Thursday, June 30, 2005

6AM - Rainy Day Session.
Did you have "Rainy Day Session" when you were in primary school? We were sent home early on rainy days. Loved that! We on The Team still love rainy days. We love the sound of the rain and what rain does to growing things. We try to limit our driving on rainy days, because the chance for an accident is greater in the rain.

We checked the weather map online this morning. Cloudy with showers for the next few days. I wonder how that will affect Canada Day? That is the celebration of Canada's birthday in 1868.

Who will win the Tour de France?
The most exciting sports event that I have even seen was the Tour de France in 2003. In that race, Lance Armstrong crashed while attacking on the climb to the finish when a spectator's bag caught his brake lever. But Armstrong got back on his bike, and incredibly fought his way back to the front to win that stage. The Tour de France will begin on Saturday, July 2nd. I will be watching to see if Lance can make it seven in a row!! Wow!

12 Noon - The Village of Whistler.
We do not know what the Village of Whistler is about for sure yet. We suspect that this is a resort village. Narrow streets wind thru this little place. People walking around in short pants, look like tourists. Mr. Trek, Mr. Mavica and George are going for a look-see. MsTioga and The Team are in what appears to be an overflow parking lot.

If you love to eat out, and choose from a zillion restaurants. If you and the kids love to ride your bike down a steep mountain. The the Village of Whistler is the place for you.

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A zillion restaurants and things to do.



Ride the gondola to see the top of the mountain. Take your bike up the mountain, and ride back down!!

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For as much fun as these bikers are having, the crowds are not big.



5PM - Nite Camped on a logging road.
We left Whistler, and drove north looking for our Nite Camp. MsTioga spotted a dirt road going into the forest off Hwy #99. We inspected the road on foot, and found it to be OK for us. It is a logging road. Our compass showed a good chance for Mr. Datastorm to be able to find his space station in the sky. We drove in, leveled out, and sure enough, Mr. Datastorm found his space station and we are now connected to the internet.

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Mr. Datastorm looking thru the trees and over the high mountain.





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Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Checking our daily progress on the map.
Every evening after supper, the paper map is unfolded on the table, and our location is found. It may seem odd to get excited about our location, but we on The Team do get excited about that. Although we only travel small distances everyday, those distances add up. We are now almost half way up to the most northerly point that we will travel on Hwy #99, which is the Town of Lillooet.

8AM - Heading out of the Town of Squamish.
This morning we want to locate that hard to find dump station here in Squamish. Then we will poke around here for a bit and explore. We wonder how close we can get to the beautiful and tall, Shannon Falls? After awhile, we will head north again.

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Squamish Camp near the estuary.



Finding dump stations in British Columbia.
Have you wondered about finding dump stations when you RV to Canada? We have seen more dump station signs along highways here in Canada, than we have anywhere along our journey. If you are interested in dry camping or boondocking, both finding water or dump stations is no problem.

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Dump station in Alice Park near Squamish.



Bought additional recovery gear.
While in the Town of Squamish, we found a store that sold recovery gear. We have been shopping for things like nylon slings, anchor hooks, etc. The idea is to accumulate the necessary equipment so that we are able to rescue ourselves the next time MsTioga gets stuck. This company also had a nice come-a-long, but it seemed to us that it was a bit too small.

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Recovery gear for pulling MsTioga out of the mud.



4PM - Nite Camped at a view point above the Town of Squamish.
This is a very scenic place that looks down the valley at Squamish. Mr. Mavica has tried his very best to capture the beauty of this view. You will have to use your imagination to see what is to be seen

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In the distance is the Town of Squamish and the lovely Shannon Falls.





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Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Heading out of the City of Vancouver.
This morning The Team will say hi to Bill Maurer, our friend who got us into Canada by asking Member of Parliament Don Bell to help us. Remember that The Team was first refused entry into Canada at a border crossing north of Bellingham, WA. Because of the help of MP Don Bell, we are in Canada.

