Browsing "Ontario"
Sep 3, 2008 -

Trials and Tribulations

I don’t have any pictures to share at this time because my desktop computer isn’t set up and hooking up the camera to the laptop is too fussy for the short time frame I have. So, enjoy all the bla bla bla and come back later for pics. 🙂

Oh, I’ve written soooo much about the last almost week, but I need to save some material for a book! 🙂

Here are some highlights from the past six days.

Friday August 29, 2008

  • I successfully backed up into a busy street at rush hour as I couldn’t very well sleep at my mechanic’s. No one was injured during this impressive feat of driving. Thank you to David for stopping traffic!
  • After spending several hours loading STUFF into the coach, I took off for a sports arena a few blocks from the house to spend my first night as an urban boondocker. The cats took to the RV immediately and slept good nights. Mom was too exhausted to fuss and had a good night, too. The arena wound up being quiet and dark. I didn’t suffer for lack of 120V current and I really, really, really enjoyed being able to take a hot shower!

Saturday August 30, 2008

  • Up at six, worked non stop, got the house emptied and the RV stuffed by noon, right on schedule.
  • Was screwed over by Vidéotron one last time.
  • Arrived at the campground absolutely drained and overwhelmed.
  • Circled my loop, planned my entry into the site, came back, pulled straight into an empty site, and unhooked my toad, which is where:

Rae learns a very important lesson about towing

Watch where your feet are. The tow bars are heavy and purple toes are NOT a fashion statement.

Toes weren’t broken, so I ignored the throbbing pain down there and moved the toad out of the way. Moved the coach back, forward, and back again, getting it into the campsite in one shot. Eyewitness testimony states that I seemed to have been doing it my entire life. Which is where:

Rae discovers that backing up perfectly (in one try) into a campsite is actually not the most important consideration at that time

As it turned out, I had circled my loop and reentered another one. I was in the wrong site. But, in my defense, both sites had neighbours with a blue tent AND both sites were of the same shape as I’d been told to look for!

A very nice park official checked to see if the site would be available for the five nights I was staying. It was. I could stay.

The coach was stuffed to the gills, I was overwhelmed, and just about burst into tears when I saw how much work I had ahead of me. So, I said *expletive deleted* that and went out for a nice dinner during which I formulated a plan of attack.

I slept the sleep of the dead. Never mind that the mattress is really too thick and that I can barely roll over. I was on my own mattress with my feather duvet and pillows. The cats were by my side. I could hear crickets outside. The wind was whispering a lullaby. I was home.

Sunday August 31, 2008

I slept so late I was disoriented upon waking up. I mean, the day is half gone by the time 9:30 arrives!

I hadn’t been able to plug in my coach on Saturday since the prongs on my cord didn’t match the holes in the electrical post. So, I just dragged the coffee maker and toaster out onto the picnic table.

A few hours later, as order begins to emerge from the chaos that was the basement:

Rae finds something that no longer makes it necessary for her to run an extension cord from her electrical post to the coffee maker set on a picnic table.

She believes it’s a ‘cheater adapter.’ Possibly. Whatever it is called, it’s an adapter. She now has 15AMP service!

One of the most useful things I did on Sunday was label a tote TOWING and put in it all the odd bits that I use for towing.

I took the afternoon off to get organizational stuff at Wal-mart’s, then I head off to a friend’s for a Labour Day BBQ. Her mom gave me a hibachi she had lying around in the shed and I am now able to char my own barbecue sauced bird!

Monday September 1, 2008

I was spending the day with a friend so I woke up early and attacked the basement. I got it so well sorted and organized that it is no longer stuffed to the gills!

At some point during this day:

Rae has a real light bulb moment involving a too highly chlorinated fresh water holding tank

“Gee the water is caustic. I can’t wait to empty the tank and put in fresh water. Waitaminute. The tank is only a third full. Maybe I can use the new hose I bought yesterday at Wal-mart at a major discount and top up the tank with fresh, unchlorinated, water and dilute what’s left?”

Tuesday September 2, 2008

WORK! I finalised all my files and opened cases and packed since I knew Wednesday would be a wash.

A separate entry will follow about the evening.

Which brings us to today, Wednesday September 3, 2008

I did some real work, spent some time on line, shed copious tears, received and gave a ton of hugs, and left the way I’ve always dreamt of leaving a place, with a tug of regret.

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Boondocking/Dry camping, Campgrounds, Canada, Cats, Communications & Electronics, Driving, Electricity, Finances, Homemaking, Ontario, Organizing, Personal, Plumbing, Preparations for Departure, Quebec, Technical, Towing and Toad, Travel, Work    5 Comments
Jul 29, 2008 -

A Tale of 30 Kilometres

Whew! Miranda’s officially officially mine! I dropped her off at the storage place tonight. This was my first time driving her. Yes, I bought a vehicle without test driving it first. No comments on that, please. 🙂

I looked her over and then decided to take her out onto the street to see if I could tow. Taking a deep breath, I sat down in the pilot’s seat (very, very comfy), adjusted the mirror, inserted a key, and ROAR! My gal came to life! It took me a moment to remember where the parking brake is on such a a vehicle and then we were rolling!

Although I parked her a tad crookedly, I was still reasonably close to the curb, something that was really hard to gauge. I wasted perhaps a half hour trying to hook up my car to the tow bar before realising that I’m missing some pins. I’ll check with my mechanic to see if the pins come with the base plate or the tow hitch. I was happy to discover safety cables in her basement so I didn’t have to go to the back end of Gatineau to pick some up.

Since I couldn’t tow, I moved on to plan B (get someone to pick me up at the storage place) and took off with just Miranda. First obstacle: getting to the end of the street. It’s a fairly wide street, but cars were parked on both sides. I held my breath as I ran the gauntlet, but Miranda and all the cars came through unscathed.

I took it nice and easy and made my way out of the neighbourhood. By the time I got to Island Park Drive, about two and a half kilometres away, I was feeling pretty cocky.

And then came the cyclist.

She was well in her bike lane, I was well in my lane, and the traffic in the opposite direction was also well in its lane. But I wasn’t so sure about the mirror…. I slowed to a crawl as I passed the cyclist. The mirror seemed to miss her and I moved on, keeping an eye backwards, praying that when she passed my blind spot she’d still be on her bike. I soon saw that, of course, she was, and she wasn’t even paying me any mind. I rolled my eyes and continued.

The turn onto Merivale (Merry-vail, not Merry-val-eh, dear Majel!) was a bit awkward, and then I was on Carling, heading for the Queensway. I crossed three lanes to put myself in the correct one. Got to the light at Kirkwood and discovered that there was a utility truck in my lane between myself and the on ramp!!! So, I had to move one lane over in traffic. I put on my turn signal, checked the mirrors, prayed, moved into the second lane, crossed the intersection, passed the crew, and quickly manoeuvred myself back into the third lane to access the ramp.

Whew! I was on the highway!

The rest of the drive was positively uneventful, as I expected highway driving to be. Miranda handles well for her bulk. Of course, I need to get used to braking (I’m not bad at estimating her braking distance needs, though) and the backup camera will be most welcome, but I didn’t feel like an utter nincompoop who had no business driving an RV.

Saturday will bring a new challenge: backing up. 🙂

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Canada, Driving, Ontario, Technical, Towing and Toad, Travel    No Comments