Thursday, 20 September 2018

Aug 31 - Sep 5, 2nd Annual Ross Lake Group Camp

Aug 31
It was strange to wake up in our house! We own a fabulous king bed and I slept like a rock. We can make coffee and we can have a bathroom each!! Yayyy. Obviously we had a great start to the day. Leslie threw the sheets in the wash and I ran a vacuum over the floors and now it becomes Derek & Devan's problem for a few months. Treat it like you don't own it boys! lol.
We stopped at Sobeys and Wholesale Club in Bonnyville to stock up a few things for the weekend. Ron & Shelley will meet us on the east side of town and we'll drive out together. Kent & Rachelle and the Mckinnon's will be not long behind us.
We are in Group site H
Great trails and lots of sites

We pulled into the group site H and took the same spots as last year. It works good to have us on the end and Rachelle and Kate with awnings together. They make a ton of food together and it's fabulous.
Ron & Shelley

Leslie & me

Dave & Kate McKinnon / Kent & Rachelle awnings close to protect the food

We all really like this site for it's great location beside the lake and all the amenities that come with it. We have potable water onsite, a 3 sided shelter with lights and receptacles for movie night and 3 mens/3 ladies pit toilets that are clean as can be.

Rachelle/Kate set up movie nite for the kids in here

self explanatory
There is also a walking trail that does a loop around behind our site and it's great for bikes or walking. There was a couple bear droppings so we sent the kids out first while we were drinking beer. C'mon I'm kidding!! We weren't drinking beer ;) . lol
Once everybody was set up we all gathered for that beer I mentioned. We don't see everyone much all summer so this is a great chance to catch up. Almost forgot to mention that because Leslie didn't plant a garden this year we don't have the tons of fresh veggies like usual. Well Kate took care of that problem big time ! She asked on Facebook if anyone needed vegetables and Leslie said yes Holy smackdown! We shared with Ryan/Ashtyn & Ron/Shelley there was so much. Thanks Kate!
Dinner is all planned for tonight. Kent spent half the previous night smoking and tending to a 14 pound brisket. Shelley made home-made potato salad, Kate added home-made brown beans and a cucumber salad. Leslie and I made garlic/cheese biscuits for our contribution plus some cabbage rolls. Well I'll tell you everything was fantastic! The brisket tasted amazing and cut with a plastic fork and the whole meal was so good I went back for seconds.
My first plate! Brisket smothered in beans omg.
Shortly after dinner Leslie and I drove out to the highway to meet Ryan & Ashtyn. They had to work and then go grab their trailer from storage and drive from Edmonton to Ross Lake. About 2 1/2 hours of driving but they made it. We got them backed in to a site before it got dark. Bad news was their propane regulator and tank switch is broken and leaking. No heat or hot water for them tonight and it's cold! We can get parts tomorrow in Lloydminster. We saved them a plate of dinner each and then we all gathered around the big fire pit for a few drinks. Kids, dogs and adults all really enjoyed the night.
Sept 1
On this day I always look up and say a few words to my old buddy, Gord Claybert, that tragically passed away in a snowmobile accident. Today is his birthday. I will always remember you and this day my friend.
Everyone comes out of their rigs as they wake up and get coffees going. Ron already finished breakfast but he always gets up early anyway. There is preparations for a big breakfast over at Rachelle & Kate's rigs. They have 2 of the monster Coleman cook stoves and can make a lot of food in a hurry. Another great meal, thanks you two. The kids keep busy on their bikes and running around and the rest of us can do whatever we want.That's another great thing about a closed site.a closed site.

The other dogs trying to figure what Kirby is ?
With Ron's help, Ryan and I got to work removing his gas regulator. Kent & Ron are going to Lloyd anyway today and they will grab the new one. Perfect. Should have heat and a stove by this afternoon. When the boys left a bunch of us decided to go for a walk to check things out. 
Rachelle & I with Margaret and Hunter

Ashtyn getting pulled by Kirby! & Ryan. Les was the photographer.

Shortly after we got back Lisa, Kyle, Calvin, Drew & Thomas all showed up. Chanelle and John also stopped in for an extended visit. Drew and Thomas are passing by and only stopping for a visit but Lisa & Kyle ended up staying overnight with their trailer.
L to R: Kate, Drew, Thomas, Ron, Chanelle, Lisa (not looking) Carly

Same crew, too many to list
We were all sitting around visiting when a random car showed up and just drove through the site, somebody left the gate open. Ron volunteered to go close it.
His other bike is 1700 cc's lol

Ron had also volunteered to make a big pot of chili for Saturday supper and it was fantastic! We put that together with coleslaw, kale salad and garlic toast. So good! Nobody goes hungry, that's for sure.

