Our Travel Blog

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Driving Miss Donna - what does this mean? Whenever I want to go somewhere, if Don is home he will usually drive. He always says he is driving miss Donna! This blog is for our travels, usually with our truck and fifth wheel trailer, but sometimes in our other wheels. When we are not vacationing check in for updates, although less frequent, about our life at home and our wonderful family:)

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

October

Well October was filled with many visits to arenas around Edmonton, and we wouldn't have it any other way:) These days where we can travel around taking in hockey and ringette games are truly one of the best parts of life right now. Watching the smile son the kids' faces when they skate by, the thumbs up as they look in the stands for you, that's what granparenting is about. Although I might add Blake no longer skates around to find us. Haha.

We also were able to attend the ceremony where Connor and Mason received their beaver tails. So so cute!



For me October was also filled with training sessions to work the Federal Election. I really need to pay attention sometimes as when I signed up I said I would work the Advance Polls, which were 4 days over the Thanksgiving weekend! Ugh. In hindsight it was just ok, I really missed one of my favorite holidays with the family. By the end of those 4 days working 15 hours, I was done. Election day was even worse, starting at 7:30 am and ending at 2:00 am! I honestly feel they have a horrible system. This was the first election where workers were even allowed to have coffee breaks and meal breaks. By the end of the day keeping your temperament and abilities in check was a bit difficult.

October is also Don's birthday month. We celebrated by going to Bosotn Pizza with friends Paul and Mary, and Phil. A few beverages, a great meal and a lovely birthday for a special guy!

Between meetings, coffee and dinner dates, October was over. But not before Halloween.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Enjoying Fall at Home

After our trip to McBride we had one last event in September. We were honored to be invited to Krista and Doug Edmunds's wedding in Vermilion! The weather was cooperative enough to let us stay in the trailer. We had such a great time, and it was a beautiful wedding. We also had the chance to visit with Karen and Darrell, Ron and Bev, and lots of the extended Edmunds family including our godson Murray and Stacey and sweet Claire.








Sunday, September 15, 2019

Four Letter Words

I have really been wanting to stay in Canada for our September holiday for quite some time and due to some work commitments (that's the four letter word) we decided to head over to the McBride area in BC.

What a fantastic decision!

We headed out later on Sunday so just stopped at the Hinton Fresons for the night. The next morning we made our way to in the direction of McBride, and ended up staying at the Beaver Falls Recreation Area. This is an organized no services campground that is free! We were surprised this year to discover several of these types of camp areas in BC.

While we here we met and spend several evenings around the fire with a local family, Jenny and Kevin. Several laughs and beverages were shared.

We also hiked Rearguard Falls, Jackman Flats Juniper Trail, Overlander Falls, Kinney Lake and Little Lost Lake. That's where these beautiful photos were taken.







We had been to Prince George years ago, but took another day trip there just to see what it was like and if it had changed much.

Never able to sit for a whole day, we also visited the market in Valemount and had a great food truck meal and a visit to the brewery. I found another market in Dunnster so that day was used also touring around Kinbasket Lake.

After we felt we had spent enough time here, we pulled up the jacks and headed towards Prince George with the trailer. Again thanks to one of many boondocking location apps, we stayed at Kwitzel Lake. This gave us access to check out a few Co-op locations ( a little habit of mine) in the Four Rivers Co-op Retail, with card locks all around us and a visit to the grocery store in Vanderhoof.

Also we had an unplanned visit with some old Ringette friends of ours - Cathy and Dwayne Reimer. After retirement they moved back to the Prince George area. Thanks to Facebook I was able to send Cathy a message and a coffee meet up was planned. We had a great visit laughing about our old Ringette days, etc.

Although this was a short holiday for us, it was wonderful. The beautiful BC scenery was so refreshing and we made a few new friends along the way. All in all another sucess!



Monday, September 2, 2019

August

Well I'm falling behind in this blog, so I have to summarize August.

We spent a few days fishing, had some movie dates with the grandkids, a beach day at Stecyk's Summerside lake, and many coffees and dinners with friends and families.

A special treat was a visit form Ron and Bev, complete with a day trip to Jasper.

We are excited for our September get a way - staying in Canada - stay tuned!

Sunday, August 4, 2019

What a Family Holiday!


This summer we decided to go on a family vacation. We had visited Silverwood near Coeur d'Alene Idaho a couple of years ago with the Camerons, and the Stecyk boys were now old enough to enjoy it as well.

