And That’s How It’s Done

November 13, 2018

We followed our friend’s advice, and set out on Deadman Pass near 10 am.  OK, it was closer to 9:30, but the temperature was above freezing and there was no snow.  Always check highway cams and weather reports before attempting a treacherous pass.  All looked well, so we set out.

We didn’t get too far when visibility became greatly reduced:

 

The fog was intense, but the twists in the road also added to the white-knuckle experience.  Look at what the map shows:

IMG_9083

The fog started to lift and we could see there had been a truck in front of us the entire time:

IMG_9084

As the fog completely lifted, we could see it hanging over a valley and a sundog:

IMG_9087

After that, it was smooth sailing:

So, that is how you get through a treacherous pass. Follow experienced drivers’ advice, check weather reports and highway cams, don’t rush it. Phew!

Oregon scenery on the way to Nevada:

Hey, is this what we think it is?

IMG_9103

Oh yeah! A 1970s Dodge Chinook:

IMG_9106

For the night, we crossed into Nevada and stayed in Jackpot (free parking at Cactus Pete’s casino).

Camping at Nk’Mip, Osoyoos, BC

October 15-18, 2018

IMG_8949

Back in April, we made a reservation at Nk’Mip (pronounced: ink-a-meep) for October 15-November 15 because we needed somewhere mild to settle before heading south. However, we no longer needed the reservation. Nk’Mip wouldn’t allow us to transfer our reservation to a friend and we couldn’t cancel and get our $100 deposit back. We love that campground, so we decided to head out in the Chinook and use up the $100. We got a site right on Lake Osoyoos. The weather was grand and the view was spectacular. We got in some hiking and biking and had a visit with Len and Marj, friends from our Airstream club.  Len and Marj are from Moose Jaw, SK, but they stay in Oliver, BC for the winter.  They took us out for a delicious dinner in town.

Paul de-oxidized and polished the Chinook:

Enjoying beautiful autumn weather at Lake Osoyoos:

Walking the trail in the park:

Little Joe:

We saw this tiny fiberglass egg with Saskatchewan plates in April when we were here, and it was here again!  It is significantly smaller than our boler.  Here is a link to factory website: Weis Craft Trailers

IMG_8966

The Qu’Appelle Valley

August 24 & 25, 2018

IMG_8587

This scenic valley is located in southern Saskatchewan. It features rolling hills, the Qu’Appelle River and many lakes that the river feeds. It is a must-see for travellers to Saskatchewan. We stayed at Crooked Lake Provincial Park on Friday night. We were fortunate to get site 33, which is right on the lake and has little steps leading to the rocky shore. In true retriever fashion, Poppy bolted for the water as soon as we had parked the Chinook.

We arrived at noon, so we had all day to explore and relax. The smoke from the BC forest fires was still strong, but the lake was beautiful. We gathered wood for a fire, but Mother Nature had something else planned. While we were preparing dinner, the winds picked up and then the lightning, thunder, and rain came, so we hunkered down in the Chinook to eat and pass the evening.

IMG_8608

The next morning, we were greeted with much cooler temperatures. It was like autumn came during the night, which took us by surprise. Was it our imagination that leaves turned color overnight? Was it heat stress or cooler temperatures? Brrr.

We continued our scenic drive to Fort Qu’Appelle, which had been a Hudson’s Bay trading post.

We thought we would investigate the Lion’s campground in town, but when we arrived, police were down at the beach stringing up Caution tape. The beach and campground were crawling with police and paramedics. It did not look good. Sure enough, a woman had been found dead on the beach. No foul play is suspected. If she drowned, it wouldn’t be surprising because of the storm the night before and the windy conditions that day. The distressing situation is that the police cannot locate her 7-year-old son who had been with her. This happened on Saturday, and as of today (Friday), they still can’t find him. The family is frantic.

We continued on to Katepwa Provincial Park. We passed through the picturesque town of Lebret before reaching the park. Sadly, the park is day-use only. We walked the girls on the beach and saw a job posting for Poppy:

Lebret:

For the night, we ended up staying at an overpriced Regional park before reaching our basecamp in Wakaw on Sunday.

