DogPatch to Radium Hot Springs and Home

June 2 to June 19, 2011

Ever since we purchased Périgord, we have decided to try to get more use in the Spring and Fall instead of just heading south in the winter. Accomplishing this task is not as easy as it seems on the surface. According to the American IRS, Canadians may visit in the States for a total of 183 days. Now this sounds like 6 months... right? .... Wrong !! It is made up off all the current year visits, plus 1/3 of the previous year, plus 1/6 of the visiting days in the year previous to that. All that may not exceed the total of 183 days. So, in order not to get noticed by a bureaucracy as large as the IRS, Elsie to the rescue. She made up an Excel (of course) spreadsheet that keeps track of all our visits and lets us know just how many days we have left.

Of course, we can wander around in Canada to our hearts content, but given the weather extremes and the number of kids on the ground in the summer, you quickly get limited to traveling in May, June, and September and October. But, we still have to try!

The decision was made! We had to get an oil and filter change for Périgord and the best place for that was the Dealer, Midtown, in Penticton. We thought, while we were there, we might as well hit Vernon, and then do something we had never done, travel from Golden through the Rocky Mountain Trench to Radium Hot Springs. We thought that, on the return, we would hit Castlegar for a couple of days and then end up in Midtown. Not a bad two week trip!

You know, BC is truly spectacular! We spend a lot of time wandering through the US, but it is refreshing to see your own area. The mountains are unbelievable as you wander slowly along good roads from Golden through to Radium. The traffic is quite light with few trucks to make your drive tense. You can actually, as the driver, manage to see a lot of the fantastic scenery as it slides by.

From Vernon our first stop was Radium Valley Vacation Resort. Now this is an OK Park, but .... allow me a small rant here ...

The owners of Canadian RV Parks have got to wake up if they hope to capture business. They seem to have the idea that they can charge absolutely outrageous over night/weekly rates. When you get to the Park, you often find out that there are no paved roads or sites, most have only 30 amp power service, tree branches hang down low enough to do serious paint damage to any large RV, and the Wifi and cable are extra. To top off that, most people in the Office when you arrive, have absolutely no idea about RV's and what they require.

In RV speak, the term "Resort" has a definite image. In a Resort you can expect it to be a "destination" in that there will be several pools, workshops, set up classes, entertainment all sorts of activities to keep you busy night and day. You go there and stay, leaving the Site only to visit a grocery store. A "Park" on the other hand is a Campsite you visit, stay for a few days, have a look around the area, and then move on. There will probably be a swimming pool and maybe a tennis court, but nothing special.

The costs reflect these amenities. A Park usually runs around $30.00 to $40.00 per night. A Resort probably starts at $50.00 and can go to $75.00 or even more per night. (if you are staying on the water in the lower Florida Keys in the winter high season, I have heard that the nightly costs approach $100.00)

Radium Valley Vacation Resort is a Park NOT a Resort, but they think that they can charge $68.00 per night. If you ask a visiting American about this, they roll their eyes, and ask "how can you afford to travel here?". That is, of course, unless they have not yet visited a Liquor Store. Then, ashen faced, all they can do is try to shorten their stay in BC (Bring Cash) and head back south. The lack of business was evident in this Park as several nights we were the only RV there.

Fortunately, as you get more RV miles under your belts, you learn to get around a lot of these "silly irritants". We joined Western Horizon RV Park System years ago. With that membership comes membership in many other groups ... RPI being one of them. Elsie quickly accessed her files and found out, as we were driving to Radium, that this Park also belonged to RPI -- though their Web Page failed to mention this fact. A quick phone call, and we were registered in the Park for $9.00 per night .... NOT $68.00. We can afford that!

Rant over ...

Anyway, we had a great time there. The Hot Springs is well taken care of and spotlessly clean. The pool itself is huge, and the day we were there it was mid week so not many visitors were availing themselves of the natural hot spring water. But, I jumped in certain that I could find someone to talk with. Laugh RV Gods laugh!

There was a small group of Asian visitors so the language barrier reared its head, and the only person I found to have a conversation with was a very religious young man who brought his family to BC as some sort of pilgrimage. That conversation did not last very long. But, the water was nice, the weather good, so the long soak was definitely a good time.

The next day, was the British Sports Car Rally in the civic park. That was neat, lots of TR's Morgans, Austin Healeys etc. A GREAT way to while away an afternoon!

Of course we had to do a road trip to Lake Louise along Highway 93. This route is renown for its "critter sightings" and the next day did not disappoint. We saw bears, coyotes, deer ... all posing for the tourists on road side. All in all, Radium is a place to return!

