Doug's Blog

Kusawa camping

July 6, 2016

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My vaunted hopes of getting started early in the morning were dashed quickly when I realised I only had one complete large jerry can for boat gas. Since we were going to Kusawa, it would probably call for a fair amount of fishing, and gas requirements for that.

When I did pick up fuel for the boat and generator, and a cap for a second jerry can from downtown, Clara wasn’t feeling well. We waited a bit, but the threat of losing out on a campsite drove us to the compromise. I would head out today with the cats, and Clara would come out with the truck tomorrow. This would create one issue, in that launching the boat without help and with the motorhome is not an easy task. Therefore, Clara would come out in the truck, rather than her car, and we would use that to launch the boat.

I started off, and the drive was rather uneventful until we reached the turn off for the Kusawa Lake road. I was rather pleased with the condition of the highway. Although frost heaved in the usual locations, it wasn’t too bad at all. The Kusawa Lake road, however, was a mess. Most of the 25 km to the campground was washboard, and you couldn’t drive much more than 40 kph for the whole road. It took more than half an hour to get to the campground. It is more than time for Parks to get the road graded again.

I did get camp fully set up, though, since the option for fishing was gone. This included setting up the stabilizer jacks under the motorhome, which keep it from moving when you walk from one part to the other. Clara says this will eventually make her sea sick. I also bought a new camping tarp for the first time in four years and put it up. This is a more complete set up than I have bothered with for some time, and certainly the first this year.

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The campsite.

The cats were far more at ease this trip, although neither expressed a great deal of happiness with the washboard road coming in. I put Furball in the larger carrier and he seemed OK with that. Like Darcy, he spend most of the run into the campground sleeping.

It was nowhere near as warm and sunny today as it was yesterday. It did climb up to 20° but was cloudy and muggy most of the day. Guessing that rain is coming sometime in the near future is not a huge issue. It did get a bit windy this afternoon, with whitecaps on the lake. This probably would have restricted my fishing anyway. Ah, aren’t the grapes sour? By 8 PM, though, the sun came out and the sky cleared.

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Walking scenery.

I used this as an excuse for a walk. I did a 2.2 km walk around the campground and out to the stream that runs between the first group of campsites and the second. It was a beautiful evening for a walk, with enough of a breeze to keep the mosquitoes from being a problem. I’ll knock on wood now, since in the three camping trips so far, I haven’t used insect repellent once. It’s been buggy in the back yard, particularly since I need to repair my mosquito vac, but not in the campgrounds. Since I’m looking to go to Lake Leberge at the end of the month, a lack of camping mosquitoes would be deeply appreciated, especially there.

 

Furball has spent his first camping day at the bottom step, looking out at the world. He really is my worst worry about running away. Darcy is quite the homebody, and she has spent most of the first day on the upper bunk, looking down on the rest of the world. I seriously suspect that, if I left the door open, she’d stay on the upper bunk.

I did take the guys out for a bit of a run, and quickly found a very good spot to put their tie-out stake. Furball, normally, was far more adventurous. He was particularly interested in the birds in the trees above him.

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Furball, timber kitty.

And, a bit after 10 PM, it seemed time to just sit back, watch the fire, and read my book until it was time to go to bed. After all, it’s peaceful and what could there be to worry about?

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Camping. What could go wrong?

July 7, 2016

I woke up during the night a few times, since Furball decided it would be a wonderful evening to see how many times he could stop the circulation in my legs by lying on them. Other than that, and some cramping in my poor left hip, I did have a great night.

This was the first night on the new mattress. When I was going for knee surgery, the plan was to sleep downstairs on the sofa bed for the first little while, rather than go up and down the stairs on crutches. However, a quick measurement proved that the sofa bed was far too low for me to comfortably get in and out. This necessitated a quick change of plans and I tried to find a inexpensive mattress that would the double bed and allow me to have a higher place to sleep. I ended up buying a rather nice memory foam mattress.

This quickly led to the consideration of adapting it to the motorhome bed. The corner of the bed is cut off to allow for more access into the bathroom. I was going to cut down the foam mattress and resew the cover, along with finally having the incentive to tailor the bed clothes for the bed. However, it only does stick out about a few inches, since the mattress is a little bit narrower than the bed itself. No modification of mattress, and bed sheets, required.

P.S. The mattress is far more comfortable than the old one that came with the motorhome.