After meeting with Bill, we will head north out of Vancouver on Highway #99 to search for Adventure!

10AM - Arrived at Bill Maurer's home.
This was a wonderful visit. Bill and his brother-in-law Glen were waiting in their driveway, for The Team to arrive. We met Bill's children, Andrew and Annie. Then the five of us went inside MsTioga and spent a couple of hours talking about everything. Wow! What a great time.

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George, Glen, Bill, Andrew and Annie.



1:30PM - Lunch Camped along Highway #99.
Hwy #99 goes north staying very close to the water. We found no comfortable places to make a Lunch Camp until we came to a place called Furry Creek. We stopped at Furry Creek, Mr. Datastorm went up and George made some tortilla beef and cheese wraps for lunch.

5PM - The Town of Squamish.
MsTioga and The Team have made our Nite Camp in the Town of Squamish. When we arrived here, we found two full size super markets. These markets are a surprise to us, for a town that seems sort of remote. There was a dumpstation sign on Hwy #99. We did not find the dumpstation, but we did find a nice Nite Camp near the estuary. There are a bunch of waveski and windsurfers riding in the estuary.

Squamish is in a wide valley with high mountains on either side. On one side, there is a beautiful granite wall. If this valley were as narrow as Yosemite Valley, Squamish would somewhat resemble Yosemite. There is even a very tall and lovely cascading waterfall called Shannon Falls. Mr. Mavica tried his best to show you this waterfall, but it is very far away.

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The granite wall of Squamish which reminds us of Yosemite.



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Shannon Falls.



Twee!
Several readers have emailed asking about how baby Twee is doing. We are very happy to tell you that Twee is really doing great. Twee goes outside almost everyday to soak up the Sun. He has been sprouting new needle like leaves everyday. Twee wants you to know that he expects to be fully green again in only a few months. When Twee is completely recovered, Mr. Mavica will take a pic of Twee for you to see, OK?



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Monday, June 27, 2005

6AM - Good morning from Vancouver!
As you know, we do not overstay our Nite Camp in cities and towns. So, we broke Camp and moved a little west. Commuter traffic is a bit heavy even this early, and we drove on side streets in order not to slow folks going to work. Vancouver's tall downtown buildings are on the skyline ahead.

We made a Breakfast Camp in a commercial neighborhood. It is really great to observe this great town waking up, from behind MsTioga's windows.

11AM - Downtown Vancouver.
There is such light traffic here in downtown Vancouver. We on The Team are very surprised to find it so easy to drive in this light traffic. Of course we are comparing Vancouver to Los Angeles, and there is no comparison.

It is very difficult to park in downtown Vancouver. In the pic below, MsTioga is stopped in a bus zone, in order for Mr. Mavica to take a shot of us looking at the tall buildings. VancouverDowntown06-27-2005Copy

Tall buildings in downtown Vancouver.



12 Noon - Chinatown.
As we drove around Vancouver, we entered Chinatown which looked sooooo interesting. We searched for a place to park, and found that permits were required almost everywhere. We looked many blocks from Chinatown for a place to park, and finally found one on a residential street.

The stores of Chinatown are filled with shops displaying all sorts of foods. It was not possible to know what many of these foods are, as they were labeled in Chinese.

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Shops filled with everything from fresh fish to dried mushrooms.



Kent's Kitchen.
We had intended on only buying an almond cookie. At a Chinatown restaurant named Kent's Kitchen, the foods looked soooooo delicious. Kent's was filled with customers crowded along their serving line. For only $4.50C, customers were served huge amounts of tasty looking food. We are soooo weak, how could we resist ordering fried rice topped with sweet and sour pork and broccoli beef? Man-O-Man! Mr. Mavica took a pic of our dish. We would have loved for you to see it, but the pic came out blurry.

