We are No Longer RV owners.

After 10 years and countless good times and great memories (and only a couple that revolve around excrement) we have sold our 5th Wheel.

Kinda sad to see it go, but seasons change and now that we have a Semi Finished Park Model we will have to see what new memories we can create. (With hopefully none of them involving excrement)

Sayonara!

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Progress on our Kitchen

Just a quick note before we head out the door to visit Family in Abbotsford. We need to let our new sink sit for a day or so to set up anyway.

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Thursday morning.

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Thursday Afternoon.

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It took a crew of 5 to lift that rather large piece of Granite into place. I watched while a lady from our neighbourhood stood at our front door and kept saying ‘I hope they don’t drop it’. I finally asked her to leave as the crew was having enough issues without all the ‘positive’ reinforcement.

I will pick up the parts to reattach the sink today and get it all working tomorrow.

While the crew worked on the granite, I kept myself busy in the yard and finally managed to get some pics of our Roses. They’re looking great this year. Now I keep waiting for the Deer to show up and mow them down.

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About Time

Since it has been about 2 months since I last posted anything you might think nothing is happening here. That is the furthest thing from the truth.

We have had a few trips out of town to visit family in both Calgary and Vancouver, but most (and I mean MOST) of our time has been tied up in projects and pickleball. Our Pickleball Club has turned into a full time job for Sylvia and I as the administration of a highly successful club has turned out to be quite a time consuming project. When we started the club last year we anticipated 85 or so paying members, and ended up with 137. When we set up the budget for 2018 we anticipated the numbers growing to the 150 range. As of this week we are above 250 members, and there are still quite a few from last year that haven’t signed up yet as they are seasonal residents and will be arriving over the summertime.

That’s not to say we haven’t been playing any pickleball, as I was at the courts 4 days this week, including some training time as I prepare for a Tournament in August, and Sylvia got there twice. I also volunteered to clean the courts and ended up power washing 8 courts with a small crew for about 7 hours over two days. Time to relax.

Our Park Model addition doesn’t take up much of our time while we’re home, just the waiting and watching to see if anything gets done (not much gets done). We finally got the water stand for the site moved last week to allow construction to proceed.

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The hole has now been backfilled and the concrete can be poured to allow the attached shed to be placed. Once the framing for that is done, and inspection can take place and we will see progress on the inside and outside finishing…..we hope. About the only thing done since we left was the opening into the Park model from the addition have been framed and drywalled.20180427_184810_1524880342424_resized

We are also in the middle of a Reno project at home (I know, gluttons for punishment)

We are removing a bank of high cupboards in front of our kitchen and replacing them with Counter Height cabinets that more resemble furniture (or so we hope) that will blend into our Living room.

So, we’ve gone from This:

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To This:

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To This:

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To This:

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in a couple of week.

Now we’re waiting for the Granite Countertop to be installed. It was measured about 2 weeks ago, and we were told it would be ready last week. Yeah Right. The last conversation we had supplier was not very enlightening, and we don’t really know when it is going to be installed. I am not going to hold my breath any longer, with any contractor…..

In the meantime we’ve had some adventures in the house. Our Water Softener had developed a persistent leak so I went to the Culligan Dealer to see what I could do to fix it. He gave me a $5 part, and some instruction on when and how to replace the plug. I must have misunderstood his instructions, and when I pulled the old plug out a rather large volume (geyser) of water and softener medium blew out of the hole before I could get the water to the house shut off. If any of you know about the oxide used to soften water, it is a Golden Coloured sandy material, and when it is sprayed over a large area it tends to look like everything is Gold Plated. I spent a few hours vacuuming up the debris with our Carpet Cleaner and put it all in a shallow tray to dry for a few days before putting it back in the softener the correct way. Sorry, no pictures but believe me it was messy.

The Gardens are doing well, although we are again suffering from an extremely dry spring which is making the lawn look a bit parched and brown already. In Vancouver it was the driest May on record, and we recorded our 3rd driest May in history in Kelowna. It has made for nice flowers though.

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The Columbines in the last 3 pics were from seeds given to us by Deb and Dana. Yep, they grow nicely in BC too!

And I haven’t had a chance to take many pictures of our Roses yet, but I will keep you in suspense until next time. IF the Deer don’t get to them first.

We have been hearing Owls again in the Ravine behind our home the past week or so, but hadn’t seen any until yesterday. These two were perched at the back of our yard when we were preparing breakfast. Is it just me, or is the guy in front not that amused by our presence??

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Ok, now I am going to go back into hibernation, but hopefully you will hear from us before another 2 months pass.

88F to 38F

We got away fairly early on Monday and drove to Alamo Nevada. The thermometer registered kid 80’s all day and it was still 76 in Alamo when we were setting up.

When we got up in the morning it was 46, and that was almost the high for the day. We ended up taking the long route North towards Eloy, as we were talking so much I missed the turn and didn’t notice for about 20 miles. Oh well, we got to see Caliente (which translates to Hot, but wasn’t) and saw lots of icicles hanging from the various hayfield irrigation structures.

It finely reached 50F by the time we got to Eloy, and was still 46 when we set up for the night in Jackpot Nevada.

This is a nice quiet park next to a Casino, but I wish they had told me there was no water when I registered. I guess a shower will have to wait until Boise. When we got up this morning it was 38F but 24 hours earlier it was 17 and snowing, so I am not complaining….much.