Today started well, with me cooking a nice, but late, breakfast at 9 AM. This does seem to be our traditional wakeup time camping when I’m not getting up really early to go fishing.

After breakfast, I put the cats on their tie outs and did a bit of cleaning up. Then, I made coffee and went to read outside with the cats. They did surprise a vicious squirrel who was probably coming to kill us all and drive him away, or least, that’s Furball’s point of view. However, there are three dogs in the next campsite, and when the neighbours woke up and took the dogs out, Furball was quite frightened of them. He made a beeline for the door, but his line was tangled around a tree and he literally backed out of his harness. I did manage to grab him and pick him up but he was so frightened, he scratched me while I was trying to get him back to the camper. Note to self: time to restock the first aid kit.

This is kind of strange, since the dogs are all quite small and Furball hasn’t really shown any fear of dogs before. Darcy seemed a bit leery of them, as usual, but Furball was genuinely frightened. He probably is bigger than two of them to begin with, and the next campsite is about 50 feet away. I did buy off his consternation with wet food, the favourite treat in the house for both cats.

After a short while, Clara came with Katrina and Ryan. They drove up in their car and my truck. We used the truck to get the boat loaded and I took the kids for a bit of a ride, about 15 km in total. I ran it full out to see how well the boat would run. It was perfect. So, after that, I refilled the fuel tank and headed out to the first point on the other side of the lake to troll back. It did not run very well at all, surging again. If my problem was bad gas, why do I still have the same problem with new gas and fuel system cleaner in it?

I trolled on this side of the lake, therefore, in case it quit on me. I fished along the next bay, past the third campground. There were lots of fish on the fish finder, but they were all sitting on the lake bottom in about 50 feet of water. Not feeding, I’m afraid. So, I decided to see how much sputtering there would be if I ran it wide open on the way back to the campground. It ran without a hitch. I am confused.

Note that one thing was not confusing and ran perfectly. This was the fish finder from the old big boat. Since the boat was going so cheaply, I kept some of the items from it. This included the old Garmin fish finder, which works wonderfully on the little boat. One thing that did not work so well were the two cans of Coke I packed for the trip. The little cooler was still on the floor of the camper when I came back.

We made supper and then had a nap. After an hour, I decided to try the boat again. This was the worst it’s been, before and after being fixed. I had started for the first point again, but decided to come back to the dock since I didn’t think the motor was actually going to last long enough to get back. It simply does not want to run with any load on it. Half of me thought of packing up the camper and taking it back to Checkered Flag first thing in the morning to see if they could actually fix it. I also did consider just heading back with the boat early tomorrow morning, but since I probably wouldn’t get it looked at until at least next week anyway. I am a little bit tired of the motor’s issues this summer, since it hasn’t worked well this year at all.

I did come back and go for my walk. I didn’t get very far tonight, just 1.6 km. I did follow that up with two more smaller walks. Neither Darcy nor Furball were interested in being staked out with dogs on leads 50 feet away, so I took each for a walk individually. At about 9, I put a fire in. It was time for s ’mores anyway.

All told, the weather was nice although it did look like it was going to blow up from the north for a while. It was sunny and got up to 20° again today. The sunset, or as close as you get to it here with the mountains, was lovely, with Mount Vanier being licked by the last rays of the bright sunshine.

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As we sat reading a bit before bed, along comes a fox down the campground road. He was quite the size, and a cross fox as well. We don’t normally see foxes in this campground. I wonder if this is the end year of the rabbit cycle, since I haven’t seen many of those this year either.

July 8, 2106

It rained overnight and the wind blew. All of the tent poles blew down on the tarp over the picnic table, which led to the cats being fascinated with the ropes blowing to and fro. There was a great deal of scrambling to determine who would have the best window vantage point to watch things swaying the wind.

Through most of the day, it was quite cloudy. The sun did manage to peek through about 4 PM (for a little while). We did spend some time sitting under the awning, watching the cats on their leads. The people in the site next door with three dogs left around lunch time, so they were quite content to be outdoors.

However, despite the sun, a large black cloud appeared across the lake, followed by several rumbles of thunder. It looked pretty bad, so I battened down the campsite, put away the tarp and much of the cooking things. I also went and pulled the boat up onto shore just in case. When the wind blows out of the north here, it tends to blow quite hard and the lake can get pretty rough rather quickly. However, it usually calms down just as fast.

