As promised, a quick update.
As the photograph below shows, the Toadmobile hitched to the trailer sat perfectly with its drive wheels just on the road. I applied the power and away she went, without so much as sliplet. I didn't even have to use the front door mat for extra traction. Hurrah for front wheel drive! The irony is that the rain filled craters on the site were almost certainly due to rear-wheel drive trucks churning up the ground and they sought the leave the site. Tsk.
Of course we had to go and dump the waste tanks before running home, which was all done with the minimum of fuss. Just as we'd finished, the very dark sky opened up on us and it veritably poured down. Good timing for once.
We opted for the McKay's Corners route to Chatham and were back home just as the heavens opened once more, so we parked on the driveway and headed inside for lunch. It rained, heavily, for about the next three hours. I did get out to unhitch and level the trailer in between bouts of monsoon rainfall, and at nearly 6pm, we've only just gone back into get the dirty laundry, the trash and the recycling.
So much for our last trip of the year!
I will follow this edition up with my annual roundup, but for now it's poutine for supper and a proper bed to sleep in tonight.
I'm writing this on Friday morning after a somewhat stormy night. I, apparently, slept through most of it. Emerging from our tin cocoon this morning, I note that there is a veritable flood right in front of Towed Haul which will no doubt challenge us, once again, while trying to get off the site. We've seen a whole lot of rain this year, that's for certain.
But what happened on Thursday? Nothing really. The weather stayed fine right up until 8pm, so that was a third good day, and we sat outside taking the air and reading for a lot of the time. Mrs. Toad took a while to surface as she was feeling a little below par, but exposure to the fine Fall air seemed to perk her up a bit.
It seems that people like to make a long weekend by arriving here on a Thursday; the campground pretty much doubled its occupancy yesterday. They're not all old codgers, either, so I'd imagine there's a bit of time off work being taken. I'm just jealous, really, because neither Mrs. Toad or I had jobs that we could take ad-hoc days off. Still that's not a concern any more.
It's been a real kick-back session again, with the Toadmobile inactive the whole time; even the towing mirrors never came off. It was the same at Science Hill, but there the weather kept us in. This time it was entirely voluntary. I did have a stride around the Park's south campground to eyeball which sites might be suitable for future visits. I was wistfully thinking of those campgrounds I see on the Internet with concrete or asphalt pads (along with full facilities) as I browsed the sloping, grass and mud bays that pass for sites in the park. But then I put it in context and thought that camping in a wood, even a muddy and sloping wood, was better than camping in a parking lot. Well, for most of the time. A nice, flat and non-muddy site with all mod. cons. would be nice once in a while.
So, back to Friday morning and the challenge posed by the crappy weather. We'll load up, hitch up and hope to drag Towed Haul off the site without too much difficulty. If it's raining well so be it, although I perhaps should have thought to bring my wellies. The weather is set to worsen, so I guess we should get going soon.
I'll update once we're home.
Wednesday. We woke up to some fine weather. I'm going to keep mentioning the weather because after our last two trips, it's absolutely glorious.
One of today's main activities was walking the dog. The poor old thing has a problem with her shoulder and does struggle walking too far, but she wanted a few short tours of the campground and I was happy to oblige.
We also had Emma and Charlie visit us in the afternoon. As you may know, Charlie is our grandson and is, well, a very busy child. He's only 15 months but he never stops moving and so, to prevent him getting into the tick infested fringes of the site, the fire pit, and sundry other exciting (but not in a good way) diversions, he came straight into the camper. There he proceeded to open every door that his strength would allow and basically make the place his. We endured for a while before loading him in his stroller and taking him out for a cruise around the campground, and the bits of the park that bordered it. I had to drop out of the excursion before we reached the lake, though, mindful of the hound's infirmity. Not that she wanted to leave the group, because she resisted, but she'd already walked a goodly distance and I certainly didn't want to aggravate that shoulder of hers.
I did take the time to have a look at some of the naturally occurring flora and fauna while I was out. Mrs. Toad is seriously into indigenous planting, and this park is full of trees, shrubs and flowering plants that she'd dearly love to have in our garden at home. There are Tulip trees, Paw Paws, Kentucky Coffee trees and a host of other Ashes, Oaks and Pines that make up the Carolinian Forest. There are Asters and Golden Rod everywhere, as well as Sumac, which is going brilliant red right now. The wildlife is abundant, too; Chipmunks, Squirrels, Turkey Vultures, Blue Jays (by the score) and a fabulous pale brown hawk of some kind, which we didn't identify but it was bigger than the vultures, and majestic in flight. No Deer to see this trip, but I think if we mooched about just as it was getting dark then we might see some.
