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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Finalizing My Trip…..3 Weeks Late.

Three weeks ago when I published my last post,I stated at the end that I would see you on the other side….Well I finally made it…..The other side of what? I don't know,the mountains I guess.There is a definition for this laps of time…..Its called laziness.

I’m finding it more and more difficult to do this blogging thing but I felt that I should at least finalize the story of my little one month trip and see what creative juices will flow from that,so for those of you that have been following the last 5 posts,you will remember that during my travels I was having a problem with mice in the trailer…….Well I thought I was out of the woods with the problem,(no pun intended) having no more action since leaving Manning Park after the Aug 1st long weekend……but on the evening of my last post,about a week later at Summit Lake,I went out to do something in the big front compartment and there staring me in the face was obviously the other mouse that I didn't get at Manning,I don't know what he’s been eating because he hasn't been getting inside. I set a trap and he licked it clean within half an hour,so I got it refilled again,then set another trap,this time a glue trap on the other side of the compartment,and left it until just before leaving in the morning.

Well the next day I did all my final prepping to leave,then as a last thing checked the traps….Yup! The spring trap was licked clean again…I had it set sooo sensitive that I don't know how he does it…I even wrapped the bait in thread and he got it all just leaving the thread undisturbed………But the glue trap had my little friend staring up at me.Well he had a couple of good last meals at least.I will not go into detail other than to say that I guess there were only 2 of them from the start as no more action has been seen since getting home 3 weeks ago.

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So here we are after an hours drive on a sunny Sunday morning,waiting at the Needles/Fauquier free ferry landing on Arrow Lake….And here she comes after a 10 minute wait.

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Getting closer.

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A quick off load-on load and away we go.(This is a cable driven ferry)

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A view looking up the lake toward Nakusp…What a beautiful morning!

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It was also a beautiful drive over to Vernon that took a couple of hours,then without stopping carried on over the 97 cut-off to Kamloops,arriving just after noon.When I set my sights for home,the tourism ends and the steady driving begins.

In Kamloops, I searched out the big Home Depot outlet, not too far from the freeway,where I purchased some goodies for future “Mouse Warfare”.I got one that electrocutes them and it has high ratings and a high price,( if you think $30. is high),but I don't care,those little buggers are not going to ruin another holiday if I can help it and I'll be prepared next time. I also got another type of spring trap that makes licking off the bait a much riskier project……..BRING IT ON MOUSKIES!

001 002 4 AA batteries and good to kill 50 mice.

003 On this one they have to reach over that very sensitive food cover to get to that deeee-licious peanut butter……..good luck guys.This is a Wilson Predator-Snap-E.

Anyway back to business---

So off I go up the hill on the Coquihalla highway towards Merritt,making my final nights stop at Lac le Jeune Provincial Park at the top.

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This is another old favourite from past years,much more devoid of trees now since the beetle kill,but still a nice spot….And it wasn't crowded.Less than half full.

The next morning was a pleasant 2 and a half hour drive home.I probably wont go out again until its time to head south in November.

One final thing,this post is being done on my new,one week old, Acer 17.3 inch laptop….. Replacing a troublesome 6 year old desk top with only half a gig of ram.Now another learning curve as I enter Windows 7- ville.

Another story for another day.Oh!…And one more thing…..Any suggestions for discouraging my Asian friends from using my comments section.I’m getting tired of porn site links.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Wrapping Up After A Month On The Road…Time To Go Home.


I want to finish up my tour of this great little resort at the northwest end of Summit lake.I’m spending only 4 days and because I didn’t have a reservation,had to accept 2 locations in the park,2 days in each.Actually this 2nd one is much nicer than yesterdays pic’s of my first one.


This location is right in front of the boat docks and a stones throw from the beach(below).In this first picture below,those trees across that small portion of the lake,is the location of the Provincial park campground.


You know…..The one that’s always full.Also below is a shot of our park taken from the Provincial park boat launch.I’m on the left side in the pic.

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I had to wait until way past checkout time Friday morning to get to my new site as the young inconsiderate couple who occupied it, had too many pop’s the night before and slept in.I sat fuming all morning as everyone else was leaving,waiting for these idiots to get a move on.I wasn’t going to get “hairy chested” with them because he was a big guy,but I did put the bug in the managements ear and she went down and herded them a bit…..They were in a nice expensive Class-C Motorhome……A case of more money than brains I guess.

Another thing I noticed about this west Kootenay area is the abundance of Albertans.The old red and white license plates actually outnumber the BC plates everywhere I go.For awhile there I had to check my road map and make sure I hadn't crossed the border into Alberta without realizing it.Here in the campground I would say the flatlanders, they outnumber us side hill gougers by 2 to 1.

I’m not knocking Albertans…I used to be one once…..even married one,heaven forbid…Just having a bit of fun,but it is true about there abundance.

