Sunday August 21st to Saturday August 28th 2022
Sunday and it is shortly after midnight, it has been a long tough night, but I’m just trying to unwind from all the bull sh!t of dealing with people, mental note to self never, never work at a membership park, the members are quite simply nasty, and also try to avoid transient parks as well as they are the true gathering places of the weekend warriors. With that in mind I’m going to head off to bed, it sounds reasonably quiet outside of the coach windows right now, and I need some sleep.
I rolled out of bed, just before seven o’clock, Mister Sam was thinking he needed someone up, mainly for snacks but I was rewarded with a little lap time before he moved on to the big bed. Miss Laurie is on the Sunday day shift at the camp store, and if I stay up it will be another day working in the coach basement as it is all about preparing to hit the road at this point. When Laurie gets up we have a coffee and a bowl of cereal before she heads out the door.
As I mentioned I need to redo the original repair on the fresh water tank, this has had a number of repairs with a number of different products, so I thought I would try the water weld product, but on testing this morning it has failed to stop the leak, so after draining the tank I decide to make the repair with eternabond tape, this is a staple in the RV world and can be used for many different repairs, mainly on rubber roof repairs. I had used it on this leak before but I had just added it overtop of all the other repair attempts and it held for a while but started to drip when I was checking the water tank last week so now I’m going to try it as the main repair and will paint it with Flexseal after confirming the repair. I have refilled the fresh water tank to confirm this second repair and will let it sit overnight to test it.
Our campsite looks like a tornado has struck, as I have totally emptied the basement because I need to move the house batteries, to allow the new Clam to fit, but that is tomorrow’s project. Now I’m settled in the Clam with Mister Sam as my afternoon shift start time is closing in quickly. It should be a quieter evening as there were near 60 departures today, but time will tell. The workload at the shop has dropped off, as we need another skid of lumber for the picnic tables, and now the big panic is keeping the sprinkler systems on and operating to try to keep the grass green, and the new issue in the park seems to be people with electric vehicles trying to find a place to plug them in. When they are staying in tent sites they have no electrical feed, but they don’t want to spend the money for a site with hookups, so we will find a vehicle parked with a long extension cord, when we find this happening we shut down the site at the locked box, as they normally don’t leave their site pass in sight in the vehicle. I have suggested putting in a charging station, it should eliminate any excuse for stealing power, and could be a profit center, if there are any provincial assistance grants for installing stations.
Well the shift was peaceful, I stopped for dinner at 7 o’clock, as usually, the off to close the pool, I was going to re mortar some bricks on the mini golf course, when I got called to clean the barbecue at the rental RV, ok I had just mixed a bucket of mortar, and got one brick done, so I had to dump the bucket and clean up my tools before going to clean a barbecue in the dark. I have got to the stage where I never question the order any more I just go and do it, it really doesn’t have to make sense. So after the barbecue, I complete my lock up rounds, shut down the sprinklers, and did the security rounds, thankfully it is a quiet evening, no kids on the playgrounds, no loud music or conversation, and I get to head to the coach by eleven o’clock.
Monday and at 7:00 I get up, Miss Laurie is up already, so the coffee is perked and ready, this is battery moving day for me, and most likely Laurie’s worst day, a couple of hours of gardening followed by five hours in the office with the dream team. While I’m hoping to get the basement reassembled today, and I expect this to be a busy day, before my last afternoon shift of the week.
Well the battery move went well, I was able to accomplish it with out disconnecting any of the batteries, and when I had them in place I repositioned the guides, it appears that the Clam should fit now but I can not be sure till I try it, but I’m not ready to take the Clam down yet as we still have a month to go before we break camp. Now the repacking of the basement, and to my delight everything seems to fit back into the basement, but I do purge a few items that have not been used enough for the valuable place that we have.
I get finished up and head off to my shift before Miss Laurie makes it back to the coach, after her shift, I get back to the coach at 7:00 for dinner, before heading off to close the pool, and because there is not any tasks on my agenda this evening I decided to build a new cover to the coach, the fresh water tank drain had a cover over it, but it was just made of aspenite and was falling apart, so I made one out of scrape plywood that was in the shop, I need to fit it then possibly paint it. It had acted like a small shelf in the basement where I piled tape so if it fits I may add a dowel on the top to put the tape on, I need to confirm it fits properly first.
