Tuesday, September 16, 2014


Well, if time was flying last post it has definitely flown now!

We are down to just 14 days left of our Park Facility Operator positions at Kentucky-Alleyne Provincial Park.

It's been a doozy of a summer. All in all pretty good - but a little more cold and wet then we would like.

Interestingly, so far, September has been busier than at anytime during the summer. All due to the fact that the seniors rate started the day after labour day - a drop of half of the camping rate - so now a low of $8 per night for them - and with the teacher's strike families are taking advantage of some extra camping. The warm days have contributed as well.

At the compound we are getting things packed up and put away keeping in mind that the weather could go really cold really fast.

Here's what's been going on….

Our nephew and Cas's cousin Tylar came for a quick two day visit a few weeks ago. We picked him up at the bus depot in Merritt on a Friday morning and brought him back Sunday. 

Tylar and his Uncle. Yes, it was cold enough to wear toques!

If you recall, we borrowed our friends 5th wheel for the summer. They came to pick it up it up Sept. 8th. Here is the interior all cleaned up and ready to go.

It was a very generous offer however we realized that we aren't really large RV people. Just more room to collect stuff and too expensive to heat in the cold. 

After that we turned to a few more renos on our van. Remember last summer? When our van renovations would just not come to an end!? We do! Just one project this year and a few touch ups - thankfully. This area across from the toilet has always been a complete waste of space. For the last two years we have had the plastic drawer units - ok but not great.

We've always wanted to build a shelving unit - so this is the year. Calling ourselves carpenters is a complete misuse of the word but we do ok with the two of us - small pieces of wood - a hand saw, utility knife and drill. I'll show you the completed project soon - today we picked up paint.

Well, there it is almost finished. Just look at my checks! It was hot!

Now for some pics of the park recently. Again - one of my favourite photo locations - Alleyne Lake.

With the cooler temps the colours are really coming out. If you can believe we went down to -7C last Wednesday night! Now it hovers around 0C at night.

While stopping  to talk to two of our favourite campers who were last camping last May - Bev and Leo - I took this picture and the sunset ones to follow.

Oh - and here is Bev and Leo - in their 80's and going strong! 

One of the best sunsets of the season!

The rest of the photos - this one and below - are the work of Cassia. Seems we have more than one member of the Wood Clan interested in photography. Looks like I'll have an assistant this winter!

And that is JUST a sampling!

We were only able to grow petunias this summer but they did well - amazing that they survived last weeks cold.

Derek still going strong with his e-cig! Almost a year now.

Our friends June and Chuck were nice enough to stop by with a box of apples and pears from the Okanagan! Thanks again you two - nice to see you and keep in touch!

Our really big tent - currently undergoing sorting and packing.

And well - me of course! 

So, that's it. 

Not overly exciting but things have just been going along with us.

14 days to go!

And then what - right?!

That will be up next post.

Anyone willing to wager? Stay in Canada and settle down as planned or back on the road?

What say you?


Tuesday, August 19, 2014


Exactly WHERE has summer gone! Time is moving so fast - the first time in the our five years of park managing that we have felt the summer just slipping past us like it has this year. 

The weather has definitely been up and down but thankfully a little more up - nice hot temps in the last few weeks - just what we like. Hard to believe that soon we will be on the downhill weather wise. At 3,400 ft we'll see minus celsius numbers come September and maybe even snow. If you know the Wood Clan you know that snow is definitely a four letter word for us. Yuk! 

Again, pictures of this and that for you from the last few weeks. The last week of July and early part of August was filled with the Western Toadlet migration. A very neat thing to have at the park. It has kept Cassia, us and the campers very entertained. The main movement of the toads from the pond up the forest where they live, has been completed but little toads can be found here and there. Many make it up to our compound creating untold happiness for Cassia.

Cas has become very good at handling these little gals and guys.

Quite congested when they first make it out of the pond. It's like they are all asking each other "Which way do we go?!"

The area of the children's fishing pond that the first toads appeared. Most made there way back to the other side to exit closer to the camping area. Not the best route as many lose their lives to the park road. I shudder to think how many I killed with my golf cart.

Cassia in toad heaven.

A few years ago a bridge was built where the main migration passed on the park road. Lines are set up to stop (hopefully) campers from getting down and stepping on them. The biologist/naturalists posted some information for the campers.

Toad fencing was also installed to lead as many toads as possible under the bridge. 

In addition to the toad excitement we have had a few really good storms. These dark clouds almost came out of nowhere a few weeks ago. For us it meant and afternoon of some of the hardest rain we have ever experienced.

Merritt also had a hard rain but also hail. Kamloops, about 1 1/2 hours away even had flooding.

Lots of deer in the park. Obviously not overly concerned by a little girl and a dog.

If you are not on Facebook you wouldn't have seen the result of Cassia's face getting up close and personal with the road. She was so busy catching toads and talking to campers that she lost her footing. It's all cleared up now. But not to be outdone or go a week without injuring herself, Cassia is recovering from a fractured collarbone. A few weeks ago she ran into one of the metal poles at the water park. We just assumed that she bruised it. Nope - we noticed a bump and took her to emergency last week. Even the doctor was surprised it was cracked. Kids - eh?! 

With all the wild flowers and golden grass it's a beautiful time of year at the park.

Let's play spot the deer in the grass!

The above pictures were taken at our Park's group site.

A couple camping at the park told me about a group of metal plaques on a hill by the group site. There are five in total from the early 70's. Pretty neat.

One of my favourite places to take a picture during my nightly rounds. Obviously - right? - this is the third or four. Such a nice view of Alleyne Lake.

And of course it's not all fun - after all we are here in the forest to work. These two pit toilets needed a LOT of scraping these year. Derek took this project on. A sand blaster was what was really needed but we do what we can.

While befriending the Columbia Ground Squirrels.

They turned out pretty good!

I always have my camera on me which is a good thing. While racking the sites along Kentucky Lake I was really taken with all the colours along the shore.

I took pictures and Cassia continued my work for me! That'a girl!

A few large toads have been making their way up to our compound. None are safe with Cassia around. She collects them through the day and then releases them before she goes to bed.

We laughed at the fact that the little ones like to sit on the large toad.

Derek mentioned that I should show you the hot water system that we invested in this year. We went all out with the top of the line model and even bought two! Good for all your hot water needs from dishes, to laundry to bathing and washing hair.

We splurged and went with a dryer also.

Derek's mom, Audrey, has been with us for the last week. Here we are on our walk at the group site. She'll most likely not care for the picture with eye's closed but it was the only one I took!

A chance to get a new picture of the two leaders of the Wood Clan.

Cassia found a good friend in Atlan over the last few weeks. He's not a fan of having his picture taken so it had to be an action picture. 

Ha! Gotcha Atlan! See you next year hopefully!

Audrey and Cassia down at the Kentucky Lake boat launch.

With 30C temps yesterday the four of us spent the afternoon back at the boat launch at Alleyne Lake - our favourite swimming spot.

While Cassia's Grandma spent some time in the raft, she played with a family with four girls aged 4 to 9.

While mom (and dad) sat back under the umbrella and watched! Ahhh - we'll sure miss Grandma!

That's how our last few weeks have been.

42 days and counting. 

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