This resort is reasonable priced at $28. for full hookups and $26.for water and electric compared to $ the Provincial with nothing.Even the firewood here is free,with lots of it,and a fire pit in each site which can make for a smoky situation with the close proximity. I guess if you are going to compare,the only thing going for the Provincial is the privacy thing.And for me that is of utmost importance.

So after getting set up in my new location,I ventured into Nakusp,a town with some fond memories from past trips to this area.Just a sleepy little tourist town on the shore of the upper Arrow lake.And surprisingly  not even one regular fast food restaurant for a town with enough size to support one or two.It sort of takes me back to the 50’s….I like it…There are plenty of interesting little restaurants anyway,along with quite a few tourist curio shops.


Like this one below.

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And at the end of the main street you come to a nice park and beach,where I fought my way past all the red and white license plates,and got a parking spot…:))

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As you can see in the 3 pic’s above,a vicious thunderstorm is approaching so its time to flee the premises and get back to camp.

I just made it and opened my awning as the deluge started…..Man!I haven't seen thunderstorm rain like that since my days living on the prairies. The reason the top pictures in this blog entry are sort of dark is because I took them during my early morning walk when it was still a misty pre sunrise.

And on a final note with my review of this park,it also has a spotless washroom/shower/laundry building,seen in one of yesterdays shots.

This morning I will be leaving and heading back toward Vernon and home, after a short free ferry ride across Arrow lake….See you on the other side.


A correction about the Sonoran desert and Osoyoos from my last post,actually its the northern tip of the Great Basin Desert which connects to the Sonoran desert where some plant and animal life is the same as the higher elevations of the Sonoran in Mexico.Here is an interesting link on Osoyoos.

And also a link on Nakusp.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Summit Lake……And Some Lessons Learned.


Well,a week has gone by and here I am again….But lets go back and catch up….Remember my mouse incident?Well, how many of you were thinking to yourselves when I was thumping my chest in triumph over catching the mouse…..I bet he finds another…..Well you were right because I set the trap anyway and another licked it clean without setting it off….Now panic sets in…I feel I’m no longer in control…..I’m I about to be overwhelmed?..So I set out to fill every hole I could find in that area with whatever I could find,brillo pads,rags,roof sealant,never thought of foil wrap,(thanks Gypsy) this seemed to stop the action until I could get back to civilization and buy the necessary things.But every morning about dawn,I would hear scratching from the wall behind my head as I lay in bed…..Boy! That really got to me….The wall is solid….maybe its coming from outside…3 mornings of this just like clockwork.At least the inside invasion had stopped as no more action at the trap.Finally, getting out of that location and back on the road, solved my problem as everything is now back to normal.


Tuesday morning after the August 1st long weekend,I set out eastward along the Hope-Princeton highway through the haze of forest fire smoke,stopping in Princeton at a feed store for some more traps,just in case, then on to Keremeos where I picked up some steel wool,for proper hole plugging,then a visit to the municipal sani dump and water station on a back street.This is a little known spot as there is little sign of usage every time I stop there.

Carrying on toward Osoyoos in the south Okanagan,the smoke was getting worse,like driving in fog,then as I dropped down into the valley,I picked up the increased heat(90’s) as this is one of Canada’s hotspots with the only true desert in the country, it sits at the very northern tip of the Sonoran desert.Its been awhile since I was last here in mid summer and what a zoo of people.I couldn't find parking at the supermarket as I needed groceries,choosing a construction site nearby.The supermarket was also a zoo,I thought I was in Fry’s in Yuma on a busy day stumbling over people.I got what I wanted and headed out of town and up Anarchist mountain eastward and to cooler temperatures again and a lunch stop in a shaded rest area.

My objective was to get in early at the Provincial Park at Kettle River….not…It was full….was this a sign of things to come? Yes…but I managed to get into a little road side provincial near Greenwood.Actually it was a nice spot along Boundary creek,good enough for overnight anyway.


The next day was more of the same as I carried on eastward….9:30 am at Christina Lake’s Provincial Park …already full……12 noon at Syringa Provincial Park near Castlegar,also full with people camping in the day use area.I suddenly realized hey! This isn’t the shoulder season of June and September……You aint gonna get in to any of these parks this time of year unless you start reserving.NOW COMES A SMALL RANT.

You can blame Moe Sahota,NDP MLA for the Provincial Park reservation system,when he was in govt.he couldn’t get into a Provincial in the Shuswap with his family because it was full, so he introduced legislation for the reservation system….I suppose the idea is ok for some,but too many of the sites are on the reserve list(and all the better sites too)leaving few choices for the first come first serve people,about 25% to 35% of the total sites.

As I travelled north from Castlegar up through the Slocan Valley(beautiful country)and finally getting away from forest fire smoke,I checked out a couple more PP’s and it was more of the same….full…So that brings me to where I am now…..Summit Lake,16km from the town of Nakusp.


This is a private campground on Summit lake,(if you look hard you can see the lake in the background)and its called “Three Islands Resort”a well run,well spaced,very pretty and clean park………..More next time.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Of Mice And Men….And Attack Chipmunks.


