August 2022: finds us still on Site “J” at Country Maples RV Resort on Vancouver Island, still working our shifts as we are starting to look forward to moving down the road, we just received our September work schedule and our last shifts are the 26th & 27th of the month.
We have had a chance to explore the island near us on the island, we got the kayaks in the water a number of times and here are some of the photos from our adventures
It has also been a busy month with the addition of our new non-binding tow bar, along with the addition of an air brake system, the repairing of a couple of fresh water tank leaks, new tires and some service on Thunder. We also got confirmation of a Mexican adventure this fall, so as we close out August we have put together a number of prospects that will take us well into next year, and it looks like an exciting year to come.
August 2021: and we are, still in site #217 at LHR (Lake Huron Resort), and the sunshade is as you may have guessed is still in place on the windshield so again this month I will be taking the liberty of picking a photograph from our immediate area. And it seems like it was just earlier today (but it wasn’t) that I finished July’s windshield view, and although it was filled with a lot of information about some of our first camping experiences as well as some of our first failures in to the whole camping adventure thing, I hope you maybe found it helpful or at least entertaining. So as I choose this months photo, of the maple tree across the road in front of our coach, as I noticed some of the leaves starting to turn red, its only early August, and while the photo is just from taken with my not so smart cell phone (actually the photo from the phone was so bad, that I asked for and got permission from Miss Laurie to use her camera), the red colour which is barely noticeable is actually very vivid! And just to have some fun, I took another run at working with my photo program to add a close-up of the leaves just to show the colour.
Well as we start into the “dog days of summer” or “the lazy hazy days of summer” depending on which side of the tracks you are from, Ontario is still under stage #3 of its road map to reopening, so little has changed. We did start off this month with a number of park events that seemed to make life almost starting to feel normal, now we know its not normal because many other countries and even some Canadian provinces are experiencing surges in their covid cases, in fact the new wave is referred to as the pandemic of the unvaccinated, and even though our vaccination rate is over 70% of Canada’s total population that leaves almost 30% that will be effected and with school starting early next month, my expectation is that we will see a surge here in Ontario as well.
We also realize that our time here at LHR (Lake Huron Resort) is coming to an end (just 80 days as of the August the first), and as I have said for a number of years that our personal interaction with the guests has been very limited, and we have tried to keep it mainly buisness related. But over the years we have developed friendships with a number of the patrons and as this will be the last time that we will be able to spend time with many of them for years, we have decided to take some of them up on their offers of hospitality. So whether its a cocktail on a deck, dinner, or just some time around the campfire we are going to break our own rule and enjoy their company.
Its now the fifth of August and I can see already that this may not be a good month for my waist line, as so far we have enjoyed a couple of great meals, and a number of cocktails (thank you Donna, Sudhir, Don, and Hanif). And we have a number of evenings on the calendar ahead.
The weather has been reasonable so far for August, we have had a few cool nights to start the month off, but the heat and humidity is starting to move in now. On August the 2nd we got to play our first 9 holes of the year, we played the par 3 course at Sunset golf club, and I managed a bogie round, and while not good, it is acceptable for my first outing of the year, as long as the next round is better, I’ll let you know how that works out.
On the 9th Canada has opened the land border to fully vaccinated Americans that want to enter Canada for non-essensial travel, but as of the 9th our American counterparts have not done the same, which is a little concerning. I personally would only expect the border to be open to fully vaccinated people soon, after all why would any country want to allow unvaccinated people in? With the new delta variant which spreads so much easier, every country would want to protect their people from further spread, and just a quick look at some of the southern states (Florida) with hospitals filling up, the health care system will soon be maxed out again, and we keep coming back to the new this new phrase a “pandemic of the unvaccinated“.
We also had friends visit us at the park on Monday the 9th, truly a nice change as it’s been a long time between visits because of Covid restrictions, they drove all the way from the north Norwich area, which is not far from my boyhood homestead farm, just southeast of Woodstock (thank you Dianne & Rob). And after a nice visit and a few beverage samples, we went out for dinner at Paddy O’Neil’s one of the only few non chain restaurant open on a Monday in Goderich, it still amazes me why so many of the local restaurants are closed on Mondays during the two summer months, especially after having gone through all the Covid shut downs.
