"Bill's Harem" Nancy, Liz, Bill, Claudia and of course Sadie
I met up with Nancy, Bill and Liz and the Langley, BC Walmart on Friday, May 14th. Incredibly we all arrived within an hour of so of each other. My drive from Reno up Highway 395 through Klamath Falls, Portland, and Seattle wasn't all that bad except for the Seattle maze. I spent one night at a pull out near Klamath Falls and another night at a rest stop near Seattle. I thought I would miss the Seattle morning rush but seems there is no good time to go through Seattle.
Before crossing the border I stopped at Mt. Vernon to run errands and purchase a few groceries. It's a neat little town with a lot of charm. There is a Walmart right off the freeway, but there is no overnight parking there.
My border crossing at Blaine, was uneventful except for the boarder patrol asking twenty questions and the fact he seemed upset he couldn't confiscate any pepper spay or guns from me. He asked how I planned to defend myself. I almost asked him if I would need to defend myself but instead I told him I had a dog and he let it go...I didn't stock up on beer or wine as there is a limited amount that can be brought over the border and they didn't even ask me about that. Darn! and in Canada you can only buy alcoholic beverages at liquor stores.
Before leaving the States I had researched Internet service costs via air cards and cell phone and found out data usage is really expensive in Canada. In this regard I opted not to use the air card or Iphone for data and rely on free wifi. So far wifi and cell phone coverage has been sparse, so my blog postings will depend upon whats available. I've had to use the Iphone 3G a couple of times so I'm hoping I haven't accumulated to much of a bill. It costs $2.00 per megabite of data and there are 1000 MB in a giga byte. Most air cards have 5 GB limit, and although I rarely exceed the limit 5 GB is a lot of money. You do the math.
Gas is by the liter and there are 3.79 gallons per liter and at $1.09 Ca $ that's about $4.16 a gallon. My little RV only gets about 8-9 miles to the gallon when towing a vehicle through fairly level terrain. Ouch!! Maybe I should have bought stock in Shell or Chevron!
We all met up with Sharron another WIN member who has been having health issues and hasn't been able to travel much lately. She lives in Surrey and drove over to Langley to meet us. We were able to have dinner with her and she gave us a few tips about our next destination. She seemed hopeful that she would be able to reschedule some appointments and join us, but it turned out she couldn't.
Our schedule and itinerary is really non existent. We know will will travel a few days to get to Dawson Creek, mile 0 of the Alcan, but other than that we haven't done much far range planning. The matra is that if it sounds like a good stop we'll stop. We'll drive until we don't want to drive anymore and stop when we want. We plan to stay free wherever possible to make up for the price of gas. This will include "Uncle Sam")i.e. Walmart, rest stops, campgrounds, maybe Elks or Moose parking lots...wherever it seems safe. We are all self contained and do not need hookups.... just an occasional sani-dump and water fill up.
So, May 15th, a Saturday with started out for Alaska in the mist of the Saturday morning commute. There was a lot more traffic for a Saturday morning than expected. Our first agreed destination was Whistler via the Sea to Sky highway. It turned out to be a gorgeous drive, but not too many pull outs on our side on the way up. At one point I was taking pictures through the windshield. I don't advise doing this unless absolutely necessary.
Rock climbers, look at his sunburn!
Typical views of the mountains on the way
This greets as you enter Whistler Village. The stones were to represent the volcanic action in the area. There is a First Nation name for the type of arrangement but I can't even come close to spelling it.
One of the nice scenes in the village. There was a coffee shop to the right of the stairs.
There was plenty of RV parking in a huge lot. I was amazed at how many people there were for a Saturday off season. The "season" doesn't start until "May Long" which is the weekend of the 21st. There were lots of people unloading mountain bikes getting to ride the numerous trails. In hind sight, I wished we would have done a little more research on Whistler and had planned to stay longer. This was one place where a little planning was needed as there was overnight parking in the lots and only one RV park close by. Oh, well next time. I have to keep reminding myself this is a trip to Alaska and BC is a whole other summer of travel!!
After leaving Whistler we continued on for another 50 miles or so which took us about 2 hours. The road was steep, windy, and narrow. There were hairpin curves where I crawled at 15 mph. In many cases that was the legal speed limit. I think there would have been signs prohibiting RVs if this road had been in the States. We ended up at Roger Creek Rec area. It was a small primative campground with maybe 6 tent sites. We all fit in rather snugly and had the site mostly to ourselves. There was only one other party there when we arrived.
Great spot by the river
Our total mileage for the day was a total of 163. Great day for a beginning.