all effective. I felt so relaxed after the hour. When I paid her, she gave me my change in Saltspring Island dollars! They have their own colouful money, redeemable anywhere on the island and issued by the Saltspring Island Monetary Foundation. It’s as though they think of themselves as an independent country! The dark blue $5 bill features Sylvia Stark (1839-1944) on the front and some killer whales on the back. I’m going to keep it as a souvenir, and I imagine many visitors do just that.

Later on, we drove down to the Fulford Inn to meet up with their friends Maryanne and Deb for a personal pizza, the specialty of the night. I chose mine with feta cheese, black olives, bacon and tomato – delicious along with a beer.

Afterwards, Maryanne and Deb were given a tour of the new house.



When they heard I was coming for a visit, Anne and Robin thought that it would be fun for me to see part of Vancouver Island, so we were up early. However, Robin opted to stay home and continue sanding and painting a found door from an old schoolroom with a beautiful scroll inlay. So, Anne, Ripley and I hurried off to catch the Vesuvius ferry at the north end of Saltspring, taking us to Crofton on Vancouver Island.


The highway wound its way through small villages, past an alpaca farm, skirting around Nanaimo to magnificent Cathedral Grove. The park was donated by MacMillan Bloedel, perhaps as a panacea for all the tree cutting they had done on the island. In any event, the trees seemed to be just as tall and as wide as some of the redwoods that I had seen back in California. Ripley enjoyed walking with us through the forest, checking out all the smells.
Birds were singing everywhere as we wandered around the huge trees, some of which had fallen in a devastating storm a few years ago. I couldn’t believe the length of these as they lay alongside the pathway, and I would estimate that they averaged 300 feet in length. We came to a lake at the far end before turning back to cross the highway to walk the path on the other side.

Anne and Ripley

On our return we couldn’t resist stopping at the Qualicum Trading Post outside of Coombs, featuring beautiful authentic native creations. I managed to restrain myself to buying a few polished stones, but Anne just had to buy a lovely little woven basket with an intricate pattern on the sides. The owner of the shop told me about the Red Coat Trail which follows the route of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police as they patrolled the border back in the 1800’s. It sounds like an interesting route and perhaps I’ll pick it up in Alberta. It appears to be too twisty and winding in the B.C. portion, and I had been advised to take the Trans Canada Highway instead, by the staff at the Visitor Centre.

We stopped for lunch at a unique place in Coombs called Goats On the Roof. It features a green roof (that’s a roof that has grass growing on it) and apparently during the tourist scene there really are goats up there – but not at this time of year. Too bad. That would have been fun to see. The building has a large market area in front, featuring some very exotic imported foods – which of course are all very expensive. We headed to the back restaurant to order a quiche for Anne and a teriyaki meatball dish for me. Mine was a bad choice and didn’t taste very good, so Ripley was the beneficiary of my leftovers.


Just on the outskirts of Coombs is the World Parrot Refuge, which offers a lifetime home for the many parrot breeds who end up unwanted by their owners. The problem with these birds is that they look beautiful in a pet shop, but are generally very noisy and also live very long lives (25 for a budgie- up to 75 years for a parrot). Many people who buy these expensive birds don’t appreciate the loud squawks once they get them home, or the bird bites, or else they get tired of taking care of a bird for years on end. Many of these birds were wild-caught and don’t necessarily adjust well to captive living, and consequently develop behavioural problems, like plucking out their feathers.

The World Parrot Refuge was an unfamiliar sanctuary to me and I was interested in seeing the design. The rooms are set up with giant aviaries on either side of a visitor walkway, containing something like 700 birds in total, ranging from a few budgies and cockatiels to parrots of different types, to gorgeous macaws (including the endangered blue Hyacinth Macaw) and cockatoos. Some of these birds could talk and one could even sing Old MacDonald Had a Farm. He started off, and then we joined in while he responded with Ee-yi-ee-yi-yo! Others had plucked out their breast feathers and looked more like plucked chickens, while another put his claw through the wire and repeatedly tried to grab my jacket. There are signs everywhere warning people not to put their fingers into the cages.

I was pleased to see that the caretakers had provided many toys for the birds to play with consisting of cast-off children’s toys and other items that have been donated. They had lots of climbing trees, both horizontal and vertical from floor to ceiling, and all the food offered was fresh.

