Wednesday, August 13, 2008

South Thompson River island in Summer - Kamloops, B.C., Canada

If you’re RV'ing in the Kamloops, B.C. area this summer, try to visit our local parks on the South Thompson River. Riverside Park and Pioneer Park both have facilities to make a summer day at the beach great fun and are very close to the downtown area.
Nearby RV parks are Kamloops Rv Park next to the BC Wildlife Park, east of town and the Knutsford RV Campground, south of Kamloops, B.C., Canada.

Riverside Park in downtown Kamloops, B.C., Canada

If you have access to a boat, there is even more to enjoy in Kamloops. There is a boat launch at Pioneer Park, which gives you access to the Thompson rivers.
One sunny summer day we joined our son and his family to boat up the South Thompson river. We launched the boat at a private launch in Monte Creek, 15 minutes east of Kamloops, B.C., then headed east. The river has very little boat traffic from this point and is a beautiful trip. We stopped to watch a bald headed eagle peering down at us from his roost on a barren branch then carried on cruising up the river on a Sunday afternoon!!

South Thompson River

We eventually stopped at a beach on Banana Island, the only island between Kamloops and the Shuswap lakes. This very little island rarely has any visitors and those that do come, like to enjoy the private beach. It island is a government park but there are not any camping facilities and access is by boat only. Signs of wildlife can be found at times. The island also marks a great fishing location accessible right beside Highway 1, where many fisherman can be seen trying to catch that big Chinook salmon in the fall.
We were joined by our daughter-in-law’s family in their boat and we all had a picnic and played in the sand for the afternoon. We watched the rain clouds circle around us but we seemed to be in a private little paradise and didn’t have one raindrop find us. The wind would come up at times but it chased the rain in another direction and we were thankful for that. I did get this picture during a very quiet time that shows the calmness that the river can appear to have.
By the time we were ready to boat home, the wind had returned and made for a bumpy ride. It was a fun ride due to the plenty of giggles from our grandson, hiding under the blanket to keep dry from the spray when we hit the waves. But we were thankful to get home safely, the end of a wonderful family day.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Anacortes, Wa. - Washington Park

We head south from Bellingham on I-5 to go to Anacortes to visit my cousin and family. There is a great Rv park just up the road from their home near the ferry landing.

Viewpoint in Washington Park

Washington Park has so much to offer. It has day use and overnite camping facilities. At Sunset Beach there is a boat launch with 75 campsites and services available. It also offers a 3.7 km (2.3 mi.) loop used by cars, joggers, cyclists and walkers. The views can be spectacular but evenings and sunsets are incredible.

Sunset over San Juan Islands

This is just one of the many beautiful sunsets we were able to enjoy from the deck of my cousin's home in Anacortes. They've got a beautiful home with the greatest view of the water and San Juan Islands. During the day we're watching the ferry travel to the islands, and planning for the opportunity to make that trip one day.

RV'ing in Washington - Lyndon - Mt. Baker

Our RV'ing in Washington State south of the border is usually done in the winter so summer trips allow us to see a whole other part of the state. This incredible sight of Mt. Baker was taken on a summer evening from just west of the Guide Meridian. Mt. Baker can also be seen before you enter Washington State from the border crossing at Abbotsford, B.C. and many other parts of the Fraser Valley. Canadians get to enjoy the view as do our neighbors to the south.

Mt. Baker at sunset
We’ve RV’ed thru Washington State many times going south during our winter holiday, but it is usually a very fast visit. In the past, we’d had occasion to stay at the Hidden Valley RV Park and Campground on our way back home in February when we pulled in late and in the dark and left early the next morning so had no opportunities to utilize the amenities of the park.

                                                     Hidden Valley RV park lagoon

Recently the visit was for a week in June and the weather was great as was the visit with family and friends. We stayed at the Hidden Valley RV Park and Campground and it looked very different from our past visit.

Hidden Valley is a rural park which is nicely treed for shade and offers grassy pull through’s for the RV’s. It is open year round, which is very nice for the SnowBirds wanting to stop on their way through the area. It has a fitness center, recreation room, heated pool, mini golf and a beautiful pond with ducks paddling around and allows catch & release fishing !!
It is located at 7062 Guide Meridian at Lynden, Washington, about 12 km (7 miles) north of Bellingham and is very accessible from the highway. The Guide, as it is locally called has recently gone thru a very extensive widening and upgrades between Lynden and Bellingham and makes the road much nicer.

The Guide crosses with Interstate 5 at Bellingham, where the Bellis Fair is located. Great shopping in there, many Canadians find the shopping experience a good one, and we ran into old friends from home who were down enjoying the shopping.


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