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  • Writer's pictureRobert Gidley

That’s no cow barn—that’s my sandals!

July 27, 2022 (Tue)

An unpleasant experience and lots of desert.

9:15 am North of Boston Bar

Late yesterday, a truck pulling a trailer pulled into the space next door to us. This morning Gini says, “It sounds like there’s kids here!”

Sure enough, Grandma Gini, the kid magnet was soon surrounded by two young boys (6 and 9 years old) who had obviously been missing interaction with someone besides their parents. They had found some twigs and pine cones and it was his brother’s birthday two days ago and did you know that pine cones make great fire starters and they slept in bunk beds in their trailer only there wasn’t a ladder so they had to climb up the bed and they lived in Alaska and had we ever seen Mount Rushmore and they were going back home.

Whew! After talking to Dad, we discovered they had been on the road a month and had been to Minnesota and Mount Rushmore and Seattle and were now headed back home to Anchorage. We wished him well with his sweet chatterboxes.

9:30 am North of Boston Bar

One of the great things about having an RV like Harvey is that you always have your bathroom with you. Any time nature calls, you just amble on back (unless you’re driving) and say howdy to nature.

You pretty soon discover that although you eliminate your wastes, your wastes are not eliminated from this world. They accumulate in what’s called a “black water tank.” Your dishwater and shower water go into the gray water tank.

Eventually (every couple of days, as it develops) your black water tank needs to be emptied, and you do not want it to overflow (we’ve heard horror stories).

Since we have a few minutes, and a full black water tank, and a septic connection—well, that’s our chore for this morning!

This involves removing a cap from the pipes on the bottom of Harvey, connecting a hose, and opening some valves while Harvey basically takes a very large poop into the local septic system.

We have a pretty good procedure for emptying the tank—gloves, bench to sit on, place a bucket under the pipe outlet. We’re old pros at this.

One thing our procedure was missing: check that none of the valves are open before removing the cap from the pipes…

There was panic, mistakes were made, the bucket overflowed and Robert’s feet and sandals are covered in poop. Fortunately, our grandson needs his diaper changed on a regular basis, so we’ve grown somewhat tolerant of first-hand poop, but—yuck!

There was a lot of washing and flushing and “Phew!” and more washing and eventually we managed to sanitize the area. Robert’s sandals, however, have a rather pungent odor now, rather reminiscent of a cow barn. It does make it easy to find them in the dark (“I’m not throwing them away—maybe it’ll fade…”).

Revised procedure: Make sure all valves are closed before removing cap!

Robert is not having a very good day

11:20 am

After that fun little diversion, and a quick breakfast of granola and fruit (we got some fresh blueberries from the very kind Canadian cam[ host lady—our first Canadian fruit!), we’re off on today’s adventure!

11:25 am

But first, a stop for gas. Today’s price: $5.57 (per real gallon in real dollars). Prices are slowly climbing.

Miles ad miles of construction along the road, mostly building baffles for avalanche protection. Not just the snowy kind, but also the rocks and debris kind. We see a couple of places where the road has been washed out, and we are warned by sings not to stop during a “rain event.” We hope the Canadian engineers are very good at their craft.

1:15 pm

Prices aren’t the only thing that are climbing, so is the temperature! After starting out at a balmy 65° it’s been in the 90’s most of the day. We decide we’re hungry and say, here’s a “BC Provincial park, let’s check it out!”

That’s how we pulled into Gold Pan park, which had about a dozen camping spots overlooking a raging river. During the day, you could picnic and if you stayed late enough, and paid $18 ($14 USD), you could stay overnight.

We ran our generator for a bit so we could grill some burgers and have a nice relaxing lunch overlooking the river. We’re Harvey-ing now, baby!

Gold Pan park in British Columbia

The Harvey life--grilling burgers!

Although it was tempting, we decided to move on down the road, as we could hear Alaska calling (also, no electric hookup for our A/C).

2:29 pm Cache Creek, BC

This area is known as “The Arizona of Canada,” and not just because the scenery is all full of scrub brush and sand. It’s also the hottest spot in Canada! So much for dodging that heat wave.

We stop at a Dairy Queen to try and cool down (very much like the U.S. experience). When you pay, you get a chance to choose “Français” on the screen, so of course, Robert does and is excited to announce: “The French word for ‘OK’ is: ‘OK’!”

Canada has trains, rivers, and mountains!

5:15 pm 100 Mile House, BC

Yes, this is the actual name of the town. Seems it was named during one of the gold rushes, because there was a roadhouse (like a mall, only not air-conditioned) built 100 miles from some random point. There's a whole series of towns here (50 Mile House, 200 Mile House, and so forth). We're surprised it hasn't been renamed to 160 Kilometer House.

We're here!

Gini finds an RV park that has everything: a heated pool! Plus some other things like full hook-ups and lush spots (we are finally out of the desert region of British Columbia). Business isn’t great—when Canada didn’t want any visitors, that wasn’t great for business and Americans haven’t been rushing back to enjoy the 90° temperatures.

Even better: it’s only $48 a night ($37.50 USD). The further north we go, the cheaper the RV parks are and the more expensive gas is.

Robert enjoys cooling off in the pool--ending the day much better than the way it started!

By the numbers

Numbers tell the story.

Miles traveled so far: 405

Estimated Percentage of total road miles: 12%

Days so far: 3 days

Estimated Percentage of total road days: 10%

Gini & Robert

Harvey Staff

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