At the far end we encountered a room housing all the new arrivals, and there must have been at least 100 birds there, many of whom were wandering around loose. A volunteer had a cockatoo on her shoulder and introduced us to Esther (he’s a male but his owners couldn’t tell his gender). She transferred Esther over to my arm and I was warned to be careful as he couldn’t fly. So I gingerly got him to climb up to my shoulder where he seemed quite happy to sit. When I stroked his feathers, he tucked his head under my chin and seemed just content to have the attention. Anne had a turn holding Esther as well, and we were both dismayed later to hear that he had cancer.

I must commend the World Parrot Refuge for caring for these wonderful birds, but it would be so much better if they were left in the wild in the first place, where they can fly freely and enjoy the companionship of their own kind in their flocks. For more information, visit their website at http://www.worldparrotrefuge.org/.


We still had a long drive back to the ferry terminal at Crofton, so after a walk for Ripley, we headed south in order to catch the 5:30 ferry back to Saltspring. As we drove back home, we passed a large catamaran sealed in plastic which apparently was sailed around the world by its owner. I imagine that there are many stories that could be told by the inhabitants of Saltspring.

Supper was delicious wild salmon, leftover orzo, broccoli, salad and some more home-made ice cream.

We spent the remainder of the evening looking at the photos that I had taken during my trip and which are stored on my computer.

FRIDAY, APRIL 18, 2008

It’s time to say goodbye once again to friends and continue on my journey. Anne and Robin were planning to go to Victoria to do some shopping and accompanied me on the ferry that far. We went our separate ways and I made my way over to the ferry that would take me back to the mainland. Ripley and I were fortunate to be on another ferry that had a special pet room (not all of them do and consequently it is necessary to stand on the car deck in the cold).

After a brief wait, we boarded the shuttle bus to take us back to the long-term parking lot where I paid $45 for the 4 ½ days I was on the island. The day is cold and overcast and I decided to have lunch (canned ravioli) before heading out.

I hadn’t taken into account Friday night commuter traffic, so it was a slow drive while we passed through the Vancouver suburbs, and construction en route didn’t help things at all. But eventually we were clear once we got onto the Trans Canada Highway and past the commuters. Gas cost $126.7/litre, and there was snow on the hills beside the highway as we traveled eastwards. At Chilliwack I saw a rainbow, so I suppose it had been raining there.

At Hope I decided to stop for the night and turned in at Wild Rose RV Park. The cost for the night was $30 even with a seniors discount. And that was just for the basics – water and electricity. No TV. No wi fi. No sewer connection.


At least the park was spotless, and I enjoyed the hot shower this morning. The manager is a woman who has just arrived from Vancouver, along with her brother, and they have two dogs.

As I was pulling out, I stopped beside a rig with an Alberta licence plate to ask the occupants what the weather was like in the mountains. Bill and Joyce are on their way back to Edmonton and told me that there are snowstorms in Alberta. They suggested that we travel together to Kamloops, and I gratefully accepted their offer. Along the way the scenery became more mountainous as we pushed on, with many views that begged to be caught on camera. Joyce and Bill each had a digital camera, and we stopped several times for photographic opportunities. Joyce invited me to join them in their RV for a lunch of cheese and crackers. The crackers were especially tasty, with lots of flavour – something I simply couldn’t find in the U.S., so I really appreciated the invitation. She said that she had bought them at Costco, so I’ll have to check that out when I get a chance.

Joyce is a retired teacher on disability (she has had both knees replaced) and Bill works as a computer tech. We chatted about our mutual experiences RV’ing, and Joyce was quite interested in knowing more about my newfound hobby of making jewelry. She is an enthusiastic knitter herself.

We continued on our way along the Trans Canada Highway #1 through Hells Gate and encountered snow by the Thompson River north of Boston Bar. We chose to go via the longer route through Cache Creek, rather than through Merritt (the scene of a horrific murder of three children by their father just a week or so ago) because the road conditions past Merritt were said to be snow-covered with icy patches – not something that an RV’er wants to encounter. It took us slightly longer, but we passed through some beautiful valley farmland, past herds of cattle, hayfields and hills, and past a large ginseng farm west of Kamloops. There was a sign boasting they were the largest ginseng farm in Canada.