Big Quill Lake, on the way to Wakaw:

Now we will spend a few days winterizing our motorhome and securing everything in our shipping container. Then, we will head to our autumn basecamp in British Columbia.  What a summer it has been!

Wonderful Winnipeg

August 21 & 22, 2018

wpg_museum

Canadian Museum for Human Rights

After the boler bash, we stayed a few extra days in Winnipeg. It’s surprising that I had never visited this city before. Yes, I’d driven through and bought fuel or had a layover at the airport, but I had never spent any time there. It is a wonderful city! Growing up in Ontario, I had always referred to it as “Winterpeg”. It has so much to offer. Yes, some roads are really rough, but the traffic flows. That’s right. It was a breeze to drive even the Chinook. This always elevates a city’s status in our books.

A small group of us stayed on a Red River Exhibition for 2 more nights.  These are the only trailers left after everyone pulled out on Sunday:

IMG_8500

This was our little “circle of boler love”:

IMG_8502

clockwise: Our Chinook, Brenda’s boler, Heidi’s Trillium, and Sheila’s Escape

One of my friends (Lynn) emailed the Tourism Winnipeg to ask if there was RV parking downtown for 3 small rigs where we could spend the night. Someone got back to her and gave us a location in the French quarter, St. Boniface – right in the heart of the city! We were able to walk to trendy coffee shops, restaurants, The Forks, museums, and Fromagerie Bothwell. What fun! So Yves & Lynn, Sheila, and we did some boondocking in the heart of Winnipeg.

IMG_8579

Yves & Lynn and their Trillium Jubilee, Sheila’s Escape, and our Chinook (and Kenzie & Bunnah)

Along with our friend, Sheila, we toured the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. It is an architectural wonder on the outside, but a somber experience on the inside. Will we humans ever learn from our history?

Entrance to the exhibits:

A few of the exhibits:

–Women’s rights and aboriginal women’s continuing struggles

–Religious rights (and the creation of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms)

–Racial rights and Viola Desmond’s bravery

There were also many separate exhibits on the various regimes that have oppressed humans.  Of course, the largest was the Nazi exhibit.

There were also bold messages about one’s behaviour when others around you are being persecuted.

This museum is a must-see for all.  It requires much reading, but there are some interactive exhibits and video interviews throughout to break up the reading.  We spent several hours there and were disappointed to discover that it closed at 5pm, so we had to rush through the last few floors.  Those last floors were the most uplifting.

The next day, we took Daisy and Poppy, and Sheila brought Kenzie (Westie) and Bunnah (Scottie) and walked all around St. Boniface and The Forks.

The Cathedral was destroyed in a fire, but the ruins remain, and a new cathedral was built inside the ruins.  On the grounds of the cathedral is a cemetery which includes the grave of Louis Riel.  Riel led an uprising (The Riel Rebellion) against the Canadian government in 1885.  He was hanged for treason; however, he is honoured as a hero in many parts of Canada.

The Forks is where the Red and Assiniboine Rivers meet. It has a very long history and is now a National Historic Site.

There is an interesting astronomy installation in the park.  There are huge structures that point to various star clusters and a description below each one.  You have to get the full effect at night, of course.

We had lunch at The Forks Market. The dogs really enjoyed helping Sheila with her fish and chips! Afterwards, Sheila and her girls left for points east to meet up with Donna Dee and her pack. They are heading to the east coast. We will meet up with them in BC and head south together this winter. Happy trails Sheila and Donna!

 

bolers Away!

August 15-19, 2018
Red River Exhibition Park, Winnipeg, MB

454 fiberglass trailers (including one Chinook) registered

420 fiberglass trailers (including one Chinook) attended (321 bolers)

930 participants (from 10 Canadian provinces and 23 US States)

1800+ public attended Saturday

What do these numbers represent? The gathering of molded fiberglass enthusiasts for the 50th anniversary of the boler trailer!

