RV Comfort Tour – Final Days

These last few days have been closer to what I hope to do for our future trips, both pre- and post-retirement.

My 52nd birthday on Wednesday started with doing laundry and cleaning at a leisurely pace, followed by a visit at TNT Gun Works. We did not find the rifles we were looking for. The one Dan had seen on their website had already been sold and they didn’t have the one I was interested in. An old guy tried to sell me on one he had, but then Management gave him shit for doing that in the store and kicked him out. I guess he’s a repeat offender in that regard.

It turned out The Nut Man was located right next door, and who were we not to take advantage of that opportunity? Spontaneous purchases of nuts and candies we did not need ensued. So far we’ve been relatively successful at holding out on eating them until our drive home tomorrow.

The afternoon was spent at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum. It’s not huge, but it’s really well done. It focuses on the history of the land now known as Saskatchewan from the time of the dinosaurs to present. If you’re anything like my son, you can do this tour in less than 20 minutes, but if you’re anything like me and you like to actually read then it can take up to 2 hours. We didn’t even get to the exhibit side of the museum. I highly recommend the visit.

The evening was spent with Martin and Charlene at Agave Authentic Mexican Grill, which was an amazing experience all around. The food was fantastic and the company was delightful. Dan completed my birthday with the gift of Nathan W. Pyle’s comic strip cartoon books Strange Planet and Stranger Planet. I spent the rest of the evening giggling.

We left Kings Acres Thursday morning and made our way to Central Butte via Moose Jaw. It was really windy and later rainy, so Dan drove. We again passed by Rouleau on the way and while we didn’t stop I did manage to get a couple photos of the place where nothing except a sign proves Corner Gas was ever filmed there. It’s really a shame, because I think by not establishing an actual Ruby’s Café (if not also a Corner Gas station) Rouleau missed an opportunity to benefit the community.

We stopped in Moose Jaw to take the Chicago Connection tour of the Tunnels of Moose Jaw. That was a lot of fun and I wish we had time to take the other two tours as well. Given the strong Asian connection in Moose Jaw we thought it appropriate to have lunch at Nit’s Thai Food, which we really enjoyed. Based on the photographs on the wall, some impressive celebrities agreed with our experience: Adrienne Clarkson and Margaret Atwood. We had parked the vehicles on the other side of Crescent Park, so we had a lovely walk.

We arrived at my Aunt Janice and Uncle Dan’s place near Central Butte in a light rain and cool temperatures. We couldn’t remember if we had purchased a 30-amp to 110-volt converter to plug the trailer into a household receptacle and couldn’t find one, so we actually boondocked in the yard. This time we turned the fridge off over night and only used AAA battery powered lights when we weren’t sleeping, only turning the water pump on when we actually needed to use water. Turns out that was all we needed to do to ensure there was enough power available for the furnace to work without draining the battery faster than the solar panels could keep it charged. Now that we know that, we are much more comfortable with the idea of the occasional overnight stay without any services. Of course, in the morning Dan found the 30-110 converter in a corner of the pass-through storage. Turns out we did think to get it when we bought the trailer, but it’s a small attachment that clearly fell out of the swag bag we had put it in. That’ll teach us to keep the storage bags zipped shut when they’re put away (nasty habit that Dan can’t or doesn’t care to kick).

Uncle Paul was also there helping Uncle Dan build the foundation for a new double-car garage, and my cousin Jeff came over for supper as well. We had a really great visit with everyone, chatting and playing cards, and we’ve promised to come back again more often.

On Friday we made our way to Provost, intending to go by Gardiner Dam. But neither Zoe nor Google Maps recognized Gardiner Dam, so we just left Zoe to get us to Provost by whatever route she determined was safest and shortest, while avoiding highways and unpaved roads. I drove the entire day that day, and Zoe decided to challenge me by taking us on the back roads (which on most of the Saskatchewan side were wide enough but bumpy and in need of work – as usual) and across Diefenbaker Lake on the Riverhurst Ferry. That was fun. We haven’t been on a ferry since the Deh Cho Bridge was built. The ferry itself is smaller than the Merv Hardy in bulk, but crossed a stretch of the lake that appeared to be much wider than the Mackenzie River crossing site. It used a winch to pull itself across the lake on a set of three cables strung under the water, which is something I had never seen before.

