Thought we’d left this all behind…

The idea of heading to Kelowna that evening seemed a good idea at the time.  Unfortunately the car we drove was meant for Lower Mainland driving…  Winter was supposed to over through the Coquihalla Highway and connector highway to Kelowna , but the heavy snows seemed never -ending and was tricky to treacherous at best. 

We made it with some butt puckering and watching a few vehicles head off into the snow drifts… Luckily, Kirk and Charge!!Al met us at the condo and helped to get us unloaded for the evening, thank-you again guys!  Then still later, we were off to the storage facility in Peachland where our Ford Escape and trailer have spent the last 8 months.  Jumper cables in hand we got the reliable Escape going and home for the night.it's snow trouble really...

Still snow and ice and slushIn the morning we packed up and headed back down the highway in both vehicles and trailer to Chilliwack and the collision shop to drop off their car and our trailer for the weekend.  I put on some rain gear and got the motorcycle off the back of the coach which is already undergoing work.  We headed down the highway to the BC Ferries, Tracy in the car and me riding in the very heavy downpour.

2 hours in the rain, while stopping for a serious roll over accident on the freeway while it was dealt with we arrived at the ferry terminal in time for the 9 p.m. ferry to Victoria.  $36 for the motorcycle.  I am sure getting old, when I started taking the ferries, oh a few years ago on motorcycles, it was $8!

A change into dry clothes on the ferry and another 1/2 hour rain soaked ride on the other side and we arrived at Trudy’s place in Victoria for a visit and to deal with the motorcycle.  Now comes the trip to Nanaimo to pick up months of forwarded mail at Delphines place and back to Vancouver to  load up the trailer and see how our poor coach is doing………..

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…. to add salt to the wound

You see we had planned to head over to Vancouver Island for a week or so and drop off the motorcycle for sale at brother Dale’s shop and visit more family before returning home. Not to be in that plans present form so thanks to the GPS we found a Wal Mart in the heart of Surrey, slinked into a corner and got some sleep, it was now 4 a.m.

Our island trip with the coach was not to be, ICBC got us in to a local adjuster center by noon, less than a day after the mishap. Sorry we can’t recommend a repair shop but your vehicle can be repaired but can’t leave the Lower Mainland due to it’s undriveable condition. Spent 1/2 an hour at their center looking for a shop. A shop with a reputation for big rig repairs in a timely fashion!

Call, search some more, call, search some more and presto!! A mere 50 miles away in Chilliwack, O’Connor RV and Collision has a new shop just opened, state of the art specializing in Fleetwood. Off we toddle but now how do we get our stuff, the motorcycle and the pups home?? And how long is this gonna take to fix???

PT Cruiser just can't fit everything inBudget doesn’t have any vehicles available till tomorrow to haul everything…..yada yada with all the other companies. O’Connor’s steps up and we can take one of their cars if we promise to be backTucked in for the night...! the next day with our car and trailer to remove what we need and get the motorcycle to the island somehow! So the road to H#ll is paved with good intentions…. we head off into the mountains and off to Kelowna…………

Hello Kirk, can you meet us at the condo, we don’t have a key…. yes that’s right we are a bit early. No, no we won’t be staying long. Oh that, it’s still in Vancouver….”

the time is now 9:30 p.m. and still not home…. see video tomorrow!

Ease on down the road..

It’s now 6 p.m. and the insurance adjuster and glass company have informed us that if the windshield is installed without the body work no guarantee and no replacement in Canada. 3 week minimum stay in Portland to get in to a collision shop and then parts lag time.

Tracy and I look at each other with red eyes and decide that we must return to the home turf to get this taken care of.Please hold together DUCT tape, having the knowledge of how well the windshield is installed and not being in a hurry we set off. It is now 8 p.m. and into Washington state. You’d think we were a circus act the looks and stares and notes of concern from other truckers and RV’ers which made the disappointment seem not so bad.