So goes the story of my past two weeks,along with having to put up with a camping neighbor with a yappy Jack Russell,running loose and going after all the passing dogs on leashes,and an owner who usually didn't even bother to get out of her chair to stop it.She would just turn and yell at the dog,so I guess the bad manners are with the owner,not the dog.(probably both.)I had just wished that it would shut up for just a little while.(End rant 1)

Then there are the screaming kids…Yelling and having fun is one thing,but shrieking all the time……What's up with that? Of course I expect this sort of thing when I go to a popular provincial park during the summer holiday season,but after living the snowbird life with all the other old “Blue-Hairs”during the winter season….It is quite a change and takes a bit of getting used to.(end rant 2)…..Although I know of some seniors that fall into the noisy rowdy category too.Some even shriek.

Then there’s the subject of today's title.I don't know why wildlife seem to come after me, example, last winters little episodes with Ants,Africanized bees and a Possum.Thank goodness the Alligator ignored me on South Padre Island Texas last January, but the first day I’m at Monck park two weeks ago, I’m having a few zzzz’s in my recliner and a chipmunk comes flying through the air from behind me and lands on my head…Scared the bejabbers out of me….And I might as well blame the Jack Russell for the mouse problem….he probably chased it into my trailer…….I’m starting my 13th season with this little trailer and this is the first time(that I know of) that I have had a resident mouse.It took me less than two hours from the time I discovered it until its execution…..Without a trap……..More on that later.

The weather for many was perfect during my 9 day stay at Monck PP with one uncomfortable day that had a high of 35c/94f and no wind off the lake,but most were breezy days around 30c,just right,but after steady days of it the heat was starting to get to me along with the others things previously mentioned,so with a long weekend coming up where the decibel level was sure to rise even higher here,I decided to get “Outta Dodge” and head for some higher ground for the long weekend,where I’m sure to find cooler temperatures.That's the nice thing about living in mountain country,so that's what I did.Within two hours driving time I was up another 2000ft in the old standby of EC Manning Provincial Park,arriving at noon this past Thursday,giving me a days leeway to find a good site before the weekend rush hits the place.And it hit with a bang the next day,but I was hunkered down and didn’t care,with perfect weather….The fresh cool breeze was sooo nice.


Now I know I brought the mouse with me from Monck because I remember hearing some rustling sounds on the final night,but just thought it was the lapping of the waves,because it couldn’t be a mouse….I never get those.But on my first day here at the Coldspring Campground, I heard overnight rustlings again and when I opened the cupboard door under the sink to throw something in the garbage at breakfast time,there was my little friends rear end disappearing further into the cupboard.

My first thought was……Geeeeze!…I don't got no mousetrap! (How's that for grammar?)My little brain whirled into action…I have friends coming up from home today,so a quick e-mail to Kathy to pretty please bring a mousetrap with you.30 minutes later a return e.-mail with a big “roger that”……..It sure is nice to have satellite internet in the middle of nowhere with no phone service.

But alas as Yogi Bear always said”Smarter than the average bear”,old Willy was smarter than the average mouse because after breakfast I emptied the garbage container,placed a new plastic bag in,then went outside and sat for awhile….then snuck back in and quickly opened the cupboard door and low and behold there he was,trapped in the bottom of the container looking for food…I quickly picked up the container(a small plastic waste basket) and carried him outside.Now I don't like killing any creatures,even mice but the thought that he may not survive anyway came to light,because if I let him go, he may be a different species being brought from a lower desert to a higher forest.I had to justify my feelings of guilt somehow.003

Well Kathy and Ernie showed up with a mousetrap for me anyway and I will soon find out if there are any more.

As you can see I haven’t been too active with my camera as all I have taken is 3 different angles of my latest campsite.Although the other day I took a walk along one of the campsite roads and walked right up to a young buck deer grazing at the side of the road,sporting a new growth of fuzzy antlers.He just stood there and looked at me(without a word of a lie)10 feet away from me…..I gave him a gentle hello in a soft voice and he just looked at me for about 10 seconds then slowly ambled away……That's right,my camera was back at the trailer gathering dust.

So this morning of course was our first cloudy day in 2 weeks and I get the camera out….go figure!…all I could muster up was this guy chowing down.


I had to work this one with Picasa a bit because it was just a silhouette to start with.Some day I’ll take the time to learn how to use a camera beyond point and shoot on auto.

Oh! and last week I finally broke down and bought a new barbeque after over 20 years with the last one.

Just a cheapy,but I love it…On sale at Crappy Tire (Canadian Tire) for 29.95,down from 49.95. Quality Chinese made….:)

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And I just love having that nice oven temperature gauge in the lid.

012  So now I’m dabbling in a few wrapped in foil type recipes.Real fancy stuff, like potatoes smothered in onions with a pork chop thrown in for good measure.A culinary genius I am….:)…Just a simple man with simple needs who writes blogs with Kindergarten pictures and lettering…….:)

I guess I could have entitled this post……”Just a lot about nothing”