Trip Log 2013

Trip #1 to the BC Samboree in Armstrong

The Best Laid Plans:

“ We want to go to the BC Samboree in Armstrong since we have a number of relatives and friends who live in that area.  This year I bought Parks Passes so we can go via Jasper, Lake Louise, and Revelstoke.   Reservations were made at the Lamplighter in Revelstoke and for four days at the Riverside campground in Enderby after the Samboree.  The plan after that is to spend the July 1st weekend at the Lamplighter in Revelstoke.”  “ OK, pack extra dog food this time and don’t forget to give Denver his Revolution. We don’t want fleas!”

Sunday, June 16: Jasper

We loaded and hitched up in the rain, then drove to the Whistlers campground in Jasper for the first night. We traveled in rain for most of the way but the weather was better in Jasper after 3 pm. Power only site (61E) cost $32.30 for 1 night.   65 L of gas at Hinton cost $82.00.

Monday, June 17
“Ford has a deal with Microsoft so we will have cars that quit for no reason at all!”

I idled our truck and trailer through the campground then exited around 10 am.  Turned right on to highway 93, stepped on the gas, and the Supercrew couldn’t go over 1000 rpm. Called Good Sam ERS and spent quite a bit of time on the cell ‘phone.  A Jasper Tire and Auto van and a motor home stopped to offer assistance but I told both of them that God Sam ERS were making arrangements and were to call back.

Eventually a flatbed truck and a pickup from Jasper Tire and Auto arrived just after I had taken the air cleaner out with an explosion of shredded air filter element.  We thought we might have to head for home. “Looks like a rat got in there!” one of the mechanics exclaimed. Microsoft was off the hook.

Damaged air filterFilter bits

The mechanics decided to drive the rig back to the shop  (At 1000 rpm. max) on the road past the Jasper RV dump station and that we crawled slowly along until the road went uphill approaching a small bridge where the rig refused to proceed.  We unhitched the trailer so the mechanics could get the F150 4X4 on the flatbed truck and use their pickup to tow our trailer to the shop. Three mechanics started on our truck almost a soon as it arrived. Denver was retrieved from his kennel after his ride in the back seat of the F150 on the flatbed truck. We had lunch in our trailer.

One of the mechanics noticed that on of our trailer 4 ways had gone out so after some time Roy removed the bad bulb and went to the shop for a couple of new ones. “Your truck’s ready!”  We were on the road before 2 pm and managed to get to the Mosquito Creek campground by late afternoon.  We owe a special thanks to the great folks at Jasper Tire and Auto and to Good Sam Emergency Road Service.  Bet they never had a rodent caused call before this one.

Mosquito Creek turned out to be a pleasant surprise as it is a beautiful spot. Later that day we helped a couple of ladies from London build a campfire and then sat around it looking at the mountains and chatting.  They were just winding up a Canadian tour and would have to turn the motor home in Calgary tomorrow before flying home to England.

Our campsite. Mountain
Sites along the creek Sites along the creek

Tuesday, June 18

We left Mosquito Creek around 10 am and made our first rest stop at the Kicking Horse rest area after crossing the new “ten-mile” bridge east of Golden.  There was a lot of construction delays so we stopped for lunch at the Roger Pass Summit then came to the Lamplighter RV Park in Revelstoke where this is being typed. Tomorrow we will go to Armstrong for the BC Samboree then Sunday the Riverside RV Park in Enderby for four days.
After that its back here to Revelstoke over the Canada Day long weekend then start for home.

Wednesday, June 19:     “Looks like we brought some Alberta Samboree weather with us.”

We drove from Revelstoke to Armstrong where the Samboree parking crew was dealing with pouring rain. After some time they directed us to a grassy spot backing on to the ball field backstop. One hundred and forty three rigs eventually got parked on the fairgrounds. Only three were from Alberta, us, Bob and Bev Gangl from Red Deer, and a third couple.

An unusual card bingo was held in the evening as an ice breaker and was well attended in the constantly pouring rain

Thursday, June 20:  Opening Ceremonies

Weather was better today with some rain. Roy went to a first rate RV propane seminar while Janet attended the Lady’s Tea. One interesting item was that the old Marshall brass propane regulators had been replaced with Chinese imports on new RVs and quality had gone out the window.

Janet went into panic mode when she discovered that her heart pills had been left at home. We contacted nearest Safeway Pharmacy in Vernon and their people contacted Spruce Grove and came up with a supply of pills for the remainder of our trip.