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Storm clouds over Kusawa Lake.

 

I had started supper on the barbecue but finished it indoors because of the way the weather was turning.

About 8:30, all was sunny and calm again and the temperature went up to its rather consistent high of 20°. The low last night was only 13°, a nice temperature for sleeping. I went for a walk, about 1.3 km, and then remembered I had some fuel system cleaner in the motorhome. I pulled the boat back out far enough on the wharf to lower the engine and poured some of that in the fuel tank. I sloshed it around and ran the motor at idle for about 10 minutes. This won’t tell me if it works fine, which it has on occasion but not consistently, but will get a bit of the cleaner in the system to sit overnight and work, if, of course, that is the problem.

July 9, 2016

Morning started early, since I looked out the window when Darcy head-butted me awake a bit before 4 AM. This is normal, since she is a bit emotionally needy at times and needs her early morning cuddle to get through the night. However, I looked at the window at a lovely sunrise, so I grabbed the camera and walked down to the beach to get some pictures.

I quickly discovered the memory card was still in the computer, so walked back to get it. When I came back, a woman had set up her tripod on the same spot with much the same idea I had. She laughed and said, “I’m glad I’m not the only wingnut up at 4 AM.” I grabbed a few pictures, so I should throw one in for an example of what the mornings are like.

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Sunrise on Kusawa Lake.

We did go back to sleep and got up at a more reasonable hour. After breakfast, I got the dishes and got out the gear to try the boat… again. It worked fine. I ran her up under power and there was no power loss, no sputtering and no hesitation. I am confused. I did troll a bit near the campground, since I’m still a bit hesitant to trust going to the narrows, about 9 miles down the lake with a motor that’s been undependable. I did take another speed run after trolling a bit, since the fish were all about 1 or 2 feet off the bottom. They’re sleeping, rather than feeding, when they’re there. I came back in when it looked like the weather was going to blow up a bit. Sure enough, another afternoon thunderstorm came up.

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Thunderstorm.

With the storm, the lake was quite rough, although the bay in front of the campground was still quiet flat. The wind was blowing out of the south, and the point where the second and third campgrounds are does block off a fair amount of weather when there are southerlies.

I put a fire in a bit later, and wondered my standard epicurean question. Do marshmallows and chocolate go with a red or white? I read in front of the fire for a few hours, while Clara read inside the motorhome. I also managed to take each cat for a long walk, in spite of Darcy trying to pull a fast one and escape through the door when I was coming in. Both cats were far more adventurous than usual, and both went quite a ways. And, neither asked to come in for a change. They are rapidly becoming advanced camping kitties.

It stayed warm and muggy, even with the thunder. It hit a high of 21°, while the inside of the camper got to as high as 25°. Nighttime temperatures were quite comfortable though, every night.

I went back in, finished working on my log, and enjoyed a hot chocolate. Camping is strenuous.

July 10, 2016

During the evening, the cats raised quite a commotion. About 4 AM, they took turns running over us in the bed to the bedroom window, and then back to the kitchen window a few feet away. The were quite intent on something. This morning, when I was getting the generator started for the toaster (have I mentioned that camping is strenuous), there was a bit pile of fox crap right under our bedroom window. I think I get what the commotion was about.

I went to bed, feeling miserable with a headache and a sore throat. I woke up worse. We did grab a quick breakfast and started getting everything back together to come home. Clara drove my truck while I brought back the motorhome and the boat.

We also shared cats, with Clara taking Furball and me taking Darcy. Furball travelled with his seatbelt harness for the whole trip. He was good but was upset that I wasn’t in the truck with them. We met up at the Takhini Burn rest area, and he was fine after that.

I left Darcy in the carrier to the rest area, but put her in her seatbelt harness from that point on. She tried three time to get onto the dash, her favourite camping napping area, but fell since the lead was too short to let her get up. I succumbed, and reach over and unhooked her. She spent the rest of the trip on the dash in front of the passenger seat, happy as a clam. She sort of looked like a little sphinx, perched with her paws out in front of her, sound asleep…

 

 

 

 

Canada Post lockout looming

Canada Post has provided a 72-hour notice of lockout to its employees, taking effect on this coming Friday.

That does not necessarily result in a lockout at that time, but Canada Post will be allowed to “take measures that are necessary to respond to the changing business reality.”  The labour dispute, if it comes to fruition, will not be a strike. This is not action by the employees, but rather that of the management of the corporation shutting down mail operations rather than negotiating a settlement with its employees.