We stayed the night at Home On The Range RV Campground just south of Provost, which is open year round with full-service sites and two laundry/bathroom/shower buildings. It was actually a very comfortable place, although some of the sites are fairly close together. The cows in the field behind the campground wandered quite close to the fence, the geese were typically noisy, and the sunset was spectacular. We had supper at a Chinese restaurant in town called Mr. Lin’s Family Restaurant. Honestly, I don’t know how we keep choosing these places, but it was another wonderful meal.

The intent on Saturday was to leave early enough to get to Trailblazer RV early enough that we could drop off the trailer and retrieve the retractable shower door from my Mom’s place before they closed at 5:00 p.m. I managed to sabotage that plan when I forgot to actually push the start button on the laundry machine. Everything else was ready to go and we had to just sit there waiting on the laundry. It was almost Noon before we left, and then just to add insult to injury the wind had been picking up all morning and was gusting up to 57 km/hour the whole way, mostly coming at us head on from the northwest. So that slowed us down AND cost us in gas milage, to boot. We did manage to get to Trailblazer half an hour before they closed, but that meant we had to drop the shower door off early Monday morning. Actually, to be more precise, Dan had to drop the shower door off early Monday morning.

We were supposed to stay at my Mom’s place until Tuesday morning, when the work on the trailer is to be complete, but my step-dad caught Covid so we’re staying at a hotel instead. He’s doing okay, but getting grumpy being isolated at home, lol! Since we haven’t been able to really visit with them as planned, we’ve had to otherwise entertain ourselves.

We’ve seen a couple of movies: See How They Run is a good whodunit, kind of like Knives Out but lower key; and Don’t Worry Darling was also a good flick kind of like Stepford Wives with a twist.

We visited the Muttart Conservatory, which we hadn’t been to in a couple of decades at least. That was interesting. I played Poison Plant Bingo, but didn’t find five or six of the 25 plants listed.

We stopped by Cabela’s, where Dan found the shoes he was looking for but otherwise we did not find the rifles we were looking for. However, we did find the rifle I was looking for at P & D Enterprises, so bonus! Getting there through all the downtown roadwork was an adventure in itself, but it turned out to be worth it.

Then we discovered Record Collector’s Paradise and spent more money than intended, but got some great albums out of it. And we took a leisurely walk around the Alberta Legislature building.

Tomorrow morning we’ll probably stop at JimBows Archery before picking up the trailer to put it in storage, and then head out to High Level and arrive home on Wednesday. We’ve had a really lovely trip and can’t wait to figure out when and where we’ll go next spring. I’m going to close my blog for this trip here as it seems like the most practical time to do so. I hope you enjoyed reading. See you on the flip side!

Adelle and Dan

RV Comfort Tour – Settling In

Argh. I already wrote this blog earlier today, but this is not the blog I wrote. The effing thing did not save when I told it to save, after I’d done all the writing and uploading of photographs. Sooo frustrating! I threw my hands in the air and we went shopping all afternoon instead. Now it’s 8:40 p.m. and I’m starting over. This time I’m writing the text in WordPerfect (yes, WordPerfect, not Word… don’t even get me started on the inadequacy of Word compared to WordPerfect) and then cutting and pasting it into WordPress. Why? Because I can save my WordPerfect document without being on line to do it, and WordPerfect does automatic backups to my laptop not the Cloud (or whatever), thereby reducing the likelihood of losing everything I’ve written. Onwards:

Our first night in the trailer and we looked at each other in peace acknowledging how comfortable we are in Northern Spirit. Honestly, she is perfect for us. We’re starting to put some personal touches to her, like a fruit hammock in the kitchen (go ahead, call it a banana hammock and have a good laugh; Dan and Jarod both did when I told them I was buying it…), a mesh magazine pouch for the bathroom, a motion sensing light near the door, a laundry rack attached to the rear bumper. Dan’s installed a remote tire sensor for the trailer tires, and he’s going to try connecting the Wheresafe GPS tracker trickle charger to the solar panels to see if it will keep it charged enough to last over the winter until we come back in the spring.

We left Tillabrook in the morning with the intention of visiting the Saamis Tepee in Medicine Hat, but it was raining so we nixed that idea and kept going. Dan and I are in disagreement about whether or not we’ve already visited the tepee. He seems to think we have, but I have no recollection whatsoever of doing so. Not the Saamis Tepee, anyway. We’ll just have to keep stewing on that and see if we can find any evidence one way or another when we get home.

