Week eighteen @ CMR

September 11th to 17th, 2022

Sunday and I woke this morning to the sound of raindrops on the roof of the coach, we were not expecting rain so I got up at 6:30 to close the flaps on the Clam, since we purchased the floor kit for our new Clam, it holds the rain water if the flaps are left open. We learnt that lesson the hard way, having to mop up the rain water from the floor a couple of times, and of course as soon as I closed the flaps the rain quit, but I noticed our neighbour out gathering up his chair cushions as well, as there was no warning of this little rain storm.

It is hard to believe that it is twenty one years since the 9/11 attack on our neighbour to the south, and it is still hard to comprehend what we watched that day on the news. How could anyone hate someone else that much? Just one of the mysteries that I may never understand, I sure as hell do not always agree with everyone else’s opinions, but I can not imagine hating them enough to carry out some of the deeds that we constantly see on the news. Although we see it all the time now, whether it is a mass shooting in the States or a mass stabbing here in Canada, how does anyone have such disregard for a human live, or any life for that matter?

Well today is my first day working the new split shift that management has came up with, my shift today is 10:00 till 4:00 then 7:00 to 9:00, which is now a new daily shift for someone everyday, the two hours later it suppose to allow time to close the pool and clubhouse, along with the regular security checks, it also comes with the joy of being “on call” all night if any issues come up.

Visitors on the front lawn

So I spent part of my shift watching the deer on the lawn at the entrance to the campground, there were five deer there at one point. Part of my closing process is to check that all the doors at the office are locked, but my trip up the hill to the office tonight came with some wildlife, always a bonus. I also found that as long as the pool is still open the two hours allowed is not enough, it may be enough time after the pool closes, and the 10:00 till 4:00 shift is crap, so next split shift I pull, I will be working 8:00 till 2:00 and then taking the afternoon off which will allow 5 hours before doing the lock up & security part.

My task today was to build a new wall at the back of the wood shed, ok but the wood shed isn’t really a shed it is just the space between two buildings, one made of cement blocks referred to as the “Jail” and the other is a wood structure referred to as the “Stable”, well the floor in the stable was rotten along with most of the floor joists, so the maintenance crew has been repairing the stable which meant shoring up the structure which caused the wall between the stable and the jail to become two inches too short. Hey this is my kind of task, and I was able to spend most of the day building the new wall, but I spent too much time watching the deer to finish the painting of the new plywood on the outside of the wall.

I got back to the coach a few moments after nine and we watched a couple of YouTube videos before preparing for bed at ten, just to get called out to guide an ambulance into the park, someone had fallen and needed to be taken to the local hospital, and trying to find a specific camp site after dark in this park is nearly impossible, so my task was to wait at the bottom of the entrance hill and guide the ambulance to the site. Then I return to the coach and climb back into bed for a quiet night.

Monday and I’m up at 6:30, this is my last shift before three days off, my shift today is just 8:00 till 4:00, Larry has pulled the new split shift today. Miss Laurie has a shift in the office again today, but manages to prepare bacon and eggs before heading off to her shift, I start a couple on minutes early because I’m not sure if Larry is starting at 8:00 or 10:00, so I open the clubhouse and head to the pool, where I’m met by Larry, he has decided on the early start to the split shift.

Today was a normal day, the pool opening, then the site clean ups, I had a complaint about a power supply from a camper pulling out, and while I thought it was just a big 50 amp trailer trying to work on a 30 amp site, when I checked the concern there was a legitimate problem with an open ground, so I switched out the panel with a reconditioned one. After lunch while I was finishing up a couple of small tasks I got a text from Miss Laurie that we had a visitor at the office, so I headed up the hill to the office to find Tim & Linda, our site neighbours from our time at LHR (Lake Huron Resort). It was a great surprise and certainly very touching that they took time out of their vacation time to look us up, just another example of the family that we have built from this lifestyle. Thank you Tim & Linda

Surprise visit from Tim & Linda

Well I finished off my shift by cleaning the final site after a late check out and got the painting finished on the new wall, before getting back to the coach shortly after four o’clock. A catch-up on the news, Miss Laurie made pizza in the Ninja tonight, and we caught up on the YouTube videos before watching episode three of the rings of power, and heading to bed early tonight.