As I said yesterday, we're thankful that we can be here to enjoy all this; it's a great time to recharge your mind and body's batteries, that's for sure.
Back to the weather, and there are dire predictions of storms for Thursday and Friday, all thanks to a Hurricane coming ashore in Mexico. That might sound to be a bit of a stretch, but when you see the track of the weather system, it heads right across the continent to the lower Great Lakes, and that's us folks! Still, we will enjoy what we have, and deal with what's to come.
Our evening was initiated by a quick viewing of the news on the TV. Yes, we cranked up that old antenna again and, after 25 minutes of working on getting the correct direction, we had pretty good reception of Global TV on the DTV free-to-air channel. I actually broke the crank handle on the antenna on the last trip but, this being North America, where everything is available on Amazon, I had a replacement delivered before this trip. In fitting the new handle, I did lubricate the crank gears for the first time in ten years, this despite the advice to do it at least twice annually. Maybe that's why the handle broke? Hmmmm.
We're very old school when it comes to TV in the trailer, partly because we don't often watch it. Looking around the campground, there are some serious TV antennae on display; small satellite dishes in pods and on fancy tripods, full size items built into the RV's roof that fold out for use, and new for this year, little fibreglass pods on the end of 15' tall poles. I'm not sure about these last things, they may be wifi/data devices, but that seems a bit over the top for a service you can get on your cell phone. Anyway, we watched a 1950's British gangster movie on the Bluray last night, so sucks to all those antennae.
We're keeping our fingers crossed that the meteorologists have it wrong again for tomorrow.
We booked this trip, our final run of the year, way back in July when you couldn't find an open site in the whole of Southern Ontario, at least until the kids went back to school. But here we are in mid-October among the fall colours of Rondeau's Carolinian Forest and feeling somewhat thankful that we can be here at all. We're enjoying some fine weather, at last, and mixing it with all the other old geezers who've had to leave their camping until now.
Before I get too elated about the lack of rain so far, I think we're in for some wetness during this trip, but you take your wins where you can find them, and right now the weather is fabulous.
Over the years we've learned that the hound, Willow, gets very anxious when she realises that we're about to head out, this despite the fact that in recent times we've always taken her with us. She clearly isn't a great learner. With that in mind, we left packing up Towed Haul until the last minute, and having loaded the fretting hound into the Toadmobile, we set off southwards on a warm and sunny afternoon. She settled quickly, thank goodness, and we trundled through the intensively farmed fields that dominate this part of Canada, looking forward to some serious rest and relaxation.
Arriving at the gates of the Provincial Park, the first thing I had to do was warn the girl at the office that Willow was about to sound off, and sure enough she barked fit to burst, protecting us no doubt from the nasty park staff. So much for being settled.
We're on site seventeen this trip, another new plot for us. It's reasonably deep and narrow, but I messed up with the backing-in process, catching one of Towed Haul's front window guards on a wooden post as I wrestled her into going backwards at the right place. No real harm done but I think had I approached the site from the opposite direction, I'd have had more room to back up properly. Even after ten years trailering, there's always room to learn.
Our wet summer was evident in that there is a wet and muddy dip in the ground just where we had to unhitch. I'm sure in other years it has been bone hard, but today it was bog-like so we had a little wheel slip as we tried to position the trailer in as level a place as we could manage. Hopefully it won't present us with too many problems getting off the site on Friday, but I'm sure the park staff could rustle up something to help if we really did get stuck. Unlike our last trip, to Science Hill, the one where we were worried about the Airstream floating away, I only have a few feet to reach the metalled road.
The afternoon and evening turned out to be a camping classic. The temperature was in the low twenties Celsius, not much wind in among the trees, sun just peeking over the tops of trees negating the use of the awning, and all that added up to a light and airy feel inside the trailer with no heating, no air conditioning and no fans running. What a contrast to the dark and stormy days of our last trip.
Reading seemed to be the default pastime as both Mrs. Toad and I settled into our books. My Kindle version of the Chrysalids was screwed up and the last chapter was missing, but I was able to download a PDF version from the Internet and finished it off as the night drew in. I have to say, if you're lucky with the weather, Fall camping is excellent.
We had to make our usual accommodations for the hound to allow each of us to get a reasonable night's sleep. What that means, dear reader, is that I'm on the pull out sofa bed in my sleeping bag while the two ladies luxuriate in and on the queen-sized bed. Tsk. Can you hear those tiny violins?
One quick observation of this not very busy campground is that Mrs. Toad and I are at the younger end of the clientele, this being the old codgers' time of year.
And so to bed, hoping the weather stays fine (you really can't trust any of the forecasts), and relishing the peace and quiet.
Mr Toad - Airstreamer
The Old Blog