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  • Writer's pictureRuth Mcbride

Happy Trails To You!

We thought today would never come and when it finally dawned, so did the rain (of course)! We slept in today until close to 9am. Neither one of us had a good night’s sleep with listening to the rain starting again on Newman’s roof, and with the anxiety of knowing we had to pack up and get out of Fanny Bay in the rain.



The view when we opened the front curtains this morning….miserable!


As we were preparing to leave and packing up everything on the inside of Newman, I checked my phone and we had a message from St. Stephen. He had sent us a little video to watch.



We listened to the entire You Tube video of Roy Rogers ‘Happy Trails To You” as we were packing up inside Newman. I think St. Stephen and his lovely wife Karen are looking forward to us getting to Florida! It was nice of them to remember that today was our packing up day!


Our very helpful neighbour Owen came over to help be Richard’s ‘ramp rat’. Richard was joking with Owen yesterday about being his ‘ramp rat’, because Owen was a pilot for Air Canada and of course the guys who help navigate the plane into the gates at the airport are called ‘ramp rats’. Anyway, it was very nice of him to come outside in the pouring rain and help Richard back up Newman, so he could head straight out of the RV park. Owen had been so very helpful during our stay and we really appreciated having him as neighbour at Lighthouse RV Park, in Fanny Bay.



Richard and Owen discussing the plan of attack for backing up Newman.



There he goes!



Fully turned around thanks to Owen helping to navigate Newman backing up.



And away we go!


We had to stop in Bowser at the Esso station. As you can see my tank in Kramer the Kona wasn’t full and since we are limited to 30 litres of fuel and I have to return this car full tomorrow at the airport, I wanted to fill up today, and then we can top it up tomorrow before I drop Kramer off. Richard also wanted to fill Newman up with propane and also put $200 worth of diesel fuel in Newman.



Newman just barely fit in the Esso station to be filled up with propane and diesel.



Kramer filled up on one side with regular gas and Newman on the other side with diesel. We monopolized the filling station for quite a few minutes in this small town of Bowser!


As I drove down the highway following Richard in Newman, I listened to Spotify on a track called ‘Road Trip’ and wouldn’t you know what the first song was?

’Have you ever seen the rain?’ by CCR. How very appropriate! Yes I’ve seen the rain! Too much rain frankly!



Getting on the 19 Inland Island Highway in Qualicum Beach.



There are a lot of traffic lights in Duncan, B.C., which definitely slows things down a lot on the highway.



Richard’s view from Newman, coming to the summit of the Malahat today.


Our drive today was fairly uneventful, except for very wet roads, lots of puddles and spray and constant rain, with some foggy sections on the Malahat.


We had never stayed at Fort Victoria before even though the RV park is only 7km from downtown Victoria. The RV park is huge with 742 RV spots!



Map of Fort Victoria RV Park. To get into the park on Burnett Road, you have to drive through a residential street. I can only imagine how busy the street must be with RVs coming and going in the summer time! No Thank you!


Our very tight spot at Fort Victoria. The guy next to us has solar panels on the side of his RV, which we had to avoid when opening our rear bedroom slide out. Richard actually moved Newman after this photo was taken because we were worried we might hit this solar panel. Good luck with generating electricity from solar in this weather!



What a miserable day to have to set up an RV!


We had food to use up in Newman so when we got set up, I started baking and cooking. I wanted to try and use up some blueberries, so I made bran blueberrry muffins and quinoa with fresh orange juice, pecans and Craisins. The rest of the fresh produce and vegetables we packed up to bring to my son Josh and his girlfriend Alicia.




Our plan this evening was to meet the kids for an early dinner downtown Victoria and also drop off the kid’s Christmas gifts, Christmas baking and the bag of fruits and veggies. Once Josh let me know that Alicia had returned from the Christmas Craft show she was attending, we headed over to their place in Quadra Village to meet up with them.


After picking up the kids, we headed downtown Victoria. The traffic downtown Victoria was crazy tonight and we couldn’t determine what the issue was. We kept coming to signs that said ‘Road Closed’. Very strange!




Since our restaurant didn’t take reservations, Josh decided to jump out of the car and walk to the restaurant to get us a table. He texted us as he was walking to the restaurant to let us know that the Santa Claus Parade downtown Victoria was the cause of all of the road closures. The parade was starting in 20 minutes at 6pm and everyone was trying to find parking away from the parade route. Its a good thing Alicia knows her way around Victoria, because she got us to a Parkade where we were able to find a parking spot and then walk in the rain to the restaurant.



Victoria Santa Claus Parade down Government Street, in Victoria, B.C.

Everyone was dressed for the rainy parade.

More happy parade participants.


As we were walking to the restaurant I asked Alicia if the rain ever bothered her. She said “No. I have some really good rain jackets and as long as I’m dry and my feet aren’t wet, I don’t mind the rain. And I much prefer +8C and rain, to -10C and freezing cold and ice.” She does have a point! To have a winter with +8C, is ok I guess. It has been an unusually bad November this year with record amounts of rainfall, and living in a RV with a leaky roof has not helped matters either!



Alicia and me in our wet jackets enjoying the rainy walk to the restaurant!


We had a great meal at Cafe Mexico, in downtown Victoria. I forgot to take photos of our meals we were having so much fun. I couldn’t finish my chicken burrito, but it was really tasty!

Me, Alicia and Josh. Now for the hike back to the car!


It definitely was nice to visit with the kids again before we leave the Island. We’ve invited them to Florida and they think they might come and visit after they get their Covid booster shot, which for them will probably be in February, based on when they had their 2nd shot. It would be nice for them to come and visit us, since we will be there until sometime in April and Alicia has never been to Florida.





We will definitely be singing ‘Happy Trails‘ again tomorrow. We can’t wait to leave here tomorrow after the month of weather we’ve had. It looks like we are going to be in rainy conditions though for at least a few more days before we might find some nice weather down the coast. That means our trip to Seattle will probably be a wet one. Oh well, at least we know we are heading in the right general direction to get some nicer weather. I’m craving heat and sunshine and to pack the goretex jacket away for awhile!





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