We stopped in Maple Creek at The Rockin’ Horse Cookhouse and Bar for lunch. Cool little place with great service and good food. We continued on, and about half an hour out the weather was clear and the roads were dry, so we figured it was a good time for me to try my hand at driving with the trailer. Dan was right, it’s not a big deal, I had nothing to worry about. Of course, it helped that there wasn’t much (if any) wind and we were driving on the Trans-Canada, which is a divided four-lane highway. I was comfortable enough that I drove us all the way into our campsite at Trail Campground in Swift Current. Admittedly, the campsite was a pull-through, so it’s really hard to mess that up, but I did have to get off the divided highway and proceed a little ways on a normal two-way road and through the gravel campground. I’ll take whatever wins I can get.

The campground was well laid out and full-service, although we were only staying the one night so we just used the power and water. The campground attendant was really friendly and accommodating. We ventured into downtown Swift Current for supper at Mei Mei Chinese Restaurant, which turned out to be a great choice. Clearly the community agreed because the place was crazy busy. We had noticed some buildings that were architecturally interesting, so we decided to go for a walk after supper. I really like seeing old stone/brick buildings continuing to be used. I’m hopeful we can come by some time during daytime hours to get a look inside, especially at the courthouse.

We left Trail Saturday morning with me driving the first shift to Moose Jaw. We stopped for lunch at Buds and Suds Carwash and Grill. Why? Why not? I was searching for a place to stop, they have good reviews, and I liked their name. It was another good choice. The food was good, the servers were friendly, and we’re pretty sure we recognized the guy who was working the outside bar from Yellowknife. Of course, we didn’t place him until after we left, so didn’t actually ask him, but he seemed familiar. Certainly someone from Yellowknife had an impact on the place because we noted the Ragged Ass Road sign over the back door. It also appeared to be a biker place, given half a dozen of them showed up for some kind of party while we were there. It was a good place to stop and I would recommend it.

Dan drove the rest of the way to Kings Acres Campground east of Regina. Zoe (remember our Garmin?) Took us off the Trans-Canada and directed us south around Regina. It was a nice little drive and probably much faster than going through Regina. The roads were pretty good, too, for Saskatchewan. We passed through Rouleau, but didn’t stop. We didn’t recognize the Corner Gas site until we had passed it, and decided we’d come back when we weren’t hauling the trailer with us.

We are really enjoying our time at Kings Acres Campground so far. It has full-service sites, large lots, plenty of trees, and laundry on site. It’s right on Victoria Street across from Costco, but honestly we haven’t been bothered by traffic noises. They provide portable firepits made out of washing machine barrels. They’re really cool and work really well.

My brother Martin and his GF Charlene came by that first evening for a visit, and then the next day they introduced us to Coney Island Poutine Café for lunch. Wow! So many choices… It’s worth the carb overload. We made up for that when they took us on a walking tour of Depot, and then Martin showed off his new-to-him Suzuki Marauder 800 before bringing us to his new place. He just moved to Regina in March and bought a perfect 2-storey condo in a local heritage building that used to be a warehouse. It’s a great place. We ended Sunday having a BBQ visit with Dan’s Kuppenbender cousins who live in Regina. It was a great visit with family we hadn’t seen in years. The whole day was great.

Monday was a chillaxin’ kind of day. We didn’t go see or do anything, we just stuck around the campsite, putzing around in the trailer installing various items we brought with us. We made the left over burgers for lunch and supper, and I made Sunny Boy Muffins. The pizza stone I bought to put in the propane oven did exactly what I read it would do: it evened out the heat beautifully resulting in perfect muffins. I’m still trying to master using the stove top burners, though. It’s such an intense heat, I’m finding it hard to regulate so that I don’t burn or overcook the food. I guess that’s just one more thing that practice makes perfect, so I’ll keep working at it.

I guess that’s really about it at this point, so I’ll bid you all a good night.


RV Comfort Tour – Getting on the Road

Lonely Bison at the Side of the Road

This is our third time out with our new toy. As usual, the first two days getting from Yellowknife to Edmonton were uneventful to the point of being boring, although that’s not really a bad thing. The weather was perfect, the roads were as good as could be expected, and although the wildlife was not plentiful we did see some. Specifically: about a dozen bison before Fort Providence, a hawk parked in a tree after High Level, and a fox crossing the highway somewhere between Valleyview and Whitecourt. I’m good about writing down how many of what I see, but I’m going to have to start writing down where I see them… getting old, memory not very good anymore.

