Friday, 9 November 2012

Shaw Snowbirds Head South

We were packed and ready to roll so decided to head out for warmer climes two days early on Sunday October 21, 2012.  Our route took us South to Cochrane then West through Banff and over to Nelson via Cranbrook.  Good thing we were heading West as our first big snow storm hit on the Monday night - and we were leaving Cochrane Tuesday morning.  We contemplated our next move and decided to chance it.  No problem - drove out of the nasty stuff after we left Banff.  We weren't impressed with the cost of camping at Ft. Steele though - $49 and it is off season!  We only paid $29 in the Redwoods!

 First 2 nights at Bow Riversedge in Cochrane.  Didn't quite get out in time.  Drove out of it heading West.  Note the Satellite Dish sticking up.  We need to be retrained every year!!!  Remembered once we turned onto the TransCanada Hwy.  Had to power up the inverter to get the power to stow it down for travelling mode.  Should have looked at this picture before we left the RV Park!!  Duh!!!
 Parked at the entraceway to Bill and Dar's beautiful property.  Love those red Japanese Maples!  BC colors are later than AB.  Loved it.
 Sean supervising Barry at the burn piles.  The 'boys' had fun playing with fire!
 One of three dams on the Columbia River as we drove through the Columbia River Gorge.  Awesome scenery even in the rain.
 Fall colors along the I 5 in Oregon.
 We kept marvelling about the amount of truck traffic on the I 5.  Our rig is passing the big rigs here.  Missed the one with about 8 trucks in tandem and abreast.  They are courteous drivers however so not too stressful.
 We detoured off the I 5 at Grants' Pass onto the Redwood Highway winding down into the Redwoods of Northern California.  this was a beautiful winding 2 lane highway - didn't make great time but enjoyed the scenery.
 Camped in the Redwoods at Crescent city.  We woke to a sunny day - great for enjoying the majestic Redwoods.
 Just to put in perspective - the massive Forest - that is a big coach in front of us - towing a vehicle.
 Barry did an awesome job of wheeling our rig through this narrow and winding portion of the Redwood Highway.  Some of the big trees are literally flush with the side of the road.  We didn't scrape anything!!!

Mystical and oh so beautiful!

Pulling our Redwood through the Redwoods!

And another breathtaking view!
 At the base of the 'Big Tree' - stats below!

 Very sub tropical climate.  Dripping moss covered branches and giant ferns.  It was very humid and had that musty earthy smell.  Would love to revisit this area and spend some time hiking around the trails.

We are starting to come out of one section of the Redwoods.
 Out of the trees for the moment and right on the beach.  The waves were dramatic.  It had been raining for a few days - so everything was quite damp.
 An example of the hairpin turns on the Redwood Highway.  The scenic byway did not permit big trucks but we were able to travel it.
 We left the I 5 and the coast and cut back to the I 5 through the Shasta Trinity Ntl. Forest.  It too was very beautiful.  Twisting turns and cutbacks.  When they say 20 mph they mean it!
 Out of the Forests and into the Valley.  One of many laser levelled orchards in Northern CA,
 Buddy is getting far more relaxed about travelling - Finally!!!  He doesn't sleep though - sits like this watching Sandra most of the time we're on the road.  But an 11 hr. day (on our last driving day) was pushing it for him and he put on a little hyperventillating performance for us!  We got the message!  Enough already!!!!   And he was right - that was way tooooooo much!  But we were so close and we did make it to our final destination.

Thank goodness for "Margaret" our trusty GPS - she keeps us on track and out of trouble most of the time!  We have been known to make the odd U turn!  We'd never navigate that maze of roads without her.  Espcially pulling the trailer.

Spent a few days enjoying BC - first friends Bill and Darlene and then Sandra's Son Sean and wife Julie.  Had a minor (we were worried it was major) problem with the trailer - a burned out fuse the size of a thumbnail (totally shut our systems down till we fixed it) - managed to get the problem resolved in Spokane Valley - then we were on our way.  A new route for us down the I 5 through Washington, Oregon, and then California.  Beautiful contry - even in the rain!  Lots of truck traffic though - more it seemed than on the I 15 straight South of AB.  With our detours and visiting it took us two weeks to get to the site of our winter home in Queen Valley, AZ where we'll park the RV for 5 months.  Normally it would take us a week to get here.  Enjoyed the change of scenery - 4400 km vs. 3200 km via the I 15 route.  Again - pictures tell a better story:

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