It’s now the tenth of August so now we are 70 days till we we move down the road, we are getting a little liquid sunshine today, we need the moisture for the lawns and gardens, and the forecast shows the sun coming out this afternoon for another Lake Huron sunset and we have been invited for drinks on a lakefront deck to see the sunset (thank you Lyn & Rick). These are great times as we get to interact with people beyond just a greeting, we spoke of our travels and our winter plans, of course there was discussion of the pandemic and the ongoing issues that it has created.
Friday the 13th and for the second day in a row Ontario has reported over 500 new covid cases, it appears that over 70% of the cases are of totally unvaccinated people, and of course Toronto and Peel regions are the leaders in the new case counts, but it is the anti-vaxxer’s right to get sick with covid and like they say have been saying 98% of those infected will live through it, so I have to assume all is good in the anti-vaxxer world, as only six or so will pass each day from covid and the earth will still flat, or so I’m told. And once again the Port Dover bike gathering was cancelled to try to keep within stage three limits, it seems funny to think that 81.98% of eligible Ontario citizens have had at least one dose and 73.41% are fully vaccinated, so we are within 1.59% of meeting our next level of restriction reduction from the pandemic, just as we are heading into the fourth wave of cases. What doesn’t seem fair is that all these anti-vaxxers are now wanting health care for something they said was no big deal, while we have people with real health issues such as cancer that need medical treatments so much more urgent than those people who haven’t bothered to protect themselves by getting vaccinated, but enough of this discussion I have already given them more ink that they deserve.
In typical Ontario August fashion the temperature and humidity have both been high, to the stage of kicking this old fart pretty hard by mid afternoon. The humidity is breaking tonight we have been running the air conditioner a lot this week, trying to beat the humidity but tonight we are expecting 15C (59F) overnight, so with air conditioner off, and windows open, for the first time in a week as the humidex falls to about 50% from the mid 90’s, and we were lucky to have been by the lake, anyone in the city areas were having it much worse.
Hard to believe but summer is starting to wind down, as the back to school debate starts to rage on, with still no vaccine for children under 12, and everyone having an opinion on in class learning, but it looks like that is the plan as I’m writing this. It could all change by tomorrow, depending on political pressure and the actual fourth wave numbers.
The seasonal contracts are out and of course everyone asks why are rates going up, and I think to myself after just shutting off a shower running full blast with no one around, so I have assume it is just to waste heated water, because if you were able to turn it on I’m pretty sure you should be able to shut it off. Then I have to cleaning out a couple of toilet bowls full of toilet tissue, because I guess that’s how some weekend warriors celebrate, just wasting park supplies, or trying to plug a sewer line. Or my favorite, the actually act of shitting on a toilet seat and again I just have to assume that is a way somebody marks their territory like some kind of animal, because it is not normally a human trait. And I just think there are so many reasons why the rates have to be increased, that just come back to vandalizem and the waste of park supplies by a few that now cost everyone more.
So it’s Saturday the 14th, and the temperature has changed to a more refreshing temperature. in fact with an almost cool breeze off of Lake Huron. It is sometimes funny how children look at the world, Miss Laurie and I were sitting enjoying the day, speaking with people as the day went on, because Laurie would rather sit outside and watch for customers at the park store than being captured inside the store alone. Well yesterday a little girl stopped and Miss Laurie asked her how old she was? And she immediately answered that she was 5 & 1/2 years old, and I thought to my self how happy and proud she was, and I’m 69 and 11/12 years old today as well, yea I hit the big “7” “0” next month, and as I sit here I really don’t think I feel that old but we know the calendar doesn’t lie.
And I guess I do feel that old some mornings, I can honestly say I don’t feel that old most times, and then I have to stop and ask myself why are we still doing this with the way some people treat us? Because there are days that the verbal abuse, the put downs, the ignorance of some of the people, can make it into a very long trying day, then I remember what our neighbours Tim and Linda told us just a little while ago after witnessing a display verbal diarrhea that was thrown our way. They called it the 20% rule, 80% of people are so very appreciative and that it is only 20% are the ones that treat you like crap for what ever reason, the problem is that that 20% of the people eat up 80% of your time and energy. And then I remember that little 5 1/2 year old girl that was such a bright light in our day of dealing with the 20%er’s.
