Our recent trip to Mazatlan via Edmonton was fantastic. Much wildlife was spotted, much snow was avoided, much work was completed on “Full & By”, many happy hours & dinning with friends enjoyed and finally but not least as much Vit D as was possible was absorbed!
It started with a beautiful drive through Jasper National Park…the fresh snow on the tips of mountaintops glistening in the sunlight.
Lots of Elk and deer along the roadside. On arrival in Edmonton, the weather was mild according to Edmonton standards (temps hovering around freezing) but it was sunny. We spent five days visiting with Leif and Jackie, cruising friends “Dodger Too” Lief & Dick kept busy working in the wood shop mostly making a new teak leaf for our salon table and new teak jib track toe protectors while Jackie & I visited & shopped. I also had my first close up moose encounter. Bullwinkle had been coming into Lief & Jackies’ back yard a few times for tree nimbles and drinks from their pond, as observed by his tracks but hadn’t actually been spotted. This time there he was …are they ever big! By going up to the balcony off the bedroom we were able to take lots of pictures …..up a level I felt safer taking them…. Not so easy chasing these guys out of your yard!
Soon it was time to load up the truck and I mean load…the truck was overflowing with little room to spare… thank goodness for Jackies’ packing abilities!
The plan was to drive straight south taking little or no time to smell the flowers. In spite of this, the drive was fabulous…sunny all the way and by the second day we were in summer clothes….yipee!… Lots of Antelope and Elk herds were seen as we drove through Montana and Idaho and then just as we drove into Utah near the Idaho Wyoming Utah borders we were treated to the site of a beautiful white wolf walking across a large meadow…. an unusually rare event. We could see the Grand Tetons way in the distance to the south east. Obviously the Canadian wolf introduction to Yellowstone several years ago has been successful! Into the canyon lands of Southern Utah & northern Arizona we had to dodge a few deer leaping across the roadway. We made a brief stop to see if we could spot a condor near the marble canyon Bridge over the Colorado River…no luck however the scenic view of the buttes and cliffs behind the bridge was definitely worth a pic or two!
The following day had us crossing the Mexican border…whoppee we got the green light and then from there it was a only a four hour drive to Guaymas and San Carlos. We had a lovely visit & happy hour with Fran & Jean Guy “Gosling” and Ian & Ellen “Kasasa”. It was great to see them and catch up ..unfortunately we may not see them later this season as they both plan to be in the La Paz area for the winter however you never know! We stopped and visited with a few more fellow cruisers before getting settled for the night.
Sunset the following day saw us in Magicland/Mazatlan and on our respective boats.
We quickly got things organized enough so we could get into our beds before heading to our favourite pizza place near the marina. All was great on board and we quickly went to work… me cleaning & organizing and putting together the interior and Dick checking systems and reinstalling the bimini, solar panels, kayak & racks, sails etc. basically putting the outside of the boat back together.
It was very hot when we first arrived in Mazatlan but within a few days the temps cooled or maybe we just acclimatized! All I know is when we arrived the fan was on …no sheets were wanted and all hatches were open! By the time we left 10 days later, the V berth hatch was closed, the fans were off and the comforter was needed. The temps at night had cooled from 22 to 17 C. Our favorite little avian friends (bahmian swallows) were there to greet us the next morning chirping away noisily.
They are really cute but can be quite a nusance always looking for any possible opening in which to build their nests....they seem to especially like roller furling housing and booms! It was great to get together and visit with our many cruising friends. Time passed all too quickly and next thing you knew it was time to fly back to the frozen north! It was very hard to leave especially knowing how cold and snowy it was in Edmonton.
We landed in the snow just like a goose landing on a frozen pond! -10 C and snowing. It was a winter wonderland and before we knew it Jackie had whisked us home to lovely meal and her warm hospitality. After checking the weather one last time we decided the following day offered the best weather window over the following week for crossing the rockies.
It was yet another spectacular drive through Jasper…. the mountains covered in snow this time and the emerald rivers and lakes were solidly frozen dotted with multiple skaters carving multiple designs on the ice. We had to stop for a family of mountain goats…I have never seen these animals before (they are very elusive and normally only seen at very high elevation) Unfortunately there was a rather large semi right behind us so getting a pic ..the camera being in the back of the car wasn’t possible....it was also very cold outside! The snow started to fly just past Valemount. We encountered slush and slippery sections and even some snow covered bits but it only lasted an hour and once past Blue River the roads were bare. After short stop at Tim’s for soup and coffee it was on to the Coquihalla. Although we feel we are almost home when we reach Kamloops, this last part of the journey can be a very treacherous bit of hwy…..sure enough before the reaching the summit it was snowing heavily leaving only one lane passable…fortunately everybody slowed….. we stayed behind the snow plows until well past the snow sheds…and as we worked our way over the summit into the valley the snow changed to slush and then to rain, the temps rose to 5 and by the time we passed by Hope BC the rains had stopped and the roads were dry!
Although cloudy this AM it is about 9 C and we are glad to have made it home safely. There is no place like home!