Frugal RVing In South States - Ebooks

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Outtings and Misadventures

Well, it has been a Snicket kind of trip, but what an adventure! We took Smokey with the camper, bikes, kayaks, cat, and dog, (and for the record, we had the kitchen sink... )

I got off shift Sunday morning and loaded up the camper fridge, tied down the kayaks and rear tie-downs of the camper, and put the critters in their appropriate travel locations.

We headed out around 10:30 in the morning, and got to the Strathmore Husky fuel stop when Smokey just stalled as we were turning off the highway.

With a little coaxing, he turned over, and we got to the fuel pump. We only needed half a tank, so it wasn’t that we ran out. It took a little longer than usual to turn it over after refueling, but then we never had a further “fuss”.

We determined that when we got home we would give him a tune-up and replace the fuel filter and such things, but let it go until then.

We arrived in Bellevue and had a nice evening with our friend, and set out in the mid morning bound for Nelson. It was an uneventful trip, and we arrived around 3:30 BC time – just in time to miss Ken’s daughter who was working 3 – 11 that evening. Before we set up, we swung by her work to have a quick visit.

Set up was fairly easy, and we plugged in a movie and waited for her return. When she got home we had a quick chat ... which ended around 3 or so....

We got up around nine and did a bit of run about, but again, she was working until 11. This time, we only sat up until about 1:30 chatting.

The Third day, we originally planned to launch the kayaks for the first time. ....

The weather didn’t co-operate with the plan, so instead of heading for the relative equivalent of sea level (okay, lake level) we instead targeted the heavens and drove quite a way to the ghost town of Sandon north of New Denver.

We expected to see more of a Barkerville type location, but it actually only had about 5 standing buildings, but it was still quite interesting. For some reason, someone imported several 1954 Vancouver city trolley buses which completely contrast with the silver mine ghost town theme....(??)

We then headed up a logging road because Ken’s daughter was told that at the summit of Idaho Peak, the alpine meadows were amazing. They didn’t mention that any mountain goats in the area generally wear climbing harnesses for safety....

We twisted and wound up the logging road that had occasional spaces that fit about a car and a half in width comfortably which were forced to take 2 passing vehicles coming and going. We often landed on a very soft shoulder while the oncoming vehicle hugged the mountain. The road signs marked the km count down. It was a good idea because with the slow crawling, it was difficult to believe that it really was only 1 km since the last sign, and the base sign said it was an 11 km climb.

Around the 7 or 8 km marking point, there was a leveling off where a picnic table was set up right next to the last of the snow in that pocket. At its deepest point, it was about knee deep. Beside that ran a small creek. Apparently, the mosquitoes have first dibs on lunch at the table site.

We passed an abandoned vehicle that was wearing its limping spare in the rear, and was jacked up in the front waiting the owner’s return to replace the other tire. That was a good 9 km up the climb. I would sure hate to do the tire change on that one, but one small blessing is that it was on the inboard side, and not the extreme down sloped passenger side, but I digress.....

So one more switch back and we climbed the last stretch to the summit where you actually could land about 5 – 6 vehicles comfortably.

The first thing we saw to the left along a short path was a single seat outhouse. I thought, “How quaint, a throne with a view.”

To the right was a path leading to what we presumed to be a ranger type lookout tower.

The slopes down from the parking lot were breath taking, if not somewhat dizzying for those slightly prone to acrophobia leanings.

We hiked our way along the path and discovered that for the sake of continuity, the walking path was wide enough for 1 and a half people to comfortably travel. We passed 2 people coming our way, returning to the parking lot, and courteously smeared ourselves to the mountain side so as to permit their passing.

The meadows over head, and heading down the slope below us were breath taking with a wide assortment of flora including some wild strawberry vines. (As the snow had only recently left the area, they weren’t yet in bloom.

We hit a point were the slope went down on either side of us, and again one’s breath was taken away. I wish I had a telephoto lens to capture the magnificence of walking on the proverbial knife’s edge some 6000 feet up. I felt like we had just driven up Mount Everest, then continued a bit further by foot.

On our way home we stopped in New Denver to observe a really novel motel set up that was a bunch of domed structures. The whit that established it called it Dome Quixote.

Today we left, and headed back to Bellevue.

All went well until we got to Fernie. Smokey started being a bit unresponsive to the accelerator, but I pushed on. We just barely made it as far as Sparwood where the engine stalled and with armstrong steering, we pulled into the tourist booth near the “Worlds Largest Truck” display.
We had to move the bike rack to the rear, but as only one bike would fit due to the camper’s overhang, we actually put one of them into the “living room” of the camper and strapped the other to the rear on the relocated rack.

CAA came to the rescue, we made it the last 35ish kms to Frank where we delivered the truck to a mechanic my friend recommended. She came for our overnight gear and the critters, but we decided that we would rather take the bikes as we weren’t comfortable leaving them at the shop.
Tomorrow we hope to be fully repaired. It is definitely something to do with the fuel delivery system as it just isn’t getting the juice when plenty is available to be had.

More to follow, but in the meantime, I need to be back in Three Hills for a night shift on Saturday. (No pressure, no worries.....) Really, it will be fine......

It is late and we must get to the shop tomorrow by 8 am. I will post pictures of the alpine meadow and such tomorrow, but for now I bid you,


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