4PM - Cypress Mountain.
A suggestion from a reader friend named Cassie, sent us to West Vancouver and up Cypress Mountain. The view from this mountain is spectacular, we are told. However today the mountain is covered in clouds. We have made a Day Camp on the mountain at the 2,850 foot elevation.

Reflections on being in Canada.
While here at the top of Cypress Mountain, I got to thinking about how lucky I am to be traveling in Canada. As you know, I almost did not get here.

If North Vancouver resident Bill Maurer had not contacted Member of the Canadian Parliament, Don Bell, in fact I would not be here. MP Don Bell phoned me several times. He then contacted the Deputy Prime Minister's office (the equivalent of the Vice President in the USA) to try to aid in my entry to Canada. Mr. Bell suggested that the Border Control staff should phone my son David, in order to confirm my "fixed" residential address. And, in fact those efforts resulted in the Border people phoning David and that is what got me past the border.

I feel very lucky that Mr. Bell took the time to phone me. One time he even phoned me from the airport while he was rushing to make a flight. Can you imagine all of this effort to help me, and I am not even a citizen of Canada. Wow! Thank you sooooo much MP Don Bell.

7PM - Capilano Suspension Bridge.
Sure would have liked to show you the Capilano Bridge. However the $18.50 entrance fee for seniors seemed just a bit pricey. We had already paid $3 to park MsTioga, so we are going to eat dinner here in the parking lot and then look for a Nite Camp.

9:30PM - Found a section of Vancouver with loads of dry camp sites.
MsTioga is Nite Camped in this section now. This place looks pretty safe, and should be quiet later on tonite when the traffic dies down.



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Sunday, June 26, 2005

MsTioga may be very popular in Canada.
Yesterday MsTioga received emails from readers who want to meet her. Isn't that the greatest thing? Hmmmm? Cathy wants to come over to where The Team is Camped this morning and say hi.

Do you remember Bill who phoned Member of the Canadian Parliament Don Bell for us, in order to help with our border problem? Well, Bill lives nearby, and wants to meet The Team too. MsTioga and The Team love to meet our fellow RVers.

8:30AM - Cathy comes to call.
When Cathy came by to show me where she lived, it was a surprise to recognize that Cathy is Joan Anderson's mother. We met Cathy at Joan's house just yesterday. I followed Cathy home, was introduced to her husband Jack, and we all had a fine egg and bacon breakfast. Just fantastic!

11AM - Fixing MsTioga's mud flap.
Something is always breaking, falling off, or falling apart on MsTioga. We on The Team, enjoy fixing things, so repairs are fine. This morning while sweeping out MsTioga, we found that one of the mud flaps was falling off. While at Cathy and Jack's home this morning, they gave us some screws to re-attach the mud flap.

The light fixture over MsTioga's sink had its switch short out this morning. We replaced this light fixture which we use several times each day, with another less used fixture.

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MsTioga's falling off mud flap.



4PM - Doing more repairs and maintenance.
The Team traveled along Hwy #7, and came upon Fred's RV. Fred was the only fellow working this Sunday. Can you imagine that?! We bought a replacement light fixture for the one we borrowed earlier.

Several miles down the road from Fred's, a Home Depot popped up. We bought some wire nuts for the light fixture, and some heavy bolts to better fasten the mud flap. Everything is fixed up now. Wow! Just as we got to having fun doing maintenance, there is nothing more to do! Hmmmm?!

7PM - Nite Camped in City of Vancouver.
We have to tell you that it is soooooo exciting exploring here in Canada. Things are different, and that is what makes it so exciting. For example, the traffic lights have a blinking green, and a steady green. Neither MsTioga or George have any idea what the difference is, but our lack of knowledge about traffic lights is one of the things that makes it exciting. There are tons of restaurants here in this area. A zillion sushi joints. We do not eat out much, only a few times each month. But all of those sushi joints are making us think hard about eating out.

We have made a Nite Camp in what appears to be a city parking lot. We might receive a knock on MsTioga's door tonite. But we are not concerned very much, and will take that chance.

