You have found the family website for Greg & Tess Harrison. Glad you are here!
This site is for family and friends to keep up to date and to share my passions for RVing and genealogy.
Enjoy your stay!
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21 August 2017
Oh look, a bigger font. If you noticed the change from 10.5 pt to 11 pt you are a hopeless nerd. Thank you for paying such close attention!
This update is pretty much just a travelogue of our recent RV trip. In my last update I closed with the words “go catch a fish” and I took my own advice. We took a 5 week trip to Prince Rupert, which is on the west coast of British Columbia, about 1,500 kms / 1,000 miles away. We also did some fishing along the way. We took an indirect route to get to the coast, as we often do. From home, north-
Between Valleyview and Grande Prairie is Swan Lake. We haven’t fished here in several years. This is where Tess caught her 8 lb Rainbow trout back in 2002. Nothing that big this time but we did get 5 nice fish in the 2 -
From there, Dawson Creek is only an hour or so farther north-
We stopped in Hudson’s Hope BC so I could go take the tour or the WAC Bennett hydro-
We carried on westward and managed to score free camping nights at the Prince George casino and at the Burns Lake municipal campground where I spent my birthday. We stayed again at both places on our way home too. Free is good.
Along the way we saw fewer animals than usual. Plenty of deer, eagles, and the occasional bear but no elk, sheep, goats, coyotes/foxes/wolves.
The reason we went on this trip was to cross an item off Tess’ bucket list -
The last couple of days’ drive were very scenic with real mountains (with glaciers) and wide, clean rivers. Once we settled into out site at the only RV park in Prince Rupert, we got busy trying to find a charter. The going rate for a full day is around $800 which includes the boat, crew, gear and tackle.
We picked Garrett Woelders of Anchor Management Fishing Charters. We bought our licences and were on the dock at 6am. The plan was to drop a couple of crab traps on the way out, catch our limit of salmon then halibut and pick up our limit of crabs on the way back in.
Well, things didn’t quite work out that way. The salmon part did as it took only 90 minutes to catch our limit of 8 nice coho ranging from 6 -
Then it was off to the halibut grounds. Different fish are at different depths and catching them takes different techniques. Halibut live at the bottom in 150 -
On the way we saw seals, eagles, dolphins and even had to change course to keep from getting too close to a whale. They are big!
We caught a couple of black rock cod (which are very tasty) and a skate (like a sting ray but no stinger) which we threw back, but no halibut. We tried several places, different methods and different baits. The skipper and his son really tried everything but eventually we had to admit defeat and return to the marina.
The final kick in the pants was when we stopped to harvest our crabs -
We took the fish to Dolly’s, a local processor where they were filleted, vac packed, flash frozen and packaged up in a styro cooler for transport. We picked them up on our way out of town a few days later.
Our first stop eastbound was Ferry Island campground in Terrace. They even had a large freezer where we could store our fish. We decided to give halibut one more try, this time out of Kitimat, about a 30 minute drive south of Terrace.
We dealt with a broker in Kitimat and hit the water with Blue Heron Charters. We chose a 6 hour charter this time and wanted crab and halibut. The skipper was knowledgeable and professional. The result? No halibut, again. But we did get our limit of dungeness crab which works out to be $58 per crab. Ouch! But at least Tess got to cross this item off her bucket list.
Ron Osika, the broker, has a bait and tackle shop in Terrace and he lent us the stuff needed to cook all the crabs which took less than an hour. All I had to do was refill his propane tank. We’ll use him again.
As I mentioned, we stopped at the free campground in Burns Lake again on the way home. Our next site neighbours were a couple from Brazil! Raoul and Valkyrie Seara have circumnavigated South America, toured Central America and are now doing the western part of North America in their Brazilian built Class C motorhome.
They are returning from Prudhoe Bay, on the Arctic Ocean in Alaska. Next year they plan to do the north-
They have a blog chronicling their adventures. Click on the translate button if your Portuguese isn’t up to snuff. It is very interesting to read a foreigner’s view of our region.
So now it was August 15 and we were back in Prince George. I was happy to see a Costco with it (relatively) low fuel prices and I pumped 247 litres into the tank which will get us the 800 kms / 500 miles home. Our next door neighbours were a friendly couple originally from St. Louis who have been on the road for 3 years in their 40’+ motorhome. Good for them.
We had planned to take a couple more days to get home but the fish in the styro cooler are starting to get soft and we really have no other practical options available so I drove straight through the next day. We got home around 8:30pm but didn’t unpack anything except the starting to thaw fish which went straight into the freezer.
We arrived home to a pile of mail on the kitchen counter (thanks, Mark) and everything in good order. The lawn needed cutting and that was scheduled for the next day by the maintenance company I hired. A couple of days after we got home we were sitting at the breakfast table talking about where and when we would go again.
