Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Monday, May 26, 2014
Thursday, May 22, 2014
We are approaching the end of May and spring temps have been disappointing so far, to say the least. But yesterday we finally got a warm day and is this really the beginning of warmer weather?
I have been cold most of the time and even on days when the sun was out I had to bundle up if my desire to be outside got the better of me. But flowers are showing up along the road ditches and with it my hopes are soaring.
The slow flowing Bow River has now turned into a much wider fast moving river. It carries lots of sediments from the glaciers. But as long as the mountain run-off is not fed by more rain there should be no concerns for flooding.
Over on Campobello Island, the weather hasn’t been much friendlier either. Cold spring weather is the rule rather than the exception in Canada.
But for what it is good I am enjoying the current stream.
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
And I don’t mean that in any negative way or that I am now looking for the comforts of a full hook-up. Even a full hook-up wouldn’t solve the problem I have encountered here. No, it’s been the cold weather which has caused my clothes to get wet INSIDE the closet.
When I took out a new T-shirt the other day I wondered why it felt soooo cold and well – wet. Investigating the matter, I removed everything out of the closet, which basically is in a slide-out, and I felt around inside the closet with my hand and came up with water dripping of my fingers!
No Sir, all that water was the result of condensation! While I am forced to heat the trailer, the humidity from inside hits the cold outer wall and builds up a stream of water. I have had water dripping of the roof hatch over my bed!
With a towel I wiped off everything inside the closet and hung up my clothes around the rig. Actually, I should have taken everything to a Laundromat and put it in a dryer. So dry-camping doesn’t mean you and your stuff is staying dry.
I have often thought that I would like to build my own RV. Take a box truck, insulate really well and start from scratch. Or buy a Chassis and even build the entire box. Some people have done it. What our RV manufacturers never seem to understand is the meaning of the word QUALITY. There are exemptions of course, but most RVs are hammered together in a matter of a few hours. Even when down in Florida we had condensation problems. Seems like RVs are only build for a dry desert climate.
So, you may have that in mind when you buy your next RV!
Thanks for stopping by!
Monday, May 19, 2014
|Since early this afternoon it’s raining steadily and I am watching the river. It has come up a bit and if it keeps raining all night I am afraid I will see it rise substantially tomorrow. There is not much difference between the river level and the shoreline as it is, and it won’t take a whole lot until the river swells up. I have to get up early tomorrow morning if it should be necessary to move the trailer to higher ground.|
Saturday, May 17, 2014
Thursday, May 15, 2014
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Sunday, May 11, 2014
|Usually I’m terribly forgetful of official days, whether holidays, birthdays or any other commemorative days the calendar has so many of.|
But reading The “Odd Essay”, I realized it was Mother’s Day today. And that led to some thoughts about what we in our family have been through over the past 2 years.
Mother passed away in January 2012 and it became one of my saddest journeys home. And when I arrived she was gone. We all went to the last farewell and the image of seeing mother again, peaceful and still, but beyond any verbal communication with us family members, will never leave my mind. And it made me realize more than ever, how much we loved her. She was also the best mother-in-law Bea could have gotten.
What followed has been 2 years of a lonesome life for Dad. Dad had never been one to express too much emotions, but he has missed his wife, our mother tremendously. Suddenly there was nobody to talk to when he wanted to talk. Then his health declined rapidly and he became partially confused. He is now in a care facility where he some times wonder why mother isn’t with him.
God, almighty…it is so sad.
Saturday, May 10, 2014
|It’s like getting to know a stranger. I’m talking about that Smart Phone I got a few weeks ago. At first you really don’t know a stranger, but then he/she starts telling a bit of her-/himself, and you might find out that you start liking the person. As you meet more often you build a relationship and trust with that individual. It’s the same with my phone. Holding it in my hand the first time, it was an odd-looking stranger to me. And initially I thought I might NOT like it much. But since I need to have it around, it kinda lost its ugly face and started beckoning to be explored. I found a few things I thought were pretty good, like f.ex. the automatic email notification function. It made a little sound and let me know “Hi, I have a new email for you”. |
Alright…so that was good. But then when I got a call I grabbed the phone like I would have my old flip-up phone. WRONG! VERY WRONG! Of course my fingers touched something they shouldn’t, and I lost the call. I had to call back on the stored number.
Then today, while it was raining and I was Off-duty, my phone was beside of the laptop, looking at me, and finally curiosity got the better of me. I swiped the screen, pushed here and wiggled there and suddenly I saw the “HOTSPOT” sign.