The Shore of the Mackenzie River near Fort Providence
Dan on the Shore of the Mackenzie River
Starlight Diner Car in Bowden

We arrived in Edmonton yesterday and took my Mom and Step-Dad out for supper to Tony Roma’s. It was really good, but leftovers were brought home. We spent a quiet evening visiting before retiring. Today we managed to by-pass The Donut Mill (say what?!) and instead stopped at the Starlite Diner Car in Bowden for lunch. Very cool, retro, old-school sci-fi loving place. Definitely worth checking out if you’re in the area.

A stop at Calgary Cycle City so Dan could ogle an electric motorcycle preceding picking up Northern Spirit at OutPost RV Storage in Okotoks. They took very good care of her and we will definitely use their services again next time we need to leave her in the area. Although I still didn’t drive towing Northern Spirit, I did back up the truck correctly to hook her up, and Dan showed me how to connect the stabilizing arms to the hitch. It turns out that’s not remotely as difficult as I originally thought it would be.

We made our way to Brooks on the Trans Canada, which we were a little leery about. Turns out our concerns were for naught, at least on this section of the divided highway. Traffic wasn’t bad, nobody seemed to get pissed at having to pass us (we kept it at 90 kph at first and slowly built up to 95, then 100), and the roads were actually in good shape.

We arrived at Tillebrook Provincial Park Campground just after 6:00 p.m. Our campsite has power, but no water or sewer (which I knew when I booked it). Honestly, as long as we have power for these one-nighters that’s all we really need at this time of year so that the furnace will work if it gets too cool at night. Set up went really smoothly, so nothing interesting to report there. I’m not sure where all the flies are coming from though. We’ve killed about eight of them so far. They may very well have come in from outside while we were unloading and loading the trailer when we got here, but we might have to investigate further tomorrow to be sure that’s all it is.

We drove in to Brooks for supper at Nikko Sushi. There are lots of franchises in the community, but we wanted to try something that was local. I know what you’re thinking: since when is Japanese food local in Alberta? Fair enough, but at least it was locally owned and wasn’t a franchise. And the food and service were fantastic! So for us it was a win-win in all categories that counted.

I think that’s enough for today. It’s time to wind down. Unfortunately we can’t relax by the fire due to a fire ban, but that’s okay. Dan’s already sleeping…


Northern Spirit Shakedown Cruise – Final Days

Well, two weeks is definitely not enough time…

We killed the afternoon with an unsuccessful attempt to see Fort Calgary when we realized upon arrival at the Military Museums that we had already been there. Diverting to Fort Calgary, we didn’t realize it was closed until after I had paid for parking. Apparently it’s only open on the weekends. Really? That was a lot of driving for essentially nothing. We salvaged the rest of the evening with a Red Lobster dinner followed by a viewing of Top Gun: Maverick. I gotta admit that Tom Cruise does make an entertaining movie. I was a little worried about it because I liked Top Gun, but they did it justice and were very respectful of the original. It was a good flick, worth seeing.

We managed to shave about half an hour off our time for packing up the trailer to check out of Riverbend on Friday. We seem to be finding out groove on that and I’m optimistic we’ll be able to shave another half hour off the next time and actually check out of the campsite on time.

We spent the next two nights at the Wingate by Wyndham – Calgary South (always a pleasure, and close to Eddy and Marie’s place). We helped them get the house and food ready for Cassie’s grad party on Saturday night. Honestly, the prep work for these kind of events is half the fun, working and chatting with family while getting things done. The party itself was pretty great, too, with family from both sides of Cassie’s family in attendance, as well as some of her friends.

Bright and early Sunday morning I drove Dan to the airport to catch his flight back to Yellowknife. He had to catch his flight back to the mine site for work on Monday, so I drove the truck home alone. Remember the deal? Dan’s truck, Dan drives. So this kind of compromise is the best opportunity I’m going to get to drive the truck any significant distance.

I diverted back to DNA Gardens to pick up some Hascap bushes at Dan’s request. I ended up picking up five bushes — one of each variety. Now I have to build another retaining wall to plant them in. I carried them in the back seat, and dutifully kept them watered throughout the trip home.

