Rain, Rain Go Away!

It is said that the Inuit have dozens of names for snow. On Vancouver Island for the winter, Betty & I haven’t seen any snow – yet. But it appears that islanders have dozens of names for rain – from drizzle to showers to torrential rain, and everything in between. And it seems that we have experienced all of them since moving to an ocean-view site at Living Forest campground in Nanaimo, B.C.!

The view out our front windshield today.

I think the latest system is called a “pineapple express” leading to a “weather bomb”, causing an “atmospheric river” in southwestern British Columbia. Towns have been evacuated as water treatment plants have overflowed. Roads – including the Coquihalla and TransCanada highways – have been closed due to mudslides and flooding. Motorists have been stranded, requiring rescue from emergency crews. Evidence of climate change is all around, as every day the extreme weather is recorded as “unprecedented”. It’s not a pretty situation here, but thankfully there has been no reported loss of life to date.

On the only day this month when the sun came out, I snapped this picture of the Strait of Georgia, at the back of our Living Forest campsite.

Fortunately, our motorhome has been high and dry inside, and we are warm and cozy as we hear and watch the weather go by. Apparently, this system has brought over 200 mm of rain to Nanaimo in the past couple of weeks. Rain, rain, go away! 

Another pic, taken on that sunny day at Living Forest campground site 165. Note the ship in the distance on the extreme left.

Under normal circumstances, we would consider raising our levelers and heading to a location with better weather – like Quartzsite, Arizona or South Padre Island, Texas, with both experiencing sunshine and temperatures in the high 20s to low 30s Celsius. But at least three factors are keeping us grounded (as long as a landslide doesn’t sweep us into the nearby ocean. We had looked forward to an ocean view, but never intended to be that close – lol). 1) We have airline tickets to fly out of Nanaimo to Winnipeg in a few weeks, and changing reservations has proven to be a major hassle these days. 2) When we moved to our current campsite, our living room slide-out refused to fully extend, and we now have a new $1,500. slide-out motor on order, to be installed in a couple of weeks. 3) Finally, health issues are keeping us tethered to the Canadian health care system for the next while, so we’re not leaving the country any time soon…

This is the ship in the previous pic. I used a telephoto lens to check if I could see Noah, and two animals of every kind on board – an important sign as we live through 40 days and 40 nights of relentless rain…lol

Betty & I will just have to look on the bright side. The relentless rain should reduce the chances of forest fires, prevalent in the region last summer. And we don’t have to learn all those Inuktitut names for snow!

Late this afternoon, this rainbow appeared over the water, behind our campsite – a promise of better things to come!


Location, Location, Location

Now that we are living in the relatively small confines of a motorhome, Betty and I are often asked if we miss our last two homes, which were located in a desirable, quiet, tree-lined neighbourhood close to downtown Winnipeg, Manitoba. The first of the two had plenty of room for our four children to grow into adulthood. When they moved out of the family nest, the second downsized home – a couple of blocks away – seemed just right for Betty and me. They both had nice amenities, nice yards, nice neighbours, and overall great locations: The mantra of realtors everywhere.  How could a relatively tiny home compete?

This was a great unserviced site (#5) we found at Pacific Beach State Park in Washington State. We were able to pull our motorhome up to the dune, set out our chairs, and watch the waves roll in. In April 2022 we have site #7 booked. It has the same view, but is a fully serviced site. We are still hoping our changing plans allow us to visit this tranquil location.

The answer is also location, location, location! But while real estate agents will be promoting a specific lot on planet earth, we get to experience multiple locations. So far we have visited 39 states, 9 provinces and counting. In all we have found fabulous locations, locations, and locations, with many more to come!

After crossing the Mackinac Bridge to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, we turned right into Straits State Park. Somehow we took a wrong turn within the park and found ourselves in an unserviced campsite at the water’s edge, with a clear view of the bridge we had just crossed. We had lucked into a great spot!

Finding the right spot can either involve extensive planning, or be totally serendipitous. We enjoy campsites with ocean views, and the sounds of crashing waves to serenade us to sleep at night. In developed parks (the Florida Keys for example) those sites can book up a year in advance. Even with the parks on speed dial, we still didn’t get into many preferred sites. On the other hand, Betty & I have happened upon roadside pull-offs with amazing river and ocean views, with no signage prohibiting overnight parking. Previous blog posts picture many such sites, encountered particularly on our trip to Canada’s Atlantic coastline.

Betty & I enjoyed the sunset over the St. Lawrence River, after stopping for dinner and free overnight camping in Pointe-a-la-Frigate, Quebec. We watched the tide go out and return, with the salt air letting us know that we were transitioning from inland river to majestic ocean.

While RVing has become increasingly popular in the last few years, with many desirable parks full or overcrowded, the internet continues to post new information about alternate options. We regularly review Campendium.com recommendations, check out freecampsites.net, subscribe to Harvest Hosts and Boondockers Welcome, visit provincial, state, and national parks, and stay on BLM land, where available. These days there are many, many camping locations to choose from, beyond that local city’s KOA.

We lucked out at a Boondockers Welcome site on the shore of the Miramichi River in New Brunswick. It provided a great base (including an adjoining deck) from which to visit the town where I lived when we first moved to Canada.

This week we made the move from a forested site, to an ocean-view site in Living Forest Oceanside Campground in Nanaimo, B.C. It’s a great location, and we look forward to watching the tides ebb and flow, and the ocean-going ships making their way up the Strait of Georgia.  In whatever location you find yourself, may you take the time to look around and enjoy the beauty of the people and places that surround you!

This pic from our oceanview site (#165) in Nanaimo was taken at low tide this morning.
We have now set up our motorhome for the season, with a small beach tent behind to watch the ships and waves from this beautiful location. BTW, the pic was taken this afternoon at high tide, but in the rain. Hoping for some sunny days ahead when I can capture more images from this great spot.