Since Canada Post is a crown corporation, a lockout does provide an unfair advantage to the employer. It isn’t really a company per se. With a regular company, locking out the employees for an extended period will eventually result in the business going bankrupt. If you don’t operate, than you make no income and eventually, that ends poorly. The system does provide for some incentive for the employees and employer to eventually come to some agreement. In the case of a crown corporation, this incentive is only on the heads of the employees, and the employer gets to act with impunity.

Therefore, here is my modest suggestion for federal crown corporations. To ensure that services are provided and labour relations function on a fair footing, in case of lockout, where management has opted to close the operations, managers should not be paid until the lockout ends. Suddenly, that equal incentive comes back into play…

Back to Fox Lake

Wednesday, June 22/2016

It took a while to actually get going. I had been aiming to head out at about 4 PM but things just took too long to get ready and packed and it was a bit after 5 before we headed out. I was worried about getting a decent spot at Fox Lake. We went back to Fox since friends have a cabin right next to the campground and we don’t get to see them often enough.

The drive was rather uneventful, other than Furball not settling down very well and meowing constantly. He really doesn’t like his carrier much. Darcy tends to climb in and fall asleep as soon and the camper starts moving. He did eventually settle into it, or just come to accept his fate as inevitable, after about 20 minutes.

We arrived to find the campground almost full. There were three spots left… a double site and a single right on the turn lane next to the boat ramp. The two at the double would be fine if you only had to level something short like a camper, but a 24’ motorhome is something else. We took the less attractive site, which also required a few attempts to get levelled out as well. I need a better levelling system.

I was surprised to see it as full as it was, but there was a group of large Class A motorhome travelling together, along with a very nice couple who parked their trailer crosswise across a double to take both sites. We aren’t fond of sharing two close sites with someone you don’t know, but it was the best choice had it been available.

I loaded the boat, since I was in a rush to determine how the repairs went. They weren’t much… just a cleaning of the fuel system and new plugs. They figured the gas had gone over. I changed the fuel in the tank. However,with setting up, and the long day, I was in no mood to go out in the boat. I cooked dinner and had a beer to make myself officially camping. After dinner, I was just too tired to go out so left my discoveries to be made for the next day.

We had finally got most of the setting up and unpacking done after a rather rushed job of leaving by about 10 PM. By that point, the promised thundershowers for last evening were obviously not coming and it was 21 degrees. The sun was out and it was a beautiful evening. We took the cats out for a stroll around the site on their leads. Then, I sat down on my new camp chair with a glass of wine, when along comes our friends with the cabin. We had a great visit and will probably head over to their place tomorrow evening. They brought their small dog, who was reasonably friendly towards the cats on the other side of the camper door. Furball was slightly less upset than Darcy. She wanted nothing to do with him.

The cats did settle for a bit overnight, but when the ravens woke at about 5 AM, there was a different story. They went from window to window trying to see what all the commotion is. Eventually, when the ravens gave up, so did they and they want back to sleep for a few hours.

Thursday, June 23/16

We did finally get up around 9 AM and I made breakfast. I got the chance to try my new Polaris generator, which is incredibly quiet compared to the other one. It didn’t seem to add too much of a load to run either the toaster or the microwave when I wanted to reheat my bacon. So far, I’m rather impressed, although it took a week longer than promised.

It’s rated as quieter than a Honda but is a few pounds heavier. And, it was on sale for $200 off the listed price, and the price on the ticket was the same as charged, unlike Honda’s adding more than $200 to the price with fees not on the price tag. That was almost $500 more than the one I went to Honda to see, which is still showing as on sale on their website even though the model is discontinued and no dealers in Canada apparently have it. Suffice to say, I really don’t like Honda’s somewhat unscrupulous practices and don’t see myself buying any of their products in the future.

After breakfast, Clara and the cats opted for nap time while I opted for fishing. I spent about 90 minutes trolling with no luck. There were fish on the finder but they were down rather deep and probably not feeding at the time. I’ll go out again later and try again.

It did start to cloud over by early afternoon. There’s no way to get the forecast out here but the last one we saw did call for sunny with cloudy periods for today.