And last evening we were treated to a bowl of homemade Hungarian Goulash for dinner (it was excellent and thank you Anita & Joe), and here on a Sunday afternoon watching the weekenders leave for home, Julie and Mary stopped by to tempt us with some French fries, because Mary caught us pigging out on an order of fries on Friday. That is something we miss when travelling in the states, good French fries, every place seems to use frozen fries, so fresh cut fries are scarce, and they just don’t seem to finish the fries the way a fry truck up here in Canada can, I guess the potatoes themselves make up part of the difference, but in the next thought I also remember some hand cut, fresh cut, French fried Idaho potatoes prepared out in an Arizona campground that were real darn close. And you never see a “fry truck” while travelling in the states, they may exist but certainly they are not as common as here in Canada, and we will save the whole “poutine” discussion for another day.
So its the middle of August and already the sunset times are becoming noticeably much earlier (most likely the sun is rising later as well but it is still up when we get up), a sure sign that the fall season is just around the corner, as is our preparations for travel start to become reality. The problem with being stationary for long periods is that you accumulate things, up-grades, tools, just normal life things that all have to find new homes or be stored in the coach for travel. And its been eighteen months since we unpacked the last time way back in April 2020, so the packing process will be starting shortly, I have placed a number of items on a few sites to try to sell them, we will see what happen with that.
Oh boy a federal election! So Canadians go to the poles on September the 20th to elect a new government, to lead us out of the pandemic, or that’s what they say, in reality it a bid for a minority government to try to achieve a majority. Unlike our friends to the south we have no set election day, we also have multiple parties, and we don’t vote for our prime minister directly, the party with the most seats forms the government. So it gets difficult to choose, oh we have lots of people that vote party lines no matter what, but there are also a lot of people that vote for the local candidate that will do the best for your local community, no matter what party they represent. Right now we had a Liberal minority government which as simply as it sounds they needed to work with another party to get any legislation passed through the system, so in this case the NDP were supporting the Liberal government which means that the NDP had a lot of influence in the day to day process with getting their agenda implemented.
In a true Canadian way, who ever is in power is hated by the majority of people, so now we have to look at the options and as usual none of them are who you would want leading any government let alone one controlling our economic future. Everyone is saying that the Liberals are trying to take advantage of the most recent poles to try to move from a minority to a majority, which is so obvious it just goes without saying. As with any party and in any government their first priority is as always getting control and then keeping control. But stay tuned because in less than six weeks it will all be over … jus’saying.
On Monday the 16th we enjoyed a great lunch at the Park House, with Irena and Bob, again it is the time of year when its just good to get away from the park, and at least the park house is open on Mondays. We made it to the beach in the afternoon about an hour before it started to rain, but it was still nice to just listen to the water splash onto the shore.
Tuesday was another preparation day, as we are just about two months from rolling down the road, and I’m replacing our power cable to our tow vehicle, well in fact I’m upgrading it to better operate the braking system as we may have to drive west to British Columbia if our friends to the south can’t get their act together. And having driven through the Rockies in Canada before I’m fully aware that the brakes need to be spot on. So new wiring on the coach as well as upgraded wiring on the towed.
I am also installing some more circuits into the new sub-panel that I installed in the basement last year when I disconnected the old 2000 watt invertor, so our bar fridge in the basement is now wired properly to the panel (instead of operating from an extension cord) and I’m also installing a couple of outlets on the side of the coach, pretty much standard equipment on most new travel trailers, but there was no such option on our coach and with the way the basement doors close it is very hard on extension cords to run any thing electrical outside. And we like to use the pressure cooker outside as well as plugging in a radio for the clam, so the plugs will be a great improvement.
August 20th and the news just hit that the United States has announced that the land border will stay closed for another month. I’m sure there must be a reason for that so lets take a quick look and see if we can discover what it might be, as of this morning the United States 60% partially vaccinated 51% fully vaccinated, and Canada is only 73% partially vaccinated 65% fully vaccinated, ah so that really doesn’t explain this. And the crazy part is I can fly into any American city in an aeroplane with a few hundred total strangers, but we can’t drive across the border in our home. Yes now I totally understand the thought process behind this restriction … there was absolutely no thought process involved, period. So now I’m wondering why Canada has opened the border to a country that is so far behind us with vaccinations? A quick search finds in Florida alone yesterday had 15586 new cases and 799 deaths and Ontario had 531 new cases and 0 deaths, so I can see why keeping us away is good, at least for us, but enough on this topic for another month as September 21st is the next new date.
