Northern Spirit Shakedown – Days 5 through 8

What a busy week.

Monday started with a follow-up appointment with my doctor that I had to leave the campsite for at 8:30 a.m. Monday’s are generally bad enough, but for those of you that know me and my aversion to waking earlier than 8:30 a.m. you’ll appreciate I wasn’t looking forward to that morning. As it turned out, it did not ruin my day, I wasn’t in a bad mood, and despite dealing with Edmonton rush hour the drive as actually quite pleasant. My appointment took all of 45 minutes including getting bloodwork. I spent the rest of the morning doing some shopping at Kingsway, indulging in Shumka and Purdy’s Chocolatier while there, and getting a fantastic lesson from Bill at Sport Chek on proper foot supports. After picking up Dan at the campsite, we spent the rest of the afternoon and evening doing more trailer supplies shopping.

Tuesday morning was the first relaxing moment we had before meeting up with Greg and Liz Merrithew for a lovely lunch at The Canadian Brewhouse in Spruce Grove. They’re friends and colleagues from Yellowknife who happened to be stopping in St. Albert on their annual journey home after wintering in Florida. When I heard they were here at the same time we were I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to meet up. We had a nice visit and they offered great advice about RVing as they are only two years into the experience themselves.

Valve Attachment Thingy

Unfortunately the rest of the day ended up dealing with a black water tank issue that turned out not to be our own fault. Dan couldn’t figure out what was blocking the drainage tube and had to get a special valve attachment (I forget what it’s called) that would let him poke at the blockage without getting sewage all over the place. We went to a great little place called RV Mobile Edmonton actually looking for Classic Campers Holding Tank Treatment and happened to also find the part that Dan was going to jury-rig himself. No jury-rigging necessary; the RV community already thought of and manufactured the part.

Dan proceeded to spend the rest of the day ultimately discovering that the manufacturing facility that put together the trailer failed to ensure the holding tank was cleared of debris before sending it to the dealer. Dan found a stiff plastic bubble-wrap type square of material (hereafter dubbed the Turd Stopper) jammed in the outflow tube. Further investigation also discovered pieces of spray-foam insulation floating around in there and getting stuck in the valves. Needless to say this is an issue we will be asking Trailblazer to remedy when we drop the trailer off to them tomorrow.

The Turd Stopper

Wednesday was the designated “laundry and cleaning day”. Me being me, I have to have some sort of structure or routine in my life, so I came up with this idea to designate every eighth day on the road as “laundry and cleaning day”. I now realize that “laundry day” at least needs to be every four days. The size of the laundry bag of dirty laundry (clothes, towels, bedsheets, etcetera) was daunting and would have been laughable if I had actually carried it to the laundry room. The size sufficiently intimidated me into driving the bloody thing to the laundry room. Yes, driving, around the lot to get this thing 100 yards from our trailer. I ended up doing three loads of laundry. Despite this eye-rolling turn of events, the chores were not difficult and actually made for a rather pleasant morning.

The whole day was rather pleasant. We did only minimal shopping in the afternoon, had supper at Sorrentino’s that was fantastic, went for a walk in the evening, finally set up the TV and Blu-Ray player, and enjoyed watching night sky while sitting in front of a fire.

Top of the Hill at the Dog Park
Out for a walk at the Dog Park
At the Dog Park

Toasty Toes

Thursday morning we had a pre-retirement meeting with my financial advisor at Metric Financial, after which we took an ultimately useless jaunt to the “Premium Outlet Mall” by the airport. The meeting was great; the shopping was not successful. But we detoured to Cabela’s, Canadian Tire, and Home Depot on the way to my Mom’s and those stops at least were more productive. The short visit at my Mom’s was to pick up the paperwork my Daughter sent to her place so that I could pick up her new-to-her car. She had found this vehicle for sale last week and mentioned they were trying to figure what the extra cost to ship it to her would be. I asked her why she would need to have it shipped when we’re in Edmonton anyway and I could drive it home for her? She said she didn’t want to burden us on our holidays. Good lord. It’s not like we had anything actually planned that picking up her car for her would interfere with, and I prefer to drive (as I believe I already established) so bonus for me. Doing this is so not an issue. We had taken the car for a test drive on her behalf last Friday and gave it the “Parental Seal of Approval”, she and her beau purchased it on Monday, she got the insurance, registration, and plate Tuesday and couriered them to my Mom, who received it Wednesday. I talked to the dealer and he had it ready for us to pick up this afternoon. We checked the car over before driving off the lot, but on the drive back to the campsite Dan (driving his truck behind me in the car) noticed the rock(?) shield on the underside of the car was visible. So we’re going to bring the car back to the dealer tomorrow to take a look at that before I drive it home. Otherwise there were no issues.

We settled in to relax at the campsite, but that was interrupted by the robins. We noticed what looked like a baby bird jumping around on the lawn and onto the neighbouring (empty) lot next to ours. We realized it was a fledgling and wondered where it actually came from. Further investigation of the small spruce tree on our lawn revealed the robins that had been hanging around our area had a nest there. Apparently we got too close to the tree because next thing I knew I was getting dive-bombed and squawked at by the robins. This has never happened to me before. I knew they were just protecting their baby, but never having experienced this protective action I found it very nerve-wracking (read: terrifying). Dan, having apparently experienced the angst of birds repeatedly on the farm he grew up on, just laughed at me. The damned birds’ aggressive action towards me compelled me to return to the interior of the trailer for a time in the hopes they would forget about me. Dan just stared them down when they challenged him. Eventually the mama robin led the baby towards the bushes at the back of the property, but the papa robin is still watching from the top of the tree in the neighbour’s lot. We did end up eating our supper in peace outside on the picnic table, but I wonder if there isn’t another chick in the nest… Tomorrow morning packing up the trailer could be interesting.

Supper was basically cooking almost everything we had left over in the fridge: potatoes, bratwurst sausages, eggs, and garlic bread.

That’s about it for today. Good night, all. I’ll do a closing post when we get home Sunday.

Adelle and Dan

P.S. You may have noticed I’ve actually included links to the places we’ve been. I only just discovered how to do that. Yay me!

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