We are stopping in Boise to visit our Twins who are house shopping there right now, and should be back in Kelowna by the weekend. As long as it doesn’t snow in the mountains.

Picacho Peak Hike

At one point late every winter season we try and get a small group together to do a special hike. Usually this has entailed going to Canyon Lake from the First Water trailhead. That is about an 8 mile hike, and is usually rather pretty by now as the flowers are out, and there is always the bonus of stopping for Fish and Chips at the Restaurant at Canyon Lake.

As this year has been so very dry, the flowers are just not showing up yet, and so we decided to try another tack and headed to Picacho Peak for our annual outing. Picacho is a rather impressive hunk of right on Highway 10 between Phoenix and Tucson and is almost 90 minutes away from our park. In the picture below, we are climbing to the peak on the left, but first have to go up and over the saddle in the middle of the picture. The peak itself is about 1500 feet above the parking lot, but by the time you get through the saddle and have to go down the backside before climbing to the peak you end up with over 2000 feet of elevation gain in a 4 mile hike.IMG_5434

In all there were 7 of us on the hike, and things didn’t get off to a good start as one of the vehicles turned around just after we left the park as somebody had forgotten their hiking boots. I have been told this happens more and more as you get older. I can hardly wait…..

There were quite a few birds on this hike, which gave Dana a chance to practice his whistling. We saw several Black Vultures which are different from the Turkey Vultures we normally see, but by no means prettier.

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This is one of those hikes where you can see the parking lot most of the time, but it disappeared below us pretty quickly.

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Before long and after quite a bit of huffing and puffing we were at the Saddle for a break.

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From there we immediately lost about 400 feet of elevation as we went down the cable lined path on the backside of the peak. And thank Heaven for the cables placed in the 1930’s by the Civilian Conservation Corps.

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Then no sooner had we climbed down and we were headed back up again!IMG_5441

Does she look like she was having any fun?

IMG_5442Then we go down again….

IMG_5444Then we go up again. You can see the supports and fencing along the trail far above Sylvia.

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Yes, we did some serious climbing, but nobody got hurt or sick this trip. A few years ago we attempted to rename this hike Pukeacho, but the name hasn’t stuck.

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Before 2.5 hours were up, we were having another break, but at the very top of the Peak. Mission Accomplished, or at least half of it. The climb back down is no picnic either. By the time we left the top we had spent just as much time resting on the trail as we had hiking according to Dana’s GPS.

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The trip back down was thankfully uneventful, but we were beat by the time we got back to the Trucks. My GPS app said we were moving for 3:17, and we covered just 4 miles. Quite a hard hike.

Usually we see an abundance of California Poppies on the hillside, but that was not the case this year. Those few we saw were very small and sparse.

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And that is likely the end of our hiking season this winter. We’ve had a great deal of fun, will be back at it next November when we really find out how far out of shape we get over the Summer.

The Hurrier I Go

The behinder I get it seems.

Our time in Arizona is growing short, (less than a week left) although I was warned by our neighbours that we shouldn’t consider heading home until at least May, as the weather in the Okanagan is still not what one might consider warm. In fact, it’s still snowing some evenings, but that isn’t stopping the local gang from taking up semi-permanent residence in our yard.

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I have been informed that I will need a shovel and a very large pail to deal with all the presents they are leaving in the yard this winter….Oh well. Such is the cost of not being home and firing Ice Cubes at them all winter.

I left off the last blog talking about our great trip to Sedona. The last day we were there was cooler and wetter, and as we had done some long hikes already we spent the day with Dana and Debbie exploring the ‘Ghost City’ of Jerome. In it’s heyday as a mining town there were upwards of 5000 people living on the hillside but now there are less than 500. Most of those folks seem to be artisans or at least salespeople for art shops, as there are seemingly dozens of little art galleries and craft shops in town.

Our first stop was at the museum which is the original home of the family who owned the mine that gave the town it’s purpose. It was a very large and elaborate home for it’s time, and even had a built-in Vacuum system that was installed in 1915. It is about the size of a small car.IMG_5418The view of the town from the museum. We are up at about 5000’ elevation here, but didn’t see any snow, although there was some on the other side of the ridge behind the town.

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We spent several hours wandering the shops (without buying anything but a T-shirt), stopped for a beverage at the Oldest Family owned Saloon in Arizona, and had a great meal at one of the many restaurants in town. When I looked up the ratings for a spot to eat, it seems there were none with less and 4.5 * ratings.

Ok, I guess I will show you the Saloon picture.

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By the afternoon, the weather improved, and we got a nice view of the Cottonwood area in the Verde River valley. Nice Rainbow too.

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We went home the next day, and were quite please to see the progress on the house. I promise to show some pictures before we head North. We had one curious occurrence though. It seems someone wanted to see what the view from our new living space would be and moved our deck chairs inside in front of the window. I know I had them stacked up in front of the house to keep them out of the way of the contractor, but he tells us they just appeared inside when he arrived one morning. I guess someone wanted to watch the Sunset from our spot. Not cool.

We do have a shower stall in our addition though. It’s all hooked up and ready to go as long as we don’t mind getting the floor wet.

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The next blog will be pictures of our last hike of the season. Like I said, things are winding down.