Two nights midweek at Rondeau Provincial Park, in the first week of the school holidays; how on earth did we manage that?
We both thought we'd booked for three nights but as the weekenders tend to nab the Mondays and Thursdays as well as Saturday and Sunday, that really only left us Tuesday and Wednesday, so I'd fairy sure they were the only nights we could get. Still, even two nights away is better than none.
It's been warm here recently, and this first week in July was no exception. Loaded and hitched, I was the usual sweaty mess as we headed south out of town towards Lake Erie. Once checked in at the Park, we did our usual pre-setup routine of running any water out of the waste tanks (into the septic tank) and loading up with fresh water for washing and the like. At the Dump Station I spoke to a fellow camper who complimented me on the Minivan and Airstream setup, which is a rarity as most people simply tell me I'm about to kill myself and everyone within a wide radius, towing with such a calamitous set up. The fellow was from London (Ontario) and was familiar with Andy Thomson at CanAm RV, which explains why he wasn't too fazed. It was a refreshing change not to be challenged, for sure.
Once at our site, the area the Airstream was supposed to be parked in was littered with what we took to be Blackberries and we both thought that someone had been picking them, then discarding them. It didn't take us too long to discover that the Blackberries were in fact very ripe Mulberries and were raining down from a tree above us. When I say raining down, that was a fair description, too. After only an our or two of listening to the thud of berries landing on the roof of the trailer, the outside skin of the Airstream was streaked with purple and even the steps were littered with soft and very juicy berries. We took the simple decision to leave the awnings in their closed position because while the aluminium skin of the camper was easily washable, I don't think the fabric of the awning was going to be so accommodating. Anyway, the Mulberry tree was giving plenty of shade.
It being school holidays, the campground was packed. We thought our neighbours would be the noisy types, three families getting together for a noisy celebration, but no, they toned it all down before it got too late and apart from the gentle thud of Mulberries on the roof, it was a quiet and peaceful first night. Actually, we sat in the Airstream all evening with the lights off and the windows open and enjoyed a night of inconsequential chat, feeling the cooling air blowing around inside the trailer. Thank goodness for the bug screens, though.
Our one full day at the Park had us reading, listening to music, doing jigsaw puzzles and generally just charging our body's batteries up. No kids, no baby, no dog. Blissful. That said, we did have a mooch around the campground to spy on our neighbours and their trailers. There was a polished 1940s Airstream type trailer there, complete with vintage tow car, but both were covered with tarps to protect them from the tree sap - or maybe from the Mulberries - so we didn't get to see it (or them) very well.
Packing up (or breaking camp, or tearing down as it's known here) was a squishy affair thanks to our friends the Mulberries, and their friends the Blue Jays, whose bouncing around in the said Mulberry tree caused the overripe fruit to drop with even more abandon. Thanks Jays.
A quick dump of the waste tanks and we were heading home again in the still very hot sunshine. There had been consistently high temperatures and no rain at all on this trip, so we were grateful for that. A couple of days peace and quiet were very welcome before heading back to Charlie's Kingdom.
This will be our last trip for a while as we're otherwise engaged for a large part of the summer. Look out for the September trips, when I'm really retired.
A Postscript: I was reminded by a Facebook correspondent about cleaning the Airstream off. In my simple mind I imagined that the drive back home would dislodge any berries on the roof. Oh how foolish I was. When I climbed the ladder to look at Towed Haul's roof there were still hundreds of berries there, absolutely hundreds. I had to take the hose to it, with a fairly strong jet setting, to dislodge the little buggers. The aluminium roof is painted white, and they all came off without marking it, and where the skin of the trailer was streaked with the juice from the berries, that came off easily as well. Next time we see what we think are Blackberries on the ground, we will definitely not be parking under the darned tree!
Mr Toad - Airstreamer
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