Friday, May 13, 2022

Back in BC

Hey there. It has been awhile since we have done a post. Just not a lot going on. Hope everyone has been healthy over the last month or so.

While we were still at Poverty Flats, we needed to dump our holding tanks so while doing that, we took a drive back into Valley of Fire State Park as that was the closest Sani Dump. After doing the deed, we drove around a bit and took a look at the 2 camping areas. The last time we were here was with the Cameo so this time we were looking for sites where our Solitude would fit. Sad to say, there weren't many! Maybe a half dozen total in both areas.

The Southwest US has been in a severe drought condition for a few years now and one place where it was very apparent is Lake Mead. Normally the water level reaches almost up to the town of Overton in the Moapa Valley. Just south of Overton, there is an old town by the name of St Thomas. Back in the 1930's after they built the Hoover Dam, the town was flooded by the rising water of Lake Mead. All the residents were relocated but a lot of the town was just abandoned. Normally the town lies under 40-50 feet of water. Not any more. It is now high and dry and no water to be seen anywhere except what is flowing in the Muddy River. We spent several hours one day wandering around and learning the history of St Thomas.

This was the old General store.

The school house.

Click on this picture for a larger readable version

Click on this picture for a larger readable version

More information on the town of St Thomas can be seen HERE

After we left the Overton area, we took a couple of days to travel north to Twin Falls, ID to see Eric and Susanne again. On the way there, we overnighted in Ely, NV, behind the Shell gas station.  We parked there after filling the truck up across the road at Love’s. What was nice about this location is that it was quiet. In total, there was probably less than a dozen units parked there overnight. Only a few big rigs with no reefers. It was also walking distance to the grocery store (5 min walk), so we went and got some snacks for the road and also a few things for dinner that night.

Once we got up the next morning, we continued on to Twin Falls, ID. Guess what came on just outside of Twin Falls? You guessed it, the check engine light. The day after we got set up at the Twin Falls Fairgrounds in Filer, ID, about 10 mins to shopping in Twin Falls, we went back to the same dealership we went to in November on the way down. At that point, they were not able to get it in for diagnostics, but were able to read and clear the codes showing that they were the same as before. Clearing them this time didn’t last long though, the check engine light came back on the next day. We decided that we would wait until we got back to Kamloops to deal with it.

One thing about Eric and Susanne; they are wonderful tour guides. They took us out again this trip. On Sunday, they took us to the little town of Eden, about 30 minutes NE of Twin Falls. There isn't a lot here except a little place if I recall correctly, called The Snug. On Sundays, they put on an incredible brunch buffet. All 4 of us waddled out of there after stuffing ourselves on just about any kind of breakfast/lunch items imaginable!

After wandering around a bit more, we wound up down in the Snake River gorge. Eric and Rob needed to work off some of breakfast so we set out to walk some of the Auger Falls trails and wound up at the old Scott's Barrow Bridge. 

Here also, we noticed water levels were very low. I'm not sure if it is normal for this time of year but it seemed the river was barely a trickle.

Twin Falls pretty much dry as a bone!

One of the places we went shopping at was Fred Meyer (one of the stores in the Kroger family like Fry’s and Smith’s in Arizona). With the Kroger chain, like some others, you can get fuel points when you shop at their stores. We went in with having a 40 cent per gallon discount we had accumulated further south. At this time, there was a coupon for double fuel points when shopping, but Chris used it when we were in Lake Havasu City and figured that we wouldn’t get it this time, but after paying for our groceries, and walking out, she discovered that we did get the double fuel points and now had 80 cents off per gallon. Fred Meyer had diesel at $4.98 /gallon US, so it dropped it down to $4.18/gallon (works out to $1.44/litre Canadian) . To figure this out, we have found works well to convert fuel prices from US to CDN or the other way around.
After a few days in Twin Falls doing some last minute shopping, touring and visiting, we got on the road again.