We spent the afternoon lazily. I eventually decided to put on supper. This was our hot dog night, since you need one simple camping thing on a trip. After that, I thought some fishing was in order. Big surprise. The motor was acting up exactly the way it was on the last trip. In short, the guess of bad gas wasn’t right. Now, I have no boat and I have to take it back to the shop. And, since we came out with the boat and camper, I have no way to bring it back without going back in altogether. I am not happy.

Around 6:30, the wind began to come up out of the north. I don’t see it being bad, since the wind is still quite warm. As you can see in the picture, there are no white caps, but there are a few clouds. I’m thinking rain by morning.

A little rain is OK. It will bring down the dust at the camp site.

So, my new plan is to deal with the boat. Since it can troll, I’m going to have to make do with trolling not too far from the campground. I don’t mind too much, since these are probably best fishing spots anyway. And, I will have to stay close since, if it does break down, I don’t want to paddle too far.

A bit after 11 PM, I cleaned up the inside of the camper and started to get things settled. We turned in about 11:45.

Friday, June 24/16

We finally got going a bit after 9. The cats seemed somewhat less stressed by the exuberance of waking ravens Although there was a bit of wanting to sit on your chest to see out your window when the caws began.

We had a nice breakfast and I went for a walk around the campground. Then , I figured I’d check if the boat was happier or not. I trolled about 750m down from the campground and came back the same distance. After a few passes in front of the campground, I figured it was time to open her up. It ran fine at full throttle for about 1000m, but then started surging a bit at the highest throttle setting. It was okay at about ¾ throttle. Maybe it need more cleaner run through it. (Add something about the cleaner). It trolls fine so I’m not without a method of fishing.

After that, I popped over to visit Kelly and Nita. I’d given her a copy of a play script to look at and get an opinion on. She liked it, by the way, especially the twist. We gabbed for over and hour and then I headed back to sit for a while. It was time to enjoy the little table with drink holder I got for Father’s Day. Camping is very strenuous.

It was when I was doing the mushrooms for the steak when I discovered that I had taken out the cooking sherry it had not packed it. We had steaks but with mushrooms sautéed without sherry. Blasphemy. Camping IS strenuous.

I have had the opportunity to observe one of my biggest peeves over camping here. I do understand why it happens, and I have done it myself. That is the practice of coming early to claim a site, leaving something in the campsite, and then coming out Friday evening. As a result, trying to head out to a relatively popular campsite means you get to turn around an head back home. The problem has expanded in scope.

We came out Wednesday and there were 3 sites left. The one we took was unattractive, but at least we got one. However, of the 50-odd sites, almost all were taken but less than half were occupied. I peaked a bit, and it became obvious that what many people are doing is coming out on Sunday afternoon after people have left for the weekend and setting up their trailer, or a tent, or a boat trailer, or simply a few chairs, filling out a slip, saying they’re staying 7 nights, and coming out the following Friday evening. Further, there were two areas where there were 3 or 4 sites next to each other held with matching chairs. With a yearly permit, it is easy enough for one person to go out and book a large number of sites, just by everyone involved giving him or her their permit number.

The rules do state that, if you are not on a site for 48 hours, it is supposed to be “abandoned.” But, it’s quite an issue to enforce that regulation, and I have talked to park officers about it on occasion. It’s getting so that, if you don’t want crowds and are on vacation, heading out to camp during the week on a Monday may mean you may not get a spot, or not a very good one. I think it’s time that the legal minds at YTG set down some new, and enforceable, regulations.

The wind did come up a bit out of the northwest, but that didn’t last more than an hour. However, it certainly made things dusty for a while. Little dust devils blew across the boat launch, impressing the cats to no end. It became obvious that there was no more fishing for me tonight, since there was no indication that the weather was going to settle down or get worse. So, I settled the boat for the night, bringing in the portable fish finder and safety gear, checked my lines, and put a campfire in. I can’t believe it took me this long to get around to having a fire. Since it’s traditional, and important, we made s’mores, and I did obey the adage of knowing your limit and only eating two. More than that is more than I’m good for now, but I did also roast a few marshmallows by themselves as well.

Saturday, June 25/16

Today was a rather full day, with company coming and doing a bit of visiting. Katrina, Shawna, and Ryan came out along with a rented canoe. They went out twice, as did I in the boat. I did get a chance to take the boat on a bit of a run without any sign of a problem. It seems that it may just need a bit of engine cleaner run through this tank of gas. It finally took until today to use up the first tank of gas in the new generator. I am rather surprised at how little it holds considering it ran about 10 hours on the first tank. The small two gallon jerry can of gas I brought for it is only half empty after refilling the generator.