I think we need to spend some time in the mountains. Once past Labour Day, the crowds disappear and we’ll have our choice of campsites and relaxing side trips. Maybe Calgary, Waterton, Kananaskis, Banff and Jasper? It has been over 15 years since we’ve done much of this route and even longer for Waterton. The RV is all serviced and ready to go on another trip so we’ll see.
In the meantime, we are settling back into our routines. Updating this site always takes a couple of days and a genealogy research book I ordered has arrived so I have lots of work to do on that hobby. My wife’s distant cousin Vir has posted new research into Tess’ family so I will incorporate that into her tree.
The eclipse happened today but we had enough clouds to obscure it here. It was only 70% and I have seen them before so not seeing it isn’t a big deal. For those of you who saw totality, I hope you were awed by it.
Until next month,
Greg & Tess
4 October 2017
Last update I mentioned that I thought we should do a trip to the mountains and after getting caught up on household chores we did just that. We played tourist in Calgary, Kananaskis Country, Banff and Jasper for 15 days. You can read about it and see some nice photos here.
On Sept 21, I went back to the Royal Alexandra Hospital for another tune up on my heart. It has been about 15 years since they put in my 3 stents after my heart attack so that’s better than average, I think.
I have had some problems this year and so went in for an angiogram which is the definitive test. They gave me another stent and a warning about another partial blockage which isn’t (yet) bad enough to place a stent.
I’m going for a cardiac rehab refresher course and will try to do better with my diet and activity levels. If I can make it another 15 years I’ll be pretty happy.
Mark brought a new project over the other day. It is a mobility scooter. And no, not because I need it. The battery and little electric motor have been replaced by a 6.5 HP gasoline engine. Apparently it goes like stink but doesn’t stop so well since there are no brakes at all. And nothing else works either. Should be a fun project.
Since it is October in north-
October also means Thanksgiving here in Canada and we are looking forward to spending it with Isla, her Mom and their family. Tess is very happy not to be cooking this year.
October is also our wedding anniversary -
Since camping season is over, I am back at the family tree. Because it is Remembrance Day on November 11th, I have updated my armed services memorial page with the new names I have found over the past year. We owe our freedom to people like these family members.
Email and let me know what you think of the changes. Type to you next month.
Greg, Tess & Camper
This page has the ‘News’ entries for the past year or so. Its here to let you catch up if you like.
4 December 2017
Here we are nearing the end of another adventure filled year. We are both still alive and kicking so that’s good. Mark and Isla are well and healthy which is also good.
We spent a lot of time this year doing the things we love:
My cardiac rehab is going fine and I have been able to increase the duration and difficulty of my exercise routine. I haven’t lost much weight yet (maybe 10 lbs) but the conditioning and fitness are far more important than a bunch of extra lbs.
Tess is also doing OK although she continues to suffer the side effects of the surgery she had and the cancer medications she must take. She is a very strong woman.
My membership in Ancestry has expired and eventually I expect they will offer me a renewal at a price I am willing to pay.
In the meantime, I am busy cleaning up all the data -
I discovered I’m related to the first President of the USA. Surprise!
George Washington is my 16th cousin, 7x removed. Our common ancestor was Edward I, King of England in the late 1200s. That’s a pretty distant relation!
We had some snow a couple of weeks ago and it is still on the ground so it looks like winter is here. Not too cold yet with overnight lows staying above -
Christmas is too quickly approaching, only 3 weeks as I type this. That means only 20 days left until I have to start my shopping. At least I have the lights up on the house and trees. Our street is looking quite Christmassy.
To all my readers, Merry Christmas to you and yours and may 2018 bring you health and happiness.
Greg, Tess & Camper
17 January 2018
Another year gone and several more aches and pains. Don’t like this pattern!
We had a very busy December starting with a trip to Winnipeg to meet up with a small slice of Tess’ family.
Her sister Carling and her 3 kids Estela, Vangie and Jojo and niece Ailene and the two of us all had a great visit. I finally got to meet Estela in person after so many years of emails and texts.
We were hosted by the birthday boy and Carling’s only son, Jojo (who turned the big 50) and family. There was an amazing feast including a whole roasted pig in typical Filipino fashion. What a great weekend!
We drove because the flight for us and the dog would have been pretty expensive, especially when adding in a car rental and the surcharges for the dog. The weather and roads cooperated and the trip took about 15 hours each way.
The next big event was Christmas and another chance to spoil Isla. She, Mark, Kim, and their room mate Mattie,came for Christmas dinner on the 24th. Aside from eating too much, we did the tree and sock thing. You can see pix here.
Isla was very happy with her ladybug earrings but since her piercings are too recent to put them in, she decided to play with the cotton balls they were packed in. We were still finding cotton balls a week later!
So Isla had Christmas dinner and presents here on the 24th and went home with her Daddy waking up on the 25th to another tree and then when Mom woke up after working all night, Isla went home to yet another tree! She made out like a bandit.
