Sunday, September 29, 2013

There is a sacredness in tears

More beautiful days… If it weren’t for the golden yellow of the fields, and the rusty orange fringes on the trees we could be convinced that it is summer. We have to remember not to take these days for granted, like we often do in the summer, but instead savour and rejoice! (if only my grey mood didn’t make it difficult to do so for more than an instance or two).



The three otters were back yesterday morning – perhaps there is still one or two fish left to tempt them. I can’t begrudge them though as they seem to like playing in the deep pond. The other waterways nearby are quite shallow, so I wonder how they swim in them.



This time of year we have fields of blue asters. Unfortunately I haven’t figured out my camera enough to get the purplish blue to really show up. More practice is required.



The vultures were circling again  yesterday. I had my camera in hand – this was the best shot. I do have a few with three in the frame, but there are trees and other distractions. I liked the way the bird stood out against the blue September sky.



I got an email, and then a phone call from my sister this afternoon. They were on their way back home after taking my niece Nissa’s pony to the vet… the news was bad and he had to be put down. Jack has been the perfect pony for Nissa – he could go from being ridden in the back 40, to pony club games, to jumping competitions. He loved being brushed and fussed over – perfect for an 11 year old animal crazy girl.

My heart cries for her. It is so hard to lose a treasured friend, and while people will say it is only an animal, it is animals that we sometimes let more deeply into our hearts. And for an 11 year old girl whose best friend is Jack it can only be harder. I remember being the same age when my cat was fatally hit by a car. I cried for days/weeks/months… and I still cry if I hear the Peter, Paul and Mary song “Puff the Magic Dragon”.



I just got off the phone with Nissa, Shenna and my sister Kirsten. It was impossible not to cry with them, and also to cry with the frustration of not being there to hug and hold them all – NZ is just too far away.

Storm cloud

Now… Mr. Naughty snuck off yesterday afternoon, most likely into the cow pasture… I had been planning on giving them all a bath, but was procrastinating… It didn’t take me long to get the shampoo out when I caught sight of Spike – Kabira and Bella, you have him to thank for it!

There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.

Washington Irving

Thursday, September 26, 2013

I Keep My Balance Against the Wind

Today I finally made it through renaming and cataloguing our vacation photos. I took over 1500 photos while we were on our Alberta Bound adventure - it seems that 1/2 of them were of Spike, but actually there were tons of scenery photos taken.

Some days driving on the prairies I'd take 100! Of course a photo doesn't even come close to capturing the vastness and beauty, and I am strangely disappointed that looking at them doesn't transport me directly there. The photos do not lift me up like being there does, instead tears prick the back of my eyes and I wonder when I'll next smell the sagebrush and feel the wind in my hair. Years seem too long to wait. It is like being separated from a good friend...

Our property is beautiful this time of year so I am trying to fully emerse myself here, and to some degree it is working. I'm not surprised though to be constantly on guard for depression - I often feel the grey tendrils creeping in and work hard to shoo them away. I feel antsy and slightly dissatisfied.

Today we also went to visit Phil and Rita. Carm knows Phil from work, but I was meeting them for the first time (actually the second, but the first doesn't count). When meeting someone new there is a circling around truths as we each feel for how much of ourselves we can expose - how close to our true selves can we be.

It is always interesting to me the difference between men and woman's conversations. Phil and Carm were all about trucks, tires, insurance, investments ; while Rita and I talked about experiences, feelings - life.

The wind will make you sick, they told me…It will blow your body out of balance. But I keep my balance against the wind. I lean into it and let it hold me, push me firmly upright. Wind blows sickness away from me, out of my head and lungs, scours my skin, empties that thick darkness between cells, fills it with cool, moving space.
SueEllen Campbell (1996, “The Elements,” Bringing the Mountain Home

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Poetry with Wings

As if on cue, the Canada Geese started flying past our property on the first day of Fall. While it is true that their arrival heralds the coming winter, I still enjoy their passing. There is something awesome about them with their tight formations and thrum of their wings.


Since we came home from camping on Monday, the sun has been shining and the temperatures have been warm. The forecast for the week – temps in the early 20’s (70F ish).  A nice temperature no matter the season, but especially wonderful this time of year!