The generator is still in break in period, which means less than 50% load for the first 20 hours. The biggest thing I did with it is run the toaster (750 w) and the microwave (900 w) and of course, not at the same time. It seems to handle either with no issues, although the microwave is a bit more than half its working load, but I only ran it for 15 seconds to see how it would do.

The generator is quite quiet and I deliberately didn’t bring the generator house or the front cargo rack. This gives me far more space in the cargo hutch, since the Jenny house does take up a fair bit of room. For those curious, I brought the small jerry can of gas in the boat. The front cargo rack is still a necessity if I was going to need more gas than I was planning to use this weekend. Or, I could rig a better way of carrying gas cans in the boat and get a bike carrier for the front trailer hitch.

As you may have guessed, I didn’t fare so well on the fishing front. I did lose one this morning, and while it spit the hook before I saw it, it was probably a keeper biased on weight. However, now that I have a functional boat and am getting a system down, better fishing is probably just ahead. This is my mantra for this evening. And now, it’s time for a glass of wine and bed.

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Sunday, 12:15 AM view from the camper.

Sunday, June 26/16

We got up at a reasonable hour, again about 9 AM. After a quick breakfast and washing the dishes, we started putting the campsite to bed. It really didn’t take too long, with the longest job waiting for the generator to cool down enough to pack after running it to power the toaster for breakfast. We do like our creature comforts. After that, it was a quick 50 minute drive home. Furball did not cry as much this trip and may be slowly reacquainting himself with driving. I will look at some better way for him to travel and dog seat belt harnesses are the direction I’ve been leaning.

All told, it was a nice trip. The weather held well and the boat, with a few problems at the beginning, behaved itself rather well. I think Kusawa is the next trip. I’m really pleased with the new generator and do have a few projects to do with the boat. We did give away the old boat, but some things aren’t going with it. These include the nice Garmin fish finder, which I will install in the little boat. This calls for the addition of a 12-volt battery, but that should fit nicely under my seat so it shouldn’t be in the way. I also kept the marine radio, but on a boat this size, this may be overkill…

First trip of the year, 2016

I’m a bit late posting this, but there were a number of chores to do, such as getting the boat fixed, hunting for a new generator, and some general yard work. Now that that’s done, and I printed out the checklist to go camping this weekend, I should get around to dealing with this.

Friday, June 10, 2016

This is my first camping trip in almost a year. It started well but took a bit of an annoyance turn before the end of the day. The temperature has been quite warm today, with sunny weather. However, the boat does not seem very cooperative today. It doesn’t seem to want to run properly. Oh, well. That does allow for having a beer at a reasonable time, rather than having to wait until we came back from fishing and a boat ride or two.

I left just before noon to come out to Fox Lake. I had brought the motorhome out on Wednesday evening, hoping to have the boat ready to come out sooner.  However, there were things to get done and I didn’t really get a chance to come until today. Clara did not come out, and she kept the cats, so the motorhome seems a lot emptier. I came out this morning with the boat and launched it when I arrived. I set up the boat, then set up the camper. There were a few things to do, such as make the bed and put the food away.  I followed that with taking the boat out for a half hour. It trolled well, but didn’t seem to want to move too quickly. I got back to the dock, lifted the motor, and discovered the trolling plate didn’t want to come up. I fixed that, and then company arrived. Katrina and Ryan, along with Shawna, Hanna, and her parents came.

Katrina and I went out for a quick run after dinner time. However, now the boat didn’t want to run well at all. It’s a tossup between a dirty filter, a dying fuel pump, or bad gas. I will state categorically that the gas does have fuel stabilizer in it and has since late August.

After supper, we gathered for a camp fire and had a few beers, watching it not get really dark.  I went down to the dock to get a few pictures, and came back for a last cup of tea before going to bed. I read for a bit and slipped out to get some pictures about 11:30. By that point, it was time for bed. It was 21 degrees most of the day and quite sunny. It was one of those days where the sunscreen didn’t get too far from your hand.

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Saturday, June 11, 2016

I didn’t actually wake up until 10 AM, after a nice sleep. The weather wasn’t so bad when I got up, although it wasn’t really shorts weather at that point. The temperature was only 16 degrees, less than it was went I went to bed last night at about midnight.