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George sporting his nifty Anderson Sod Farm hat at our parking lot Nite Camp site.





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Saturday, June 25, 2005

Visiting reader friend Joan this morning!
Today really is going to be exciting. Reader friend Joan who lives nearby in the town of Dewdney, has invited The Team to visit today! Wow! Joan and her family operate the Anderson Sod Farm. We love growing things, and love grass. This is soooooo great.

Would you like to take a peek at Joan's family website? Hmmmmm?

10AM - The Team visits the Anderson family.
We are sooooo lucky to have such good friends, like Joan and Mike Anderson. Their family made us feel very welcome.

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George with the Anderson family in front of their new RV.



Anderson Sod Farm.
Brothers Mike, Steve and Jerry Anderson own and operate their 30 year old farm. Mike gave me a tour of the farm telling about the different grades of sod, how the land is prepared, the seeds planted, watering requirements, mowing and harvesting.

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Mike and George in a sod field, recently harvested.



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George with the largest lawn mower in the world, built by Anderson Farms.



5PM - Day Camped in the Town of Mission.
We went west after leaving Dewdney. Isn't Dewdney a cute name? We do not know why we went west instead of east. It just looked like the right way on the map. MsTioga is parked on a side road, just off of Highway #7. The mighty Fraser flows just to the south of our Camp.

7PM - Nite Camped along Highway #7.
The Team has made our Nite Camp in an industrial area. We believe that as nite falls, the traffic will diminish and this place will be quiet for undisturbed sleep. Well, there are Canadian Railway tracks a few feet away. But you can't expect everything perfect in every Camp, can you? Hmmmm?

In a few weeks, this place will be berry heaven. There are tons of ripening berry bushes alongside MsTioga.



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Friday, June 24, 2005

6AM - What if the House of Commons member says that he will help?
In yesterday's post, you read that reader Bill contact Don Bell, a member of Canada's House of Commons and told Bell about the incident at the Canadian border. I am going to phone Don Bell later this morning, when I get to a place where my cell phone service works. What if Don Bell wants to help me with getting across the border? Hmmmm?

8AM - In the Town of Sumas, Washington.
I've returned to Sumas. I am only about 1/2 mile from the Canadian Border Station that refused me entrance to Canada on Wednesday. While reading a post on RV.NET that was started because of my difficulties at the Canadian Border, I read a reply that was addressed to me. This reply stated:

Quote:
"George, You have just explained why you were turned back at the border. You told them that you fulltimed in your RV. Canadians are refused entry into the US on a regular basis if they admit to living fulltime in the RV. I have met several Canadians who were not aware of this and proudly made the comment that this was their home only to be refused entry into the US for the same reason Canadian Customs gave you."

12 Noon - I am inside Canada!!!
It took almost four hours talking, giving papers, more paper and even more papers. Finally, the border people phoned my son David in California to confirm my home address. The border people gave me until August 1st, to visit Canada. Wow! Double Wow with sugar on it!!

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George on the Canadian side. The border station is in the background!



To all the readers who I emailed that I would never, never, never go to Canada!
What can I say to you?? I changed my mind! Wow! I am going to get a reputation for being wishy-washy.

2PM - Day Camped in the Town of Chilliwack.
MsTioga is in a gravel parking lot of a business that is closed for the day, on the east side of the Town of Chilliwack. There are three other RVs parked here. The owner of the property gave The Team permission to stay the nite.

The first town that we came to in Canada, was Abbotsford, a good sized place. We shopped at the WalMart, got Canadian currency from an ATM in a bank, and then drove here to Chilliwack.

6PM - Ted comes to say hi.
We are always very surprised, when one of our readers drives up and knocks on MsTioga to say hi. Today Ted came to call. We had a really nice chat. Ted brought a lovely map of British Columbia as a gift. Wow! Thank you sooooo much Ted, for making The Team feel so welcome!

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Mr. Mavica takes a pic of Ted, George and MsTioga.




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