Sunday, July 28, 2019

Ft. St. James

We had to hang around Kamloops until Thursday as we had to sign the final papers for the sale of the house Wed. afternoon. Thursday we packed up and headed North via Hwy 5 and 16. Our eventual destination was our friends in Burns Lake and the To-Sink-It Float Fly over the August long weekend.
Prior to that however we spent one night in Prince George meeting up with Chris's parents Thursday night. We had planned to overnight at the PG Casino but their parking lot was undergoing reno's so we moved up to a lot right beside Walmart. Friday morning we had some banking business to take care of which took a couple of hours, then after parting ways with Chris's parents and fueling up we headed West.
Our friends in Burns Lake weren't able to accommodate us until Sunday so at Vanderhoof we turned North and headed up to Ft. St. James.
We have been coming up here now for 12 years and every year we kept saying that one of these days we have to get up and see Ft. St. James. Well, this was the year.
Ft. St. James is a small town on the Eastern end of Stuart Lake. Today its main economy is forestry, mining and agriculture. The town has a nice municipal park and campground right on the water and when we arrived we managed to snag a nice spot right by the lake.

The community of Ft. St. James started before the white man arrived as a native village. When the fur trade began the explorer Simon Fraser founded the actual town and shortly after the trading post and 'Fort' was constructed. Today, they have preserved and restored a good portion of the original fort and during the summer months it is open with actors in period costume showing visitors what life was like back in the day.

The weather on Saturday, when we visited the site, started out pretty ugly. It was raining quite hard and the wind was up. Mid-morning however it started to clear up a bit and when we ventured out the rain had stopped. The sun even came out for a bit as well.

One of the other notable attractions to Ft. St.James is its connection to the fledgling aviation industry in Canada's North. One of it's notable early residents was the bush pilot Russ Baker. Baker was one of the original founders of Central BC Airways which became Pacific Western Airlines in 1953.
Mounted on a pedestal in Cottonwood Park is a 1/3 scale model of a Junkers W34, one of the aircraft that the early pilots flew in this area.

Russ Baker died in 1958 and is buried at a scenic spot just outside of town. There is now an impressive memorial at his grave site.

Sunday morning we packed up and headed for Burns Lake. We plan to be here through the long weekend before heading back to Edmonton for a few days.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Cooling our heels for a bit

For the last week and a bit we have been hanging out at the Copper Quarter RV park here in Kamloops. This is a small, newly reopened park at the former KXA grounds. It is also joined to Kamloops Race Central at the Kamloops Agri Centre; an equestrian facility. The majority of the sites here are still pretty sparse and honestly kinda small, even for normal sized rigs. Ours pretty much takes up the whole site!

The first few days here were kinda wet! Kamloops received quite a bit of rain and it was fairly cool. 2 days ago however it warmed up quite considerably. Warm enough that we and others here fired up the air conditioners. Well, Sunday afternoon, half the park lost power. I guess their electrical feed wasn't up to the task. The owner showed up and identified the problem but of course, being Sunday, everything was closed and he couldn't get the required parts until the morning. So Sunday evening we sweltered! Monday afternoon it happened again! Fortunately this time the power was only out for 30 minutes or so. I think they need to rethink their electrical requirements. I'm afraid to think what will happen when it gets real warm.
Why are we hanging around here? The house sale closes on Thursday and we need to be around to sign the last of the papers. So far though, we have been here a week and no word from the lawyer yet although we understand they have the papers. Hopefully we will get that done soon as we are hoping to head up to Burns Lake Thursday or Friday for a float fly.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Vernon and the BC Scale Classic

After leaving Kamloops last Monday, we headed for Vernon where the annual BC Scale Classic takes place. The field wasn't open to camping until Tuesday, so we spent one night at the Superstore in town. We needed to dump tanks and stock up on some groceries as well and I wanted to take a bit of time to visit my Mom who lives in a residence here in town.
While there, a friend from up north in Houston BC, called to let us know he was about an hour out and inquiring where we were. He met us there and after spending the night, we both headed out to the field Tuesday morning.
The Vernon R/C Aeromodellers have a beautiful field just North of Vernon. They have about 800 feet of golf green quality runway and a nice pit area as well as lots of open space. It is one of my favorite places to fly.
Once set up, we had a couple of days to practice before the contest. Wed. and Thursday were a bit wet at times but we did still get some good flying in. Friday dawned partly cloudy but no rain clouds around and about noon, they started the static judging.
In these scale contests there are 2 parts. The first is the static portion where your aircraft is judged against the full size prototype you have chosen to model. The aircraft is judged on several factors including on accuracy of outline or how close the outline matches the 3 view drawings of the original. Also judged are accuracy of colour and markings against pictures of the original and finally one judge rates the aircraft on the craftsmanship of the builder.