The 21st is another family day at LHR (Lake Huron Resort) with an afternoon of music in the park, a wood fired oven pizza food truck, and a outdoor movie in the evening to round the night out. And because of scheduling issues this is planned for the weekend of the 21st as it was the best fit for everyone. and on the 22nd there is a wine and dine package offered for some of the adults, local wine, brews, and eats, in the comfort of a bus. There were multiple stops and multiple tastings, wines, ciders, and beers, with some snacks and a panini for lunch, I think everyone returned to the park quite content, after a great day and thanks to all who participated.
August is starting to seem like a bit of an endurance test with so many things happening, so this week starts off with dinner with friends in the park and an evening of conversation and a great roast pork dinner (thank you Lorna & Errol). Tuesday night we had dinner with Richard & Bonnie, we just Barbecued some steak, with some cold salads and rice, and a bottle of red wine, and I think we all enjoyed the evening, Tuesday afternoon is our usual time to discuss the week past as well as the upcoming week, but this time of the year there aren’t a lot of major projects yet.
August 25th, only four months till Christmas for those that want to think cooler thoughts, as it is still hot and humid today, in fact there was a excessive heat warning on our weather app today. We have had a whole week of hot weather, and I know those of you in the south would tell me that this is not really hot but if it wasn’t for the breeze off of Lake Huron I don’t think there would be much work completed
August 28th is Halloween at the park, now there are a lot of children in the park now, and most seem very active already so I’m thinking an afternoon of collecting sugar (candies), I mean what could go wrong there? As Miss Laurie has to be in the store, she has designated me to hand out the candy and she has also designated me to be a pirate Rrrrrr. And just before the festivities commenced, I was called away to repair an electrical box, southern Ontario is in the grips of a hot, humid period so everyone is running their air conditioning steady so they are pushing the equipment limits.
Everyone needs to realize that circuits is designed to not be pushed to the limits, whether in your home or trailer, they are designed to run at eighty percent normally and that extra twenty percent is to accommodate the starting of devices. Like when a residential refrigerator starts up, it takes a surge of power to start, and then drops off when running. There is also the miss conception that the difference in a 50 amp trailer and a 30 amp trailer is 20 amps, where in reality it is 70 amps. Know I know that will leave some of you scratching your heads but it is true, the breaker to a 50 amp circuit says 50, but it is a double breaker so it is 50 amps X 2 circuits (sometimes referred to as legs) or 100 amps in total. And when they design “50 amp” trailers they did not design them to only use 24 amps of a 30 amp circuit which would be the 80% designed circuit. And the adapters (referred to as dog bones) were designed for short term usage, not seasonal use.
And what normally works fine, and is pushed to the limits when the heat peaks like we have now. A circuit breaker is designed to overheat then trip, when the day time temperature goes up, and the sun is beating on an electrical panel and every breaker is being maxed out the breakers trip much easier, that is just a fact, so if your running your air conditioner on a hot day, you haven’t got a lot of extra power left, so act accordingly.
August 29th was a surprise day off, because of a medical appointment of Miss Bonnie’s on Tuesday, our days off were Sunday – Monday which meant we could go to Bayfield and get those Wonton nachos that we had been craving (thank you Bob & Irena), and we also stopped at the Bayfield berry farm for some treats, like butter tarts, a Saskatoon berry/rhubarb pie, and a loaf of cheese bread. Bayfield is a small town south of Goderich on highway 21 and we loving refer to it as Niagara on the Lake in training, it has quaint little shops, some very good restaurants, and is a destination in this area. Tucked between Grand Bend (party town) and Goderich (sleepy town), Bayfield acts like a quaint upscale beach town that doesn’t really have a beach, but it works, and the gravel sidewalks are always busy on the weekends.
