Victoria’s Trail Network Rocks

Sun, Apr 30, 2017

Yesterday morning, I went for a spin on the Galloping Goose trail and had a great ride.  This morning, I went for a run but in the other direction.  It was sunny this morning and the crowds were out.

As you can see from the picture below, the city has done a great job putting in these trails.  And no doubt at no small cost.


They even have built bridges over the lakes!  Now that’s not something you see very often.


Here’s a snap of the trails, courtesy of Google Maps.  Most are dedicated multi-use trails but some are painted bike lanes on the streets as you’ve seen in SF and other cities.  We’re the blue dot in the upper left corner.


Butchart Gardens

Sat, Apr 29, 2017

Carol says it’s more spectacular than any of the national parks we’ve visited.  And I’m not one for flowers.  But this was something special.

We visited Butchart Gardens today and wow, wow, wow.  It was pretty cool.

Tulips are in bloom this time of year and they have hundreds of thousands.  What do they do when the bloom is gone?



Here’s another shot in front of the Ross Fountain.  This lake is in an old limestone quarry.


Here’s another shot of the quarry.  It was stunning and I wish I had waited for the paths to clear for a nice shot.


And yet another shot.  The mound in the middle is limestone but the Butcharts covered it in ivy.  Sweet, eh?


On our way back, we walked across the back lawn.  This building was the Butchart family house.  Nice.


And finally the Italian Garden that was installed over the tennis courts.


Cycling the Galloping Goose

Sat, Apr 29, 2017

Victoria is a very charming town.  Beautiful landscapes, narrow meandering roads, wonderful restaurants and lots of parks and green spaces.

They also have an extensive trail network.  In fact there’s one right out side our park that parallels an unused railroad track.

It’s the E&N Rail Trail and just down the line is the Galloping Goose regional trail.  And it goes forever!  Well, long enough that I didn’t have time to reach the end.


The trail is mostly through wooded areas and fully sheltered from the roads although there are crossings that’ll slow you down.  And parts are crushed rock instead of blacktop but still very smooth.  This is my idea of what should be included in an infrastructure update.


Speaking of infrastructure, they’ve also installed water fountains.  And the good ones with a tap to fill bottles and ground level bowl for man’s best friend.


Victoria, BC

Fri, Apr 28, 2017

Victoria. Capital of British Columbia.  Named for the Queen who inherited the throne at age 18, bore nine children and reigned for 63 yrs.  Star of many TV shows and movies.

Carol and I ferried 25 mi across the Strait of Juan de Fuca from Port Angeles, WA to Victoria this afternoon.  Never been to Vancouver Island so we’re really looking forward to it.

Here’s the queue on the load up.  Most were cars with a handful of RV’s.


It was a 90 min crossing on a very calm and warm day.  Still the ship rocked side to side way more than I expected.  So we grabbed seats in the middle 🙂

And then we entered Victoria harbor, a gorgeous one.


Then it was off to Ft Victoria RV Park about 5 mi away.  Took nearly 50 minutes due to Fri rush hour in a town that’s really compact.   Once we finished making camp, it was time for an adult beverage and then a quiet night.

Crossing the Columbia, Part 2

Thu, Apr 27, 2017

Last Aug, we crossed the Columbia River on our way to Olympic National Park.  We did it again today but this time we heading to Port Angeles and will take the ferry to Victoria, capital of British Columbia.

The river really opens up before it reaches the pacific and is nearly 5 mi wide at the bridge crossing.  I was slow with my camera and missed the shot from the high point but this gives you an idea of the width.

And why the heck did they build it as a two lane bridge?  That’s going to be one expensive project when they have to add lanes.


On the Washington side of the river, we were treated to canyons.  Tree canyons.


Kabin Kamping, KOA Style

Wed, Apr 26, 2017

We are staying in the Astoria / Warrenton / Seaside KOA Resort in the northwest corner of Oregon.  At the outlet of the Columbia River.  Lewis & Clark territory.

Whoever owns this place has it going on.

We’re happy campers since our pull through site is full blacktop.  With all the rain we’ve been having this is a big deal.  Mud control is a real issue when you have a dog.

So we were walking around today when a truck came by bringing in a new cabin, huh, Kabin.  A three axel jewel.  Here she is and nice tow vehicle, eh?  Straight from Arizona.


And around the corner was a Kabin with a loft.  How’d they get that down the road?


This campground has over 50 Kabins and I’m told they are really popular.  As I said above, this place has it going on.

Rain Rain Go Away, Come Again Another Day

Tue, Apr 25, 2017

Do they still teach that nursery rhyme?  It’s been stuck in my head lately.  And no wonder.

Carol and I are working our way up the Oregon coast and we had all day rain yesterday and again today.  And the forecast is for all day rain tomorrow and Thursday.  Yuck.  No fun when you’re camping and there’s mud all around.

We were watching the Portland news and they received 0.88″ inches of rain.  An all time record for the date as it blew away the old record of 0.54″.

Here’s a shot of the coast with.  Lot’s of white water out there.


Casino Camping on Coos Bay

Sat, Apr 22, 2017

After a forgettable stay on rainy night at a forgettable campsite, we were glad to make it to Coos Bay and the Mill Casino and RV Park.

Camping at casinos is popular with the RV crowd but this is the first time for us.  And I can see the appeal with dining and entertainment options right outside your doorstep.  And the fully blacktopping park doesn’t hurt especially in the rain when you’re trying to keep your dog from running in the mud puddles.

Here we are next to the motor homes and fifth wheels.


Although a bit of a bland shot, Coos Bay really is a nice one.


The Oregon Coast

Fri, Apr 21, 2017

On Mon, we were working our way up the California coast when we learned that Hwy 101 was closed due to a landslide.  The only real alternative was to hump it back to I-5 and work your way up around the closure.  So that’s what we did.

We made it back to 101 at Crescent City and then crossed the border into Oregon.  And what a beautiful day it was driving up the coast.

Lot’s of haystacks and the soft breeze didn’t hurt.


What a Difference a Year Makes

Thu, Apr 20, 2017

Last Aug, Carol and I drove up Hwy 5 from the Bay Area to Oregon.  It was the beginning of our trip.

We passed Shasta Lake, our state’s largest reservoir, and saw first hand how low it was.  Huge bathtub ring.  The drought has been ugly.  Too bad I didn’t click a picture.

We passed it again today on our way north.  It is near capacity.  Here’s a shot that Carol took out the window.  It’s nice to see the water level at the shore line 🙂


Next up is Mt Shasta.  I’d only seen it once before last year’s trip and wasn’t impressed.  Then last year we passed in Aug and it was a brown, muddy mess.  Yes the glacier was there but we were looking at south and west flanks.  Not pretty.  Again, no pictures.

But today she was a beautiful site.  Majestic.  Everything you’d expect.