Ian Giles of Calgary, Alberta spent roughly 4 years organizing this historic event. Along with his wife, Joan, he worked tirelessly to create a memorable experience for all. Please visit myboler.com for detailed information and media coverage.

There were 6 snowball caravans arriving from points in Canada (West A, West B, and East) and the US (West, East, and South), with campgrounds along the way. Unfortunately, we didn’t join an official caravan because we were volunteering and arrived a day early. However, we had our own little caravan of 6 rigs arriving early. We met in Regina, SK, where we were treated to a wonderful dinner and driveway camping at Brenda Williams’ house. Then, the 6 of us headed east to Winnipeg.

We were the first arrivals on Tuesday. We set up camp, toured the grounds, and met the other volunteers as they arrived.

That evening, we had an orientation by Ian, and then it was Show Time!

The first caravan arrived Wednesday at 10 am. Now that was a sight to see! A quarter of a mile of bolers! Spirits were high in the extreme heat. There was lots of cheering and honking. Paul was on parking duty for the first caravan. Ian arranged for specific parking areas: electrical, generators, groups, and general. Then, the participants were parked accordingly. There were only a few hiccups. Since there were waves of trailers arriving, Paul stayed parking people all day. His shift was supposed to be only 2 hours, but everyone was so excited that most of the first shift kept working and helping out the next shifts.

IMG_8182

One wave in the first Western Canadian caravan

Arrival of the Eastern Canadian caravan:

The party was on!

We had some new manufacturers in attendance such as Oliver Travel Trailers, Armadillo Trailers, and Happier Camper. Sadly, Airstream did not send a NEST, though they had been invited. If our current Airstream is ever written off like our previous one was, we would definitely consider getting an Oliver. What a sweet trailer! It has some serious features for full-time living. The only drawback is the wet-bath.

Armadillo Trailers:

Oliver Trailers:

Happier Camper:

We started our days with ukulele lessons by Long and McQuade and then the seminars began. We had seminars on topics such as boondocking, batteries & solar, sewing cushion covers & curtains, and photography, and there were also guest speakers as well as nightly entertainment.

IMG_8351

Even Randy Janes from Create Café in Saskatoon presented his 3-D printed trailer prototype. We have known Randy for about 14 years. He sold us our first Airstream. He is a long-time fiberglass trailer owner, and since he dealt with so many customers in sales, he knew what people wanted in a trailer, so he set out to create the world’s largest 3-D printer and printed a trailer! It is just a prototype, but it is the future of manufacturing.

On Thursday evening, we were treated to a wine and cheese social sponsored by Bothwell Cheese. They brought 500 lbs of cheese for the 930 participants! The family that owns Bothwell Cheese also owns a boler and they parked it for the event too. If you are buying cheese for yourself, choose Bothwell! They are such a generous company.

Saturday was the Trailer Open House from 10am-3pm. It was open to the public, who paid $10 per person to attend. Over 1800 people attended! We weren’t sure that anyone would want to view our Chinook, but we had a steady stream. Some wrote down all the information about it so that they could search for one too. At 2pm, we shut our door so that we could run quickly and see a few trailers we had to see. Unfortunately, we didn’t see nearly enough. This was a HUGE event. But, here are a few highlights:

Biod from The Netherlands:

Scholar Hauler:

Special thank you to Ian Giles, the volunteers, and participants for making this such a memorable event. If you are looking for special boler trailer parts or gifts, check out Ian’s shop: campingtreasures.com.

Okanagan, OK!

April 10-15, 2018

We spent our first night back in Canada at the Husky truck stop in Osoyoos, and then we travelled west past Keremeos. We wanted to see two RV parks that have lots for sale. The first one is a cooperative and we needed to do an interview and be approved by the board. This park has been on our radar for over a year now. A friend went out last year to investigate it for us and gave us positive feedback (thanks Gregory!). We really liked it, but we aren’t thrilled over the lot that is for sale. The other park is not a co-op. We liked the amenities, but it is a larger park, so we are concerned with how busy it will get in the summer.

