Making Plans In Jello

As full-time travellers (as opposed to full time-travellers, which would also be nice! lol), there are always numerous variables Betty & I need to take into account. Weather at our current site, on the road and at our proposed destination, campsite availability, motorhome and toad repair issues, finances, family events and health are just some of the considerations as we make and adjust our travel plans. Instead of carving plans in stone, we need to always remain flexible, adapting to changing circumstances. Our plans, therefore, get made with the malleability of Jello. 

Betty captured a beautiful sunrise over the Saskatchewan prairie, on our first morning after leaving Winnipeg. I’ll take her word, and this picture, that it was this nice. lol
We stopped for our first night in a small municipal campground in Chaplin, Sask. No, that’s not snow in the pic, but large mounds of salt, being mined in this tiny prairie community.
Here’s another pic of our nice, quiet Chaplin, Sask. campsite at $12., on the honour system.

Of course, in the past couple of years the coronavirus has modified everyone’s travel plans. Snowbirds like us have been especially affected by the closure of international borders. Betty and I spent last winter on Vancouver Island, unable to visit the U.S. west coast as a result of the border closure. As previously noted, the island is one of only a few places in Canada warm enough to survive the winter without putting our motorhome into storage. As options go, it’s not a bad one at all!

We stayed again in the SouthCentre mall parking lot in Calgary on our way through Alberta: Free with a reservation. Not that we felt it was necessary, but a mall security SUV regularly patrolled the area.

So far, this winter is looking like a repeat of the last, although we found out yesterday that we can move on Nov. 1 to an ocean-view site (#165) at Living Forest Campground in Nanaimo, B.C., from our current forest site. This is likely due to the recent announcement that U.S. border land crossings will re-open on Nov. 8/21. Already some snowbirds are changing their plans to head down to warmer climes for the coming winter.

Even though our trip west was early October, the Coquihalla summit was already covered in ice and snow, making driving somewhat challenging. Glad we didn’t postpone our trip until late October, as previously planned.
It’s been quite a while since we last saw snow, so it was nice to see the white stuff covering everything, especially since we knew it would only be for a few hours before we descended into the lush green again.
As usual, the roads to our hoped-for destinations have been full of twists and turns, ups and downs, darkness and light. But if we can maintain our optimism and the malleability of Jello, we can weather whatever life brings our way!
Soon the snow was gone, and sunlight illuminated green fields as we made our way down the Coquihalla Highway into Hope, B.C. (Glad there’s always Hope! lol)

We had plans to do that U.S. west coast & National Park trip in the spring, followed by a drive down the Blue Ridge Parkway on our way to Florida and Texas next fall and winter. Those plans aren’t necessarily cancelled now, but to keep our options open, Betty was able to snag an oceanside campsite reservation at our current park for next year. If need be, we can set up our chairs on site 127 and watch the ships go by, as the tides ebb and flow. It will be a tough option, but someone has to do it! lol

Here’s our current campsite (#192), nestled among the trees and flowers in Nanaimo, BCs Living Forest campground. Thanks to our friends Jan and Ben for babysitting our 100 lb. propane tank while we were away!

In the meantime, we are rolling with the punches, and hope that you also can maintain the necessary flexibility to adjust as your situation changes.

Here’s another pic of our site, showing our Reddoch Retreat sign, which is likely making its last appearance this year. It’s aging out, and looking a little too rough around the edges, just like some of us. lol


Somewhere along the way (likely either on the icy Coquihalla, or entering or leaving the ferry to Vancouver Island) our Smart car bottomed out and dragged off the under-side coverings. I have an appointment at the Nanaimo Mercedes dealership in a couple of weeks to return protection to the underside of our little toad. Rolling with the punches…

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