Thompson River

We had agreed to stop at Kamloops RV Park adjacent to the B.C. Wildlife Park, and were warned to disconnect our water hose before night because the temperature would be below freezing. I really had not expected to encounter such cold temperatures in B.C. but many people have commented on how unseasonably cold the weather is.

And because of our mutual concern regarding the weather ahead of us, Bill unhooked his car and we drove to the nearby Flying J Truck Stop in search of a wi fi connection. However, they didn’t have one and I suggested that we try a motel. And, just as in the past, when I offered to pay for the service, the receptionist let us hook up for free in the lobby. So, I was able to check my email while Bill checked on the weather for our different routes (they will be heading north and I will be going east tomorrow). It seems that both routes will be good tomorrow, and that is reassuring, even if both Edmonton and Calgary are covered in snow.

Bill & Joyce McCoy

It was serendipitous that we met up, and I invited Joyce and Bill to join me for a pasta supper. I still had in my freezer the delicious homemade spaghetti sauce that I had bought back at Granzella’s Deli in Williams, Arizona, along with the wine that I had bought there.

Afterwards, I had the pleasure of showing them my various jewelry findings and the finished pieces that I have done, and I think I may well have inspired Joyce to try her hand at the craft!

We said our goodnights and goodbyes, as they will be heading out early in order to get home by Tuesday morning at the latest, exchanging email and addresses so that we can keep in touch. I really enjoyed their company, and I hope that I might see them again back in Ontario on one of their trips to visit their daughter in Guelph.

SUNDAY, APRIL 20, 2008

I thought about visiting the B.C. Wildlife Centre just next door, but I must admit to a certain reticence on my part, because I have seen so many sub-standard animal parks and zoos. In the end, as it was already noon, I chose to continue on my way, after buying $100 worth of gas, which is ¾ of a tank. The rising gas prices are killing me!

The temperature was very nippy, and I passed a few of those giant irrigation wheels (they are strands of pipe with irrigation holes in them, suspended on wheels hundreds of feet long that are wheeled across one of the large pastures to water crops). A few of them had icicles hanging down, and I saw one man using a hammer to remove them!

Highway 1 (Trans Canada) follows the Thompson River and the scenery is indescribable throughout this entire region. I have taken this route previously both by car and by train, and it is truly magnificent. The mountains hover above you, with their rugged snow-covered peaks and lower down they are covered in pine trees. Unfortunately, the pine beetle has destroyed so many of them, and they are dying. I heard on the radio that the decaying process will generate a huge amount of carbon dioxide into the air, causing them to be a major environmental hazard. Quite an anomaly, as trees are said to contribute greatly to the exchange of carbon for oxygen generally.

At least the sun is shining today, even though it is cold. The elevation continued to increase, and I could see more coverings of snow in the mountain peaks as I drove along.


Maureen Boudreau is a woman whom I had met back at Indian Skies RV in Arizona and who had given me her phone number to contact her when I was in the neighbourhood of her hometown, Chase. However, she answered on her cell phone from her son’s place some distance away, where she and her husband are currently babysitting. So I won’t be able to visit them after all.

At Sicamous, I was startled to see a coyote trying to cross the highway, but leaping back because of traffic. I suppose that it is common to see wildlife in these parts, but the quick look I had at it made me think that it had mange, as there were several dark patches on its hide. I know that in Ontario mange wiped out quite a few coyotes around my farm a few years ago.


There are many stories about the efforts involved in building a railway across Canada, and I was interested to see a memorial to The Last Spike where an ordinary metal spike completed the east-west route in 1885. What a feat that must have been! I just can’t imagine how difficult it would have been to build the railway through the mountain routes, in particular. Up until that point I suppose that travel would have been greatly restricted across the country, and the completion of the railway would have made a huge economical difference.

As I approached the area near Revelstoke, I drove over a suspension bridge, with a lovely waterfall, but there was nowhere to stop to take a photograph.


Because of the unseasonal snow in the high country, many of the viewpoints and hiking trails are closed, and consequently many of the lodges and campgrounds are also closed in this area as well.


