Monday, May 23, 2011

Canyon Alpine RV Park

The last time we tried to take the Rockwood Minilite RV out of the Frazer Valley into the Coastal Mountains, the Ford F350 had overheated.  Chilliwack Ford did a marvellous job of replacing head gaskets and exhaust components to restore the powerful deisel engine to new.  Now we had to test it with another trip uphill under load.  We drove out to Yarrow where we found that our batteries had been stolen in the trailer storage facility. 26 trailers had had this done to them by criminals who'd gone to some planning.    I picked up  new Nautilus  RV 12 volt deep cycle batteries at $100 a piece at Canadian tire. The obvious attraction of Chilliwach Canadian Tire was the expansive parking lot which accomodated a truck and trailer. I'm new to this hauling a home behind me so must be very cautious about where I go because frankly I can't back up with any skill whatsoever.  Also the Canadian Tire service folk were extremely helpful with advice.  I also filled my extra propane tanks.  Laura entertained Gilbert who never can understand why he can't come along on all manly business.
After that we filled up with diesel at our favourite Huskey where they cater to the big trucks, have everything imaginable for the road, and have gobs of room for newbie RV haulers.  Then we were actually on the road.  Both Laura and I were paying attention to every sound the engine made as I kept to 80 km. "We're breaking in new parts, " I said. "It doesn't matter how slow we go, "She said. "We're hauling a trailer and everyone else can get around us. "   She had her seatbelt on and whenever I looked over I noticed she was praying.
It was on the hill before Hope the engine had overheated before. This time no problema!  "We're going to make it. I love Chilliwack Ford!" I shouted.
In Hope we stopped to phone Canyon Alpine RV Park to confirm a site.  The woman who answered was delightful.  So joyful and full of enthusiasm for her RV Park.   Lots of pull through sites.  Perfect for the newbie.  Pet Friendly. "Look forward to seeing you shortly!" she said.
We headed up the #1 Canyon road.  Tom had said big rigs had been travelling on that since time immemorial  so he thought it would be fine when we'd told him we were going to go on that or  the Coquahalla.  The weather for  Boston Bar area was better than Merritt where we would have gone if we'd taken the Coquahalla.  I trusted Tom's judgement and we headed up the Canyon.  In the places where the passenger could look down the ravine I saw that Laura had her feet up bracing herself.  I remembered Mark Twain's comment that he'd died many times already but so far only in his mind.  Laura was bracing herself and praying while I was chatting.  I get chatty when I'm concerned about those around me being concerned. I realized I was tense too.  This hauling an RV was serious stuff. Canyons, ravines and tunnels. All the while I was listening to the engine and thanking God and Chilliwack Ford for the sweet sounds it made. I was also watching the temperature guages delighted that they were not changing despite the steep incline..
I love Sailor's Bar Tunnel simply because I'm a sailor too.  Laura and I reminisced about the time we came home on the Harley Roadster motorcycle where we hit the bad patch of road enterring the tunnel finding ourself air born at 90 km/hr  going into the tunnel darkness suddenly blind. We were very thankful when the tires hit and we stayed upright.  Another trip with Bill Mewhort we'd come home with his trailer on the back of the truck hauling a little trailer full of the moose I'd shot and him speeding to catch the last ferry back to Vancouver Island.  That was a memorable ride.  Of course there's been dozens of other times I've travelled this route and only those two stick out. This one might as well because it was my first time hauling an RV into the mountains.  As a prairie boy, I do remember the first time I drove through the Rockies to the coast and this had some of the flavour of that adventure.
Canyon Alpine RV Park is just beyond Boston Bar.  I'd often hunted and fished the Nahatlach River across the bridge from Boston Bar past the North Bend.  I'd also spent time around Lytton which is just a ways further north. .  Consequently I'd been in this area and noted the Canyon Alpine RV Park in passing.  I'd thought I'd like to stay there someday.
Pulling in with our RV behind us I had one of those God moments realizing that this was a kind of miracle. Tracing back the seeds that had lead to just this day had it's own synchronistic personal value. Laura said, "We're doing it. This is what you said we'd do when you got the motorhome last year and here we are doing it."  There's joy in the fulfillment of modern day prophecies. God's grace is bountiful to say the least. Here we were living the adventure.
Brent and his wife are RV Park owner operators.  Being motorhomers themselves they'd decided last year to buy this RV park and were loving it.  Really friendly and helpful they gave us an easy pull through and ensured that we were happy before leaving us to get the electricity and water hooked up, tv cable, and sewage hose inserted.  Gilbert loved the gated area for dogs where he ran big circles before rolling in the fresh cut lawn.  Laura tidied up the interior of the motorhome, what had been displaced in the move.  I then set up the lawn chairs.  Ah.....sitting together in the sun with Gilbert on a leash beside us.  This is heaven.  Hummingbirds flitted about the trees above us.