The Donut Mill

Next stop was The Donut Mill in Red Deer. I asked for one Chocolate Venetian, but the clerk pleasantly gave me two, she said because they were kind of on the small side and she thought I deserved it. It was so sweet of her, but if only she knew how much I didn’t deserve two donuts, lol! Of course I still ate both of them, I mean, seriously.

The drive into Edmonton ended up stalling south of Leduc. An accident (I think involving at least one deer) blocked the highway, causing a traffic jamb slowing traffic to a crawl. Quite literally. Average speed maybe 15-20 km per hour, at least a 40 minute delay. I finally rolled into South Commons to meet Nina for a quick coffee at around 4:00 p.m.

Nina is a friend I’ve known since high school who recently started painting. She posted one of her pieces on FaceBook that I instantly fell in love with, and she agreed to sell it to me. She got it framed and we met so I could pick it up. We had a really nice little visit and reconnected a bit. She has some really positive things going on in her life right now and I wish her all the love, peace, and happiness because she totally deserves it. I really hope we can visit again next time I’m through Edmonton, maybe go do some vinyl shopping…

I stayed at my parents’ place and left the next morning after securing a storage site for September at Camp’n Class RV Park in Stony Plain. I stayed again at the Best Western Plus Mirage Hotel in High Level, and this time they comped me an upgrade to the jacuzzi suite! The only thing missing for that opportunity was Dan. I still took advantage of the jacuzzi all by my lonesome.

The Jacuzzi Suite

The drive home was uneventful, but pleasant. Despite the air conditioner in the truck still not working. I had to drive with four of the five windows open a crack to get air circulating and cool things down in the cab. That really didn’t bother me, I just turned the volume up on the radio. What did bother me between High Level and Yellowknife were the horseflies. What unnecessary, annoying, bothersome creatures that serve no purpose on this planet! None whatsoever, except to annoy and bother and try to painfully suck us dry of our life-giving blood! The plan to stop and stretch the legs every hour and a half was frustrated by the nasty creatures. I did not end up actually getting out of the truck until Fort Providence, and then it was only because I had to. The bathroom was calling, and the washer fluid needed replenishing.

The road home wasn’t bad, but the stretch between the Highways 1 and 3 junction and the Deh Cho Bridge is still being repaired so it’s loose gravel and the speed limit was down to I think 50 km per hour (maybe lower…). I did get a good chuckle while on that stretch though watching a traveller driving a motorcycle with a side car towing a tiny collapsible trailer slowly and carefully (good!) but being tailed by a rig. I wish I could have gotten a photo, but, you know, I was driving, so…

Anyway, I think that’s where I’ll conclude this trip. I wish you all a wonderful summer, and we’ll reconnect again in September for the Regina trip.

Adelle and Dan

Northern Spirit Shakedown Cruise – Settling In

Adelle, Dan, Erich, Antje

I think I can safely say this week was pretty relaxing. Our sister-in-law Antje and nephew Erich came to visit for a couple hours, followed by our sister-in-law Marie, on Sunday. Our brother and sister-in-law John and Leah visited Tuesday. And we took our niece Cassie out shopping for a grad gift on Wednesday. We’ll see most of them and other family again on Saturday at a family gathering celebrating Cassie’s graduation, so we’re looking forward to that.

We’ve been otherwise just putzing around the trailer with settling-in items, like: re-organizing the tool kit into two bags instead of the ridiculously heavy one we had; picking up two more camping chairs to accommodate guests; purchasing outdoor rugs and another Kuma side table; finding small pump bottles that fit on the corner shelves of the shower; getting a label maker to label said pump bottles, as well as the Tupperware containers and other items; and transferring bagged foods into said Tupperware containers.

We’ve also been experimenting with meals cooked in the electric frying pan that otherwise we would be cooking on the stove top, with mixed results. We have a staple recipe of chicken in mushroom sauce that we usually cook rice separately as a side dish. We thought we’d try cooking the rice in the mushroom sauce as a sort of one-dish recipe, and it eventually worked but I think it would have taken less time if I had added more liquid when I added the rice. I’ll try that next time. The fajita chicken we made a couple days later worked out just fine. I’ve also downloaded a chart to give me a better idea of what temperature on the electric frying pan dial is equivalent to low, medium-low, medium, medium-high, and high, so that I think will also help going forward.