Fortunately the municipally-operated Willliamson Lake RV Campground was open in Revelstoke, my destination for today. For complete hook-up, cable TV and wi fi, the fee is only $19.43, and the location is far away from the noisy highway, situated beside Williamson Lake and the nearby Columbia River. It was partially covered in snow at the far end, but there were several sites more or less free of snow.

I emailed Pat Bumstead, my friend in Calgary and my next stop to visit, and she responded that I should stay where I was because the weather conditions were terrible there, with over a foot of snow. Again, this is unusual for this time of year. Well, I might as well stay here for a few days. It has many amenities and the scenery is great.

Ripley was not allowed down by Williamson Lake, but I checked it out and found 3 pairs of common mergansers swimming around. Then, the two of us headed down the road in the direction of the Columbia River when I suddenly saw a golden eagle hovering overhead. It landed in a tree beside the road and I was thrilled to get a good look at it before it flew across to another tree and landed again. I’m not sure if it was scouting Ripley out as a possible meal, so I kept her close to me on a leash as we continued on down to the river on the main road. The Columbia River in this area has several small grassy islands close to shore, and I regretted not bringing my binoculars along, to get a closer look at the black specks out there.

As we returned to the campground, I noticed several robins and wondered how they were able to survive considering that the ground is still frozen, and that their food source is primarily worms, insects and berries, none of which are available right now.

I had picked up a local newspaper in town, and here are some of the featured stories:

Dr. Wenran Jian criticized Alberta’s government for not moving forward on exporting oil to the Far East, stating that Canada’s political leadership is passing up an opportunity to increase trade and influence between the two nations. “Growing animosity fuelled in part by conflicts over China’s human rights record and protests over the country’s crackdown” in Tibet are said to be the cause.
For sale - large level lot with view potential in West Vancouver – $1,115,000
A Duncan, B.C. tree faller has died after an accident on the job.
“A private company based in Washington state will begin laying electrified cables in the Puntledge River in a bid to keep hungry harbour seals from devouring young salmon.” ….This is an alternative to killing the seals who are jeopardizing the salmon stock in the area.
In Bombay, India many women are setting up detective agencies. The article states that “more and more Indians are turning to female detectives to solve their problems……because Indian society tends to take women particularly those in saris, at face value. Women don’t arouse suspicion.”

My body is aching all over today, and I wonder if it is from carrying all that heavy luggage back on the ferries. In any event, I took some Ibuprofen and watched Calgary beat San Jose, forcing a Game 7 in the NHL Playoffs.

MONDAY, APRIL 21, 2008

I was up at 7:00 a.m. for another walk to the nearby lake’s edge where I found a pair of common mergansers asleep on the swimming dock, and got a fleeting glimpse of what I think was a yellow-crowned night heron, but they are not usually found in this area.

This time I took my binoculars when Ripley and I headed out towards the Columbia River again, stopping to listen to a woodpecker, and catching a glimpse of the golden eagle once again. About a kilometer down the road, at the river, I caught sight of a great blue heron on one of the small islands, along with many ducks and Canada geese. The river is located beside a busy highway, so I had to keep Ripley on a leash for safety’s sake, and she patiently sat and waited for me each time I stopped to look through my binoculars.


The CBC reported slippery road conditions east of Revelstoke, so the Williamson Lake RV Park seems like a good spot to remain for another day or two. The park manager mentioned that there were some interesting museums in the town, so I unhooked and made my way in to the Chamber of Commerce. Unfortunately, the two museums of interest to me (mechanical musical instruments and the Visual Arts) are closed on Mondays.


It is a small quaint town with the usual tourist gift shops and restaurants. One of the malls has sculptures of grizzly bears at its entrance,
and across the street of the main road is a special lane for RV parking. I wish that I had parked mine there instead of on a side street. I guess I didn’t realize just how close I had parked to an ornamental metal pole, and when I pulled out to leave, I gouged the back side of the exterior, making three, three- foot long punctures in the fiberglass, and damaging the compartment just underneath the area. Needless to say, I was very upset when I realized what I had done.

At least the visit into town allowed me to get some errands done, including repairing my glasses finally (the pin on one of the side pieces had fallen out), but food is very expensive when the taxes are added on. For instance, a package of oatmeal, a jar of mayonnaise and one tomato cost $8.11. Mailing postcards to the U.S. costs 96 cents.

