Well, the aftermath of yesterday's storm wasn't too drastic; some water ingress in the tents and quite a soggy camp site, but other than that all seemed OK. Indeed, as I strode out to the shower block, the sun was shining and the air was warming up rapidly.
The showers, though, were undergoing cleaning. Not one at a time so that some stalls could be used during the process, but all seven at once. My brain stumbled a bit; should I come back later? But then I remembered the small block over by the main tent camping area, a place that was curiously devoid of any tents and therefore also devoid of any people hogging the showers. It was a good decision, too, as I not only enjoyed the walk over there but I had the place to myself. The showers in Provincial Parks are excellent and this one was no exception, even though it wasn't quite as new and swept up as those in the big block that was currently being cleaned. Instead of the timed push button operation that the other showers had, this had a proper dial-type valve and proceeded to gush hot water without interruption. The shower head was on the correct wall, too. I'm convinced that the architect's drawings for the newer shower blocks were somehow transposed and the builders have put the shower heads on the wrong wall, making it almost inevitable that spray from the shower will fly out onto your clothes and towel. One day I'll draw a picture and you can decide for yourselves. Please note, Provincial Parks people, that this slightly older shower design also incorporated a nice little shelf for one's soap and whatnot, something that's lacking in the newer type.
Anyway, refreshed I walked back to the camp, fed the hound and took her on a walk around the campground. People were stirring and the big tadpole was set the task of cooking up two big packs of bacon on the portable gas stove, which had been moved to the olfactory safety zone at the other side of the site. These vegans, eh?
The arrangement of three girls and one boy wasn't working out so well, especially when the girls were being orchestrated by the evil small tadpole; three against one is never good. We took pity on the boy, though, and loaded him and the hound into the car and made for the Dog Beach, leaving the girls playing a game of killer Monopoly. The storm clouds were brewing up, those great big Cumulus things that go thousands of metres into the sky and look fantastic as the sun lights up one edge. The thunder was certainly rumbling but the storm was keeping just off to the western side of Rondeau Bay and whilst we kept an eye on things as we were walking on the very exposed beach, the storm stayed away. The big tadpole splashed around in the waves and the hound enjoyed a four pee/one poop afternoon of unleashed excitement.
We stood and watched as some Turkey Vultures circled overhead before swooping in very gracefully on a dead fish at the lake's edge. They're big buggers, those Turkey Vultures (about the size of a turkey, strangely enough), and ungainly on the ground, but when they're airborne they fly so elegantly on long, broad wings. Anyway, we tried getting in close but they were just too wary, so we left them to their fish supper and made our way back to Towed Haul. Up at the campground, some 5Km north of the Dog Beach, there had been some rain, although not too much. Curiously the girls had followed instructions and brought the towels in out of the rain; a first, and on only one issued instruction, too. Are we getting through, I wonder?
Pasta and tomato sauce was the quick meal of the evening before les enfants decided to hit the beach again, scuttling out in the already fading light. We'd part cooked the pasta prior to setting off as keeping a big pan of water boiling for ten minutes on a propane ring isn't the easiest thing to do. I thought it was alright, but Mrs T wasn't enthused, so pasta gets relegated to a back up meal only in future.
One of my little quirks is to walk around the campground to see the other trailers and tents (and dogs, it seems, as Willow tends to get every dog in the place leaping from its camp site, barking furiously). We tend to use the South Campground, mostly because the toilet block is newer, but it's interesting to tour the North Campground as it seems to have a different feel. On this trip, there were some odd looking set ups "oop north", not least the old school bus that had been converted to a motor home. I say converted but it was definitely a home-made conversion that made the bus look ramshackle in the extreme. It had been hand-painted in white and there was a long awning on the side, under which sat an old man who was watching a television. He was sat about three feet from it and it wasn't one of the slinky LED models, but a big old fashioned cathode ray tube device. Mind you, he had a satellite dish that matched the TV for bulk so I guess it all went together. The bus also had a huge roof rack, or viewing platform, I couldn't decide which, built up on its roof. Elegant it was not! Still, each to their own; I'm certain they spent considerably less on their RV than we did, so good luck to them.
In the dark, les Enfants sat up and made some more s'Mores whilst using up the remnants of the firewood, and I struggled to get some details from J2 about when her dad was coming to pick her up in the morning. She was vague, and I'm being kind here, so Mrs T made the arrangements for her. The result of negotiations was that we were all getting up early-ish in the morning and I was running all the kids and the hound home before we grown ups broke camp - in peace, absolute peace. Despite the threat of an early morning, the kids still sat up half the night giggling and talking and occasionally firing off the air bed pump. I suppose it was indicative of them having a good time, but we were only a gnat's whisker away from having the Park Ranger come and quieten them down.
Me? I went to bed at a sensible hour and gathered strength for the exodus in the morning.
Mr Toad - Airstreamer
The Old Blog