August 29 Saturday
Jim climbed up and washed off the solar panels and skylight yesterday, and checked connections on the rooftop hf antenna. He puttered around awhile with stuff in the back of the truck. While we were reading outside enjoying the beautiful day, a big yellow Bluebird school bus pulled into the site beside us. From within spill out five folks from Quebec, and only one of them speaks English well. The one who speaks the best English had been hitchhiking and the good folks in the Bluebird, Martin and Magalie, gave him a ride in.
The hitchhiker donned his pack and walked over to the tent campground. Martin showed us his turbo hose had blown off while they were pulling a hill yesterday. The noise was like an explosion so they thought they had popped a tire. Jim offered him two large radiator hose clamps from our parts box to try and make the repair. An hour later Martin and Magalie walk over with a bottle of vin blanc, from a fine wine region in south Quebec, to thank us for helping them with their diesel engine’s hose.
They also want to show us their rolling home. They paid $2,000 for it and spent another several thousand converting it to their camper. It has four bunks, space in the rear for a queen-size bed (they currently use the space for clothes and gear storage), a nice kitchen and dinette, two sofas, a six cf fridge, and a bathtub under one of the dinette benches. Martin installed a floating wood floor throughout, and it looks really nice. The bus is approx 12 or 13 meters long and seems very spacious inside.
Jim asked them about water, heat and electricity. Magalie responded they do not have a water reserve tank, and Martin showed Jim the five gallon drinking water bucket they keep on-board. They have a porta-potti in the rear, have a small electric space-heater, and do not have any water heat. What they have is a spacious and very nicely layed-out home which, if they want, they can improve as time passes. Or they can use it, as is, for a very nice hard-sided camper anywhere they want to take it. Pretty nice!
Magalie says it is loud and a little hot and bumpy but they are young so it is okay. They are on their way to Vancouver Island to work through the winter. They are both teachers and apparently have jobs already in Courtenay. Then they might travel south and around the States.
We enjoyed meeting this very nice couple and wish we were able to speak a little French to talk better with them. They are on a neat journey and we like how they’re doing it. There’s much more story here, but they left this morning after their hike up to Lake Louise. They did the hike in an hour each way, less than half our time. I hiked so easily twenty years ago, I think. I don’t remember.