The wind blew throughout the day, primarily from the southeast. It was windy enough that I didn’t feel like I would have out the boat in. This, by the way, is what I’m telling myself to make the fact the boat isn’t working seem better…

We basically all hang around today. Ryan was going to a party in town so he went back to Whitehorse this morning.  I had a nap, since it was just a lazy day at the campground. People found things to do, Katrina and I went for a walk, etc. I did drop over to some friends’ cabin, but they weren’t home. Oh, well.

The evening plan was just sit around the campfire, read, and do very little. I find camping is one of the few times I really get to just sit and read. Maybe, when I retire, it should be a big camping trip.

After barbecuing some chicken skewers for a nice dinner, the weather changed. The sun came out and the wind died. It seemed like a good idea to load the boat now, rather than see what tomorrow weather is would be. It can be a bit of an issue when the wind is pushing against the side of the boat when you’re trying to load it on the trailer. It went rather quickly, and Katrina and I put the travel cover on it and got it ready to pull home tomorrow. Now, time for a nice glass of wine and to sit around the campfire. Camping is so strenuous.

I did go for another walk around the campground and then, back to sitting around the fire.  It did get up to 18 degrees at one point, but had fallen to 15 by 9:30. At that point, it was time for me to go back to the camper, get a cup of tea and a snack, and then read a bit before bed.

camp3

The campsite

Sunday, June 12, 2016

My last morning. I got up relatively early and packed up the camper. It’s annoying that the boat didn’t work, but it is the first trip of the year and things usually need tweaking. I guess I do need to take the boat in this week and look at my wish list item, a much quieter generator…

 

 

Helping out

Just a quick thought on the fires wreaking such havoc at Fort McMurray. Helping out is actually quite easy and really doesn’t call for much. For example, if 50 people donate $5, that becomes $250, and there are ways to contribute that much to the Red Cross Society by simply having it added to your cellular bill. You could do it more than once, making it quite simple to give more. In an interesting fit of mathematical nicety, giving that $5 makes it becomes $10, because the federal government has agreed to match contributions to the Red Cross.

No cell? No problem. You can donate using the Red Cross Alberta Fire Appeal website.

I think most of us could live with $5 less, and many of us wouldn’t miss a much larger amount, either. If nothing else, think of it as an easy way to double your money. Who could turn that down? And, it’s a tax deduction (remember doing taxes recently?)

Do be careful about some particular aid campaigns. For example, one “media” representative is suggesting that donations to him will be passed on the Red Cross as well. Perfectly fine, I suppose, until you consider that the donation will qualify him for the charitable donation deduction on his income tax, rather than those who actually contributed the money…

Regional hockey blackouts suck

In four minutes, the channel I’m watching will go black. Why? Because there’s a hockey game on it covered under the NHL’s regional blackouts. In case you don’t understand how it works, try holding the following conversation with the NHL:

Them: You can’t watch that channel.

Me: But, I pay the cable company to watch that channel.

Them: Yes, but you can’t watch it. You don’t live in the right province.

Me: But I paid for that channel and the shows on it.

Them: You paid to watch the channel but you didn’t pay to watch our content.

Me: (insert rude expletive here)

Them: You could pay us more money and watch it on a different channel.

Me: What’s the difference?

Them: We get more money. Then, it doesn’t matter what province you live in.

Me: So I can see every game?

Them: Yes. Except some are blacked out…

I have begun to firmly believe that the NHL’s motto should be: The fans only count when we can suck money out of them.

Camping considered: the first road trip

The weather is turning nice. We have a new car. It was time for the first short road trip of the year.

I wanted this to see if I could get a few pictures. It’s also time to see how long I can drive with my knee recovering. And, I wanted to know, now that we’ve hit the break in period, how the car would be on a longer road trip. And then, there is the final reason. It’s time to start preparing the cats for the road.

Everything worked out the way I expected. The short drive, about 45 minutes, was fine for the car and my knee. I didn’t get any pictures, but that happens. Darcy, as usual, approached this with the attitude of, “Road trip. They’ll wake me when it’s time to eat.” Furball, however, is not my little road warrior. The mournful meows started in the driveway. He sounds like you’re pulling his soul out of his body through the pores of his skin. The good news is that he settled down after about half an hour. But, he was a pretty happy kitty when we came in the house…

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