Doug Rutherford

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Fox Lake trip, May 2014

May 2014
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Our first camping trip of the year.

Monday, May 19th

We started off intending to go to Fox Lake on the May long weekend, but things weren’t quite ready. Clara was tired. I was even more so. I tried to find the ambition to get the camper ready and repacked for the new season but just couldn’t get up for it. We did have company coming on Wednesday, the 14th, which would have been the best day to get out and get a spot at the lake. We did have to do a bit of work for that, including getting the guest room ready.

So, we decided to wait until the Monday to let the campground clear and give me a few days to get it ready. There are still some forgotten things, but we will probably survive it.

We hit the road about 3 PM, after getting gas and propane. With all of the trips we did last year, and having the tank refilled after the May long weekend last year, I was expecting the propane tank to take quite a bit to fill. Turns out, we burned $35 of propane last year. I was quite surprised and was expecting a larger amount. I guess things are more efficient with a new camper and newer appliances.

The campground was rather quiet. It did rain on the way out, although not hard. I did manage to get the camper levelled and lay under it to put up the stabilizer jacks without getting soaked. It did sprinkle much of the evening. However, by bedtime, we got quite a soaking rain.

I don’t have too many details on the temperature. I bought a wireless thermometer for the camper. I put batteries in it and put the sensor outdoors on the back deck. However, I couldn’t find the receiver to bring it camping. Hint: it was a bit chilly.

Tuesday, May 20th

By the time we got up, the rain had ended. It was cloudy most of the morning and early afternoon, but the sun came out by 2 o’clock. It was a lovely day in that regard, although temperatures were still quite cold and the furnace was on throughout the day.

I really didn’t have much in store for plans for the day. I did get around to running the little generator twice to bring up the batteries a bit. The furnace does take its toll and the sun didn’t come out quick enough to bring them up a bit. I also needed to recharge the laptop a bit.

The repairs to the old generator seem to have worked. I do notice that I can’t run the microwave on it without blowing the breaker on the generator. This is not a huge issue, although it is nice to be able to reheat a cup of tea that has gone cold. The big generator has no problems with this, but the lighter weight (58 lbs. vs 120 lbs.) are a nice bonus and the little one is far quieter than the new one. Both, however, make too much noise for my liking. I do enjoy the convenience but don’t like the noise.

Generator image

The little generator in its little house.

One thing does become obvious though. With the furnace running and the cloudiness, neither the small generator or the solar panel can keep up with the battery draw. We had to turn the furnace off overnight and still had very little battery left.

The high point of the morning involves my benchmark for a nice camping trip. About 11 AM, there was much squawking and flying around of a flock of about a dozen birds. They were circling the campground and were too high up to see what they actually were. An hour later, I went for a walk around the campground and saw two floating on one of the few open areas of the lake. The loons are back, and I got a few nice pictures. I still haven’t heard them singing yet, though.


Loon image

The loons have arrived.

Wednesday, May 21st

We woke up and it was cold. It was probably below freezing overnight. There was 0.1% of the battery power left. At 7:30, even though it was still a bit early, I started the truck and ran it for an hour to get a bit of juice into the RV carriage batteries.


Mountain image

New fallen snow on the mountains.

I eventually discovered a light had been left on in the cargo compartments under the truck. Also, I looked in the battery compartment and the connections could use cleaning. This is a project for after we get home.

It clouded over today, and didn’t get very warm. However, the clouds should keep the heat in and mean that it won’t be as cold tonight as last night.

I made an interesting discovery. I found a campsite here that I had never noticed before. Once the lake opens and we come back, I’m going to try to get that one. We went for a walk around the campground and Clara likes the “new” spot, too.

Thursday, May 22nd

It was a bit warmer overnight. It obviously didn’t go below freezing, which was an improvement. We spent the morning getting the site packed up after breakfast and stowing some of the things in the camper. The first trip isn’t known for its packing efficiency. A short drive home and thus, endeth, the first camping trip of the year.


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