Earlier in the day Rachelle had hung a white sheet for the movie screen. Tonight is movie night! The feature is Rampage starring Dwayne Johnson, a good flick for everybody. The kids like all the animals and it was good for grown ups too. I liked it anyway. Kate and Rachelle do up treat bags for the kids and popcorn for everybody. It's a really nice way to spend a couple hours wrapped up in blankets in the lawn chairs and watch a movie. After the movie we sat by the fire for a nightcap. Shortly after it was bedtime.
Sept 2
Today is a beautiful sunny day with a high of 20C/68F. We got out the ladder ball game, bean bags game, cards and giant Jenga. Kate made the Jenga game. I swear her and Rachelle could give Martha Stewart a lesson.
Ryan, Ashtyn, Les and Katelynn

Of course there was more food. Everybody put in a snack and it ended up being a feast.
Margaret praying for someone to drop something

Ashtyn & Ryan brought their Margarita maker and I saw Ashtyn doing several trips to their rig?? Nobody was unhappy over at their table lol. Coincidence? Don't think so. We even got in some kayaking thanks to Ron & Shelley for supplying the boats.
Rachelle, me and Leslie

So nice and calm
Kent and Kate brought out a target and their bows too. They were giving lessons. A few us took a shot at it. Ryan did good for a first try and the rest of us at least hit the cube.
Les had a tough time with the pull

Kate teaching Ashtyn

Sporting my Sacramento Walmart swim shorts, saweet !
After a full day of play we all went back to our own rigs and ate whatever we brought. No big potluck tonight. Ryan & Ashtyn joined us for burgers and smokies on the barbecue. After supper we all gathered for a big fire. When Dave McK loads a firepit he doesn't fool around! By 11pm most everyone had called it a day and retired for the night. Great day.
Sep 3
The forecast is for rain and it was right. Leslie heard it raining about 4am and when we woke up around 8:00 it was coming down pretty good. Ryan packed up his trailer early in the rain and headed back to Edmonton. Back to the storage yard for winter. Dave & Kate along with Kent & Rachelle packed up soon after. We went out and gave everybody hugs and handshakes as this will be the last we see them until April. Kind of sad in a way. Ron & Shelley and Les & I waited until the rain had almost stopped. We had a pot of tea before we packed up. Still got pretty wet but not as bad as earlier. 
Last to leave, only a 45 minute drive to home.
We pulled out about 1pm for our house in Bonnyville. I want to mow the grass one last time and we are grabbing a few more things to take with us on the road. Derek and Devan are working nightshift while we are there. Les and I are parking in the driveway and hooking up to water and 30 amp on the garage. Now this is weird! We camped in our driveway while the fellas stayed in the house! Just seemed weird is all.
Sept 4 & 5
We stayed in the driveway and worked on the yard and did lots of errands that needed to be done before we leave for the winter. I did the mowing and weed whipper while Leslie cleaned her flower beds and cleaned out the last of the stuff we want to take. That's the last time we have to do that chore this year thankfully. The neighbours girls will cut the grass when it needs it and the boys have the house to themselves. See ya Bonnyville! Going to miss lots of things but won't miss another winter and -40 temps, not even a little bit. With more weird feelings and maybe a little sadness we pulled out of our driveway and headed for Seba Beach to finally finish that garage project.

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Aug 26 - 30 The day after and back to Alberta.

Aug 26
 Ugh ! The day after. I feel like I had way too much fun last night. Leslie had a few drinks and danced lots and had a great time and wanted to stay later. I, on the other hand, got a little too friendly with the pints of craft beer and a couple shots of tequila and needed to go home earlier than we should have. Definitely not my proudest moment. Enough said.
Sam and Heather are leaving for Vancouver today to visit more friends before returning to England. John is driving them to the ferry and they will walk on. With big hugs we said good bye for now. Leslie and I really hope to get to Europe soon and we will make London our first stop to see these awesome peeps. So great to meet Sam and get to see you both!
After John got back from the ferry we decided on a walk on UVIC campus for some air. It's so nice over there, great place for a nice walk. 
As close to "going to UVIC" as we get lol
Kevin & Lisa called as we were getting back to the house. They were done lunch with Lisa's friend and are stopping by before they fly out to Calgary this afternoon. We sat out on Johns deck and had a nice visit with them. More good byes with hugs and handshakes and they were off to the airport. We are going out for dinner with Patty tonight to a place called 5th Street Dinner. We've never been there before but Patty says it's an after work stop for lots of work people. 
Nasty selfie.
We dropped Patty off at home and went back to Johns place to relax a bit and then off to bed. Travel day tomorrow.
Aug 27
Up early to try to catch the 8 am ferry. So close! We missed it by a few minutes but definitely on the 9 am. No worries. It's a nice day and there is coffee available so we're good. Loaded on the ferry we went outside on top for pics. Vancouver Island is beautiful. The sun and the ocean just always make a person feel better.
See what we mean?