Yesterday I attended Jo Ellen’s retirement party. She was my boss for many, many years (and a great one at that), as well as a good friend. Now she will truly be “just” a friend as she sheds the remains of 30+ years of working in the guv. We worked together for, oh gosh, it must be at least 26 years!  Jo Ellen is the last of our “group” to retire – Congratulations and welcome to the retired life. Now we’ll be able to get together for coffee or lunch whenever we wish :-) 

On our way home from the festivities we stopped at Sears to pick up a grill press thing-a-ma-bob. My thoughts are that I’ll be able to grill vegetables (as well as yummy sandwiches) on this and we’ll be able to unload the bbq from the camper. Last night I grilled portabella mushrooms, zucchini, red pepper, then layered them on a naan, topped a tiny bit of cheese, then another naan. I popped the whole thing back into the grill press for a few minutes. Oh what a delight! Yum, yum and yum. And doing the vegetables was EASY and fast :-)  Tonight I’ll be grilling green beans. If they turn out I’ll be really pleased.

Yesterday was also Tuesday, which means Dance Class! Yippee! Last night we “learned” the Fox Trot. Oh my. After a quick review of the Cha Cha we started learning the new steps of the FT. As I stood there watching the instructor move his feet – one, two, step to the side, step back – I was laughing, rolling on the floor laughing, in my head. How could a little series of steps be so darn hard to learn??? How stunned are we? Well, we tried our best and were soon zig zagging (and sometimes ouch zagging as we stepped on each others feet), around the dance floor. I have no idea how others were doing as all my attention was focused on Carm and I. But we had fun and laughed at ourselves a lot.

Back to today – the sun is shining (as I think I mentioned). Looking out of the kitchen window this morning I saw a few turkey vultures (why do I want to keep calling them condors?) circling in the sky. Cool.


Later, when I was out in the backyard, I could see well over a dozen of them drafting the breeze over the creek. Was there something dead or dying down there? I don’t know, but watching them with their slow, easy flight was thrilling. (btw – I brought Spike inside – I’m pretty sure they don’t do any killing themselves, but with so many of them I didn’t want to take a chance!).

Just looked out the window and could see 3 of them perched on fence posts in the pasture. A peer through the binoculars revealed that they had just had a bath and were drying their wings in the sun. They are huge! The binoculars gave me a really good look at them as they preened themselves. Awesome! (too bad I didn’t have a really good telephoto lens!)


The dance can reveal everything mysterious that is hidden in music, and it has the additional merit of being human and palpable. Dancing is poetry with arms and legs.

Charles Baudelaire

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Rain is grace

The week of beautiful summer weather has continued (and it is still officially summer). I'm still camping, although Carm isn't and has missed out on these lovely days (I think he's been doing yard work at home - I've just be lazing around).

Carm left Wednesday morning to take his mother to a doctors appointment, and, generously, stayed home to let me have the camper for a few nights of girls nights.


I can't remember how many years we have done this, but once a year my mom comes down for the night. With just the two of us we have plenty of time for visiting, without the distraction of a bunch of other people around. I love these little visits and treasure them dearly.

Of course I miss Carm, he's my steadying influence.

Mom stayed visiting for most of the day Thursday - we sat outside, adjusting our chairs into the shade as the sun moved across the sky.

What a glorious day!

I wasn't alone for long though. Our neighbours Trudie & Leo pulled into the campsite beside us, so Trudie stopped in for a quick visit late in the evening. No time to get lonely!

Now it is almost 1pm on Friday; I'm outside trying to keep in the shade as it is even hotter today. I've actually got the awning shade up (or would that be down?). Grace is outside in her little cage - I've just put in a dish so she can have a bath (she hasn't yet). The dogs are inside - I'm expecting Ruth and don't need a bunch of dogs underfoot as we unload the van of birds and other stuff needed for a girls night! (Grace - you are having friends over!)

If you read back in my blog to this time last year, you will see that Ruth came to visit then as well - like with my mom, we have had a yearly visit for a few years. If we have 1/2 as much fun (and 1/2 as much hangover!) as last year we still will have had a really good time :-)

I'll update tomorrow. You might wonder why I don't just post this today, and then write a new post for tomorrow - Carm is a good husband, but not good enough to leave me with the internet! It only seemed fair that he got to take it home as I had all the visitors... but still!

So I'll post tomorrow, which will really be today... it will be Saturday, which is tomorrow from now... oh, you know what I mean!

Tomorrow/Today/Saturday morning:

Ruth and I had a great time yesterday. We sat outside in the hot sun until it was below the trees. Then we came in to feed all the beasts: 3 parrots and 3 dogs, and 2 hungry women.

I had bought some frozen dim sum pieces to try - they were good - I'll be buying them again. Ruth made a delicious salad, and we had a tray with veggies and baguette. Pretty healthy eating wouldn't you say!

