Thursday, July 30, 2009
We drove across the island to Ucluelet and Tofino today. It's both a beautiful drive, and a drop of 20 degrees. The west coast of Vancouver Island, to my surprise, has become a surfing haven, and a home to many more seeking an out of the way place to live. We found the Wild Pacific Trail (a very rugged 48 kilometer hike), and took a walk on it. They have a donation box to support its development at one of the trailheads.
We had lunch at Soso's, an organic restaurant whose pizza and fish tacos were excellent. Arriving home after listening to Pat's IPod patched through the Touareg's sound system playing James Taylor, Van Morrison, and Eric Clapton - We feel very lucky to have such great music come out of our generation.
But now it's back to traveling basics. We've been on the road for two weeks, and it's time to wash the bedsheets and towels. Then, we'll go back out to a small Indian restaurant for dinner that we saw just north of the park.
To see the remaining photos of the day, click on: July 30th
After moving Matilda two rows over in the RV park in order to extend our stay there by three days, we drove south to the ferry to Gabriola Island. We found several small parks which provided access to beaches, and grand sea vistas. We liked one place in particular near the south end of the island (Malaspina Galaries) where the wind and sea have carved out strange shapes into the sandstone cliffs.
Having problems with the wifi, so stay tuned. Maybe we'll be able to complete a blog post tomorrow.
(Thursday) Once again, I had to go up to the Park office and tell them their wifi was out. They call over and have it rebooted, and I go back to the Airstream and try to get onto their wifi and into the Internet. You would think that after four days of my having to ask them to fix their system, they would get that the system they are using might have some problems holding its connection. I don't think anyone should be advertizing they have internet availability if they can't provide it consistently. I found myself not taking as many photos today because I was unsure if I could upload them, or even display them on the blog.
Oh well, here's the link to Wednesday's photos: July 29th
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
We're coming up on a holiday weekend in Canada, and every RV park is booked solid. We thought we might be able to find a spot to park Matilda out on the west coast of Vancouver Island in Tofino, but that isn't going to happen. Instead, we'll stay here on the eastern coast, and make day trips to some of the interesting places we know about. We visited three of those today.
We decided that we had to go have breakfast at Tim Horton's. It's an unusually popular donut, coffee, and sandwich chain affiliated with the Wendy's franchise. It was very near the WalMart up here, a potential source for a short water hose and lightbulb we need. Got the hose, not the bulb, and enjoyed the donuts and coffee/chocolate.
Neck Point and Petroglyph Provincial Parks near Nanaimo made a hot summer day very bearable. The first is a beach park with beautiful hiking trails. The second is a collection of fascinating rock art only a couple hundred yards (meters, we're in Canada) off the main highway.
We took a familiar walk on the promenade along the harbour in Nanaimo, and stopped on the way home at an auto parts store to get a replacement lightbulb for our porch light.
To see the remaining photos from today, click on:
July 28th Photos
Monday, July 27, 2009
Matilda (our Airstream) was quite a hit in the line to board the 10:05am ferry out of Horseshoe Bay. From the guy determining what lane we used, to the guy who walked up from many cars behind to ask questions, to the comical teller in the booth, she once again proved the most popular RV around. The crossing was smooth,and we only saw one bald eagle on the ride to Nanaimo, and no orcas. We phoned ahead to Parry's RV in Parkfsville(small coastal town north of Nanaimo), and learned they had a pull-through with wi-fi, and two nights available.
We need a standard by which we can grade the power of the wifi signals in RV parks. This one would get a "D' grade, very close to failing. During an afternoon in which we checked our mail when we got in, uncoupled the Toureg, went for a ride to check out the area, and returned to prepare dinner - we had to walk over to the Park office twice to alert them that the wifi signal had gone down. It's currently so weak that my laptop is taking about 10 times as long to retreivee websites from the internet. That's important when you're posting photos to Picasa, writing a blog on Google's blog site, and checking mail.
As I write this on the kitchen table, Pat is cooking potato slices she cut in oil on the stove. They're to go with the sausages she'll cook next from the Superstore we found yesterday. A few minutes ago, we carefully lowered the front end of the trailer a few inches so the oil in the cooking pan oil would be even. She's now asking how much time I'll need to finish this post so she can have dinner ready at the right time. I am one of the luckiest guys in the world!!
Today, we visited our friend Glen Patterson, whom we met on our recent trip to Argentina and Chile. Glen invited us to visit him when we were in Vancouver, and we were eager to catch up with him to learn of his latest travel adventures and see his garden.
He's just returned from a trip with Artic Watch to Cunningham Inlet Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge on Somerset Island, Nunavut for a week of polar bears, musk oxes,and beluga whales. Glen says it was the best ever trip. He's off soon for a cruise around the islands in Japan and South Korea. As he says to a bucket list, he makes it up as he goes.
To view the remaining photos from today, click on:
Glen's Garden Photos
Sunday, July 26, 2009
We took the day off from traveling and photographs. We did the wash, worked on some ancestry research on the computer, went to the movies to see Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and had a great Airstream dinner and night of TV.
We did connect with Glen last night, and are visiting him today at 1pm. Hopefully, I'll have some good photos of him in his garden to share.
Here are some photos of the Caribou RV Park I took this morning.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Today we toured an anthropology museum, walked a botanical garden (through it and above it), had lunch with friends, and then joined them on a cove bank lawn to listen to a reggae band (Mostly Morley). Ah, another day in paradise.
The University of British Columbia is always an enjoyable stop for any lover of Northwest Native American Art. Of particular interest to us now is the impending opening of their Reciprocal Research Network, an online database of the collections of 13 major collections, including UBC, the Royal Ontario Museum, Museum of Archeology and Anthropology at the University of Cambridge, Pit Rivers Museum at the the University of Oxford, and the National Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian Institution. It was developed by The Musqueam Indian Band, Sto-lo Nation, and the Umista Cultural Society.
The RRN is designed to overcome major existing barriers to cross-cultural research by providing easy and intuitive access to heritage hooused at multiple institutions through one facetted interface. It is a virtual infrastructure that enables communities, cultural institutions, and researchers to communicate and research. Users can build their own collections, collaborate on shared projects, record stories, upload files, hold discussions, research museum collections, and create social networks.
It can be accessed at Reciprocal Research Network
We're going to have a lot of fun with this.
To view the remaining photos taken today, click on: