Wednesday, August 31, 2011

August 31

Just another day
It was almost boring today hadn't it been that the metal roofing sheets were too long for the intended roof. Well, I had ordered them to measure 99inch, but they were actually 111inch. You might say better too long than too short, but now I have to cut every sheet, and see, that was the problem today. I have a grinder but a little part - the washer which centers the cutting disk - had gone missing. So I had ordered the part, but of course it takes 6 days before....  Meanwhile I thought of borrowing a grinder from a mechanic I know. But that didn't work out either as the washer he had on his grinder didn't fit. So finally I called the lumber store again and ordered a new grinder. I just can't wait for my own grinder being fixed as I have already put roofing paper on and with the wind conditions out here it might be a matter of days until the stuff is---you guessed it--- gone with the wind.

So hopefully I can get on with the matter tomorrow. 

I see that quite a few bloggers are now "talking" about preparing to go south for the winter. It's the "Hitch-Itch" which has gotten to us. And even those of us who have motor homes have to "hitch on" the toad, their car to go shopping with. Actually ours, a Jeep Patriot, is being trailered on a car-hauler. I like the possibilty to be able to back-up, f.ex. into a parking site on a truck stop, or when I am getting stuck in a crowded gas station. Try to do that with a flat-towed car behind... And when we bought the motor home it was actually cheaper to acquire a trailer than having a tow-bar and a braking system installed. The trailer also doubles as a platform for our BBQ and for installing a WIFI antenna when out in the desert.
And tomorrow is SEPTEMBER folks! 7-8 weeks and we'll be rolling!!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

August 30

One more day to go!
Oops, one more day and another month is gone. So what, it's still summer here on the island or? An awful amount of leaves from our maples was down on the lawn. Actually it was the third time Bea raked leaves. And the apple tree in front of the house...still sitting full of it, but we brought two big garbage containers over to the forest edge. Would love to eat them, but these are full of worms. Have been that way every year. Friends told us to either spray the tree with some you-know-what but we are not inclined, or keep CHICKENS under the tree early in spring as these would eat up the larvae or as whatever these apple eaters exist, before they crawl up on the tree and getting homey in our fruits. 
Luckily, we also have apple trees which are not a target to those little creatures. They produce pretty good and if we would take care of all the fruit we would have apples in our menue every day and Bea's blog would be pretty boring.

Last winter Bea went to a California flea market and bought one of those little electric kitchen juicers. And now was the  time to get it into action. I tried with a few yellow apples first. Have to peel them first, then send the chunks down a chute and apply light pressure. Out comes the juice on the side. When Bea joined me she cheated and put carots in the chute. Result was my apple juice turned orange. We produced enough juice to fill a glas. We mixed in 50% water then tried it. Yummy it was and since just about every fruit can be used it gives a good variety of juices.

Bea found an animal today
Bea had cleaned up the outside stairs to the basement, and now she was holding up a big clear plastic jar. First I thought she had gotten a Garter Snake again. (Bea has a special technique for that) but this was no snake. From the inside of the jar a fat brown toad was looking at me. As we found out later, it was an Eastern American Toad. 

The Eastern American Toad (B. a. americanus) is a medium-sized toad usually ranging in size from 5–9 cm (2.0–3.5 in); record 11.1 centimetres (4.4 in). The colour and pattern is somewhat variable. Skin colour can change depending on humidity, stress, and temperature. Colour changes range from yellow to brown to black. Their breeding habits are very similar to  The call or voice of a breeding male is a high trill, lasting 6–30 seconds, similar to a ringing telephone. They hibernate during the winter.  While the belly is usually spotted, it is generally more so on the forward half (in some rare individuals there may be few or no spots). (read more:)

What we did with it? Bea released it into the woods.

Bea was just showing me the pics after Irene's damage in Vermont. I was shocked to see the extent of the damage caused by flooding and I must say our hearts are going out to those who have lost their homes, their belongings and even their loved ones. What a disaster Irene has caused. Will those people receive help? We are just wondering.

Monday, August 29, 2011

August 29

The Day after
It's the title of a famous movie, but it was also the day after IRENE. But I better get started yesterday evening. That was the time when the power went off. Of course it didn't take us long to convert into real campers. I had the HONDA EU2000i in the garage. So that was placed outside the entry door and pretty soon a power cord snaked through under the door, feeding power to a lamp in the living room. 
As of this morning we still had a power outage. But we also got a blue sky, only in the north we could still see the grey clouds of IRENE disappear. 

After breakfast I went to the beach. The surf at Liberty Point was breathtaking and I ended up with 250 pictures. Huge waves were crashing against the rocks. The sea seemed to be boiling. The beach was totally changed as the surf had thrown up a ridge of rocks and the beachw as real steep. But it was low tide and I decided to come back around noon at high tide. getting back home the power had been restored.

The 2.visit at Liberty Point resultet in another 100 pictures. Already when coming around the last bend I saw white foamy spray rising high over Sugarloaf Rock.
This was incredible! It wasn't only a visible sensation but also an audible one. 
A few cars were parked there, some people we know also. Everybody was just in awe over nature's performance. One view Platform was still cordoned off as the spray had made the planks real slippery.

Next stop was at Mulholland Lighthouse, just across from Lubec,ME.

The tide had already turned and a rushing river was flooding out through the Lubec Narrows. A group of approx. 15 seals had found that the running out tide was a great opportunity to try get some supper. They were lingering aside of the biggest current, snapping up fish as they were coming with down their path.

But there was another group of creatures which had found about the fish supply. A bunch of gulls were eager diving after delicatessies as well. But of course they got into a brawl with eachother, and it wasn't always the one diving after the fish who finally got to taste it...(seems like in real life)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

A grey day

It was only 6am when Molly uttered a little whine. But it was enough to make me wake up. And who knows maybe she had tried to wake me up for quite some time. Anyway I got into my morning robe, because it definitely was morning. A very gray light was filtering through the curtains. But otherwise.... it felt like in the middle of the night. I let her out and noticed the fog. Some drizzle too...
Shuddering I went back into the kitchen to get the coffee  started. Molly came back soon and I made sure the doors were thoroughly shut. I put up the little electric heater we had purchased for the Motor Home. Get the chill out of the room. 

I sat down in my IKEA recliner and read blogs. Terrible pics of the Goderich,Ontario Tornado.

At 7.30 Bea got down to business, meaning breakfast. It was still pretty dark outside. How different the days could be...yesterday we had our breakfast OUTSIDE. 

I put on some old-time music and we had our baked-up rolls and coffee. Bea checked on IRENE and her progress. I had noticed that by now it was raining quite a bit. Only the beginning, but there was absolutely no wind. It would come in the afternoon. So let's just see and wait what happens later. Here is a link to hurricane news

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Irene, Irene see you in my dream...
While Irene is already pummeling the East Coast of Virginia and New York City resembles a Ghost Town, it is rather quiet up here on our beloved island. Actually we had another fine warm day and I took advantage of it as I finished up two walls with new shingles. And the day started out warm enough to enjoy breakfast on the new porch. What a delight! 

First towards the evening fog was moving in. As a precaution we removed all loose furniture from deck and garden and stored it in our 27ft cargo trailer. All tools are in the garage as well. The truck and the Jeep have moved away from the big maple trees as one never knows whether a big branch would come down or one of the spruce trees on the boundary to our neighbour would fall over crushing the vehicles. 

Wind speeds are predicted to be around 55mph at the most for Wilson's Beach. But who knows, maybe storm gusts might exceed that. Better safe than sorry. 

Just being curious I slipped over to the Herring Cove Beach to check whether a surf had arrived, but there was nothing. All was quiet. So I assume I will have more about the situation here on Sunday evening.

From my blog stats I can see that people all over the world are googling IRENE. That way I got a reader from far-away Finland today. Maybe a spread-out American who is trying to learn the Finnish language (good luck) and is getting worried about his family at home.

Take care - so long!

A mile-marker

It happened so fast I did not even see it happen. reached 10.000 page views. We started it on march 22 when being in AZ where we met a couple of bloggers at Belle Starr's Ranch near Bisbee,AZ.
I had been running a website for years, but the blogging concept has a lot of advantages and is much easier to maintain as it operates within a Design frame.

Amazing is also that Google promotes the Blogspot-sites through its search-engine system, so that internet users worldwide easily can find the site. American-Traveler has had readers from literally all over the globe. One of the things a blogger can do is publishing postings on topic-related forums. Many forums have a world-wide readership and people will click on any related links they find.

A big Thank You to all readers so far and we are looking forward to our future journey together with you.

Friday, August 26, 2011

August 26

May I introduce: Her name is Irene and she is a dangerous lady, currently she is threatening the East Coast of the U.S and will eventually find her way north to Atlantic Canada. But then she hopefully be much weakened as ladies like Irene tend to loose a lot of energy when they leave the open seas.

What's special with her is her sheer size. Currently, she has a diameter of 600 miles (1000km) When imaging her fat body (excuse my language) being placed over the Maritimes it will pretty much cover everything.

We will probably get 80mm of rain, maybe loose Internet connection, be without power for a while but all that will not be any major disaster. We have a 7kw power generator in our bus and another 2kw Honda power plant. There is propane in the RV for cooking and the entire performance will be over in a matter of 36hrs.

We have already received emails from Europe expressing concern re. our safety. 
If we have a chance we get to Herring Cove and take some pictures of the surf coming in.
Some people have contacted me asking about how to find certain postings I have written. I always added labels to my postings, but they weren't visible in the blog. Now I have added the "label" gadget and you will find it in the left menu. It is a very long list, but it's organized alphabetically. Hope it's useful. 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

August 25

Harvest Time
I have always felt that picking berries is one of the things I should do. In Norway we picked Blueberries. Cranberries, Raspberries and Cloud-berries. In our garden we had Josterberries, and when we had enough berries we gathered mushrooms. In Alberta we picked Chock-berries, Saskatoon, Raspberries and Blueberries. But there is one sort  berries I only remember from my youth: Blackberries. And that was long before some techno-guy chose that name for a phone gadget. (Why? I never understood!) Blackberries demand a long and warm summer and that's what they get here on Campobello Island. And today I filled the very first dessert bowl with them. Wisely I had purchased whipping cream and that was our dessert today. DELICIOUS!!

Of all berries Blackberry picking is the most demanding though, as their vines have many, many sharp thorns which are always trying to keep you where you are by hooking into your clothes. And if you try to pull out they scratch you until blood's running. I always find my oldest clothes and boots and have a stick to defend myself with. And yet, picking blackberries is very rewarding. Being out in nature, harvesting what nature offers, is something which I feel is rooted deeply in my mind. I could never by-pass a fully set blackberry patch without starting to pick.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Today's post
If you like a good laugh read today's posting. My tears are still running.
August 24

A journey North
The year was 2009 and it was supposed to be spring. I have already told you that we had to get out of the U.S. as our time was up. Our destination was the West Coast of British Columbia. 

A couple of months earlier we had purchased our Motor Home in Glendale,AZ Since we are Canadians with no address in the U.S. we could not get AZ license plates, so we had to find a way to put SOME license plates on the bus. The solution was found in the State of Montana. We started a MT-entity and registered the MH in the name of the company, and since MT has no sales tax we did not have to pay it either. When we started out from San Diego, where we had enjoyed the last day on the dog beach in nice and warm summer temperatures, we had MT-license plates on the bus. 
With the I-5 under our wheels we were rapidly moving to more northerly latitudes. Underway we met rain and snow, but we kept going.
We needed 5 days to make it up to the Canada-border. 

Rest stop along I-5

Fruit plantations in full bloom

Mt. Shasta covered in snow

Portland OR
When we arrived at the border we had to do the paperwork for the import of our bus. That proved to be a wee difficult, as the officials wanted to see the original bill of sale. But, we had sent that paper to the Montana agency for registering the bus. 
After a while things turned nasty as the customs officer does not believe us when we tell him the paid price for the bus. (we bought it on Ebay!!) They start searching the bus from the top to the bottom. 
While that goes on Molly is confined to an open crate in a very cold spot outside the main entrance. We are furious about the treatment we get here. 

Suddenly I remember that I had scanned in the bill of sale and title to my laptop. When I finally was able to put the laptop up in front of the officer to show her the  document, she starts pulling out import forms and we start the procedure of getting rid of $5000 in taxes. So after all this trouble they let us go. 
With a total delay of more than 3 hours we go on to the Tsawwassen ferry terminal from where we take the ferry to Salt Spring Island. Needless to say that with a total length of 59ft the ticket cost us a fortune. When the ferry arrived at the island it was near midnight. Our friends were waiting to show us the way across the island. 

The 250 Dollar-ride on the Tsawwassen ferry to
Salt Spring
Our campground was at Mary's Lake. Unfortunately we were parked in the shade of huge trees, which made for a very dark interior. A couple of days later we woke up to snow on the ground. On Salt Spring Island, snow is not normal this time of the year and we looked at it as a funny experience and let the furnace run. In order to save on propane we bought an electric heater, which managed to provide a certain temperature for comfort.

At Mary's lake

In a letter to friends I wrote:
We have been on Salt Spring Island for a week. It was an adventure to get here. Arriving at around midnight at Long Harbour we had problems to get  off the ferry. The low tide caused our trailer to "hang on to" the ferry deck. With the horsepower from the CAT-engine we finally screeched it off the deck - loosing a few lights, of course. 

The island is a charming place somewhere midways between a tourist trap and a nature paradise, a paradise which is mainly occupied by private properties. Only a handful of places allow the visitor to get to the water's edge.

Against all odds the first days were freezing cold and it snowed like it should on any old-fashioned Christmas Eve. I fell for the German-imported "Christmas Stollen" at the Country Grocer. No, we did not put up the Xmas-lights, but it was gettin darn close...!

Next morning we heard "California Dreaming on such a winter day" through our speakers. Darn again, how dare they ever!!

We have been visiting the Salt Spring Cheese Factory, which has specialized in goat cheese,  now without having goats on their own. Milk comes from Vancouver Island, we heard. Of course we did not leave without a delicate assortment of goat cheese. (Yam, yam...)

Hiking through the woods is what people can do here. We did it. Also on the east side of the Island on Walkers Hook Rd. there are nice views - one can even see the water for a change.

People, Islanders as they appear in Ganges and everywhere seem to be a different breed alltogether. Nothing like a guy would find in Vancouver or even on Vancouver Island. Women have long grey hair, and the men wear beards in all kind of shapes. We have noticed a kind of men which I would think are of the first choice when Santa Claus is needed.

Traffic on the island is something we have to get used to. Steve, our camphost, gave us the warning. Long-time islanders seem to think they still have their island for themselves and drive using the middle line as general guidance - between the wheels.  Sirens can be heard almost every day - the only resemblance to big-city life.

This island is blessed in a special way. It is clinically free of Mr.Mc.Donalds, Mrs. Wendy, the brothers A&W, even Mr. Tim Hortons is not here. All these "needs"  are filled by local interests with their very own style of menus and service.

Take f.ex. Mobys Pub, down by the harbour. We had lunch there. Coffee was served a little "cool" which triggered our protests for sure. BUT lunch was great and of huge portions.

Internet is something a person would need cable-hook-up for, as wireless communications are shaky to say the least. Cell phones cannot possibly have been around here for long. Telus connections vary, depending on behind which building or curve you try to connect to the network. Other wireless-companies have not even tried to make serious efforts to serve the islanders with working communications.

Even our good old satellite antenna is lost against all the trees on Salt Spring. So we have to drive to town where we have found a "disabled" parking spot to connect to the net. Luckily our car has a 110V recepticle which can keep the laptop working. We park at "disabled" as we feel "disabled" without a usable Internet connection. Nobody seems to worry about it.

Of course we wonder what to do for 4 long weeks. But once the weather turns agreeable we might just want to hang out In Ruckle Provincial Park sipping coffee and watching the ferries go by. For right across is Pender Island, a little bit smaller with fewer roads but probably the same type of people.

A girl we interviewed the first day at Fulford Harbour said it all in one short statement. The people of the island are either very, very poor or very, very rich. There is practically nothing in between. The Real Estate seems to mirror that. The poor people have nothing to sell and the rich ones don't really need to sell, which keeps the price level extremely high. If you would want to live in a decent abode you ought to invest the better part of a million and beyond. If you want to live in a shack you still need your entire life savings to buy a piece of shady and most probably steep forest. You might as well get an old camper shell or even a tent for the summer and you'd be all set.                        

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

 August 23

A picture-perfect Day
You probably know the feeling. The day starts just right, the sky is blue, and the air is fresh and clear. That was just how it was today. And when I did the morning walk with Molly we chose the little round-trip along the waters edge. And it hit me again: There is something special to a deep-blue large water body. There are islands, and shorelines beyond, there are boats and ships and we even have a view onto a distant town with harbour: Eastport, ME. As humans we will always be attracted to landscapes like this.

A wonderful fresh salty breeze was coming off the water, but it was not the southwest bringing in fog, no - it was coming out of the north, a messenger for coming late-summer days, when heat and humidity is gone, but the sun is still inviting us to sit down and enjoy life as good as it ever comes.

Afterwards I went to check on the blackberry patch. On my way there, I passed along some of our apple trees. A strong wind had blown a basket full of them down to the ground. They were not ripe yet and too small and yet they were off the tree. 

You've gotta know that the whole island is full of apple trees, and we have our fair share of it. So when harvest comes, there is apple pie, and apple sauce and maybe apple cider.

I also came across a patch of Goldenrod, standing along the forest edge they glowed in the early morning sunshine.  
The Blackberries are coming along alright, but are yet not many enough to justify picking. Here, behind our house is our depot for this winters supply of Blackberry Jam.

It also was a great day for house-painting. I did all the white trim along the roof on the south and west side of the house. Had a great fun trying out the new yellow for the shingles. It sure makes for a nice contrast to the white trim. Pictures of that will come later.
View from the ferry landing
When finally evening came around we had a delicious supper (check:
and the last walk with Molly went along the waters edge again, where I was able to shoot a couple of pics across the Passamaquoddy Bay. Mrs. Sun offered an unusual sunset and while that was going on we met with our nice neighbours for a chat.

While darkness settles in we are sitting in our little living-room reviewing the day, reading blogs just relaxing.

Monday, August 22, 2011

August 22

Rain,Rain go away...
Boy, did it ever rain today. Splash, splash, splash.
We were confined to the house until we got a little hold-up in the early afternoon, and, finally, at 3pm the sun broke out, most clouds disappeared and with them the muggy humidity. Tomorrow a sunny day is predicted and we are looking forward to it.

This weather brings to mind the terrible storm we endured last year during our trip south. 

We had stayed overnight in a truck-stop in the southern outskirts of Indianapolis. When we routinely checked the weather forecast next morning we saw the warning. 

Something big and black was coming up from St.Louis,MO. It was supposed to hit Indianapolis at 9am. So we decided to stay put and wait and see. As the clock was nearing 8.45am the sky got dark and darker and darker. At 9am sharp, a terrible sound occurred. We were parked with the broadside to the storm and it was almost like the coach took a step sideways, when the force of the storm hit us.  At the same time I saw a flashing fire coming out of a transformer ahead of us. Traffic signs, regulating a construction area on our lee-side, took flight and disappeared into nothingness. A tremendous rainfall started shortly after with the water flying by horizontally.

A firetruck rolled up and a man checked the holding wires of a power pole. It was then that it went up for me that we were also parked under a high-voltage power line. While the coach was rocking and bucking we looked at each-other asking ourselves how long this mayhem would last. I ran out our leveling jacks. That took away a good deal of the rocking movement. 

There was thunder rolls and lightning all the time. Was this a tornado or a straight wind? We didn't really care. It was bad, really bad.   

This one was in Montana approaching the Canada-border
Weather news  from Radio and Internet contained tornado warnings and sightings.

The major force of the storm was over after one hour, but it took another 3hrs. before it all dissipated. 
Around 1pm we took off towards St.Louis. At first the sky was still grey but all-of-a-sudden we saw the blue sky behind a sharp line of gray.
We made it into the neighbourhood of St.Louis that day, and it was then, that we heard about all the damage in the city.

Weather can be severe and as RV'ers we have to be on the watch-out for sudden weather changes. It is always better to park and wait it out, than dare to challenge it. Our high-profile vehicles are prone to be taken by the wind and thrown left or right - into the ditch or (worse) into on-coming traffic.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

August 21

We've all been praying the weather would be dry and nice on this day, so everybody could enjoy the annual light house day celebration. Yesterday we had been setting up the stage and all the benches which had to be hauled from the Provincial Park Campground. This morning we had some fog, but it sure cleared throughout the day. Local vendors showed up and pretty soon our BBQ's were set up for burgers and Hot Dogs. The Ladies had made a delicious Fish Chowder and Chili, so there would be plenty of food.

Local musicians made for a variety of entertainment and as always the auction was a popular place to be.

Evelyn is dishing out Chowder here, but had to
realize that she wasrunning out of it all too soon.

And here is the Hot Dog Guy - just starting out

Great conditions for a sail on the bay
 With the money made on this event the friends of Head Harbour Light house can continue to renovate and improve a major tourist attraction in New Brunswick.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

August 20

Tofino and Ucluelet are two gems secluded on the West Coast of Vancouver Island in the province of British Columbia, Canada. At Tofino's doorstep is the Clayoquot Sound region, a world UNESCO biosphere reserve. This area boasts one of British Columbia's most prized nature reserves, Pacific Rim National Park. Tofino offers the best way to experience BC's pristine wilderness first hand.

No snakes - but strange looking seaweeds
Over the winter months, storm watching is popular. One of the main attractions is the Pacific Rim National Park (PRNPR) which is composed of three geographically separate units. The Long Beach Unit is located between the villages of Ucluelet and Tofino, and named after the 16km (10miles) sandy Beach of Wickaninnish Bay. The Broken Group Islands Unit is an archipelago of more than one hundred islands and rocks scattered throughout Barkley Sound and is accesible by boat only. The West Coast Trail Unit is a 75km (47 mile) backpacking route along temperate rain-forest, sandstone cliffs, waterfalls, caves, sea arches, sea stacks and beaches. More infos at

Endless supply of driftwood

 Ucluelet Harbour

Friday, August 19, 2011

August 19

"Severe Fog Warning"

I have read about severe thunderstorm warning, severe rain warning, severe heat warning and severe tornado warning to mention a few. This morning there was (it's a first-timer..) SEVERE FOG WARNING for Lubec,ME  "vision ahead" was 0 yards!

When I crossed the border I told the customs officer that Lubec should be re-named to "Fog Town". I don't know whether he found that funny, but seriously Lubec has three times as much fog as our island. It comes in from the Bay of Fundy through the Lubec Narrows, and always when we have with southerly winds.

However, it did not effect me in my work as I went about painting the gable fascia and the rest of the dormers. As I could not quite reach the top of the gable, I was looking to  extend the reach of my paintbrush. I was looking for some kind of broom stick, when I came across an old Golf Club. That thing had about the right angle for tying my paint brush to the end of it. And how I "tied" it together? With duct tape of course! So for the first time I played golf with a paintbrush on a house gable.

Later I threw myself over shingling the north wall of the new entrance. That was actually fun as I could be in the shade most of the time. (yes, at some time the sun came out)

But after coffee my energy was kinda drained and I decided to take Molly and the convertible out to Herring Cove Beach. We had a great walk through the natural meadow between  the beach and the Glensevern Lake. This lake was divided off the ocean once as the sea pushed up a dam of sand, thus turning the trapped water body into a freshwater lake over time
With the fog just about coming back I got some special shots.

When returning to the car after 45 minutes I had to realize that I had forgotten to turn of the lights, thereby draining the battery. These old cars have no warning sound if you leave the light on.
So Molly and I took the walk up the campground office to borrow the telephone and call Bea to come with the truck and our jumper cable. And that was how we got home. 
Not a bad day, eh?