 

We found a free campground on Crown Land (this is like BLM land in the US) right between the two parks. It was very convenient. The campground is rustic (no facilities), but it is right on the Similkameen River. There were about 6 or more sites, and some were big enough for a longer trailer. We had the place to ourselves. Unfortunately, it was incredibly windy the entire time, and we did have frequent rain showers. We really pushed our water conservation limits. We lasted for 5 nights with only 38 gallons of water!  However, staying this close to both RV parks gave us a good idea of the area, and we like it.

April 16-18, 2018

Nk’Mip Campground, Osoyoos

After roughing it for 5 nights in the wind and rain, we needed to get to a campground to dump wastewater, fill with fresh water, and recharge our batteries. We had only planned to stay at Nk’Mip for one night, but this place is too wonderful for a short visit! It is clean, spacious, and manicured, and best of all, it is located right on Osoyoos Lake. There were many lakefront sites open, but we opted for a site higher up, overlooking the lake, but more sheltered.

 

Nk’Mip is a huge complex which includes a campground, winery, golf course, restaurant, and resort. It is owned and operated by the Osoyoos Indian Band. This is the place to stay if you are in Osoyoos. In fact, we have already reserved a site for the fall before we cross back into the US.

 

We were delighted to see all the cacti in the park as well as quail because we have been missing Arizona. Osoyoos is on the edge of the Sonora Desert. We can walk about 3 kms along the lake to get to town. This is something that we have not been able to do all winter – leave the Chinook parked and walk to town. It is so precious to watch the ducks pairing off and enjoying the lake. We also saw our first robin of the season. Travelling north and experiencing spring arrive in many locations along the way was something we won’t soon forget. On this leg of our trip, we witnessed the orchards started to bloom.

We continued east on Hwy 3 (The Crowsnest Highway).  The grade out of Osoyoos is steep, but it provides a good view of the lake and Nk’Mip.

 

Yakima, WA: Birthplace of our Chinook

April 8-9, 2018

Due to the rain on the coast, we decided to head inland and enter Canada in Osoyoos. Rain is messy to deal with in an RV. Our next stop was Avery Park near Wishram, WA. This is a beautiful free campsite on the Columbia River. The area is government property and free to use, but during the salmon run, it is closed to the public and only the local native tribes can use it. There are picnic tables, fire-pits, pit-toilets, and a garbage bin. The problem with the site was the trains. All. Night. Long.

After a sleepless night, we moved on to Yakima. We had heard on the Chinook forums that an RV shop, Aubrey’s, bought as many Chinook parts as they could when the company was liquidated. The parts manager, Carolyn, was most helpful. We were able to get new lenses for our porch and patio lights, but we had no luck on getting a step replacement.

Yakima had this old-school McDonald’s restaurant and a car wash for my dad’s GTO.

We camped overnight at Cabela’s and then made the final trek north into Canada.

Re-entry into Canada
April 10, 2018

In Canada, everyone jokes that B.C. stands for Bring Cash. B.C. has lots of economic woes, and so it taxes the heck out of its citizens.

On the US side, two US agents boarded the Chinook and opened drawers and doors. They were friendly enough, but I’m not sure what they were looking for since we were leaving their country.  Then, we travelled on to the Canadian border guard. It was our lucky day. She was wonderful! Because we have no space, we didn’t really buy any goods, but we did have alcohol. We rattled off our amounts. We were over our limit of 1L each (we had 7L total), and we were expecting to pay the duty. Most of our friends cross in Coutts, AB with much more than 7 liters and just pay the duty. It works out to be a big savings even after paying duty. Well, this border guard said that she was going to give us an education that day (and not charge us) and advised us to cross in Alberta or Saskatchewan next year. She said that in BC, the duty is (are you sitting down?) $1.50 PER OUNCE over your 1L limit! If our vehicle had BC plates, I don’t think we would have been so lucky. Lesson learned: Never ever ever cross into BC.