After a leisurely wander south through Canal Flats, Cranbrook etc, we arrived in Castlegar. Elsie chose a new RV Park to stay in that was close to town, close to Doukhobor restaurants and within 100 yards of the Golf Course Clubhouse. What a place for Golfers to stay. Extremely friendly people and reasonable nightly costs ... our kind of place. (now if we could only learn to play golf...) Soon as we arrived, we asked the managers where their favourite Ukrainian restaurant was. Off we went to a great meal and more friendly people. We spent a day just wandering around the Castlegar area and took a side trip to Slocan Park just outside of Nelson to visit our Nephew Jason and family. Great to touch bases with them and see just how much Nick, Jason's son, has grown!

But, Penticton beckoned, and our appointment to have the oil, filter etc changed was looming.

What a drive through the Crow's Nest to Osoyoos. We started in brilliant sun, hit snow on the highest passes and ended up with the A/C running in Penticton. This is one Spectacular Province.


DogPatch to Seaside Oregon and Home

July 5 to July 10, 2011


This is a story of technology and food ....


First the technology ....

click on the gizmo for really technological information

This part is really for those RV'ers out there who are concerned about the safety of the electronics in their Rigs.

Often times, you go to a park, and you have absolutely no idea about the power being supplied to you. All you do is plug into the box and hope ... right???? Well, this is one of those items you may call ... "the horse has already left the barn" ... gizmos. With all the electronics in any RV ... ranging from the fridge, furnace, A/C's, DVD, TV's (we have 4), PVRs, CDs, computers, etc etc the darn list is endless. What protects them against a voltage spike, low voltage, burned negatives, or reverse polarity on power pedestal ... any of the many many electrical problems you may encounter? Well this little gizmo can do all that!

We bought one of these many moons ago for Harvey after hooking into bad power in a Park (a rather cheap one) in Texas. Fortunately, it only fried the CD, and the surround sound system. And again, fortunately, we had extended warranty insurance so we were covered for this "little" claim. Just what they would have said if we had fried the entire RV electrical system who knows. It is not only the cost involved here ... it is also the time you waste as you are stuck in "bug ridden park" just south of "god knows where USA" with an RV that won't move. On top of that you probably won't have heat or A/C or anything as you sit and wait for someone to come and do "something".

So, this little device, hardwired between your electrical cord and your power switch, checks all power coming into the Rig, makes sure the power pedestal is wired OK, and that the amps will be between 104 and 132 amps. If everything is not kosher, no power enters the Rig.

"Do you really need it", I hear you ask?

Well one more story. A couple of years ago, we were heading to one of our favourite Parks on the Oregon Coast, Cannon Beach. We have been there many times and really enjoy the place. In fact, we have been there many times after this event, and we still enjoy the place.

We pull in, get our site assignment, and begin to set up. No power got to the coach. What the heck? Off I go to the Office and tell them, very politely, about our situation. They were bamboozled. "Perfectly good site with no complaints about power" yadda yadda yadda. I told them about the Progressive EMS and their answer was that it "probably has gone bad". Stupidly, I believed them.

I get on the phone to Progressive. A techie is available 24 / 7. Several hours later, I was still stuck in the bin where the power switch was located with my legs sticking out waving in the breeze. Of course, it was pouring rain!!! I was not happy!!! We checked the 50 amp circuit, the 30 amp circuit and as well the 20 amp (house power) circuit. This is when we found that if we hooked Harvey to the next site power pedestal, on 20 amp power using a very long extension cord I had, everything worked. The power came in OK.

Of course, the Office was closed by this time.

That night we were really grateful for the generator, though I'm not sure our neighbours were. The next morning, I headed to the Office prepared to be a little less than "nice". It was the manager we met, and he said ... "They put you in that site? The electrician has been trying to fix that pedestal for days."

Suffice it to say, we got a new site assigned and an extremely nice apology. So are these devices necessary???? HELL YES!!!!

If you are like me and challenged when anyone puts a tool in my hands, there is a solution to have someone install it for you. That is why we were heading to Seaside Oregon with Périgord.

Darrell Lawrence is the Progressive chief sales guy who travels around the US visiting RV Rallies selling this unit. I phoned him, and it turned out that he was having a little R & R in Seaside between Rallies. He said, come on down, and he would be glad to install it for me. Good reason to visit the Oregon Coast, we thought!


If you want to have him install this unit:

Darrell Lawrence ... 936 329-2364


Now, about the food ....

Many would argue that this is the real reason why we went. See the pictures ... we only had 5 days, but we did manage to taste test several restaurants ... Our absolute favourite was .... Norma's

Check out their menu by clicking on picture

So, a quick 5 day visit and Périgord is now electrically safe, and our stomachs are slightly enlarged. What a deal! How does life get better????


Now, on to the next exciting episode of ... "How Perigord Travels" ... as we head south this winter


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