I’ve calculated that I paid $3.81 for a gallon of gas. This nasty increase in gas is really causing some trouble for me.

To make matters worse, I finally got around to calculating my income tax. Not good news. I really resent having to declare and pay income tax on funds that I have already paid tax on previously. That just doesn’t seem right.


I took Ripley for another walk back to the Columbia River and was treated to the sight of two bald eagles standing on one of the small islands and further over another great blue heron as well as a juvenile bald eagle.

I talked to Pat and she told me that Calgary has a foot of snow, but at least the wind has died down. Everyone keeps telling me that this weather is not normal for this time of year, and that usually spring is well on its way.


By now I have recognized the fact that I no longer have the stamina that I had even five years ago, and that I need to pace myself, so today was a lazy day just relaxing for the most part.

However, on the radio I can only get CBC Radio One (the talk station), so I’ve dug out my CD’s to listen to.

I contacted my insurance agent regarding my accident yesterday, and the adjustor gave me the option of getting an estimate for repairs when I get to Calgary or else waiting until I return home to Ontario. At least the RV is still drivable and I have patched up the holes with duct tape for now. Red Green would be so proud of me!!

The campground is owned by the municipality and I noticed that there are six RV’s that are here on a long-term basis. Five men and one woman live here and work in Revelstoke.

The weather was milder and sunny today, and Ripley and I had a couple of walks before I settled down to watch Dancing With the Stars and American Idol. I must admit that I really enjoy both shows and watch it whenever I can. I particularly enjoyed the music of Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, but wondered how he felt about some of the singers (Jason and Brooke in particular) mangling his creations! And Marlee Matlin was finally eliminated in the dance competition. She really was remarkable to be able to get this far.

Too bad that Calgary was eliminated from the playoffs tonight. That leaves only Montreal as the final Canadian team still in the game. I’m not sure that I can bring myself to root for them!


As a treat, Ripley got a hot dog this morning.

The waterline froze last night, so I had to resort to my storage tank for water this morning, but the day is sunny and the tap eventually started to work again.

On our walk along the Columbia River, I watched a flock of ducks give out loud alarm calls when they spied a hawk hovering overhead, but it seemed more interested in searching for rodents on the small islands.

I am running low on my prescription medication and contacted my pharmacist back in Pickering. They are very kindly going to ship a supply to Pat in Calgary by Purolator so that I won’t run out.


I continued eastward around noon, stopping for gas ($126.9/litre) and propane (79.9 cents/litre), passing through the Monashee Mountains around Revelstoke.

Philippa so far is doing well on the mountain roads. I had been concerned that she would have trouble going up and down the elevations, and indeed she slows down, but is managing to make it to the top without too much trouble. I guess it helps that the temperature is cold and therefore the engine is not overheating.

Just east of Revelstoke I saw another golden eagle flying by the river next to the highway. The mountains are getting higher and are now snow-covered, and the boardwalk trails are closed as a result, especially in Glacier National Park. That’s a shame, as I had been looking forward to getting on the trails and exploring them, back when I was still in the U.S. At least the highway road is clear of snow.

It’s difficult to single out one particular spot as being the most spectacular, but Rogers Pass certainly is up there in the ranking at an elevation of 1,327 meters (around 5,000’).

Shortly after going through the Pass, I had to set my watch one hour ahead on to Mountain Standard Time.


I did a double-take when I got to Golden and saw a flock of bighorn sheep calmly grazing by the side of the highway. Apparently, they are a common sight in the area, and in fact the wife of the manager of Whispering Spruce RV Park said they were a nuisance because they come into the park, get up on the picnic tables and crap! I had a different opinion, as I was thrilled to be so close to them, and after all, they were here long before humans were!

As I have mentioned, most of the campgrounds are closed still, so I was glad to find Whispering Spruce open, although it offered only electricity (no water) and unheated washrooms/showers. I chose to skip the shower today! For the privilege of staying here, I had to pay $27.30.

When I took Ripley out for a walk at the back of the park, we startled a white-tailed deer grazing there. And it started to snow again.

1 comment:

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