Monday, June 22, 2015

2015 and a new adventure


In 1962 Johnny Horton sang:
“North to Alaska
You go north, the rush is on
North to Alaska
I go North, the rush is on … “

And North we shall go again, this time we are heading for the North Pole. Not that North Pole - North Pole Alaska.
In 2009 Karen and I rode our motorcycles to the Arctic Circle on the famed Dempster Highway. That is the road north of Dawson City heading to Inuvik in the Northwest Territories. We loved it so much we said we always wanted to go back and we are.
This time we are heading back to Dawson City. From there we will take the Top of the World Highway into Alaska heading north to North Pole, then past Fairbanks up to the Denali National Park to see the mighty Mount McKinley. We will head south the coastline of Alaska, hoping to hit Homer Alaska, and then trundle home.  Simple and according to Google Maps only about 10,000 kms.
With seven weeks off from our work it should give us ample time to see the historic sites, LOTS of wildlife and fly fish in some of the most majestic and scenic areas of North America. We can hardly wait.
This is the first trip to the North that we will be taking something other than motorcycles. My previous trip to Alaska with my good friend Mark in 2012 did not work out as planned ( we did not plan on me getting pneumonia, 17 days of rain, road wash outs, and mechanical breakdowns – who does ?).
This time our adventure continues in “Rattle Trap” our travel motorhome. Since coming home from our cross Canada adventure in 2013 “RT” has had numerous fishing adventures on Vancouver Island but is lusting for one last great adventure to see the rest of Canada. So with a quick tune up, some reconstructive interior work (rot repair) and a wash she has been pronounced ready for her next adventure.
Accompanying us this time is Rufus the wonder puppy. We will have had him just one year when we leave in Mid-August and we will see how he does on the big trip. He has travelled and camped with us since we got him so he is very used to RT but we will see how he adapts to life on the road.
Stay tuned for the adventure !
Kevan and Karen

 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Epilogue


Canadian Adventure Epilogue

Well it has been a couple of days home now and we are just started to feel “at home” again. The house feels big and there is a lot of stuff inside. It takes more than two steps to make coffee in the morning. The dog is wondering why we aren’t driving anywhere and where the hell are her Timbits at coffee time!!!

Of course we missed our children, family and friends but we are missing our life on the road, that bodes well for our next adventure. Talks have been started of what modifications are needed to Rattletrap to go south to Baja!! First of all we need Kevan to have surgery and heal (my thought was he could do that in the warm air) alas perhaps I should just go back to work to prepare the bank accounts again!!

Looking at a montage of pictures last night with the parents and realizing just how far we travelled was awesome! The symbols of our country from coast to coast such as Maple syrup, beavers, the maple leaf, hockey sticks and these are usually found on the side of buildings called gift shops!!

Things at the beginning of our journey that we made fun of such as KOA campgrounds, CBC radio, Canadian Tire (I’ll never have them work on my vehicle), & BC Ferries. They are now not so bad amazingly!!

So in the end for me 77 days on the road & Kevan had been gone 85 days.

We put on 19769 kms throughout our journey in total.

Only thirteen nights not in the motor home.

So adventure with best friend (Kevan) and man’s best friend (Ryanne)

PRICELESS!!!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Maple Ridge to Victoria


Kevan Takes Four Ladies to Dinner!!

After a great dinner with friends in Summerland the next morning we continued our trek down to the lower mainland to stay in Maple Ridge. Females surrounded poor Kevan for the evening after he bought Chinese food!! Kids and dogs oh my! (Ryanne visited her mother and sister). It was a beautiful sunny day and the traffic was minimal for a change. A nice picnic in Manning Park and still Rattletrap is an attention getter!

The next morning we set off through the ugly traffic towards the ferry!! Kevan hates Vancouver traffic to start with and we both are having mixed feelings about heading home. Don’t doubt our love for our family and friends but we are having a blast (I truly think a better time than either of us expected in some ways).   Through the heart of the beast and the weather is rolling in a thick fog (oh so much more fun in traffic). Trying for the 11:00 ferry to Victoria but probably will be on the 1:00. Alas the ferry is late and finally works in our favour for a change and little ole Rattletrap rolled on board!!

Our last official night away, and in the happy home our long-time friends the Bonkowski’s. Home-cooked meal, old stories of days gone past, plans for the future (they are soon to be first-time grandparents!!) final send-off breakfast and north to Nanaimo we go!


The Travellers

Kevan, Karen, and Ryanne

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Friends New and Old!!


We Are So Lucky!!

With our adventure coming to a close shortly (definitely not our last) we have been able to stay with both new and old friends on our journey from Alberta to BC. A wonderful stay in Airdrie Alberta with Don and Carol. Guest host of Zoe the dog. It was definitely different being the “hosties” vs. the hosts. A wonderful stay to be continued at our house at a later date!!!

Then off to Canmore, Alberta to stay with Nevil and Michelle. Garagiritias for the men in the man cave beside the four motorcycles sitting in lawn chairs!! A beautiful drive in the sun down to Summerland to stay with old friends and family for the night. Lots of fog down south which sounds similar to Nanaimo by the news.