The last couple nights in the US, we overnighted at the Wildhorse Casino in Pendelton, OR and the parking lot (a bit more shopping) at the Omak, WA Walmart. One issue that came up on one these travels days, is that somewhere between Twin Falls and Pendelton, one of our solar panels on the roof of the trailer ended up losing 2 bolts and nuts from the brackets and flipped up and landed on the top of the one behind it.

Rob was able to remove the problem one, and the other one is still on the roof of the trailer without much glass on it. We now have 2 replacements being shipped to Oroville, WA.

On April 1st, we crossed the border at the Oroville-Osoyoos crossing which took maybe 15 mins. We had done the ArriveCan app the day before crossing, and we found out that with having our Nexus cards listed on it, when we gave the border agent the Nexus cards, all info from the app came up. We were asked the basic questions, and then all of a sudden the agent said “I will be right back.” At that point, Chris thought, oh crap, just because she answered yes to having some veggies in the trailer, we were going to have to do a secondary inspection. They came back with a box, and she thought, oh, I guess the box is for the veggies. She was wrong. Rob was the lucky one to be randomly selected to do a post arrival COVID test and that he had 24hrs to do it.

We waited to do the test until we got to Vernon later that day and set up in the spot we normally stay at. But on the way to Vernon, we stopped in Oliver, BC to have breakfast at A&W and then we went to Shoppers Drug Mart to pick up our free rapid antigen tests (RAT). Once we were done setting up in Vernon, Rob had to register his test in order to have someone supervise him as he did the testing. So once we had that done and were waiting for that, we did a RAT which we came back negative. After that, Rob got his post arrival test done and then we just had to drop it off at a local pharmacy and wait for the results. It came back negative a couple days later.

After visiting with friends and family, we left Vernon on April 4th and got to Kamloops. We have been staying at Silver Sage RV park and campground since then. It is a real nice spot. Right by the river. Only thing that is a negative is that there are no sewer hookups because the area is on a flood plain and does flood in the spring every so often. That is ok though, because we have our portable black tank that we use when the trailer needs to go potty.

While in Kamloops, we made a few trips back and forth to Vernon. We celebrated Rob’s mom’s 102nd birthday on April 8th and then back again for Easter weekend. We were to go for Chris's dad’s birthday on May 6th, but her parents came down with COVID. They are on the mend and doing fine now. 

Also while in Kamloops, we spent some time going through our sea can storage unit and weeding out things we had decided to part with. When we sold our house and started this adventure, we weren't sure what the future would hold so decided to hang on to quite a bit of stuff in case we decided we didn't like the lifestyle. After almost 3 years now, we both have decided to continue for the foreseeable future so we are downsizing again. We managed to eliminate a fair bit of stuff but are nowhere near finished. We will pick up again when we come back in the fall for a bit and go through the stuff we didn't get to this time.

As mentioned at the beginning, we were going to take the truck back to the GM dealer we deal with in Kamloops. We did that, and we are now waiting for parts. This time they will be replacing all 8 injectors again (yes, I know, they just did that in October and we had 3 changed in November), a NO2 sensor and the complete underhood engine wiring harness (this is the part that we are waiting on and apparently, it can take up to 20 weeks or so to get it). Once all the parts are in, they will also be looking at the fuel rails to make sure there is no contamination in them. We have opened a case with GM Canada, but so far they just told us what the dealership has told us. Guess we will have to wait and see. From what we have been told, there is such a parts problem right now, the dealer has had 6 or 8 trucks parked in their back lot for weeks waiting on parts for the DEF systems. When that goes, the truck is crippled until the parts are replaced. At least we can still use ours.

We left Kamloops on May 12 and will be in Vernon over the weekend and then we make our way to Princeton, BC with a quick trip into Oroville, WA to pick up the 2 new solar panels. We will be staying at a small provincial park (Bromley Rock) not far from Princeton for a couple of nights, and then on the 18th we will get to the airport in Princeton and help set up for the RC Jet rally happening over the long weekend. We'll hopefully provide another update a bit later as we will be doing a bit more traveling this summer.

That is about all for now. Stay safe out there, and have fun with your travels.

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