Here we were enjoying the desert, but we were so close to Mexico! Hector lived in Mexico City for a year or so back in the 90s and we spent weekends and vacations traveling the country in his SUV. We love the country, and found it impossible to resist the temptation to cross the border. So off we went with Angel for a day trip to Mexico. Continue reading
Almost a year passed since we stopped in Denver last November. And what a year. In the winter we traveled around New Mexico and Arizona and settled for a while in Southern California, in the spring we headed north mostly on the coasts of California, Oregon and Washington, in the summer we visited Vancouver Island, Vancouver (the city), and beautiful National Parks in Western Canada, and in early fall we visited more national parks in Montana and Wyoming. Whew!
8000 miles on the RV, who knows how many zooming around in the Subaru, three Canadian National Parks in two provinces, eight US National parks in eight states, one trip to Miami for a wedding, and lots of great adventures later it was time to head back to Denver for our annual pit stop.
Island Girl had been running hot when going up long grades causing us to have to drive slowly and carefully to avoid overheating. This overheating problem had been getting progressively worse, so we scheduled a thorough check of our radiator along with our annual oil change and RV chassis service right as we arrived in Denver. Hoping to get all the major RV service over with and then enjoy our stay at Cherry Creek State Park.
Meanwhile we’d made plans with many of our friends and family and were really looking forward to some quality time with them. Starting with Hector’s cousin Roy and wife Cindy who we stayed with while Island Girl was in the shop.
Last summer, on the day before crossing the U.S. border into Canada our refrigerator broke down. Although we found an RV service shop that repaired it early the next morning and so avoided a really big delay, we didn’t arrive at our campsite until 9:30 p.m.
So I was extra cautious and vigilant on the eve of our journey into Canada this year.
This was also going to be a different approach. Instead of driving across the border, Island Girl was taking a ferry across to Vancouver Island.
Called our credit/ATM card companies to notify them we’d be in Canada.
Put a temporary stop in our Millenicom MiFi account (not available in Canada).
Signed up for a special Canada plan on Verizon for our cell phone and text service.
Settled our bills.
And prepared our documents: passports, rabies certificate for Angel, registrations and insurance documents for the car and the RV. And a list of all alcohol on board.
We chose to go (way) over the alcohol allowance, and take the duty hit, which worked out well for us last year. Not recommending that for others, because duties are at the officers’ discretion (with a very high cap) but that is our approach.
Off we went to Port Angeles to board the ferry. We had a reservation and just needed to show up an hour in advance.
The ferry staff checked our passports and gave us a slip to fill out for the ship manifest. The slip simply asked for our first and last names, gender and dates of birth. Continue reading