Kevan, Karen and Ryanne

PS the Calgary Zoo is still fun even partially open!!

Regina to Lethbridge


Moose Jaw who knew??

Well finally out of Ontario, yay!!! Yet alas the thermostat is still high!!!! What can it be!!! Well the moral of the story is that trust your gut!! Kevan had suspected the thermometer from the beginning but had been told by two different technicians that it couldn’t possibly be this. So defer to the professionals (doctors, lawyer and mechanics) you say. So in the snow showers in the campground in the dark Kevan changed the damn thermostat ($5.00 piece) and lo and behold SHE IS CURED!!!!

HAPPY HAPPY KEVAN!!!!!

To Regina overnight in a hotel for a change and Chinese food for dinner. Went to the RCMP museum and then off to Moose Jaw.

So Moose Jaw is a great little town with lots to do. We went on an underground tour of the Capone era that was fascinating. Found a great little campground for the night.

Stayed with Kevan’s cousins’ daughter and her husband in Lethbridge the next night, which was great!! Three dogs in the house was fun. Beautiful clear cold night but no snow. It’s predicted for two nights later (will be headed out first).

Getting closer to BC we have to get through Alberta first!!!


Kevan, Karen, Ryanne and a Healed Rattletrap!!

Friday, October 18, 2013

In Regina


Part of the Adventure they say!!??

Well luckily after the long weekend stay in Thunder Bay Rattletrap gained a new radiator after we walked around the “business district” of town for nearly two hours. Saw the abandoned rail cars, grain elevators, and a high concentration of rental properties (including guard dogs)!! So off we go trundling down Trans-Canada refreshed to find the elusive campground. Alas a lovely one found in Dryden owned by a German couple. Dinner in the sunshine and its midway through October what could go wrong you say!!!??

Early start due the time change, up and on the road, it’s another beautiful day. Thinking about coffee in Kenora but decided to go around on the bypass route. We met Adam, Amber and eventually Michelle. Ever so grateful to all and thank-yous will be sent!!

So there are  a few things that a wife will always jump at when your husband states emphatically, grab the fire extinguisher I’m pulling over fast I see smoke, and grab the dog!!! OK so this is a good reason to know where all safety supplies are kept (I did). Needless to say it was a fast exit luckily there was room on the roadside and not much traffic due to the early hour of 1000.

Thankfully there was no fire only smoke as we caught it in time, and found one of transmission hoses split beyond fixing and puking fluid everywhere!! So we are well prepared for most things except catastrophic failures and a hose we don’t have. So as Kevan was surveying the scene I did what any wife would do- held the dog and flagged down an OPP sergeant (Adam) whom was driving by. Thankfully he called THE ONLY TOWING COMPANY IN THE REGION on his cell because neither of ours worked in this spot!! Nice to know after the fact it’s a huge dead-zone.

So after a chilly wait for the tow as she (Amber) was towing cars from a huge drug raid going down we were off, not before another officer stopped as well.

 Small town, many mechanics and it took twelve calls of “sorry to busy to look” or they couldn’t bother with us, it started to look like we would be fixing her in a back alley, I was thinking I would be on the ground following Kevan directions as his shoulder is quite painful lately. At least it wasn’t snowing right? Alas Amber to the rescue at the local Canadian Tire (Michelle) and after some pleading we were in “sometime” today. Dropped at 1200ish out the door at 430 with the new @#(*&^  $3.00 hose attached!!!

Down the same road again, sigh of relief as we passed the puddle on the road.

Exhausted but wanting out of Kenora we made it to a sweet campground in Prawda Manitoba. GOOD BYE ONTARIO!!!

Things to note:

Always be nice to the police as they are handy!/Women tow-truck drivers’ rock!

Read the road signs to know where you are!/Don’t diss Canadian Tire some are great!

McD’s coffee in a pinch is good!/Always have AAA!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Thanksgiving Weekend


Holy Wind Gusts!!!

If Rattletrap were a sailboat we would have been across the prairies already! Another sunny and really warm day today. Off to a slow start today as we were going to The Canadian Bush plane & Heritage centre for what is supposed to be an awesome experience. Museum? Well that’s just up our alley!!  Apparently “hands-on” displays- that’s always fun no matter what age you are. Arrive through the maze of one-way streets around the waterfront with some of the traffic lights not working to find the museum looking closed. Damn!! Kevan checked it out and finds that they too have no power but come right in and pay on the way out. So with the museum to ourselves we wander around the large amount of displays. Unfortunately, no power means no video display, no 3-D firefighter movie, & no flight simulator!!!

It ended up a short day landing in Wawa again in the same campground to rest-up, laundry and re-fuel with groceries. Nice roast beef, mashed potatoes with gravy and fresh veggies. Got to eat right!!!

Landed in Thunder Bay the next night. Seems we may be here a couple days though. Rattletrap has been running warm and Kevan suspects the original radiator may be the culprit. So here we sit until the long weekend is over and businesses are open again. Rolled over 230000 on the odometer (I guess she deserves another radiator). Happy Thanksgiving to all!!


Kevan, Karen and Ryanne