I always have great ideas about what I'm going to do, like hunting, fishing, hiking and bicycling and building things but with no guilt whatsoever I languished in my oh so comfortable reclining lawn chair, having pulled the trailer here and set it up.  Now I really was just enjoying reading in the sun.  The book I was reading was about a space cowboy, nothing deep by any means.  Great RV or beach read though.  I read a little and dosed a little. Laura was reading an Oprah magazine and occasionaly brought out gingerale or chips. Gilbert chewed on a bone.  When the sun was going down we had hotdogs and cheese in fresh buns we'd picked up in Hope.  There was a sprinkle of rain so we went inside and watched tv before getting into the heated bed.  Gilbert naturally joined us.  This is really roughing it.   I think Laura slept well because earlier she'd been convinced I was going to kill us all by driving over the canyon edge.
In the morning Gilbert got me up licking my face.  He has no conception of 'sleeping in'.  So I got up, pulled on sweats and took him for a walk.  The mountains and trees were beautiful with sunshine waking the valley.  Gilbert had an idea that I'd play ball all day with him but instead I walked back to the trailer where I made coffee and fried scrambled eggs and microwaved bacon.  The toaster made the toast.  Laura was very pleased at breakfast in bed.  Gilbert was only too happy to scour the frying pan and clean the dishes.
He slipped out then and joined the half dozen other dogs and little  kids who were walking their big dogs.  Soon Gilbert was being chased by three leash dragging german shepherds and labs with children running and screaming and dogs all having a marvellous break in their morning routine.  Soon parents were there and Gilbert sheepishly 'heard' me calling him finally.  Little girl screams settled down and I apologised for Gilbert's escape from the trailer.  The one dad was more concerned with his daughter's screaming like a bear attack and encouraging her to save that particular scream for something more than dog's at play.
I liked the RV park.  Little kids voices in play were all we heard.  No heavy metal music or reggae.  Nobody smoking ganja and no heavy drinking.  There were fires around the camp that night  but by 10 or 11 it seemed everyone had settled inside.
I'd gone for a drive in the truck around the logging roads seeing lots of mule deer does.  I even saw a great marmot.  I took my rifle and target practiced for a bit, hitting a bullseye first shot so figuring the rifle was still sighted in from the fall.  Still I think I"ll talk to Reliable Guns on Frazer about getting the rifle taken down and cleaned. Carrying them on my back on the motorcycle in the fall, I could see caused  a lot of grime to get in and on the rifle .  I probably should break it down myself. I'd done that before but these days was happy to have an expert check it out.  It's like so many things in my life.  I have learned how to do them and done them myself but just can't make the time to do everything.    Master of one thing, jack of all others. You really can't be a master at everything or you do very little.
Another time Laura came for a ride with me in F350 over the mountains on the logging roads.  Ostensibly I was bear hunting. It was black bear season, I had a tag. The rifle was in the back seat and I do love bear ham but mostly we were exploring.  I'm planning on getting a quad this year, maybe trading in the off road motorcycle. Gilbert is the occasion. He'd ride better on a quad and I'd be able to carry game out of the woods easier.  We saw some nice trails where quads had gone. A couple of the fellows in the RV park had theirs along and used a road just beyond the park to get to the backwoods. Brent the owner told me about the hiking trail. You can hike right up to a big cross on the top of the mountain. "Lots of trails lead out from there as well."  Brent said.
Gilbert and I climbed half way up the mountain on the logging road,with me taking along a rifle just in case but that's as far as I got being somewhat out of shape after a winter of flu and sickness and undue stress.
I did enough exercise to enjoy getting back into the lounge chair though.  This time I was sitting  by a wood fire I'd made while Laura barbecued steaks which we all, including Gilbert of course. Nothing like homecooked meals eaten out doors. It's hard to believe this is the May long weekend only and we've a summer of RV fun ahead of us.
Today I might even get air in the bicycle tires and take a spin round the park.  We've holidays this summer for RV camping and then we'll take the canoe along. There's fishing near by here in the Frazer River.  "The Spring Salmon will be running soon," Brent told me.  There's all manner of River Rafting around here too.  There's fishing on the Nahatlach  and that's only 20 minutes drive.  There's just too much to do especially when my favourite RV camping event is lying on lounge chairs in the sun.  An artist studio is within walking distance down the road. Features 15 local artist.  That's a must see.   After this last wet Vancouver winter sunbathing is the best however, especially when you are beside your own self contained mobile home on a quiet little piece of God's country.   We love Canyon Alpine RV Park and can't wait to come back another week since we do have to go back to Vancouver for work tomorrow.   DSC 0615
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