Stop for fuel outside of Seattle and lots of onlookers there. Lots with stories to relate but we are still hoping the duct tape holds and the rain doesn’t get any worse as the wipers are able to clear both sides, believe it or not. Arriving at customs around 1:30 am, what a story we had to tell. The agent was professional, polite but did crack a smile with the understanding that we were trying to return where we could get all this damage dealt with at once. OUR WHOLE life is presently in the coach and we didn’t have another 3-8 weeks to spend hoping things got done if we waited in Oregon.

DID you know that if you have body or glass work done in the U.S. upon your return you are responsible for the GST on all work and labour…… learned from our friendly border guard.

Now where to spend the night until we can contact ICBC once again as the coach has now been deemed non-drivable.

It was such a normal day…

pulling in to the alley to park. Stopped in the spot and WHAM , 2 minutes later, transport trailer meets motor coach. Motor coach loses big time! Over 23000kms (14,200 miles) without a scratch, so to speak. Over 7 months on the road and a 4 mph collision between a loading trailer and our parked coach in south Portland. Glass covered the entire front interior as if it had exploded. Cate is still shaking and Jack has just come back out from behind the rear slide.

Well the pictures tell the story… we were devastated. We know it was an accident but so close to the end of the trip has made it a bit more disappointing.

Couldn't have hit any squarer in the middle of the  windshieldHood and front damaged as well, hood fell offfront cap is damaged

So call the police, get the file number, get their insurance and try to get at least a new windshield to drive home with. Over to the local Good Sam park and camp for the night. Frame around the windshield is damaged and will not hold a seal with a new windshield.

Body work is required there as well….. the saga had only begun believe us!

So here we sit…. broken hearted

We left Sacramento on a blustery day for points north. Decided to stay overnight at the Randolph Collier rest Collier park highway... can you see the vehicles up there??stop just south of the Oregon border. Set in the river valleys you can watch the traffic as it makes its way along the cliffs, as if to float off into the night skies. This park is well maintained and not very busy this time of year. Down to 29 degrees that night…. rude awakening trip is coming to an end!

Randolph Collier rest stop

From here it was on to Oregon and to our heart breaking end of our journey……

Crabby Sacramento

One more seafood feastWhat is visiting friends if you don’t go out for a few waddly pops and some good eats before heading up north back home. Best bibbed guy around... Julie and Joe took us down to “Old Sac” to Crabby Joe’s and a waddle (after eating some great seafood). Of course I had to remind the waitress of my eating habits and she decided that a bib would befit the dining experience.

Crabby's in Sacramento

Old Sac shops and walkThen checking out a few of the shops in the area which also had horse drawn carriages and a bridge that Julie said was painted a S**t brown. We also took in yet another RV show that wasOne more show!! held just around the corner at Cal Expo where we stayed. Lots of trailers, coaches and the like but no vender’s… a first for this show. The economy has made vendors rethink where they attend to sell their wares, so we are told. The weather was great and the company was even better. Now it is time, really this time, to head north for a few days of driving and then onto Vancouver Island for us to get acclimated back to B.C. weather and of course a farewell…..

Holy S**t

So off we go down the highway with Tracy at the controls. Beautiful day, sunny with wind gusts of around 30-40 mph. Not a big deal we thought as we have seen winds of 60-70 mph on our trip. Traveling highway 15 through the Mojave desert.

Well we’ve seen these on TV and in movies but never, never been in one and don’t want to experience it really, ever again. The coach was rocking and within 30 seconds we went from 70 mph to 0 mph. Afraid we were going to get hit we tried moving on but HAD to stop dead in our tracks….click on the link for the video.

Mojave sandstorm

When the sand cleared the two vehicles in front of us were moving away from each other but were almost touching prior to this picture and we couldn’t see out of our rearview camera or mirrors which were coated in sand. Later on we wereClose call told the winds got upwards of 80 mph blowing the sand directly across the highway.. We couldn’t have been in the wrong place at the right time even if we tried!