Today is cloudy and spitting rain - bother! I guess we'll be curling up with books. I just heard disparaging remarks from the people in the campsite across the way about people not coming out of their campers (I should stick my head out the door and tell them that I'm not outside because they are loud boors!). I guess it might have been directed our way as we spent the morning (Ruth left at 10) inside having our coffees and breakfasts, and I just stuck my head out the door to deploy the awning. Sorry folks - I don't feel the need to spend every minute outside with the mosquitoes and rain... plus I have a nice space inside ;-)


Later Saturday:

Carm is here – we’ve gone for a long walk, and then sat outside under the awning while it rained off and on. Then we were hungry so went to the Basket Case for their all day breakfast.

The restaurant was packed so we ended up sharing a table with a friendly young couple (Bruce & Manon). They were setting up their hobby farm for horses, building electric fence this weekend. We have lots of experience building fences so we answered some of their questions. Of course the conversation continued all through lunch and ended up with us exchanging phone numbers.

It has been raining off and on (more on now than off) so we are happy to spend the rest of the day inside, watching golf and reading.

I had a hard time chosing a quote today; should it be about all the summer we’ve been experiencing? Or the friendship of the last few days? I decided on rain, perhaps because of the raindrops on the window next to me.


Rain is grace; rain is the sky descending to the earth; without rain, there would be no life.

John Updike

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

summer's best of weather

There were no big plans for my birthday today except that we are out at the campground (my favourite place to spend a bday). We went for a long walk, had lunch at the Basket Case (club sandwich), read in the sun and had a nap.


Then we went to our dancing lessons, which were a blast. There were lots of laughs, mostly at each other (we both have two left feet). Last night we learnt the Cha Cha - and I use the word learnt to mean that the steps were shown to us and we tried to mimic them… We may or may not remember then when we practice.

After our class we came back to the camper for a late supper with a celebratory bottle of bubbles.

A quiet day camping, with the sun shining (oh! it was beautiful!), which is just what I like.


Monday we went to the McIntosh & Watts outlet store in Lancaster to get my birthday present. They have all sorts of merchandise, but what I wanted was a mug with Vincent Van Gogh's "Starry Nights" on it. The painting has become a bit of a mantra for me, reminding me that there is a good side to being bipolar. Sometimes, like the last few days, when greyer thoughts predominate it is good to have a visual reminder. Plus it holds two coffee cups worth of tea!



I heard this song on the radio yesterday and the day before - after years of hearing it and singing along, I finally noticed the lyrics, perhaps because I’m struggling with a little bit of greyness myself and I’m hoping for a “bright, bright sun-shiny day”. As wonderful as the sun was yesterday I still can’t see clearly…

I Can See Clearly Now Lyrics by Johnny Nash.

I can see clearly now, the rain is gone, I can see all obstacles in my way Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind
It’s gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright) Sun-Shiny day.
I think I can make it now, the pain is gone
All of the bad feelings have disappeared
Here is the rainbow I’ve been prayin for
It’s gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright) Sun-Shiny day.
Look all around, there’s nothin but blue skies
Look straight ahead, nothin but blue skies
I can see clearly now, the rain is gone, I can see all obstacles in my way Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind I
t’s gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright) Sun-Shiny day.

By all these lovely tokens September days are here, With summer's best of weather And autumn's best of cheer.

Helen Hunt Jackson

Saturday, September 14, 2013

You Otter Stop Eating My Fish!

I had a bit of a surprise yesterday – I had been in the camper and as I came out I could hear what I thought were ducks on the pond, so I snuck down a bit closer to get a look. They were not ducks, they were furred creatures. I thought at first they were muskrat, which are reasonably common in the area, but they didn’t swim like a muskrat, and their tails were wide and furry.


They sure looked like otters, but do we even have them in the area? A quick google and look at Wikipedia told me that these were North American River Otters, and that this was part of their range. They normally inhabit larger waterways but perhaps there is population pressure sending them our way.


They were busy fishing for goldfish in the pond – I wonder how many will left when the otters are finished their feast? We tried scaring them away, but they basically just looked at us and gave us the proverbial finger. We let the dogs out as another try. The dogs were pretty interested, but since the otters were in the water, the dogs lost interest pretty quickly. Hurmph.



Later in the day there was no sign of them.

This morning I could hear them again and sure enough all 3 were back, whistling and snorting to each other. They are slightly cute, but also slightly snake like… Still it is fun to have wildlife in the backyard.


Speaking of wildlife, Spike killed a little rabbit yesterday. I have mixed feelings about it – I don’t like him killing (and he seems to be a Natural Born Killer), but an overpopulation of rabbits isn’t great for the garden or the trees. In the winter they eat the bark off, sometimes “ringing” it, causing the tree to die. So. I guess I won’t get too excited about it. (note to self: put the flea stuff on the dogs after their bath today).

In all things of nature there is something of the marvellous.


Habitual Nourishment - Have Faith

It has been ages since I posted, and now it is time to get back to business. I gained 8 pounds over the summer (6 before I even went on our cross country trip). So now it is time to pay the piper and get back on the road to weight loss. I am now 25 lbs away from my goal.

How will I start? Slowly at first. I am cooking more healthy meals and trying to stay active around the house. As the camping season winds down I’ll get more strict with food choices and get back on the treadmill.

I’d like to get down to my “wedding weight” in time for our 25th wedding anniversary next summer. Can I do it? I just have to get the motivation and keep it!


Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.
Norman Vincent Peale

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Unity is strength... when there is teamwork and collaboration

We finished the repair to our grey tank today! We have a good feeling of accomplishment as it wasn't an easy fix.

We had to drop the bottom of the trailer, remove the wet insulation, remove the old part, buy new parts, cut each of the new parts as they were too long, glue the parts together and squeeze them back in place, then finish up by putting in new insulation and screwing the bottom of the trailer back in place. Whew!

As always, we worked well together. Putting our heads together and sharing ideas helped us to solve some of the problems we ran into. Right from the beginning of our relationship we worked well together - eventually. First there was usually some yelling and shouting as we figured out the best way to approach the task. That part of the experience doesn't happen any more - we've learned to listen to each other better.

We've tackled some challenging projects over the years. One of the big ones that stands out in my mind is when we finished the bird room. Picture a sheet of plastic 14' high by 100' long. One giant piece of wallpaper that we couldn't get any holes in. We wanted the plastic to go around the whole room, including the ceiling. There was only a seam down the centre of the ceiling and where the ends joined by the door. Wow! There was some yelling over that one, but once we had it figured out we worked well and got the job done. (we had to make a big jig for that one). Wallpapering is child's play after that!

Another big one - we designed our own house, and survived the building process (we had a general contractor). I think we only had one big argument over that one, which is amazing when you think about it!

I think the biggest project that we did together is when we built the barn. We had help from friends and family, and we hired someone to do the tin roof, but otherwise we did it all. It was a huge job but we got it done. And it turned out pretty darn well! I still feel a good feeling of accomplishment when I look at it.

Unity is strength... when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.
Mattie Stepanek

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Dancing Queen

I've always suspected that I have two left feet, and now it is confirmed. We had our first ballroom dancing class today and it was a blast. I may never float across the dance floor, but I'm okay with lurching and tripping.

Two Left Feet:

The class teaches "social ballroom" - the kind that you can use at a wedding reception or other such event. We "learnt" the rumba today - I say learnt in quotes as I'm pretty sure I won't remember it at all by tomorrow (I'll be bringing my camera for the next class). There are just 5 couples in the class which made for a friendly atmosphere - we were all beginners.

They host a dance at the community center ever other Saturday - for $7 a couple we can practice in a dance setting, and get a chance to meet new people. I'm really excited to know a dance or two so that we can go!

It was fun and I'm really glad that I signed us up. Yes, even Carm had a good time. We laughed together and at each other, concentrated on getting our footwork right, it was a good thing.

Let us read and let us dance - two amusements that will never do any harm to the world.


Sunday, September 8, 2013

With an apple I will astonish Paris

I took some photos of the apple trees against the crazy blue sky today. They turned out really well… EXCEPT… when I looked at the photos on my computer I could see giant worm holes… UGH!

Thankfully I took a photo of a nice looking apple, just so you know they aren’t all wormy.


I made myself go outside and garden a bit – but it wasn’t long before I was distracted by the pretty wild flowers - I just had to make an arrangement for the house. Unfortunately, by the time they were in the house the flowers were starting to close and shrivel up. I felt an affinity with them as I could imagine their distress about leaving their roots. Even uprooted they were pretty.



I left them on the table on the front deck – they will be lovely company for lunch tomorrow!

I forgot to mention (or did I?) – we start ballroom dancing lessons on Tuesday! It should be a blast.

With an apple I will astonish Paris.

Paul Cezanne


Saturday, September 7, 2013

How Sweet the Earth Smelled

There is nothing good to say about today's weather - grey skies hinting of rain. Oh, I guess the good thing is that it didn't actually rain... Still, I managed to get a few things done in the house, and even organized a bit in the basement. Carm did some tree trimming with the new, super dooper, tree cutting saw. It worked well!

Tonight we enjoyed our first apple crisp of the year - from our own apples! Ummm, ummm good! We have so many apples on the trees, and on the ground, that the fragrance is amazing. I love walking out among the trees.

We were eating our crisp while enjoying a show about Italy (Francesco's Italy). At one point he was talking with an opera singer, and while standing in the square of an Italian town she burst into song - "O mio babbino caro" from the opera "Gianni Schicchi" by Puccini. The music had such power and emotion that after only a few moments we both had tears on our cheeks. Incredible.

“How the stars shone. How sweet the earth smelled. The orchard gate creaked, and a footstep pressed on the sand. And she entered, fragrant as a flower, and fell into my arms. Oh, sweet kisses, lingering caresses. Slowly, trembling, I gazed upon her beauty. Now my dream of true love is lost forever. My last hour has flown, and I die, hopeless, and never have I loved life more.” ― Giacomo Puccini, Tosca

Friday, September 6, 2013

September Sky

The sky this morning was an impossible blue. There wasn't a cloud in sight to distract from the blue. I didn't think to take a picture until later in the day when the clouds had already moved in.

We started fixing the leak in the grey tank today. First we drove the trailer up onto boards on one side, and then raised the front to make the bottom more accessible. Carm got underneath and started removing the screws that holds the bottom coroplast on. Once that was done he dragged out the waterlogged sheets of fiberglass pink insulation. What a mess. When we could see the connection, it was immediately apparent that the seal between two pieces had come undone - hummm... After consulting with our neighbor Leo (an engineer!), Carm took a trip to the rv store to order a new part. Let's keep our fingers crossed that we'll get the part and the job done by next Wednesday.

While all of this was going on, I put the back seat of the truck back together with the clean bedding. The dogs were watching, but they weren't exactly clamouring to get in. Spike was underfoot at one point so I put him in the truck. He didn't look thrilled, but at the same time wouldn't come back out. So I guess they'll come with us if they must! Better than being left behind ;-)

Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.
Langston Hughes

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Laugh at the Sky

There's no doubt about it - fall is here and summer is over. I had hoped for a last hurrah for when we got home, another week of hot weather, but no such luck. Of course we may still get an Indian Summer (and I'll keep my fingers crossed that it comes when we are out on our next camping trip!).

Today was cool but sunny - the perfect day to get out to the camper to give it a good vacuum and get the hardwood floors "rejuvenated". And let's not forget the truck. I expected it to be dirty - after all 10,000 km with 3 dogs and 2 people was sure to pick up some dirt - but it wasn't as bad as I thought. It still took a good hour to vacuum and scrub everything. The dog blankets are in the laundry and then it will be fresh and clean again.

I love these early fall days with the air slightly crisp, but the sun still strong enough to warm. The trees and plants have just started to turn, but are still mostly green. The fall flowers (weeds) are in bloom, brightening the fields with their yellow and purple hues.

To make the day even nicer, my friend Christina dropped by for a visit. We caught up over a cup of tea (I had no cookies to offer her).

Supper tonight was a bit of an experiment. I had seen a recipe somewhere for a salad with watermelon, feta, and I think basil, and since we have a giant watermelon in the fridge I thought I'd wing it. I had no basil so added pesto, and also added a can of black beans for substance. It was surprisingly good and would be a lovely meal for a hot summer day. I'll have to remember for next summer.

When you realize
how perfect everything is you
will tilt your head back
and laugh at the sky.


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Well Worth Having

Our first day back was a flurry of activity. I had the easy job of emptying the camper, while Carm slaved away at the grass. Six weeks without cutting made for a hayfield and not a lawn. Plus it was a bit wet to make the job that much harder. Still, in "just" a little over four hours he got it done! With a push mower! And being attacked by wasps - he figures 4-6 stings. Luckily he didn't have a big reaction...