Tuesday, and today is driveshaft day, I will go to Nanaimo this morning to pick up the new driveshaft. But my morning starts near 6:30 as I find a couple of treats for Mister Sam, after which he heads to the big bed for a nap, while I settle in to the recliner to peck away on the keyboard and it’s not too long before Miss Laurie joins me and a cup of coffee follows shortly after, there was no blessing in this mornings coffee, and Miss Laurie explains that, “No more Baileys” until we are officially on Vacation, so about two weeks … bummer.

Miss Laurie made a omelet with chilies and feta, after which I head to Nanaimo and Laurie headed to the office for her shift today. The trip to Nanaimo was filled with lots of stoplights today, you never know how many you will hit but going from 90 kph (56 mph) to 0, then back to 90 gets old fast, there is nothing fuel efficient about this type of stop and go traffic. I picked up the shaft and $1200 and 60 minutes later I’m back at our site, now the joy of removing the old one and installing the new.

In the infinite wisdom of the Ford engineer’s they decided to make the driveshaft a disposable (unserviceable) part. Luckily some shop back in Ontario decided to reengineer the driveshaft to be a little easier on the pocketbook, so the $1200 was less than half the cost of a new Ford driveshaft, and this is in leu of changing for a $15 hanger bearing and a $50 universal joint, yea I’m sure that must had made sense to an engineer, because it sure as hell doesn’t make sense to a mechanic. But by one o’clock the new shaft is in place, and I’m in the process of cleaning up, after battling with 12 point headed 12 millimeter bolts, like why? Was there a surplus box of these stupid bolts kicking around or what? But it’s days like this that cause mechanic’s to drink … possibly in excess … jus’saying.

Now a shower and a shave to cleanup my act, and I’m now settled into the recliner with an ice cold Kilt Lifter as I try to catch-up with this weeks blog.

Wednesday it’s 6:29 and Mister Sam needed a treat, but I also realize that I have just completed 71 revolutions of the sun and have started my 72nd trip already. Today we are heading back to Nanaimo for another appointment for Mister Sam, apparently the veterinarian was a few dollars short on her all-inclusive winter vacation, well that may not be true but for a clinic that wasn’t sure if they could take Mister Sam on as a patient three months ago they have scored fairly well. So today they have to put him out to take x-rays of his jaw again, this is for the concern that his jaw is weakened, this kitty has been a major expense this summer. So for breakfast this morning Miss Laurie made French toast with sourdough bread, very good birthday breakfast.

After dropping off Mister Sam, we headed to a Nanaimo park called “Neck Point Park” it is a 36 acre park on the shoreline of Salish Sea, and besides being a popular scuba diving site it is known for its orca & sea lion sightings. of course none were sighted today but it made for a great little hike to fill in a couple of hours.

We decided to grab some lunch at a Pub that we had passed on the way to the park “Pipers Pub“, Miss Laurie had the fried cod and chips and I had a bowl of the seafood chowder, with salmon, cod, prawns, and clams, along with a 20 oz. Vancouver Island Hazy IPA. As we were enjoying a leisurely lunch, the veterinarian called to tell us that Mister Sam was good to go, oh he has another months worth of pills but other than that all is well. So after lunch we made it back to the clinic to rescue our kitty, and head back down the transCanada toward our coach.

We arrived back at the coach just before three o’clock, Mister Sam had an early dinner and headed to the big bed with Miss Laurie to sleep off the effects of the veterinarian visit, and I decided to catch up on the blog. We just realized that I have a day shift tomorrow, thank you again management for screwing up my schedule! And then I remember why Miss Courtney has taken a week to visit family back in Alberta so her shifts need to be covered, as she is the newest full time member of the maintenance staff.

