Not a busy year for Towed Haul, I'm afraid. Just four trips out and nearly all of them local; that's what teacher training and being a tad skint will do to your camping season.
For the record, the record was:
Not much hauling, not much camping but pretty good gas mileage, reflecting the local nature of our trips.
Here are some photographs of this "thin" season:
Roll on 2015 - not sure what will be on the cards but we'll definitely go camping!
What a difference a day makes. Whereas the weekend had been cold and clear, Monday morning was dank and drear; not ideal packing up weather but at least we'd gained ten degrees Celsius on yesterday.
We made a slow start to the day, breakfasting at our leisure and getting the morning ablutions sorted out with no sense of urgency. The rain came and went and we pottered about inside and outside, getting ourselves ordered for the tow home. When the tadpoles are not with us, things are so much more peaceful and we get more done in a shorter space of time, but the expected text message regarding their arrival came with an annoying inevitability, so we picked the pace up so that we were ready to depart when they tirned up at the campground.
We didn't quite make it; the kid's father is perennially early for everything so they were twenty-five minutes ahead of schedule. Still, I'd just finished dis-connecting the water and sewer lines so it wasn't long before we were hitching up and readying ourselves to leave.
I had been quite concerned that the drive wheels on the Toadmobile might not get sufficient purchase to get moving on the wet and leafy grass, especially as I'd had a bit of slip on Friday, and this very morning I'd watched a pick-up truck spin its drive wheels, despite it having a couple of tons of Fifth-wheel RV sitting over its drive axle. I needn't have worried, though, because with the gentle application of some power to the wheels, Towed Haul moved forward gracefully and the Toadmobile's geriatric tyres didn't slip at all. I put the patio mat away; I'd held it in reserve, just in case, and thought to myself that the Toyota must deliver it's motive power somewhat more gently than the pick-up truck I'd seen wheel spinning earlier.
We dumped our rubbish, paused for ten minutes to eat our home-made sandwiches, then nosed out of Science Hill's driveway on our homeward journey.
As I'd said before, there are a few hilly bits in that upper-Thames area, but the Toadmobile coped admirably and we zig-zagged across the countryside towards London. If you don't know about the grid system of roads in this part of North America, it's hard to appreciate that there's not often a straight route between two points, especially where the natural course of rivers intervene. We could comfortably travel north/south and east/west, but we needed south-west and to do that, there were a lot of stops and right turns to be made. At one point we drove down a section of country road, not a dirt road, but it was caked in mud from the harvesting vehicles in the area. One glance in the mirrors confirmed that poor old Towed Haul was streaked with thick, brown dirt; now I needed rain to wash some of it off again.
I wasn't to be disappointed, either. We drove back through a strangely traffic-free suburban east London and joined Highway 401 to head home, and the rain started. It wasn't busy at all, I think because we were still early, and I quite enjoyed hauling at 60 mph, even in the rain and spray.
Back home, for our final backing up session onto the driveway, we aced it; one turn and straight in, perfectly positioned. I just might be getting the hang of this.
So, that was it for 2014. All that remains is for us to clear Towed Haul, clean her up and haul her over to Can-Am for her winter lay up. We thought Science Hill Country Club was excellent and the town of St Marys a really lovely place to visit, so I suspect that we'll be back at some point.
Watch out for the annual review!
Mr Toad - Airstreamer
The Old Blog