This is hands down the most fun we have had on a holiday. We all took our trailers and stayed at Farragut State Park. We visited Silverwood for 2 days, and exhausted ourselves and maybe even the kids in both the water park and the amusement park. From train rides, tube rides and ice cream to the wave pool and everything in between.

And one other thing we did that I will never forget was rent a pontoon boat on Lake Coeur D'Alene for the day!

We packed our food for the day and set out on the water. We swam, the kids rode the tube, and the day passe din a blur of fun and sun. 

This was a blast and I cannot wait to come again!








Friday, July 26, 2019

The Great Beer Tour

or camping with men?

We have recently re-connected with an old friend - Larry Sigfusson. Don and Larry were school buddies and of course partiers in the "old days". We decided it was high time to get together and do some camping.

We picked an area around Cranbrook for the meet up with Ivan and Larry. Our first night with Ivan was at a gorgeous riverside site. The beauty was somewhat diminished by frequent trains running through with no concern about blowing the whistle at essentially any time of day. I had scoped out another boondocking spot so the next morning after coffee we went to discover it and see if it was accessible.

Horseshoe Lake was one of our best finds. It was a somewhat developed campground, no services, but FREE.

The week was spent reminiscing, drinking as demonstrated in the photos, and fantastic scenery. The weather was well deserved sunshine after the rainy and dreary weather we've had at home.

Hopefully this is the beginning of new camping adventures with the guys...

Monday, July 15, 2019

The Great Campbell Reunion

Today we set out for Rocky Mountain House and a Campbell Family Reunion. I have no idea why I didn't take more photos but that seems to be my thing.

Here is the one photo I have.


It was such a great weekend. The Campbells are Don's mom's family. It is great to see everyone who comes to these gatherings, but also sad that the older generation is not able to always attend. Uncle Ern and Aunt Meryl and their families are great hosts, and all stops are pulled for everyone's enjoyment, including an amazing live band.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Local Tourists

Years ago we lived in St Paul and hung out a lot with the Connolloy’s from Glendon. We fist met Jim and Janice in Fort McMurray when Don was lead surveyor and Jim was road foreman. When our kids were growing up we camped a lot together. This camping thing was long overdue, so we planned a trip somewhere at sometime. Well this week was that time.
We met at Abraham Lake so they could try out boondocking. Well that and when we decided to go camping I couldn’t find a campground. Abraham Lake is a beautiful spot, and close to lots of places and things to do.
Ivan joined us as well, and we spent 6 days filled with food, beverage, sightseeing and hiking.
Jim and Janice had not been to Banff so I saw that as a necessity. Although we made it there and had a great lunch and some beers, but it took 45 minutes to find a parking spot. Our lovely Banff is getting a tad too busy for me.
Other highlights of the trip were a couple of stops at the Miners Cafe for pie (highly recommended) and a tour of the Brazeau Collieries Mine Site which is a historic Heritage Site. I can’t believe we haven't taken this tour before, it is one of the most interesting and complete tours I have been on.
It was a great time away with everyone and a fabulous start to the summer!












Monday, July 1, 2019

Duck Duck Goose

Or in Alberta lately Fire Fire Rain

First we dealt with the smoke from massive fires across northern Alberta. Then we dealt with rain, which the fire areas did not get enough of. And we never really had to deal with heat.

We had a fishing trip planned to Calling Lake, but cancelled it due to weather.

We still seemed to fill the month with some other sunshine. We watched more lacrosse, one day at sport ball which was soccer, had a great dinner out with Clifford and Cheryl, took an anniversary trip to Jasper for lunch (a few days late - remember that weather), and hung out with friends.

I didn't mention at the end of the last post that we celebrated our 39th wedding anniversary. It does seem like yesterday!





But we also said goodbye to some people. Our good friend Darrell passed away. This is a photo of us from Las Vegas in 2009. We didn't have any fun.


Also Don's cousin Doug passed away. Both men were too young, and we only hope they have found comfort. We attended Doug's memorial in Rocky Mountain House and although a sad occasion, also as always at these events, a chance to visit with family.

The July weekend is approaching and we have a few ideas of what we might do, so stay tuned.

Monday, June 3, 2019

May - In Like A Lion

Now I know this typically refers to the weather, but I felt it was our life! After spending 10 weeks by ourselves, or in the company of other like minded retired relaxed adults, coming home to all the activity and volunteer work is a bit overwhelming. I have a lot of work to get out of the way, for which I am thankful as I enjoy it, but we also had a lot of catching up to do with family and friends.

For some time we have been wanting to update the kids piling on grandpa photo for our photo wall, and finally had the opportunity. The second one is the last time.