Thursday and I didn’t have a good night, not sure if it was a touch of the flu or what, but it wasn’t a good night at all, I was up at 3:30 when the rain started and was still up at 7:15 when Miss Laurie got up as well. I was able to keep my breakfast down and headed to work at 7:55, the commute was easy this morning and I was checking the pool chemicals by 8:05, we are down to the last few days of the pool, as it closes on the 18th of this month for the year.

So today there were only eight sites to clean up, and as it worked out I didn’t have to clean any, no I spent the rest of the morning working on Larry’s golf cart. He had been complaining about it being hard to start for some time, but he had never asked me, to look at, he had changed the spark plug and the fuel filter, but nothing had improved. So a couple of days ago he couldn’t get it to start, and when I looked at it the carburetor was literally falling off, so I took the single nut that was left holding the air cleaner and the carburetor on and tightened it up to allow it to start and run. He only made it a short distance and we ended up towing it back to the shop, it just wouldn’t run, so on inspection today I found the fuel line between the new fuel filter and the fuel pump was kinked not allowing fuel to pass.

Bruce had ordered a couple of new cables for the throttle, so I changed them out (I’m not sure why other than I was asked to), the found a couple of 8 mm nuts that will hold the air cleaner and carburetor in place, I replaced the kinked fuel hose and started the cart, it is running but it needs new gaskets on the carburetor as the gasket is ripped allowing it to draw air and run too lean at this point. After lunch I replaced the fuel filter on the dump truck and then assisted Bruce is digging in one of their septic extensions, This week they had pumped our most of the septic tanks in the park, they had a couple of trucks here for Tuesday & Wednesday, luckily I was off so I missed most of the excitement.

I think it would be safe to say that most of the septic systems do not meet code, and most that are located in the forested part use a couple of plastic 205 liter (55 gallon) drums to collect solids and then they use what they call an extension as a leaching bed. what this extension consists of is a 3″ perforated drain pipe allowing liquids to run into a leaching bed which consists of a deep hole which contains a cubic yard or so of stone covered with landscaping fabric then soil, the concept is simple enough, and seems to work in most cases, as illegal as it may be. The problem arises when someone like us pulls in pays for full hook ups and after being on the road for ten day and tries to dump our tanks, and overwhelms the makeshift system, or you get the tank flusher’s who want to fill and flush their holding tanks every time they dump, the system just can not handle that type of surge of liquid even with the “extension“.

I get back to the coach by 4:10 and Laurie and I work on our southern route, so it appears that we have settled on a route that will get us to Yuma and allow for some exploration on the way, the basics are Hwy 101 down the coast of Washington, Oregon, and Northern California to just north of San Francisco. Then turn inland to Interstate 5 then south till we can catch Interstate 40 then east to Arizona and AZ-95 south toward our destination. It’s a little more complex than that but that covers the basics. For dinner tonight it’s burgers, since I now work the afternoon shift on Fridays barbequing is restricted to when I’m available, and that is tonight. After dinner and catching up on the news, we have started to watch the new series “A League of their Own” on Prime video, and having seen the original movie with Tom Hanks, I have to say it hasn’t been just exactly what I was expecting, but we are watching waiting for the next episode of the rings of power, and we turn in shortly before ten o’clock

Friday and I’m up at six o’clock, it was a chilly night but not too bad yet, it looks like we have another good week weather wise ahead of us and we have a couple of adventures planned for next week. But some how our streaming service is not working this morning so we decide to watch the Baja YouTube videos by Paul & Lorena. Ok some clarification would be good now, Paul & Lorena were a couple from Las Vegas that decided to go full time RVing and we had watched them as we were going through the same issues, Paul in a Canadian boy from the London area in Ontario and he married Lorena a beautiful Mexican girl from Mexico. We had met them in Niagara Falls in September 2017, and had spent a week with them in January 2018 in the LTVA in Quartzsite. And they went to the Baja over the 2018 – 2019 winter while we were in Florida, and we had planed to caravan with them to Baja winter of 2020 -2021, but because of Covid we had to cancel. But their videos are of many of the places that we will be visiting this winter so it was good to see what is to be expected

