|On August 14th we made the decision to turn around and head back south. The British Columbia wild fires had created so much smoke that we could not do any activities outside. We were actually in B.C. for about 5 days and as we traveled north the smoke got considerably worse. Each day on the news we would hear of new wildfires. When we were staying at Oliver, B.C. there was an airport across the street from us and every few hours 3 helicopters would land and refuel and take off with baskets of water from the nearby lake. Rick went over and talked to one of the pilots and he said they had to travel several miles for about 25 minutes then dump the water and then back again to refuel. He likened this to using a garden hose on the fires. It seems that B.C. just does not have the fire protection resources that they need. One morning on the news 145 new fires had started because of lightning storms. Drought conditions last year and this year have created very dry conditions.
Rick and I both ended up with sore throats. My mouth felt like I had drank a cup of hot coffee and it had got burnt. We ended up having the sore throats for a week after leaving Canada.
We stayed at Ellison Provincial Park near Vernon, B.C. and had a beautiful site overlooking the lake. Unfortunately we could not see the lake and it was only about 200 feet away. We had great difficultly getting into the site. It was long enough but the road was narrow and the site came off of road at a 90 degree angle. We did go on a couple of walks to the lake but probably should not have done that because the sore throat started after the walks.
On our way home we stopped at Yakima, WA. LaGrande, OR., Declo, ID., Provo, UT., Kanab, UT., and Flagstaff AZ. We had smoke all the way south of Provo. So basically all of Washington, Oregon, Idaho and half of Utah.
We have been home for a week now and really enjoying the beautiful blue skies and the cool weather. We have had a busy monsoon season and everything is green. The blackberries are ripe and thanks to our friend, Jack we have several bags in the freezer with more to come in the next few weeks.
We are planning on heading back to California around Sept. 12 because Keith and Erin's baby is due on Sept. 20th.
One more exciting thing... After being home for a few days we decided to adopt a 10 month old puppy named Lily. She is a shepherd mix. Very smart and loyal and fun to be with. She is a rescue dog and is already learning how to climb into our truck up the ramp. She only weighs 42 pounds and if all else fails Rick can pick her up and put her in truck.