Up in Smoke

We screwed up! The journey from Victoria BC to Klamath Falls, Oregon was a lengthy, arduous and smoke filled day. Michael drove over 500 miles non stop. The forests are on fire and the eclipse zone filled with smoke. It is a sad thing to see such beautiful countryside going up in flames.

Our campsite is a dump, and this is the first time I have written such a negative opinion, but there is no pride of ownership and most of the campers seem to be long term. We are heading out this morning in hopes of finding a first come/ first serve Campground that can accommodate our 24ft RV.

We are so fortunate to have our health and a cat that loves to travel- that is what is important. Heading out with a positive attitude that we will find a wonderful site in which to view the solar eclipse.

Our Last Party at Genoa Bay Float House

Tom and Frances invited us for one last party at the float house before we head to Victoria tomorrow morning and then taking a ferry ride back to the states and Port Angeles. We want to get to Central Oregon in order to watch the solar eclipse on August, 21st. What a fabulous time we have had on Vancouver Island. The wildlife is abundant, the people are friendly and the campgrounds, extraordinary. Callie, Michael and I have had a first rate adventure of a life time.


They Wash Windows in Canada

Callie got to witness first hand a window-shield washer in a gas station at Tofino, BC. It was just a tad bit disturbing for her when he wielded his tool for cleaning. She braved it out though and it became a Kodak moment. The Canadians have been so friendly and welcoming to us, even in spite of Trump and his alt-right agenda spewing hatred and racists nationalism. And to think that they still wash window shields! Amazing.

We had a lovely drive from Tofino to Genoa Bay and will be heading to Victoria today and leaving on the BC ferry tomorrow morning for Port Angeles. I will miss Canada, especially when the politics in America are so disturbing and embarrassing to me. I can only hope that the GOP comes to its senses and puts country before political agenda.


The Princess Diaries

When we first started considering going on a road trip with our cat Callie, we weren't sure how she would respond to travel. Last summer we headed north up the 5 in our SUV, and the difficulties we had trying to find motel rooms that would accommodate cats became an issue. We always had to leave a hefty deposit and the manager would come through the room and inspect it before we could check out. Very few motels accepted cats and made us feel very unwelcome. Callie does not claw at furniture legs and is the cleanest little kitty I know. She is a perfect guest and always uses her litter box. I can't say the same goes for most dogs! On some of our adventures, Callie would hide under the bed and not want to come out if we had traveled for too many hours the day before. Driving in the SUV tired her out and stressed her at times. Worst of all, she didn't have a way of looking out the window. In the RV, all of our troubles are now behind us because we carry our house with us wherever we go and Callie can sit up on the dash and watch the world go by at 60mph. She loves it! She also loves sleeping high up in the loft that has tiny little windows in which she can peer out in secrecy and eavesdrop on unsuspecting birds. Ravens in particular love to share campsites with humans and have learned to raid any unsuspecting camper of a picnic left behind. Callie gets to spy on these raiders of food and the birds never suspect a thing! Such is the life adventures of a princess cat.


Tofino-BC

Callie thoroughly enjoys hanging out on the dash of the RV now and when we are ready to take off, she jumps down from the loft and settles in.

Tofino is a picturesque and quaint town with an airport on the sea. We were able to get a campsite at Mackenzie Beach Campground and the first thing we did when we arrived was to walk down to the beach. The tide was out and you can explore the tidal pools that hug the shoreline among rugged rocks. People were swimming and boogie boarding in the chilly water and surf schools are numerous. Michael and I think it is much too cold, but young and adventuresome surfers flock from all over to get a chance to surf here.

We biked into town along a paved bike and walk path and stopped on the dock to watch float planes come and go! What a sight to see these planes take off, with white caps frothing and the wind whipping the air up all around us. The engine noise is deafening and it is amazing that the planes have lift when facing the wind during take off!

We were having a craving for sweets yesterday and picked up Cadbury chocolate bars and ice cream sandwiches for dessert. That was the incentive for biking into town. Lots of fish and sushi restaurants, tourist shops and coffee dens can be found along the main drag.

Today, Michael and I are contemplating what and where to go next and may try a hike along one of the ancient cedar groves advertised at Wild Pacific Trails. This wilderness area banks both sides of the highway as you drive to Tofino. The forest is so dark and thick with mature trees, that when you try to look past the first row, there is very little light that passes through. Wolves are a frequent sight apparently and hikers are warned not to let their dogs off leash. Wolves kill dogs off leash. I won't be taking Callie on any of the hikes, not to worry!



