Tuesday, June 17, 2014


A mix of pictures for you all today. You wouldn't believe how happy we are to be in town today following a very cold and wet week - grrrrrr. But - let's not dwell on that - we checked the forecast first thing when we arrived this morning and it looks like the grey is behind us for now with nothing but blue skies and hot temperatures ahead.

With all the rain the park hasn't been too busy but busy enough - Derek and I are endlessly fascinated by the fact that many people are happy to camp - even tent it - in the rain. Better to fish in I guess.

Here's what I have for you today (from my comfy easy chair at the library.)

Last Monday we headed east over to the Kelowna/Westbank area. To do so we take what is called the connector - actually it is highway 97c. It was a grey day and we had our pay cheques to deposit so we made the trip. It takes about an hour. 

Although it doesn't take long it is quite the trip. From our park at 3,400 feet we have to make our way up to almost 6,000 feet and then down again to 1,100 feet. The weather always seems to improve on the other side - as you can see with the now blue sky.

Along the way we pass the Brenda Mine - we were discussing how interesting the shadows of the clouds are on the large grass 'wall'. 

This brake ramp always gives me a sore stomach - I couldn't imagine having to ever use it and having to go so high on such a steep angle! 

So - imagine our surprise on our return trip. As we passed by we saw three police cars parked on the shoulder - which seemed odd since there were no police in their vehicles. At this point we didn't' realize we were at the ramp. With interest Derek looked in his rear view mirror - I did the same. And what did we see! A semi jack knifed at the very top!!!!! Crazy! We've never actually seen one of these ramps in use!

The 97c comes out just south of Kelowna/Westbank in the Okanagan. It is a very beautiful area - not totally obvious from this picture though. I had to take it from the passenger window which never really works very well. Hopefully we will get down to Peachland, Summerland and Penticton at some point this summer. I'll show you more of this area then.

I neglected to mention that during our first visit to Kelowna a few weeks ago we finally visited our first craft brewery in Canada! Tree Brewing Co. 

Since it was early in the day we decided to just share a small flight - it was the first time we tried their beer.

We sure enjoyed their Raspberry Porter and took some home in our snappy stainless steel growler that we purchased in Brookings Oregon.

Even though we left the park on Monday we still came into Merritt on Tuesday - we didn't want to forgo our pool and library visit. This picture is a bit old - from more then a month ago - but it shows Merritt as we enter it from a rather steep hill to the south. It is nicely situated in the valley.

Last week, Derek took some photos for me……the Library…..

and the Aquatic Center. This is the third summer that Merritt has been our go to town for groceries and such. From Skihist Provincial Park it took us about one hour and fifteen minutes - thankfully from Kentucky Alleyne that has been shortened to thirty minutes. Although a little rough around the edges we have really started to like it - of course we really enjoy the pool and library - but it also has good grocery stores and other shops. Hmmmm…...

We also stopped by the Baillie House - an historic residence beside the Merritt Visitor Information.

Ice cream for Cassia for $1 was hard to resist. I'm surprised that I have been able to get a tan with all the cloudy weather we've been having.

Beautiful flowers in their garden. 

Cassia has been busy at the park - Derek and her went fishing in the Children's pond last week while I was registering our campers. Nope - they didn't catch anything - yet.

And - she's been working on her Birthday Thank you notes - practicing her letters at the same time. 

So - that's it for today.

Thanks for checkin' in with us! 

I'm off to find some books…….


Tuesday, June 10, 2014


Wow - has a week passed already?!

Looking forward to each Tuesday when we come into town, seems to make the time go by quickly. Less than four months of work - already.

This is our second day away from the park. Yesterday we headed east over the connector highway to West Kelowna - our bank is there. We stocked up on groceries while we were there - with the larger stores there we have more selection to choose from - although not really a good thing. Derek found a good vapour shop in Westbank also - a good thing. He is doing well with his e-cig for those of you that read our blog post about it last December. It's been six months now - it's been good for his health and our finances.

Today we are back in Merritt for our weekly trip to the pool and library.

The rest of the week will be working hard to shine the park up for the weekend.

So, this is what Cassia does with her new markers - yes, washable - and hair ties - she dresses up as a Native American (we call her an Indian but I don't think that term works so well anymore - right?!). Anyway, when I leave after dinner to register our campers, Derek and Cassia often take Rufus for a walk in the woods. Lately, they have been pretending to be Natives hunting buffalo. They have also been gathering wild onion which we have been using in our meals. 

A nice selfie! Cassia is busy taking pictures any chance she gets - mostly of herself or her toys. 

Here are some shots of our trip to the Group Site here at Kentucky Alleyne. We headed there a few days last week to have it ready for a group for the weekend. Derek mowed it on Thursday - the three of us went out Friday morning to sweep the tables, rake the fire pit areas and to clean the toilets. 

Here's us pulling out of the compound.

A view of the camping area at Alleyne Lake - this is where our friends Chris and Juan stayed as well as Sue and Doug.

Heading towards the gate. It remains locked except when a group is in which means that anyone that wants to see what it looks like needs to walk the 2.5 km road in - or wait until a group is in of course. 

Another view of Alleyne.

This is a good way to give Rufus a run - can you spot him?

Here he is!

And here we are!

A view of the north end of Alleyne Lake - the water is amazing - isn't it!

There is a nice grove of trembling aspen - we LOVE them.

The Kentucky Alleyne Provincial Park group site. We really like it here - nice with the grass and rolling hills - much different than the forested area of the main campground.

While I swept, Derek and Cassia spent most of their time relocating the baby toads. Cassia is full of concern for the little guys and gals.