Our parking spot was close to the horticulture building and also the fairground free showers, which were quite passable.  Nametags had to be worn at all times. (Even in the showers?)

The City of Armstrong was celebrating its 100th Anniversary and many people were sporting 1913 attire.

Opening ceremonies were held starting at 6 pm.  We were instructed to carry our Chapter flag in behind the colour party after they had done their thing.  The mayor of Enderby, resplendent in an old-fashioned suit and bowler had, had presented us with pins while waiting. We were also instructed to take the chapter flags back to our RVs as some had been stolen in previous years.  After opening ceremonies the usual Samboree stuff commenced.  Yesterday’s record rainfall had let up a bit.

Friday, June 21:  People here are dressed like it was 1913!

We had to go in to Vernon to pick up Janet’s pills at the Safeway Pharmacy who had contacted Spruce Grove and came up with a supply for the duration of our trip.  Later that day, at the Samboree, prizes were awarded for the best “100 years ago” costumes.  That event was a big hit with everyone!

A 1913 couple Award winner

Saturday, June 22: The Banquet and Closing Ceremonies

The Golf Tournament was scheduled for today and went ahead. We went to the very good Farmers Marked adjacent to the fairgrounds and bought some very good organically grown vegetables.  We also met Janet’s sister Joan for lunch.  News of the flooding in southern Alberta and closure of highway 1 east reached us about then.  Friends with a satellite set up had seen TV coverage and we took a short trip downtowm  to pick up a Vancouver Sun.  "Mayhem in Alberta"  was the front page news.   "Holy cow Janet, tenth street bridge in Calgary appears to be under water!"   "How are we going to get home?"    "We  are booked for another  four days in Enderby and then five in Revelstoke so hopefully  highway 1 will have re-opened  after that.  If not it will be a long detour through Kamloops to highway  sixteen."

The banquet and closing ceremonies were held later that day. The local Lions Club catered to the first rate banquet. We were presented with our Century patches for attending our tenth Samboree, which, in spite of all the rain, was one of the best ever, attended.


Sunday, June 23:  Breakfast, goodbyes, then  Enderby

We played hooky from the non-denominational Church service and went to the Rotary Club breakfast on the grounds. Huge pancakes, sausages, eggs, etc. were well worth the price.

Later we gave the folks in the motor home next to us a boost to get their suddenly dead car started.

We hitched the trailer up later and headed for the Riverside RV Park in Enderby where we had reserved a power only site for four nights.

On arriving at Riverside we dumped the holding tanks and filled the water tank.  Manager Denny Pearson gave us a Good Sam discount.

“I can move you to a better site.  The lady in site 1 left and you can have it at no extra charge.”  Site 1 was the only full service site that was not a drive through but had a huge Spruce tree that made it challenging for larger rigs judging by the branches that had been tied back.  Our little Bonair 1690 fit with just enough room to get the awning out after our usual “Stand where I can see you in the mirrors!” circus getting parked. Site 1 was a very nice site across the road from the campground office with a view of the river.

Site 1View

Monday, June 24

The only Laundromat in Enderby is at the Shell station so we went there to do a small mountain of laundry. After finishing that we returned to the campground and took the River walk in to town to visit the Bargain Store and IGA.  Later we tried the campground showers, which required a hand full of quarters and patience in getting some hot water.  At least there was room to turn around, unlike the tiny shower in our trailer.

Tuesday, June 24

Some unfamiliar noises woke us up around 5 am.

We took another hike in to town for visits to the Bargain Store (Senior’s discount day!) and IGA. We must have gone through $100.00 at that bargain store and with the IGA stuff had fun lugging everything the kilometer of so back the campground.  A lady from the nearby Senior’s complex that we met on the way back told us that the 5 am noises were the cooing of Doves.

Later that day we contacted some of the local relatives by cell 'phone. All the rain had stalled Linda Freeman’s home renovations and Grants were not home.

Janet had bought two bundles of firewood when we arrived at the campground.  Our fire pit was full of Spruce cones, which had resulted in a lot of smoke the first time we tried a campfire. Cleaning the cones out the next day solved that problem.

Wednesday, June 26

We walked to the Bargain Store again so Janet could buy some low priced but name brand sunglasses. We managed to get back to the campground just before the thunderstorm hit. Later it cleared off and we had a campfire.

Thursday, June 27

Five nights had been reserved at the Lamplighter campground, which we arrived at in early afternoon. Janet grew up in Revelstoke and we were married there in 1969 so this stop was important.

