A Travellerspoint blog

Canada

Life in the Pemberton valley

moving from the truck back into the tent

It has been quite a while since we flew back home to BC from Costa Rica, and left Phyllis there to weather the wettest months of the year. Paul and I are all moved back into our wall tent and work is in full swing. Adjusting to life in the tent has been pretty smooth, and the humid Central American jungle seems like a world away. Our living situation is pretty sweet in the wall tent. We are camped out on a friend's land, whose family has been generous enough to let us stay two summers in a row. We live simply with a woodstove for cooking, in addition to the barbeque and propane stove. Since a large part of our day is spent cooking, and dreaming up new dishes to make on the woodstove, we have started to think of our lifestyle as somewhat 'gourmet redneck'. No running water, and a very rudimentary outhouse built in one afternoon from a single sheet of plywood... it's perfect.

The Pemberton valley is in the Sea-to-Sky corridor that also includes the city of Whistler, and Squamish along the highway 99. It is one of the most beautiful drives I have ever done, and continues to attract droves of tourists, mainly in RVs and on motorbikes. It is not uncommon to come around a corner and see tourists out of their giant rental RV getting dangerously close to a bear to get better photos. More funny and scary encounters with bears in Whistler here The town of Pemberton is an odd mix of young families, extreme sports enthusiasts, farmers, and rednecks- and combinations of these (yoga with horses?!?). Just to the north of Pemberton is the reserve community of Mount Currie adjacent to where the tent is set up. Over the past few weeks we have taken in a few community events including the Lillooet Lake rodeo, and the infamous 4 x 4 rally. Here are some photos of life in the tent from the past month.

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More stories and photos to come.

Posted by SusieMiller 13:34 Archived in Canada Comments (5)

Photos of the Northern most leg of the trip

all seasons in one day -27 °C

Hi All.

We ran into some problems in Whitehorse with a card I was using in my camera. This resulted in loosing all the photos and videos we had taken from Vancouver Island to Dease Lake. Not a worry though we have fixed the problem and here are some pictures from the northern leg of our trip.

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If you want captions and titles view them in the my photo gallery.

Posted by PaulTodd 21:12 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

The Great Northern Circle Route

From Vancouver Island to Yukon Territory

overcast -2 °C

We finally got our asses in gear and left the island on the 25th of October. Many unecpected repairs/ unforseen preparations came up making our departure later than anticipated, but nothing we could not fix.

Anyways, we are on the road now, hanging out in beautiful (and cold) Whitehorse, YT. We went north to Prince George, took the 16 west to Kitwanga, the Cassiar (# 37) north to the Yukon, then north on the Alaska Highway. The driving conditions have been variable with some snow and ice, but overall not hard to manage.

Firstly, We want to give a shout out to a few special people who helped us get up and running. A thank you to the folks at Gurton's garage in Sidney, BC for mounting one of our spare tires for free. We are stoked to have our first sponsor! Also, big thanks to the Lorraine and Richard Lalonde, who hosted us in Smithers and made us feel so welcome and at home. Another thank you goes to Annie Miller and Ian James for the good times and great pizza in Nanaimo.

Other than that, one thing that has stuck out for us on the route north are the short days. The sun has been setting around 630pm and rising at a fashionably late 830am. We had our first full day of winter driving from Dease Lake north to Whitehorse. We crossed the Yukon border, and travelled the Alaska highway seeing a bunny, 2 foxes, an eagle and many caribou on the road. We also saw a semi trailer flipped over in the ditch. We are staying safe on the road and making decent time.

We are including a bunch of photos from the first week since they are really more eloquent and descrptive than I can ever hope to be. Stay tuned for more sights and stories from the northern territories.

Ok so no pics at the moment. The camera card is not loading or some such deal. We will post them once we get it sorted out. sorry.

Posted by headsouth 12:07 Archived in Canada Comments (1)

New Ride. Trooper!

Trying to get an 1700$ SUV as ready for the trip as possible in 12 days.