This was a partial lineup for static judging with my Super Cub at the back of the line.

I did all right although with a score of 99.25 I missed out on first to this drop dead gorgeous PA15 Vagabond by Doug Stewart of Wenatchee.

The photo doesn't do it justice. Doug also owns the full size aircraft so he can examine it and more easily duplicate all the tiny details.
Saturday we started the flying. We try and fly 6 rounds; 4 Sat and 2 on Sunday. The weather cooperated and we got all six in by midday Sunday.
I guess I did all right as I won my class (Expert). Doug won for top static score of 99.5 with the Vagabond and another pilot beat me by 1/2 point for top flight score on a single round. With my static score combined with the average of my best 4 flight scores I came out on top for first overall.

Tonight we are just relaxing before heading back to Kamloops tomorrow for a couple of weeks. We close on the house on the 25th so have to be around to sign papers and take care of a last few things there.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Murphy has found us!

I think I spoke too soon in my last update. The very next morning (Sat) we woke to a fridge not working. I traced the trouble initially to a blown fuse in the fuse panel, but when I tried to replace it, the replacement blew immediately. I checked a bunch of things and was able to determine the problem was not the fridge itself but somewhere else, likely in the wiring. I had thoughts of a staple or screw through the wires somewhere. As it was a warranty issue anyway, we called a mobile RV repair tech who was able to come out and have a look. It only took him a few minutes and he was able to find the likely culprit. The power wire that feeds the fridge runs up the chimney cavity and about 2 feet up from the access panel, the wire had melted to and shorted against the chimney.
He was able to move it away from the chimney and get some tape on it to protect it. That fixed, everything was working as it should again.  We will still have to have the issue attended to and fixed properly, but will let Grand Design determine the best way to do that.
Otherwise, we continued with the fun fly at the ranch. We had a bit more rain but Saturday was mostly not too bad and a fair bit of flying was had by all.

One other highlight of the weekend were several fly-bys of a full scale WWII B17 Flying Fortress and a B-25 Bomber. They were spending a few days at the Kamloops Airport and made regular flights overhead all weekend.

This is the B17. It was at the limit of my iPhones ability to zoom in so apologies if it is a bit fuzzy.
This morning, we broke camp and headed for Vernon. We are spending one night in the parking lot at the Real Canadian Superstore, then tomorrow morning, we head over to the Vernon RC Aeromodellers field and start getting ready for the BC Scale Classic which will run Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
One thing I was able to get done over the weekend was to get my battery monitor hooked up again. I don't like it when I don't know the status of our house batteries.

Normally they would be fully charged by now but until we can get the solar system reinstalled, the only way we have to charge them, other than being plugged in to shore power, is to run the generator. I will probably do that a bit later this evening and for a while tomorrow.

Friday, July 5, 2019

Our first week in the new rig

Well, we've been in our new rig for a week now and are starting to feel more at home. We are still finding a few minor things that we will need to attend to but mostly stuff that I can take care of easily. Nothing major so far thankfully.
I have been planning out what I want to do in the garage to make it a more efficient storage area for my models. At this point everything just sits on the floor and I am using foam blocks to help keep things from moving around.

I need to create some form of wing rack likely suspended from the ceiling and a way to tie things to the walls. I want to be able to keep my toolbox and fuel jugs in here as well and I can't have them moving around when we are traveling.

Since we brought the new rig back to Kamloops almost a week ago now we have had a lot of rain! I can't remember the last time the forest fire rating for the interior was Low at this time of year. It is usually High or Extreme by now. Don't get me wrong, this isn't a bad thing. We need the rain badly!

Before leaving for Edmonton 2 weeks ago, we offloaded quite a bit of stuff from the old trailer so when we got back we had to load most of it back into the new rig.
All the way back I was wondering if I would be able to get the new trailer into the driveway at the house but as suspected, it is too long. The skids under the rear bumper hit the ground before the wheels even reach the slope. We still had a bunch of organizing to do and wanted to keep it close to the house so wound up parking in the cul-de-sac as far into the driveway as I could get it. It really stuck out and if Kamloops Bylaws had come by, I am sure we would have received a ticket or at least been told to move it. We had checked with the neighbours ahead of time and they were OK with it so we weren't too worried. We spent 2 nights like that before pulling out and heading to the Kamloops Tournament Capital Ranch.
One of the other model clubs in town uses this as an event site and they have a fun fly on this weekend. So far, there are 9 or 10 rigs here and a few more expected to arrive today.

Still raining this evening. Hopefully tomorrow will be a bit better so we can get some flying in at least.