A Room with a View

It doesn't get any better for Callie to wake up first thing in the morning, after a storm, and have a room with a view that she can look out over. The bald eagle is way up high on his perch at the boat dock surveying all that is below and a family of ravens are scavenging noisily on the beach. Seagulls are calling out whenever they spot anything of as they circle overhead, and all of them seem to be feeling some kind of joy after the passing of a rainstorm. You can hear it in their voices and the way that they are playing. We even have a kingfisher sitting on a tree branch next to our campsite that plummets down like a rock into the shallow water, and comes up with a tiny fish in its mouth. The morning has dawned with clouds that are fractured- allowing light to pass through, the smoke has been cleared, and the sun is going to peak out soon. It is perfect weather for BC. Not too cold and not too hot…..

We will be moving on late this morning and continue up island to our next destination in Tofino. Michael told me about it a couple of days ago, and it is a lovely fishing town with. bird watching, hiking, surfing and camping. We don't have a reservation and will wing it today. It is Sunday, so it may work out for us! How exciting it is to travel with an adventuresome husband and an RV that is so comfortable and mobile at the same time. Life couldn't get any better than this for two aging seniors and a cat that refuses to be a couch potato.

The Fisherman and the Bald Eagle

We are camped at Icluelet Campground. Our next door neighbor who is a fisherman, caught a 50 pound halibut today and he offered the head to a bald eagle. The neighbor has been staying here for a month now, and the eagle knows when the catch has been good. The stately raptor hangs out in a tree along the shoreline and when the fish has been cleaned, the fisherman throws the head up into the air for the eagle to catch! This particular afternoon, because it is raining heavily, a raven almost thwarted the eagles attempt at catching the fish head. His frustrated cries are like nothing I have ever heard before… short, staccato, high pitched bursts of sound that pierce the sky and then leave behind nothing but the soft plop of raindrops hitting the water. It is good to see a fisherman sharing his catch with an eagle. It feels like the right thing to do. Take a little and then give a little back in return. The eagle is a scavenger and knows a good deal when he sees one. I give him credit for being wary though. It took a long time for the eagle to gain enough confidence to snatch the offering. It will serve him well in the future if there is ever a time when a human does not have his best interest at heart!


Icluelet Campground

It is a rainy, chilly morning, perfect for staying inside in our awesome 24 ft Icon RV. It is so roomy and spacious and perfect for camping, that Michael, Callie and I are delighted with it. We bought it used in Huntsville, Alabama 8 months ago and have already put 10,000 miles on it.

Icluelet Campground in BC, is an older Campground and the sites are close together but the view couldn't be more gorgeous. The Marina is home to serious fishing boats, bald eagles, gulls and the town has fabulous little restaurants and 2 beaches, Terrace and Little Beach. Long Beach is on the outskirts of town and has wolf warnings posted all over.

Today it is suppose to increase in rain density and I am happy that the skies will be washed of smoke. It has been very smokey here all week because of all the forest fires. I am hoping this will help extinguish most or all of them.

Callie the Cat Ambassador of Goodwill

I have noticed that wherever we go, whenever I take Callie out for a walk, she makes friends wherever we go. If people see her on the dash of the RV when we are fueling up, I can hear them talk about a cat on the dash, laughing with delight and amazement. When we are out walking, she draws a crowd of people interested to know how I taught her to walk on a leash. Children can't help themselves and need to run over to pet her glossy, soft coat, always asking first if it is OK? Callie takes it all in stride and will hunker down and stay still while she is being admired.

Today was no different. A lovely young family from Holland couldn't resist sitting down with us and sharing their story as they petted Callie. The dad works for IKEA and is concerned about Amazon taking over, and when the second child was born, they gave up their cat because it acted out by pooping and peeing all over the place. Both boys love cats and because of Callie, they are going to adopt another kitten when they return from their holiday.

Callie is an ambassador of good will for all cat lovers out there. As soon as they pet her and see how well she does on a leash, they want to try it out for themselves! As far as I am concerned, being the dog lover that I am…. Callie has far surpassed my wildest hopes for having a good traveling companion while going on this road trip with Michael.

Callie has a New Tree to Climb

Callie has missed her beloved olive trees, but this morning she discovered an arbutus tree that is growing in front of David and JoAnne's house. It has a wood carving of an eagle with the word "ocean" carved on it. The bark of the arbutus is gold and reddish brown, and the underbelly has pinks and green with yellow ochre much like our eucalyptus in California. The bark curls up and peels off in shredded pieces and Callie took great delight in climbing and sharpening her claws on it this morning. When she rakes her claws into the bark, it spills away in sheets and smells much like cedar shavings. Callie would like one of these trees growing in her yard in Anza Borrego please!