Ok. So this is my first post on this blog thingy that Susan has set up. I guess its my turn to let you few people know what is going on with the preparation for our trip. Right off the top I am not as wordy or i guess literate as Susan so please bear with me. I am the one who fixes the truck and surfs and Susan is the brains who can speak other languages and things.

Together we bought a 1989 Isuzu trooper a short while ago. Yes its legal drinking age in the states. It is a pretty sweet mix of: size (big enough to sleep in), fuel efficiency(2.6L 4 banger), Off road cabability (4H/4L and clearence), Simple enough to work on (its a 1989), and low key looks (so not to draw attention and get us robbed).

The trooper

The trooper

So yeah it should do just about everything we need it to do on the trip. Parts for it might be the only wild card so I plan on taking just about every thing that is likely to fail. The Trooper we bought came with four boxes of spare parts from another trooper so to say the least we will be rolling around with more parts than most people on a similar trip and of course all the the tools to deal with troubles. The best thing about taking lots of spare parts is that if you have it in your kit it will never break. I guess its Murphy's law.

I don't have much more to say, so I thought I would include the ever growing list of things that have to get done before the trip starts. This is just the start. The list in the back of my mind is at least 5 times longer.

Here it is:

Pan America Trip

Trooper
Mechanical
-timing belt(done)
-exhaust(see if it will hang on till mex cheaper)..... (It did not hang on in fact it fell off in my hands.... Fixed)
-alternator/starter/water pump(done spares packed)
-hoses(done)/belts(done)/plugs (done)/filters/dis cap|(done)/wires(done)
-tires (DONE! 235/75/r15 goodyear wrangler territories on sale at can tire woot woot)
-driving lights Done
-heater Core (Done)
-hidden kill switch

Live-abilty
-bed platform/mattress (just about done)
-awning
-Cb install(not doing)
-curtains/bug screens(done yay susan)
-Mattress

storage
-Roof rack spare tire/Jerry cans(Done)
-lock boxes (ammo boxes?)
-surf board box/Thule (Done 90$ on craigslist)
-roof rack for long boards (done)
-kitchen boxes redesigns(done)

Camp stuff
-Table
-not shitty chairs
-water jugs (done)
-cooler different size (done)
-Travel Backgammon game!!(done)

Medical
-first aid kit(done)
-prescriptions

Paper
-International driver licences(done)
-medical insurance(done)
-Mexican car insurance(get in san diego)

There you have it. That is what I am planing on doing for the next 12 days while Susan is visiting family out east. Wish me luck.

Posted by PaulTodd 00:13 Archived in Canada Comments (3)

winding down/ gearing up

preparing for the trip

Paul and I are finishing up our summer work contract in Pemberton, BC and are laying the groundwork to begin preparing for the long road south. This summer we opted to live very cheaply so that we might be able to go further during the winter, and ended up living in a 10 x 12 canvas wall tent. Living in a tent is not without it’s challenges (bugs, bears and lack of showers) but has been over all, an awesome change of pace from the constant information inundation we experience when we have access to internet and television. Our tent is situated just north of town right at the edge of Lillooet Lake, and has some excellent views of the surrounding mountain ranges that overlook the Pemberton valley.

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As our season draws to a close, we are in the process of shopping for a vehicle that will make the trip south. This purchase is going to play a large role in what kinds of terrain we are able to access, how conspicuous we are as travellers, and how much money we will spend on fuel for the 50 000 odd kms we plan to cover over the next two years. It would be fairly straightforward to get something that would comfortably travel on pavement the whole way, but we are looking to get a bit more out of the trip vehicle than that. The journey down Mexico’s Baja peninsula alone will take us off road more often than not, while the trip up north may or may not happen through snowstorms and on ice roads.

So far, our search for the perfect ride has come up with quite a few options. While we are conscious of the fuel economy, the liveability, the ruggedness, and the ease with which it can be camperized, our main concern is the PRICE! Doing the trip in a brand new vehicle is much less of an adventure than cobbling something together that may or may not still be with us when we reach the tip of the Americas. Within a few weeks we will hopefully have found something road-worthy, and be on our way north!

Posted by SusieMiller 18:28 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

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