Last Shift!

I’m just about to head out to do my last shift at the gas station!

I’ve been on an earlier schedule since I got back to Victoria and thus have been getting a lot done in the mornings. My big contract has had extra hours for the past couple of weeks and I’ve been doing two to three hours of work first thing in the morning before going to do my gas station shifts. After doing some work today, I went outside to finish tidying up the workshop and start putting things away in my exterior storage compartments. The tools and related items are a disaster, but at least they are all corralled into one bin.

Someone finally came to pick up the bucket chairs today after weeks of chasing him, so tomorrow I can do a dump run in one shot. I have two mattresses, wood, and the wardrobe doors that need to go; I should be able to strap everything to the roof rack. After that, I’ll run a few errands and then spend the rest of the day prepping the inside and make sure that my laptop is synched to my desktop so that I can continue to work without interruption.

I’ve been getting weather reports from the Mainland to Dawson and everywhere has better weather than here so it’s time to go!

And… They’re Home!

Croft and Norma are home safe and sound. Their winter in Mexico has left them tan and trim while my winter in Campbell River has left me pasty and mushy. Guess where I’d rather be next year. 😀

The driveway is packed solid with two cars and two 31′ motorhomes, but it won’t be that way for long. I am definitely leaving on Friday!

Weather forecast for Campbell River for the next few days: rain and heavy clouds with temps in the low to mid-teens.

Weather forecast for Dawson City for the next few days: sunny with temps in the mid to high teens.

I might have been laughing at the Dawsonites in January, but they’re laughing now!

Finetuning Departure Plans

Six months and ten days ago I pulled into Croft and Norma’s driveway. I am expecting them any time today. I am a little boggled that so much time has passed. That’s the thing about life, it slips by quietly  and quickly; the only way to slow it down is to account for every single second of it. The end of October straight through the end of January were just about scraping by in a weary sort of daze, but February, March, and April sure have been manic!

I’m well on my way to being ready to go. There is still an hour or two’s worth of work to be done inside Miranda to get everything secured. Outside, the most pressing thing is to flush my fresh water system and fill my tank with that sweet Campbell River water I will miss so much.

My departure plans are evolving and I am starting to favour a mid-morning Friday pull-out, with an overnight in Nanaimo. There is a ‘ten-minute’ oil change place here in Campbell River that I would go to first since both the motorhome and the toad need new oil. They would also check the tire pressure for both vehicles, so it would be a convenient stop. The very friendly person I spoke to there said that I shouldn’t have too much of a wait, if any, before noon on a Friday. The estimates were reasonable and I reiterated several times that I just need oil changes since both vehicles had thorough checks last fall. These places always check other things for the price, like the tire pressure and other fluid levels, but I wanted to make it clear that I’m not paying for anything other than the most basic package. It’s these basic packages that make me reluctant to learn to change my own oil; for an extra $25 or so, all the basics are taken care of and I get a heads up on other things that may need to be fixed that I would have missed myself. I’ve never had a problem with these quick-lube places pulling the wool over my eyes and having a $50 oil change turn into a $100 job full of useless upgrades, although I have had one turn into several hundred dollars worth of necessary work!

From there, it would be a leisurely drive to the Walmart in Nanaimo. I just called them to ask about overnight RV parking and the answer was “no problem, just park at ‘the top’ near the road.” I had considered having my oil changes done there, but their service bays do not take motorhomes.

Being in Nanaimo Saturday morning would allow me to take an earlier ferry, most realistically the 8:30, which would put me on the Lower Mainland by late morning. I could do my Ikea stop, take on propane and fuel in Chilliwack, and then shoot straight up to the Chasm at a leisurely pace to arrive by dinner time. This would save me a day on the road, but, most importantly, a lot of stress and a huge to-do list on the day of departure. I could then spend two nights in Prince George and from there savour the rest of the journey north, no matter how much, or little, time it takes.

I will confess to being more than a little eager to be settled in my spot at Bonanza and back to the manic pace of a Klondike summer, and that this eagerness is slowly overtaking any desire to explore. I’ll see how things are once I hit the road.

Sick of Trim

I did most of the dressing room trim today and am not happy with a single piece of it, especially in the shower area, which had some wonky angles. I think some putty will cover a lot of the problems, but not all. Someone needs to invent flexible trim that is at least an inch deep. The only thing I truly felt I accomplished today was build up that little strip between the vanity and the shower.

It also needs a little bit of trim to finish it, but something much thinner than what I’m using on the floor. There is now no more carpet in the living area of Miranda. I can’t wait to get rid of the carpet in the cab!

All in all, today felt like a real waste of my energy. I’ve bought the rest of the trim I need to finish the rig and I will try to continue this week just because I have the miter saw handy, but it’s no longer a priority. I have a hand saw and miter box, so I can finish this part of the project later if need be. I think I’ve hit renovation burnout.


My friend whose parents live here in Campbell River told me that one thing I had to try out west was halibut, especially the cheeks. I had halibut a few times and understand now what the fuss is all about as it is a delicious fish, sweetly mild and fleshy, but the cheek thing eluded me. Well, tonight her parents had me over for a final meal and one of the dishes they served was halibut cheeks. They looked quite close to this:

They cooked the cheeks by dipping them in milk, dredging them in flour, and then cooking them in oil. There were no other seasonings. I thought they would taste and feel like fish, but my friend was right; they are a delicacy unlike any other. The only frame of reference that comes to mind would be that the taste is close to properly prepared squid and the texture is close to properly prepared scallops, but I’m not sure that does them justice. I had three pieces and the cheeks grew on me with every bite.

I love that my country is so huge and has such varied ecosystems and climates that there are foods in one region that are virtually unknown in another. Each time I discover one, I feel so proud and happy, like I’ve discovered a wonderful secret guarded by a few. I think the only thing that would be better than BC halibut cheeks would be BC halibut cheeks served with New Brunswick fiddle heads