Cold night? According to the Tadpoles, yes, but as we had the heating on in the Airstream we were nice and toasty. It's character forming, sleeping in a tent when the temperature is just a degree or two from freezing!
The big tadpole hadn't slept well but, upon some interrogation it seemed that he hadn't quite grasped the concept of the sleeping bag and slept on the bare, cold mattress with the two sleeping bags open and lying on top of him. We explained that a bag was just that and how much warmer he'd be inside it rather than under it. Tsk, kids.
Anyway, it was a bright morning (if a little chilly) and we went about our camp routine. I made my way to the shower block and enjoyed the copious hot water on offer. As usual the cubicles were clean and a credit to the Park and its staff. The one issue I had was that the door, that opens straight to the outside, has a big grille in the bottom and, with a fresh breeze off the lake, the cold air was being chanelled into the shower and making me perform my ablutions quite quickly. Still, hot showers are a real luxury, regardless of the free air conditioning.
The inside of Towed Haul was getting muddier, what with the dog and the tadpoles in and out all the time. It was feeling quite chaotic at one point and I contented myself with the thought that the first trip of the year is always a bit fraught.
The campground was pretty full and quite noisy for a Saturday morning. These places take on the look of a leafy refugee camp when they're busy, except that the pervading smell is that of cooking bacon. I hasten to add that the similarity is fleeting and in no way would I wish to make light of real refugee camps, which must be dreadful places for those having to live there.
Once up, we set off into the little town of Goderich to visit the Farmer's Market on the town square. It's a lovely little market, full of local produce and smiling (if cold looking) stall-holders. Mrs T bought some frozen vegan Mulligatawny soup and we all enjoyed some really good pretzels, courtesy of Red Cat Farm and their little truck. The owners are of German origin and were chattering away in German to their customers, this part of Ontario being quite a little German speaking enclave. We witnessed it a couple of years back with all the Bayern Munich fans in Boston Pizza watching the EUFA Champions League. That, my North American friends is real football, the stuff played with a foot and a ball, not the other stuff that should really be called Handegg.
But I digress. After the market we went to the local superstore to stock up on groceries before heading back to the campground for lunch and a session on the excellent beach with the lunatic hound. The weather was definitely improving now; still cold but much nicer with the sun high in a clear blue sky.
We were just about to set the camp fire for the evening meal when a rather handsome Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV (4x4 for my UK readers) pulled up and a man said "You can't tow that with that!". It was the code-phrase and I knew I was talking to a fellow AirForums member; not Andy from Toronto but Jim from Burlington. He was visiting with his 30' International Signature Airstream, saw the Toadmobile alongside Towed Haul and knew that it was Mr UK Toad and family. A most pleasant surprise and it was lovely to meet him and his wife.
We did get the fire going, or rather the big tadpole did and he made a fine job of it. We tossed a couple of foil- wrapped potatoes into the fire pit, sat back and enjoyed the wood smoke in our now watery eyes. The big tadpole turned out a hat full of burgers roasted on the open fire and we feasted initially on them, followed a little while later by the exquisitely cooked potatoes (Two and half hours on a wicked and uncontrolled heat) and baked beans.
Eventually we cleaned up and sat down to a Harry Potter DVD, whilst I dozed and everybody else had a good laugh at me.
Bedtime revealed some slightly improved temperatures and a tadpole now better understanding his sleeping equipment. I had pictured them staying up half the night on their phones or little DVD players but no, they both went off to sleep quite quickly, as did we in the toasty Airstream. Sunday was looking even better for weather so we were looking forward to a nice day.
Don't forget to read tomorrow's "Victoria's Sunday" for another exciting episode in the tale of the Toads.
Mr Toad - Airstreamer
The Old Blog