August 30th and we are headed to the golf course for an actual round of 18 holes at the Blackhorse golf club, this was a course that I knew nothing about, so I have done some research, and I have read nothing but good write ups about this course, so if the scores are not good, the course is most likely not to blame. We were invited to play by Mike and Susan from the park this morning, and have also been invited to join them for a home made rib dinner this evening, followed by cocktails and a sunset on the deck. I’m hoping for a bogie round so that I do not to leave feeling too beat up on my second time with the clubs this year and first eighteen holes, enough said if I don’t mention the score it may be that I might have just forgot or possibly just have chosen to forget. Let’s just leave it as having been a beautiful day on the course, with great company, followed by an evening that will leave lasting memories for Miss Laurie and myself.
August seems to have been a very busy month, with events at the park, and events in our lives, and with all the preparations to roll down the road after over nineteen months of sitting. It is kind of like starting over again from scratch, I think it is just human nature to put things off, and while we still have 50 days, they seem to be slipping away even faster.
We finished the month with wine and a charcuterie board on Mary & Julie’s deck, and a wonderful evening of engaging and enlightening conversation. It is evenings like this that we will miss when we roll down the road in October, and we are starting to realize how many lives that we are now part of, or at least how many people are now part of our story … jus’saying.
It is officially September now as I’m finishing this blog, I seem to have fallen behind, but better late then never.
August 2020: In keeping with last year, with the covid pandemic raging on in Canada here are some photos.
August 2019: This month as with the last couple was spent at LHR (Lake Huron Resort) and I have put together some photos from the time period.
August 2018: So exploring Newfoundland was proving to be a big challenge, and to get our heads around, or at least my head, again the parks internet service was spotty at best, and our Rogers cell phones were rendered useless because there were no Rogers cell towers on the east side of the island so the only service we could get was through the Bell towers as extended service and as Rogers customers, we were low on Bell’s priority list. So doing research was difficult and at this point I was still trying to winddown some our buisness assets while still keeping some portions of it running. So on good internet days I would try to work the buisness, while Miss Laurie would do research on our adventure on the Island.
Our plan was to pull out of the campground in the Codroy Valley and take the TransCanada Highway across the island for a sight seeing tour and get a taste of St. John’s on the far eastern coast of Newfoundland. What we were learning was that the route was going to be on a slow meandering highway that it was just two lanes for the most part and it in no way could be considered direct.
So on August 1st we set off on a ten day road trip to discover more of Newfoundland, but what we actually discovered was that there was a lot more newfoundland than anyone can hope to see in just ten days. But we were determined to make a good run at it, so Miss Laurie had us booked on a whale watching tour out of Bonavista and also had a campground booked nearby, then we were going to head to St. John’s and into a campground for a few days to explore that area and then we would trek back to the Codroy Valley.
Let it be suffice to say that this ten day trip could have been spread over forty days and still not been enough time. But here is a glimpse of what we were able to accomplish and do:
- DAY 1 – (270 miles) we left the Grand Codroy Valley to start our journey east and ended up at a Walmart parking lot in Grand Falls, now I know that may sound pretty mundane but we were actually thrilled to be able to restock our supplies for this little excursion.
- Day 2 – (150 miles) ended with a planned stop at another Walmart in Clarenville, this stop was to met up with Miss Laurie’s friend Kim who owns a buisness there and Kim also is a Scentsy representative as well.
- Day 3 – (70 miles) leaving Clarenville heading to our campground at Paradise Farms near Little Catalina on the Bonavista peninsula, but this little trip turned into an excursion as I followed our RV GPS which led me right onto a ATV trail, let me just say an ATV trail is not the place you want to take a forty foot diesel pusher motor-coach towing a vehicle. We were able to unhook the toad and back the coach back up onto the road, re-hook-up and head on down the road to the campground.
- Day 4 – (0 miles) today was our whale watching tour day at Bonavista, lets just call that excursion amazing, we also seen our first Puffins at the Bonavista light house, next we explored the arch at Dungeon Provincial Park where we sat on shore with roaming horses and watched the whales in the bay before we ventured to Elliston where the best puffin viewing happens and seen the famous root cellars, which were everywhere.