Well around noon we decided to call it enough, Miss Laurie made some grilled cheese sandwiches and Mister Sam and I had retreated to the Clam, I’m working on the blog while Mister Sam is having a nap in a chair, not a lot different than him having a nap in the coach but he loves to be out in the Clam. So as I look ahead to my shift I wonder what kind of a weekend it will be, last weekend was the full moon, the weekend before was the long weekend and now the Canadian Federal Government has decided this coming Monday should ne a national day of morning over the death of Queen Elizabeth II, so I’m wondering it that will make this weekend seem like a long weekend because all the public servants here in British Columbia are taking the day off as well so no school on Monday, I guess only time will tell, how may weekend warriors can take advantage.

Mister Sam napping on a chair in the Clam

Well my shift was a quiet shift tonight, the cold temperatures could have had something to do with it, 12°C (53°F) which seemed colder because the humidity is still at 73% after the rain, it felt darn good to get into the coach, shortly after eleven tonight. On my final round there were a few people out sitting by their propane fire pits, but not many and if my count was correct there are only half a dozen people in tents out there tonight. I spent most of my shift in the workshop cleaning up, they are preparing to shut most things down by Thanksgiving which is only about three weeks away, so most projects are outdoor projects that don’t real work after dark. I won’t be long out of bed tonight, I’m tired and I seem to have caught a chill, I’m going to need more layers for tomorrow’s shift.

Saturday morning and damn it is cold 9°C (49°F), I had enough of a chill last night that I turned on my mattress heater when I crawled in, and I had even set the space heater out to maintain a temperature of 18°C (65°F) in the coach. It was not heating when I got out of bed at seven o’clock this morning, but Miss Laurie had the coffee on and even without a little blessing it’s hitting the spot this morning. The sun is just peaking over the tops of the trees, and that wasn’t even in today’s forecast, but is a welcome sight as it warms the coach this morning, as today high temperature is forecast to be only 19°C (66°F) which is on the cool side as well.

Miss Laurie prepared a mushroom omelet this morning for breakfast, always one of my favourites, I have another afternoon shift today, and I believe today is Laurie’s last day in the gardens, they have cut her hours drastically recently, I’m not sure if it is really that slow or whether the people filling in for the manager are just saving hours for themselves, or trying to reduce costs, either way had we known we would not have stayed for these last four weeks, as this is time we could have spent exploring more of British Columbia.

I spent some time this morning going over items on the coach, a couple of tail lights that had a bad connection, I have turned the hurricane boiler back on, it hasn’t fired up yet but we will need it shortly, I repositioned the spare tire on the coach and have it secured properly in place now after exchanging the tire. I can not load up the road until we are done our adventures next week, the kayaks on the roof, the bikes on the back, and the scuba gear in the box, not that big of task so will be next weekends project.

This afternoons shift starts out with another task at the area referred to as the wood shed, there are two roofs that cover this area, there fore keeping the bags of wood stored there dry, there is river rock on the base and then just the two exterior walls of both buildings. But because the roof of the jail is a steel roof and the steel is just attached to 1″ X 4″ boards and it also has an overhang of over 3 feet so it is supported it by putting props on the stable roof that are extended up to the jail roof, because of the angles each one is different in length so it was a multi trip task. My next call was to check the septic tank on site 51, yes I know they just had the septic trucks in on Tuesday and Wednesday but in the normal “penny wise, dollar foolish” they had decided not to pump site 51, when they had the rest pumped, so now they can call the truck in again to pump it now.

The rest of my evening was spent cleaning up in the shop, and making regular security rounds, this weekend there are a number of older children in the park which are usually the problem ones, but other than a couple of small issues the rest of the evening was quiet, now it was cold as hell, but at least it was quiet. I finished my shift at eleven o’clock and was back in the coach moments later to find the electric space heater running, I had taken an extra sweatshirt after dinner so it worked out better than the previous evening.

On the road again in only ten days!

Blog 446

Day 1810

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