A selfie while we are heading out - what can I say - it's a slow ride out.

Saturday afternoon  Cassia and I headed up behind our compound to pick some wild onions as a gift….

for Bev and Leo. Here is a great picture of our campground friends. We met Bev and Leo back in 2006 when we managed the park. It was so nice to see them again. 

They left this morning, after being in the park for a few weeks, and invited us for dinner last Saturday. We will sure miss them. We would stop at talk to them almost daily; I'll miss their constant smiles and Leo's seemingly endless amount of information and wisdom. This is the couple that have lent us their generator that I told you about last post. They are 80 and going strong! I already can't wait until they return in September.

And just so you don't think our job is all driving to the group site and having dinner, here is a picture of us at the dump. With such a busy weekend we had a very full truck come Sunday afternoon.

We had an unexpected visitor Sunday bearing dinner and dessert - just as I was getting enough energy together to get our dinner made... Her timing was perfect. This is Derek's Aunt Jackie who lives close by in Merritt. Nice that we could visit with her again after many years and her first time meeting Cassia. Somebody was not impressed with her portion of dessert, so Dad took a certain little somebody for a  time out.

So, that was our week. 

The park was relatively busy and we had a few days of heavy lifting of the trees that were taken out down at Kentucky. Nice that we have a large stack of firewood now though. 

This weekend promises to busy with Father's Day although the forecast is the pits with rain forecasted for Friday, Sat and Sunday. Too bad because it coincides with the kids fishing derby on Sunday. Fingers crossed that it won't be as bad as they predict. They are never right anyway - right, right?!

I've really been enjoying meeting our campers each evening - I learn so much and it's nice to swap stories. A couple last night spent 8 winters traveling to Mazatlan and stayed at the same RV park that we did. The other night there were two rental RVs carrying two couples from Germany - the one fellow had been to Canada previously 15 times and the USA 6 - wow, they sure do love Canada and all the wide open spaces!


Tuesday, June 3, 2014


K-A as in Kentucky Alleyne Provincial Park where we are stationed this summer.

All is going well however we sure could use a warm up of the weather - still cool days and even cooler nights - near freezing - up there at 3,400 ft.

I will have to be quick to get this post together - I have just wasted more than 30 minutes here at the library waiting for my MacBook Pro to repair our iPhoto library. Seems it crashed between the park and here. Grrrrr…… not so much fun not having wifi at the park when that happens. We only want to come to Merritt once a week - a. because we like being in the forest and b. because of the $1.439/litre of gas price ($#@@#$%^$!!!). However, we usually have such a long list of things to do that we have trouble getting through it all before we have to head back.

Anyway, two great events to tell you about today!

But first! Here is a picture of our new Marmot friend lovingly now named Marmento!

And of course it was Cassia's 5th Birthday on May 28. As we always do - Derek and I set everything up the night before. Since it has just been the three of us celebrating her day for the last few years we start the day with her celebration rather than waiting until later in the day.

The problem this year was that Cassia is on to this now and so was up early - really early. Who knew that it was light already at 5:00am! 

Here she is opening her present from her Uncle Dane and Aunty Kieu!

And from her Gram Gram - Derek's mom. Cassia has been pining for a Dr. Set Up, as she calls it, for a while now.

After the presents were open and breakfast was eaten Derek and I had a bit of a nap while Cassia played.

We saved her Birthday Cake until after lunch. 

Mum and her Birthday girl!

And Dad….


Or is it a crow and a unicorn?! Who knew you could have so much fun with party hats!

Even Rufus got in on the action although he wasn't terribly excited about it.

As you could imagine we have a lot of camp fires. Cassia has been asking for marshmallows so with her birthday we finally picked some up. Roasting time.

Cassia getting some soccer practice in with her new ball and shin guards.

Oh! And here's us with our work truck. 

Our youngest crew member!

We were able to get the picture of the three of us because these two came to visit! We were beyond excited when our friends Chris and Juan from Mexico - you can find them at Living and Boondocking in Mexico -  arrived last Thursday! 

We sure enjoyed their two day visit - Chris gave a detailed description of their stay so head over there for the full scope. I just have time to show you the pics with a quick note. Here's Cassia of course during our 4km hike around Kentucky Lake on Friday.

Nice that the wild flowers are finally blooming - this is an Indian Paintbrush.

Ha! Funny picture - caption anyone?

Beautiful orchids!

Group photo time at the end of our walk.

We finished just in time - look at those clouds. In the end they passed us by without a drop of rain.

So - did you notice the fancy interior pictures of Cassia's BD? Sure didn't look like our van - right?! Nope - the Wood Clan is living in style these days thanks to our good friends Rob and Lynn! Just so you know that there are very generous people in this world here is proof. Rob has been a follower of our blog for a few years now. He and Lynn came to see us at Skihist a few summers ago. When he read our post about our roughing it for the season, Rob offered us the use of their 5th wheel - if we pay the insurance. $340 is well worth living at the Ritz! And …….. more great news! Campers that we met when we worked K-A back in 2006 came and have given us their generator to use until September. 

Our living area is really coming together - we just need a carpet and some plants. 

Cassia working on her photography skills from the truck as mom and dad get the cleaning done.

So - all for now. Sorry I can't ramble on but it is time for us to move on to grocery shopping. 

Not sure if I can post next week or not - we'll see. 

I'll collect some more pictures of the park for you and such. 

The park is pretty busy these days with fisherman and due to the fact that seniors get 1/2 priced camping until June 15th - $8 per night to camp - not bad for here in Canada!


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