- Day 5 – (0 miles) after being intrigued by the puffins at Elliston the day before, we decided to make an early morning trip back to Elliston to again view the puffins, hopefully with less people, and some 400 photos later I thinks its ok to call it puffin mission accomplished
- Day 6 – (186 miles) had us moving to St. John’s and Pippy Park, a city owned campground on a large parkland in St. Johns. These next two days had us going in so many different directions with so many sights that we wanted to see and signal hill was high on the list, this was where the distress signal from the Titanic was received, jelly bean row which is a row of townhomes with each painted different bright colours, dinner on George street a pedestrian only street full of bars and restaurants in downtown St. Johns.
- Day 7 – (0 miles) continued from the previous day even more adventures starting at Cape Spear, Canada’s most eastern point, Costco for shopping, and of course the Quidi Vidi Brewery for a flight for me to sample, Fort Amherst to see the steel net that was used as the harbours main defence during world war II against German submarines, as well as some scenic coastal exploration
- Day 8 – (232 miles) we pulled out of Pippy park and headed to Twillingate, now this stop was not on our original agenda but so many folks told us it was a must see that we added it. In Newfoundland along the TransCanada Highway there are pull offs, these are just wide shoulders but are used by truckers or anyone else to just rest, so we used one of these to park the coach while we drove up to explore Twillingate again an amazing day trip.
- Day 9 – (159 miles) we headed back west but settled into a truck stop at Deer Lake, and was able to get a pizza, sometimes it’s the simple little things in live that really count big.
- Day 10 – (141 miles) was our final leg back to Grand Codroy Valley Campground and our campsite for the summer.
Here are a few of the photos that captured these ten days of our adventure:
Now after that ten day marathon, for the next twenty days we slowed the pace a little, and stayed in the valley area, we played the local golf course, partook in some local cold plates (meals put together by local women as a fund raiser, usually consisted of ham, turkey, with potatoes and salads), we tried a jigs dinner at the local diner (a meal of salted beef, potatoes, carrots, turnip, and peas pudding) a very similar meal to corned beef less the cabbage, I enjoyed it, Miss Laurie maybe not so much, and the peas pudding was not a hit with Miss Laurie at all. We toured the area with Robert and Susan when Robert wasn’t cooking (his new job since retiring from the ferry) for a mining crew, we visited the only abandoned coal mine on the island, we took an Argo ride on their property and explored some hidden treasures in the Port-A-Basque area, as Robert was from Port-A-Basque and Susan was from the Codroy Valley, so they knew the area very well and we were lucky enough to have them as our tour guides.
If you notice any one thing in the photos it has to be just how beautiful the island is, it’s hard not to take an amazing photo here. We spent many days kayaking with beavers, the golf course had some of the biggest yardage markers we have ever seen, sunsets were truly amazing, entertainment was always an eclectic mix at the nightly community campfires, I got to go out cod fishing with Marquee Outfitters, we also spent many beach days, exploring a old coal mine with Robert & Susan at a creeks edge, our Argo ride to and from the coal mine, the Grand Codroy river behind our campsite, notice the beaver swimming. We took hundreds of photos and kayaked the river multiple times, seen lots of sunsets and spent almost every evening sitting around the community campfire telling of our days adventures between the songs and music. I guess what I’m trying to emphasis is that there is so much to do and see on the island that no matter how much time to plan to spend it is not going to be nearly enough.
August 2017: So there was not a lot going on with the coach at this time, we were in the process of selling off most of our belongings. You have to keep in mind that we were moving from a 2400 square foot home with three bedrooms, and three baths, to the coach and approximately 320 square feet that we are also going to drive down the roads at highway speeds. Suffice to say a lot of stuff had to go, and we just didn’t realize what a monstrous task that was going to be and how much time it would take. We had been storing the coach in a compound but it was neither handy or really very secure so we decided to move the coach to Sue & Al Beamers farm where we could plug into a 15 amp circuit and I could do some repairs to the wet bay, as the floor in the wet bay was pretty well rotted from years of water leaks and neglect, and we were also preparing for our next big adventure in September and were trying to keep all things operating, like the refrigerator, which did not seem to be cooling properly, and I was constantly letting the house batteries to go dead, there again part of the issue was because I didn’t know just how much I didn’t know yet and so much of this was just lack of experience and knowledge.