Tuesday morning and today is the day for our new coach tires, there is lot of work involved to get the coach ready to move to the tire shop, the whole trip to the tire shop and back will only be 27 kilometres (17 miles) but any breaking of our campsite involves a number of things that need to be done just the same, but because we had just moved a few days ago it was reasonably quick. And Mister Sam and I were headed down the road just before ten o’clock and pulled into the tire shop at 10:05.
They had a crew of employees ready and we were out of there in less than two hours, six new Toyo tires, and $4500 later. Tires on the coach are just a regular expense, no different than re shingling the roof of your house, and in the case of the tires they deteriorate because of the sun and the weather, as this is most likely the fifth or sixth set of tires on this coach which has less than 150,000 miles, and each set of tires are rated for 100,000 miles. Tire shops like this that do truck tires have the staff and equipment to make short work of something as simple as changing six coach tires, I also had six new valve stems installed, and set the front tires at 100 psi and the rears at 90 psi.
Wednesday morning at 6:00 I rolled out of bed, I was greeted by Mister Sam who just seemed to want some companionship. He had food in his bowl which indicated that he had woke up Miss Laurie for food already, so as I sat in the recliner, he jumped onto my lap, and other than raising his head to check a bird at the feeder has rested on my lap for a hour and a half. We are going kayaking today, I’m not just exactly sure where but I believe it is near Ladysmith, I still have to load the kayaks into the truck as I removed they to get the spare tire for the coach switched out with the best tire of the six that we just took off. We have been carrying a spare for a number of years, kind of as an insurance plan.
After an omelette we started to prepare for our adventure today, cameras all charged up, kayaks secured in the truck, Miss Laurie has made some lunch, and got the water bottles filled and ready. Today we are headed to Elliots beach an area just past Ladysmith, on a peninsula that extends into the gulf islands. Unlike our venture around Newcastle Island, the Gulf Islands will shelter us from the open waters of the Straits of Georgia. We will be entering the water at low tide, which will bring lots of sea life into view, part of our adventure will be a trip around Coffin Island (I will assume it is named because of its shape, as I didn’t notice any coffins) where we seen an abundance of under water creatures, boat traffic was limited, and the waters of the Stuart channel were calm and we had no trouble exploring the shoreline.
Here are a few of todays photos, hope you enjoy, even some underwater shots with the GoPro.
We stopped in Chemainus to pick up this week’s groceries, before returning to the coach by four in the afternoon, but our days adventure was not over. No we had a meet up with Tom & Fay, and while those names may not ring any bells, it is because we had not met Tom & Fay until this afternoon, we picked a neutral spot the Tim Hortons in Ladysmith. Tom and Fay are going to be part of Mexico adventure, they have been before and are going again this year, they are Canadian, they live on the British Columbia mainland and they also own a Beaver motor coach. Fay had reached out to Laurie to see if we wanted to meet, we said YES, as it gave us a Canadian point of view toward the travel in Mexico, availability of diesel, the ability to use credit & debit cards, plus it will be great to get to know some of the participants before the adventure starts. We know a number of the people traveling in the caravan, but have not actually met the majority of them, let’s just call it a YouTube thing.
So after a very busy day we make it back to the coach by 7:00, to get some dinner and catchup on some YouTube videos, and some of the TV series that we are presently watching, the whole Mexico trip is starting to feel real, as we have to start planning route for the winter escape.
Thursday and after the smoke alarm going off at 2:00 and waking the whole coach for no obvious reason, 7:45 seemed like an appropriate time to get up for real. Today I’m picking up our new tow bar and I’m hopping to get a lot of it installed, I had told the shop I would pick it up early this morning, but with a late start maybe not so early. We are replacing the damaged tow bar with an upgraded non-binding style, it just made sense to do it now, and we are also upgrading the auxiliary braking system for the toad as well, so lots of things to keep me busy on my day off.