Happy couple.
We got a text from Ryan while we were crossing wondering when we would be getting home. Margaret gets pretty bad separation anxiety when we leave her and she's having a rough time this trip. Ryan & Ashtyn's couldn't be a better place for her. She has Kirby to play with all day but she misses us I guess. We decided to push as far as we could today and pick her up tomorrow. Long day in the Mustang. Sore back and butt day! 
Passing another ferry in Active Pass.
The ferry trip was great! I like them actually, so relaxing really. We hit the freeway and headed for Trans Canada #1 without any incidents this time. Beautiful sunny day and 120 km/h speed limit on the Coquihalla. You can easily stretch that to 140 and still have Alberta pickups passing you!
Going up the Coq, pick a lane buddy!

Close to Merrit looking into Nicola Valley
We made great time through to Kamloops but back to two lane roads and some construction past there. Not heavy traffic though so still not bad. We stopped for fuel in Blue River and Leslie took over the driving for a while. We decided earlier that we would try to make it home to PGR. I'll rest and we'll make it before midnight.
Mt Robson with the top in the clouds
Leslie drove to Hinton from Blue River and then I took over again. Only a couple hours left! We got home just after 11pm Alberta time. Left Johns at 7:30am Pacific time and home at 11 Mountain time. Fifteen hours and we are sore and tired. We went straight to bed but it took a bit to unwind enough to sleep.
Aug 28
We slept in this morning, not surprising. Had a slow start to the day but we are jumping in the truck (much softer seats than the Mustang) and heading into Edmonton to get Margaret. Our buddy Paul is still in hospital in Edmonton so we texted and he's good for us to visit for a little bit. His surgery for colon cancer went well but he unfortunately is battling an infection after the fact. More pain with a drain tube in him now. We're hoping he gets better soon. It has been way too long dealing with pain. We got a short visit and really glad to see him and Diana. Big hugs to you both.
We picked up a super happy dog at Ryan's a little later. There was no way we were getting out of the house without her this time! Thanks Ryan & Ashtyn for looking after her. We drove back to PGR and Leslie did a load of laundry but other than that we did NOTHING lol.
Aug 29 
We have a very calm and happy dog with us again. She slept between us on the bed making sure nobody went anywhere.
A little personal but how cute is this?
We're getting a little rain but not bad enough to stop us from taking Margaret on a walk. We're still stiff from the trip so it's good for us as well.
Happy dog in her rain coat
The big project for today is to get the trailer ready to move again. We have been parked all summer and the storage has been taken over with tools and tool belts for the garage build. We're still waiting for the garage door and trim pieces. We're going away for the long weekend. We pulled almost everything out and vacuumed the storage and then reload with what we want on the road.
Everything out

Vacuum and sort

Repack for the road
While I was doing the front and rear storage bins Leslie was inside reorganizing cupboards and closets. I like my job better. She is making sure that nothing gets broken during travel. Amazing how much stuff gets moved around when you sit still for a couple months. We had cold beverage by the fire pit to burn some stuff from the build and called it a day. 
Aug 30
We are driving to Bonnyville today and staying one night in our house. We have a group site booked at Ross Lake Campground for the long weekend with family and friends. Really looking forward to this weekend too. The site is great and the people that will be there are pretty nice too ;)
Some lucky farmers are harvesting grain already and we drove by one field with 5 combines working. So cool to see them lined up like that and the trucks pulling in. 
2 combines in the lead away from the others

Unfortunate glare.... here comes the crew!
There is rain in the forecast. Hopefully it's not so much that the farmers can't get in the fields. The crops look pretty good in our area so they just need to get them in the bin.
We had a nice drive to Bonnyville and backed the rig in our driveway. We are spending tonight in the house and then wash the sheets and clear out the little bit of stuff we have to take with us. Derek and Devan have started moving stuff to the garage already and they will be staying in the house after the long weekend. It was a little weird in the house... seemed almost not ours anymore. Odd feeling but I guess we're used to the rig already. Sure glad we have them looking after things for the winter. Couldn't have worked out better for us.
We are off to Bonnyville to pick up a few groceries and meet up with Ron & Shelley. Then we have about a 45 minute drive to Ross Lake and our long weekend fun. That's another post though.... stay tuned.