After recovering (somewhat) in the shower we headed over to our neighbors for supper. I don't think either of us stopped talking the whole time we were there, regaling them with stories of our trip. They were lucky to avoid the 1500 photos that I took ;-) I started going through the photos yesterday, renaming and sorting but I didn't get more than a small fraction finished. This time I'm tagging the good photos and copying them to another directory for viewing - unlike NZ when they were all put it the same giant folder. The extras will be saved, but won't be inflicted on anybody except myself. It is hard to choose though!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Summary of Our Trip

42 days / 6174 miles / 9937 kilometres

average fuel economy 11.5 mpg /  22.05 liters per 100 km




  • North Bay / Dreany Haven (1)
  • Moonbeam (1)
  • Nipigon / Birchwood RV Park (1)
  • Kenora / Ancinabe (2)
  • Brandon / Turtle Crossing (1)
  • Moose Jaw / Prairie Oasis (2)
  • Medicine Hat / Gas City (7) *
  • Patricia / Dinosaur Provincial Park (3) **
  • Calgary / Calgary West (4)
  • Banff / Tunnel Mountain II (3) **
  • Medicine Hat / Gas City (3) *
  • Maple Creek / Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park Sask (4) *
  • Brandon / Turtle Crossing (2)
  • Steinbach / Kal Tire (1)
  • Kenora – Rushing River PP (1) **
  • Nipigon / Birchwood Rv Park (1)
  • Pancake Bay PP (3) **
  • North Bay / Samuel de Champlain (1)
  • HOME

(Stars beside our favourites.)

We had a WONDERFUL Time! For each of us it was our best vacation ever (although the cattle drive is a close tie for me). We saw so many wondrous things and met so many lovely people. Time flew by, yet everything seems to have happened so long ago. Spending all of that time in such close confines was not a problem – we enjoyed each others company and still had stuff to talk about during the drive times.

Before we left I had spent time making playlists on my computer for playback in the truck. We only used it a few times, usually because I wanted to hear a specific song. XM radio was our go-to music, and the 70s station played so much music that we both loved and brought back memories.

The dogs were great. They never complained about getting into the truck and rode quietly no matter how long the day. They seemed to enjoy exploring new places, and were happy to be at home in the camper. I think though that they are glad to be home.




we aren’t there yet, I guess I have time for a nap


Microsoft Streets and Trips was great. Having a map that shows rest stops, gas stations with diesel, campgrounds, etc. made the trip much easier. I didn’t feel like we were “flying blind”. Plus, with the GPS add on (thanks again Don), it told us where we were and how to navigate the cities. Very handy. And it gave me something to do on the endless roads.

Ontario has the nicest, and best equipped rest stops. They are often by a lake or river (if there is one in the area). Picnic tables and outhouses are not unusual.

The highway is just 2 lanes through most of Ontario. Some areas have frequent passing lanes, but it is mostly head on traffic. Luckily the traffic is not heavy until we hit the Ottawa valley. The highway through Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta is 4 lane divided, and for the most part in good shape. Again, not much traffic.

Three days into our trip the grey tank started leaking. We had a minor fit, wondering what were were going to do and where we’d get it fixed. Well, we didn’t fix it, instead we learned to do without. We kept a washing bowl in the kitchen and bathroom sinks, dumping the contents into the black tank. We weren’t anywhere long enough (or if we were we weren’t doing any cooking) for this to be a problem. If we had full hook-ups we’d keep the valve open to use the shower. It worked very well and was really no problem.

Biggest lesson learnt – plan for shorter driving days. The long days where we get tired are the days that mishaps are most likely to happen, not to mention they just aren’t fun! Also, staying at some places for more than one night would give us a chance to recharge and tour the area without the trailer. In other words, the trip has to be longer!










I wonder when we’ll go again – I hope it’s soon.



“The greatest adventure is what lies ahead. Today and tomorrow are yet to be said. The chances, the changes are all yours to make. The mold of your life is in your hands to break.”

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

Sunday, September 1, 2013

We Made It!

We wound our way through the forest of camper bashing trees this morning and got on the Trans Canada at about 9:20. We have about 4 1/2 hours of driving (not counting stops) today – not as long as previous days, but long enough.


We are on our way home. I’ll have to admit to a few tears this morning – I really don’t want it to end.

I will be glad to see Grace again, we’ve missed her, but at the same time she would have been miserable on this trip – way too much time in a little travel carrier…

12:30 pm and we are on the 417, not far now. I can’t say I’m feeling excited or anxious to get home. Hopefully that will change once we are safely backed in.

We arrived safe and sound just before 2pm and have already started the herculean task of unloading the trailer and doing laundry. The place is totally overgrown, which is what we expected.

The dogs seemed happy to get home. Bella sat up in the back seat for the last 10 miles, unusual for her as she normally sleeps till arrival. Maybe there was something in the air that made her think we were getting close to home.

I can hardly wait to have a good, long soak in the tub – one of the only things I miss about home!