Yup, if I touch that sign my phone turns into a hotspot. Now that made me wondering what in the world was this sales rep thinking when I specifically asked about a mobile hotspot and he said such thing was not available. I DON’T EVEN NEED AN EXTRA DEVICE to have a hotspot. It’s not cheap to use, but at lest I can do basic things like checking my email and looking up important infos on the internet. And I by far prefer to use my laptop than that dinky little keyboard of my phone, where my fingers touch the entire alphabet in one single move. I guess Mr. Mc.Donalds will be noticing a sharp decline of my coffee purchases.
Where I am camped, I need to run my little HONDA Genny friend to replenish my batteries. But all-of-a-sudden it quit. So I was out in the rain looking it all over. Took the main lid off and checked oil. A little low, so I added a few squirts. And while the lid was off I also cleaned the air filter. Hehe..some desert dust there! After maintenance the thing is running again like a Swiss watch. We’ve had it for 6 years now and purchased it for just under a 1000 Bucks. That’s what I call a good investment. Best of all: It’s so darn quiet, my neighbours don’t even know I have it.
While the Bow River flows lazily along my camp site, I know that the river can become a dangerous neighbour. Once we get big rainfalls and snowmelt it will come up pretty fast, and with only one more foot to the top of the grassy bank, it wouldn’t take much.
All over the area campers are warned about bears. Garbage containers have specialty locks which can’t be opened by bears. There have been enough stories in the past about bears climbing into unsecured containers scavenging on organic waste, leading to a big scare when unsuspecting campers were
approaching an “occupied” container. So there shall be no more of that. If rangers discover food containers stored outside they will take them away and the unfortunate camper can count on receiving a serious warning – at least.
And I just saw the first bear this year. He was a cinnamon coloured individual, but probably just a black bear. He jumped across the road as I was approaching from Cochrane towards Canmore. But he was quick hiding in the bush as I slowly passed along.
And…speaking of bears, a female Canadian oil worker has just been killed in Ft.McMurray,AB. She just happened to step out of her trailer when the bear attacked without a warning. Co-workers tried in vain to distract the bear. Normally, bears will rather flee than attack, but this one did not.
Thanks for stopping over here.
Thursday, May 8, 2014
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Monday, May 5, 2014
Saturday, May 3, 2014
|Yes I bought a (decommissioned) ambulance to pull my trailer. Cindy must have read a lot of my posts as she was right on the money. |
Two others, Rick Dorr, and Chinle at “Spotted Dog Ranch” were 98% close. George and Jeri weren’t so wrong either as the owner (me) was actually guest at the motel.
How did I get to Red Deer for the deal?
I drove the JEEP over and traded it off against the ambulance with some money in between.
Now why an ambulance? Well, I know the 1t. Chevy vans as reliable and equipped with a strong engine. Since we already have one on the island it makes sense to buy a vehicle I have already basic knowledge of. And a decommissioned ambulance is cheaper to buy than a full passenger van. Our little JEEP PATRIOT was never able to pull the 7,500lbs heavy trailer, even though it actually had a hitch receiver.
Of course, ambulances have no tow package so I partially spent the day yesterday by waiting in a shop to get the hitch and a brake controller mounted. This outfit, which is located in Red Deer,AB calls itself “Hitch Warehouse” and it was recommended by the local GM-dealer, which I thought was a mighty good advice. When I got to the “Hitch-guys” it turned out they were booked to the hilt. However, the owner was easily persuaded to squeeze me in, if I could be there at 7:45am next morning. And that’s what I did. I was out of there shortly after 11.00am and used the rest of the day to get insurance and registration. The raised roof inspires me to turn it into a camper van. (Chinle had the right hunch there) That would be just perfect for the small overnight side trips we so often have thought of, but which have not been done, due to the big rig.
I was also pleasantly surprised when I noticed that the Chevy seems to have tons of spunk, in spite its over 300,000kms on the odometer. In fact the acceleration outperforms our island van by far, even though the engine is the same 6l gas engine.
Could it be that the ambulance has a “souped-up” engine?
So what about driving an ambulance-look vehicle?
Well, on the road from Red Deer to Banff I have already noticed a slight deference from other drivers. Some simply drive all the way to the right when the van pops up in their rear-view mirror, others are leaving me the right of way at an intersection. Of course, all the red lights are disconnected, so there can’t be any unintended use of it.
My trailer needs to get to a dump station and that will be my task today. While I was driving towards Banff yesterday, it was pouring down and vision limited to a minimum. This morning it’s a horse with a different colour. It’s white, white white outside. We got easily 4” of snow. Looking at the calendar I realize it’s May 03. Is spring ever coming?
Sorry no pictures today. Maybe I plot some in later.
Thanks again for keeping me company.