So after the initial unboxing of the tow bar and equipment, I decide to work on the coach first today, it is quite warm here today with lots of sun, the back of the coach is shaded and the toad would mean working in the direct sun, so the coach is the place to start. I have remounted the electrical connector, and added the air brake connector, the coach had an air line to the back already, I just needed to add a quick connector, this style of tow bar means that all the connections to the toad happen at the toad, where as before all the connections happened at the back of the coach, and that my not sound a lot different, but in reality it is quite a difference, now when we disconnect all the equipment stays with the coach as opposed to hanging on the front of the toad, so now I’m not working under the spare tire carrier of the coach.
All has gone well today, the connections on the back of the coach are almost all complete, I have one wire that the instructions say should run to the dash of the coach to indicate the toad brakes are applying, I’m not sure why, but I will do some more research on that, running a single wire over forty feet through numerous compartments doesn’t sound like a real lot of fun, so I’m going to defer that till the end. Now the shade is onto the toad so I start to work on the positioning of the new air line on the toad side of this connection.
While we were shopping yesterday we decided to pick up a steak, we have not barbequed a steak it seems like forever, the price of beef has been crazy everywhere, but even more so on the island, but we are having baked potatoes and big old T-bone steak on the barbeque tonight. And yes it was just as good as it sounds, and just to top it off key-lime pie for desert, but remember this is our “Sunday night” dinner as we both go back to work tomorrow.
Friday and this is our Monday, I have a dayshift today and Miss Laurie has a day working in the gardens. The real hot weather has cleared out and there is a possibility of rain this afternoon, but as much as we have had hot days, here on the island the temperature drops each evening and as much as the natives here speak of humidity, it’s not Great Lakes humidity. But I’m not upset with a cooler day for my only dayshift this week, so after rising at 6:30 we have time for eggs and toast this morning, then my day will be the regular, open the clubhouse, vacuum the pool, then clean departure sites, after lunch it will be what ever the power to be, have decided is today’s priority items.
The morning started with an issue with the pool vacuuming, well first of all the, the pool pumps would not draw water through the vacuum hose, so after checking for a blockage I decided that we had to be drawing air some where, it ended up just being a stuck skimmer door closed, so once that was corrected I got the pool finished only about ten minuets late. There were 35 departures today which kept me busy till noon, after a quick lunch, my next project was to wash a window style air conditioner. Apparently when the building was washed earlier this year, enough crap got into the air conditioner to block the drains, so on a humid day the unit dumps water into the store onto a recently installed floor. So my task is to clean the dirt and debris from the unit, reassemble, and reinstall the unit back in to the hole in the wall.
Every day is a little different here at Country Maples RV Resort, I recently spent close to four hours cleaning a box fan that most likely cost less than $20 when it was purchased, was it worth $65 in labour to clean it?
Saturday and I’m up early again today, I have an afternoon shift today but I want to work on the the new tow bar today if it doesn’t rain, and if it rains I have coach projects to work on before my 4:00 start. But for now I need to get to work on the blog, so many gaps to fill in, so many photos to upload, Mister Sam just left my lap so its time to hit the keyboard. As I’m checking my countdowns app, I see that we are only 42 days till our passage back to Washington state, and the start our southern trek, but we have one more long weekend to survive. Labour day weekend, and the park is fully booked, the weather forecast has rain for the long weekend, that would be such a shame if it was too wet to sit out around the propane fire pit, wouldn’t it.
Miss Laurie is up now, so I have a fresh perked cup of coffee, as I type away this morning, the hot weather seems to have moved on and there are some storms around us, but it is very dry now. The park just received notification of water restrictions that are now in effect, so rain is badly needed, quite a change from our first 45 days of rain after our arrival in May.
Well I have been working on the new tow bar and connections on the toad, and I have got the new air brake connections in place, the new break away air brake switch is installed on to the break away canister, and I have changed the toad lighting from a seven pin to a four pin connector, and this along with a quick trip to town for some supplies and I have worked right up to my afternoon shift time.
Well a typical Saturday night, with the weekend warriors causing all sorts of issues, drinking other than their site, noise, rowdiness, it’s like some of these people have never been in public before, I really don’t understand why but I’m glade there is just one long weekend left before my sentence is over, although I see for much of September I seem to have pulled both Friday & Saturday night security … lucky me.
It is after lunch on Sunday as I’m finishing this blog, as I wanted to finish off some things on the Toad this morning, and so now Mister Sam and I are kicked back in the Clam dreaming of all these little darlings going back to school!
64 days! till our Mexico adventure