 
 
 
May has two birthdays in our family - Blake and Lindsay. We fit in a family dinner at Red Robin for Blake's, and for Lindsay's Jeremy treated us to a delicious fish and chips dinner with his own fish! Mmm



Before we knew it, Mother's Day was here. Don's mom came form Tisdale to visit! She was actually here in time to come to Lindsay's birthday dinner.

We kept her busy for a week with dinners with the family, trips to watch Lacrosse and swimming and a bit of shopping. Then we packed the trailer rand headed to the Stecyk cabin for the weekend. This was the first weekend since Blake was born that we weren't taking a family and extended friends trips to a campground. The Camerons were in Red Deer for a Lacrosse tournament, the Scotts were at their lake lot, and I can't even remember what the others were up to! So it was us and the Paskos at the Stecyks.

We had a wonderful weekend, and were so pleased with how much Mom enjoyed camping, quadding and side by side riding! We missed getting photos of that for some reason, but this one at least tells you how exhausting the whole thing was.


The next step of mom's visit was a trip to Penticton. What a beautiful break it was! Since coming back to Canada the weather was horrid and we needed some warmth and sunshine. I don't think everyone in Penticton would have described the weather that way, as it was seasonally cold, but we appreciated no snow.

While mom visited with her brother Frank and his wife Gwen, Don and I took the opportunity for a couple of wine tours, a visit with life long friends Keith and Marcia and family in Falkland and Roberta and Ken West Kelowna. There is nothing like the friends you rarely see where your conversation starts form the last time you visited and you just don't want to leave!


Mom returned home after a busy two weeks, and May finished for us. I'm not sure what is up in June but I will let you know after it's over!

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Settled in at Home

Our trip home was uneventful (good thing) and we did take in some lovely sites on the way, as well as an overnight at a Home Depot which actually provided some greenery and trees.


Did you know Home Depot has free wifi? It's too bad many Walmarts are saying no to overnight campers - they lose our grocery income, as well as the incidentals typically purchased, and the restaurants in them such as Subway or McDonalds.  I understand many in populated tourist areas say there is too much trash left behind, and I have seen some examples of small amounts, but overall I think it is a loss for both sides.

Anyhow, Home Depots, and in Canada Home Hardware, are still welcoming, hence in Ontario, Oregon we overnighted at Home Depot.

Our last destination on our way home was Farragut State Park. Although we will be back this summer when we visit Silverwood with the family, it's such a perfect stop location on the way home we couldn't resist. We relaxed a bit, toured a bit, and visited the lovely waterfront at Coeur d'Alene.

One of the greatest experiences RV'ing is meeting other like minded folks. Our last night in Farragut we met an RV couple from New Zealand. We shared an evening of beverages and stories, and as always no matter where you are from geographically, lives are quite parallel when you are retired grandparents seeing the world!

We were home for a few days (thankfully) when this happened!!


That is all I can say for now - I am cold and disgusted. LOL





Friday, April 19, 2019

Casino Camping

As the days get a bit colder and the nights too, it doesn’t take much for us to revert to campground parking. We had picked out the Fallon Fairgrounds to stay at, but yuck. Dirty, unlevel, supposedly reserved after Wednesday (note that we checked every day while there and there was no more than 3 campers) and generally very unappealing. We knew the Bonanza Casino also had a few sites, and ended  up staying there. Right in town, but so was the fairgrounds. It was a bit noisy, but when you are used to being out in the desert the town noises are amplified anywhere you park. Free Wi-Fi and full services for $18!
Anyhow – the point pf this stop was to visit Reno and the surrounding areas, which included Lake Tahoe, Virginia City and the Reno River Walk. We had hoped for 2 things that didn’t work out – the Ponderosa Ranch from the show Bonanza and seeing some memorabilia about Mark Twain. The Ponderosa Ranch as a tourist location closed around 2005, and although Mark Twain lived in Virginia City and started his writing career there, only plaques remain to commemorate that.
I must add that the Reno Riverwalk is far superior to the reviews we have read. It’s wider and longer in length than San Antonia, and not nearly as commercial. What a great stop!
The photos below are in that order, so enjoy.
This is our last “touristy” stop on our vacation. It was great and everything was new to us, which doesn’t happen as often now that we have spent years touring the northwest.
Our plans heading home are a stop over in the Cambridge ID area, and the weekend in Farragut State Park, which you should recognize as one of our long time favorites. Once we get home you won’t hear from me as often, but I will try to check in once in a while!