Friday, June 28:

Downtown Revelstoke hosted a grad parade starting at Grizzly Plaza that we witnessed before visiting the tourist information centre and some local businesses. The two of us visited the Nickelodeon Museum and the female half of the couple running it gave us a one-hour guided tour.

“This machine belonged to Napoleon’s Empress Eugenie. You would have to have been very rich to buy one and the maid and footman would have to change those heavy cylinders. Here’s a picture on Napoleon and his Empress.”

Other items dated from the sixteenth century up to the 1950‘s.  There were some wondrous craftsmen involved in producing the machines.  The Museum has its own web page and should be on everyone’s must see list.

Later we had lunch at Emo’s before doing some shopping.  The weather had finally turned hot.  We later returned to the campground where we enjoyed our first barbecued steaks since leaving home.  After that we used the wifi and cable TV that included the Global Edmonton Channel.

Saturday June 29 

The weather forecast was for hot and sunny but we went to the Farmer’s Market in a downpour.

We walked around downtown, did some more shopping, had lunch then later returned to the trailer and watched “Revenge of the Sith” on DVD.

Sunday, June 30:"I have to see your driver's license  before you can enter the dam site."

The tour of the Revelstoke Dam involved Canada’s closest thing to the Department of Home Security just to get in.  The weather had turned hot and sunny and the tour was interesting.

View from the top Looking down
Looking east Penstocks

Monday, July 1
    “I used to live over there and my maiden name was Janet Palmer.”

The July 1st parade was scheduled for noon downtown and we wanted to see it. We went downtown and parked the truck under the tree that Janet’s dad had used to shade his car years ago. Janet struck up a conversation with a lady in a small car behind us who turned out to be Lynn Anderson. Lynn was looking after Palmer’s former neighbor Marge Davidson who was still in her house and still in bed at 11:00 AM. Lynn insisted we visit Marge so we went in and showed her pictures of our new grandchild Cassie.  Marge is 89; her husband Andy is 91 and unfortunately no longer at home due to his Alzheimer’s disease

After visiting Marge we walked over to 1st Avenue to watch the parade. “This was my granddad’s house!” Janet said pointing to the house behind us at the corner of Pearson Street.  The present owner had really spruced the place up!

After the parade we went to Tim Horton’s for lunch (Big mistake, there was a lineup a mile long but at least the food was OK.) then the Railroad museum.  Roy is pretty sure that the Union picture in the museum includes Janet’s granddad Dave Rabbet who was a plumber with the CPR.

There is only one way in or out of that museum and it means crossing the tracks. A long train ground to a halt blocking the exit just as we were about to leave. The train eventually started moving again.

The weather had turned very hot so we picked up a barbecued chicken for supper after leaving the museum.

Tuesday, July 2

We packed up and left the Lamplighter which was clean and well run but, as another camper said, a bit like Wal*Mart in high summer and close to the railway track.

Highway 1 was open, very busy, and rough in quite a few places. We did a lunch stop at Field, and then proceeded to Mosquito Creek where we found a site.  We found the range top upside down on the trailer floor but that was easily fixed. The campground proceeded to fill up rapidly. Lots of mosquitoes so we spent the extra $8.00 on a fire permit and popped corn over coals that evening. 

Wednesday, July 3

Our rig headed north dodging a lot of bicycles going down Bow pass before gassing up at Saskatchewan River Crossing, then heading east on the David Thompson highway.  Another gas stop was made at Rocky Mountain House, then up to Crimson Lake Provincial Park for the night.  Power only site D7 (Marked reserved) cost $29.00 with wood extra.   The campground showers only take old Toonies.   Weather had cooled a bit with a high of 24 C.

Thursday, July 4

Exiting the campground we found that the dump station was coin activated so it cost a toonie to dump before hitting the road home.

    We took highway 22 home but had to detour east due to 770 being blocked by a lot of construction equipment and eventually made our way home by the Devon highway. 

July - August

We spent the rest of July and part of August moving basement furniture, etc. in and out so replacement carpeting could be installed to repair last summer's seepage damage.

Trip #2: Parkland Jays camp out at the Outwest RV Park

August 15 - 17

Firepit bear vents

This campground is on highway 752 30 km southwest of Rocky Mountain house. Garmin GPS co-ordinates are: 52.1529 -115.1711. We had 25 Parkland Jays rigs there.   Stalls are all very large pull throughs to accomodate the many ATV users who camp here and explore the many trails in the area. 

Our site View from site
The office More sites
The Parkland Jays Choir Campfire

Our group enjoyed the usual bean bag baseball, potluck meals, campfire sing alongs, etc. and the weather man co-operated.