Isla is a New Year’s baby so the party and presents just kept coming. Her party was on December 30th and lots of family and friends were there. Lots. It was a zoo, but the good kind! There are a couple of photos here.
Tess and I went out for New Years to the Yellowhead Casino where we pigged out on a buffet with seafood, beef, pork, chicken and more. The entertainment was a great Neil Diamond cover band called Nearly Neil Diamond
I’ve been complaining about my little Chev Tracker SUV for a while now -
I was casually looking on Auto Trader and to make a short story even shorter, we bought a very clean, low mileage, fully loaded 2010 Honda CR-
It will take a little effort to get it ready to tow -
Greg, Tess & Camper
1 April 2018
I was talking to my brother the other day and he scolded me for not updating this site since early January. That is too long without an update so here I am back at it -
To be honest, not much! Life has been chugging along nicely with our health being stable and no unnecessary drama. I am still on the treadmill every other day, or shovelling snow. It has been a long and snowy winter and we are getting very anxious for it to all be over.
Our son Mark and granddaughter Isla come over for dinner once a week or so and occasionally we make the trip to watch her doing something like gymnastics, dance, or her newest passion, downhill skiing. She’s had a lesson and lots of coaching from her Dad and makes beautiful S turns all the way down the green runs. She even handles the chairlift and rope tows like a pro. Pretty impressive for someone who just turned 4 in January!
Check out her latest pix here.
I have been giving the snowblower a real workout this winter. Even though a couple of weeks may go by without a flake of new snow, there are weeks where I am steering it around two or three times. I’d really like to put it away and go camping! We have about 2 feet of snow in the back yard so I guess it won’t be before May, as usual.
I have been spending a lot of time on the family tree which is now over the 10,300 people mark. I had been putting off some housekeeping chores like tracking down duplicate entries, correcting place names and properly naming photos and other documents. I finally got that all done -
The price was right so I renewed my Ancestry subscription and added one at Genes Reunited. Lots of new records to explore and lots of distant cousins to trade information with.
I haven’t found any new family members of note lately. You know, pirates, prime ministers and so on. Maybe tomorrow.
If anyone wants to see either Tess’ tree of mine, send me an email and I’ll give you access to the one posted at Ancestry. I can’t host it here because the trees total 7.5GB and it would simply cost too much.
If there is a birth, marriage, census, or death record you’d like a copy of, just drop me an email and I’ll send it to you.
With Spring officially here we are less than two months from going camping for Tess’ birthday in mid May. I’ll have to spend a bunch of time getting ready to go -
We’ve been talking about where to go this summer and although British Columbia is usually part of our plans, not this year. One of our biggest expenses is always gasoline and gas prices in BC are already 50% higher there than here in Alberta.
We got a phone call from my step-
The drive out was uneventful. It was -
The cherry trees are in bloom in Parksville and with sunny breaks, it is pretty darn nice here!
That’s it for today. Happy Easter.
Greg, Tess & Camper
Only 6 weeks or so since my last update -
Winter was the longest I can remember with something like 168 consecutive days with temperatures below freezing. Often way below freezing. Like 70 degrees Fahrenheit below freezing! Sheesh! Spring has finally sprung and things are turning green, the birds are back, the motorcycles are out of hibernation and camping season has arrived.
I purchased and installed the towing assembly for the front of the new Toad and although I can feel the extra 1,000 lbs difference between the Tracker and the CR-
Our son Mark and granddaughter Isla were over for their weekly visit the other day. We went for a bike ride around the neighbourhood and Isla declared that she wanted her training wheels removed because they are too noisy. She is 4 years old and a very determined kid so I am sure that in a few hours she will be two wheeling.
And speaking of Isla, she started snow skiing this past winter. She took a lesson (one) in February at the local bunny hill. Later her Dad took her on the bigger bunny hill wearing a harness. Kind of like a leash in case she loses control. (Below)
By the end of the season she was skiing down the green runs at Marmot Basin and Lake Louise in the Rocky Mountains without the leash! Her great grandfather would have been proud.
She carves turns around the slower adults and sings “my name is Isla and I’m going to the Olympics”. She just might!
Mark took a video but at 150MB, it is too big to post here. Drop me a line and Ill share it with you via dropbox.
You can see a new batch of Isla photos here.
The Provincial Armwrestling Championships were held this month in Calgary. Mark won both arms in the 100 kg class. This qualifies him to compete for the National title in Laval, Quebec. A good showing there will qualify him for the World Championship to be held in October in Turkey. Good luck Mark!
A belated happy birthday to my brother Todd (last month) and my sister Carol (this month).
Tess and I are busy planning camping trips over the next few months. Being away more than a few days means arranging for someone to be in the house, water the plants and garden, cut the grass, and all that kind of stuff. Being retired and travelling is hard work!
Type to you next month.
Greg, Tess & Camper