During my research I learned that keeping a pizza stone in the oven helps enormously with distributing the heat evenly and helps avoid burning the bottom of the dish you’re trying to bake. I measured the size of pizza stone I’d need at 14″ x 10.5″ and in my surfing found that Camp Chef makes exactly that size of pizza stone, which both the Canadian Tire and Best Buy websites list as something they normally carry. Neither of those sites, or anywhere else in Canada apparently, has the thing in stock, nor are they even able to provide it as an on-line order. Camp Chef doesn’t ship outside the US. And I haven’t been able to find any other pizza stone of the required measurements either; I’d have to make due with purchasing a set of four smaller ones from Lee Valley (and only use two of them) or cutting down a too-large stone. It’s been very frustrating. It does look like I could order the Camp Chef stone through Amazon.ca, but it would be getting shipped from the US and cost more than if I could find it in Canada. Suggestions are welcome on this.

Successful Brownies!

Regardless of the pizza stone issue, I did decide to try baking the brownies again. This time I tried to watch the heat closer, and I raised the oven rack . It took about 10 minutes longer than it normally would have, but they ended up just about perfect, including the bottom not getting burned. Woo-hoo! We’ve been munching on those all week, but thankfully we’ve also been getting our steps in…

Team Canada!
Canada blocking Turkey

I had fun Tuesday night. I dragged Dan (he indulged me, but I think he had fun, too) to a women’s Volleyball Nations League game at the Seven Chiefs Sportsplex on Tsuut’ina Nation. We watched Canada play Turkey, and it was fantastic! The teams seemed were pretty evenly matched, with Canada winning the match 3:1. Canada had to work for it, in front of the home crowd, no less. I haven’t been that excited to watch a sporting event in years. I admit it helps when you actually know and understand how the game is played. The events are streamed through the Volleyball World website and app, but there’s nothing like watching it live. I think I’ll be following the Canada team going forward, as well as specifically #9 Alexa Gray and Turkey’s #99 Ebrar Karakurt.

Lamb Shank at Anatolia
A deer visiting the campground.

We prefaced going to the game with supper at Anatolia Turkish Restaurant as a nod to the opposing team. Dan had the Beyti Kebab, which was seasoned ground lamb and beef wrapped in phyllo topped with hot tomato sauce and butter, and it came with grilled tomato and green pepper, and rice, yogurt, and a salad. He said it was very good. I had the lamb shank, which was slow cooked in a spicy tomato sauce, served with grilled tomato and green pepper, and rice and salad. It was so delicious! The meat just fell off the bone, and the sauce was flavourful. Tip of the hat to Turkish food; we would definitely come back here.

We took Cassie for lunch before shopping on Wednesday, and she brought us to Via Cibo. The describe themselves as an Italian Streetfood restaurant, which pretty much translates into quick service where you go through the line to choose from the menu and pay before sitting down to have the food brought out to you. Sort of like Fatburger or Quiznos, but way classier. Don’t get me wrong, I like both Fatburger and Quiznos, but Via Cibo is a much different vibe. And the food was really good. Dan had a sandwich, Cassie had a margherita pizza, and I had the gnocchi gorgonzola. Very good place to eat, I recommend it.

Wednesday was also laundry day, including bed sheets and towels. I DARE anyone to try and tell me that changing bedsheets in an RV is not exercise. I swear it’s like doing Pilates or something.

This morning we viewed and reserved our storage site at Outpost RV Storage. We managed to secure a pull-through site. The entire lot is secured with fencing topped with barbed wire and a coded entrance gate. The sites are all gravel and clearly marked out. Barring hail causing damage (which would not be the lot owner’s fault, obviously), I feel good about leaving our trailer there for the summer. We’ll move the trailer over tomorrow when we have to check out of Riverbend.

Adelle and Dan

Northern Spirit Shakedown Cruise – Lots of Water, None of it Hot

We managed to get out the door, so to speak, about when I hoped to on Thursday morning. We picked up the trailer at Trailblazer RV, where they completed all the work we asked for and the only thing that wasn’t covered by warranty was the door latch ($35 installed). We hooked up without trouble, made our way to Glowing Embers RV Park to fill up the potable water tank ($5), and headed on our way.

We purchased the Garmin RV 890 GPS Navigator specifically to use when towing the trailer. It provides for us to enter the specifications of our trailer and tow vehicle and find the safest route to our destination. We set it up to avoid traffic, tunnels, highways, and unpaved roads, which is how we managed to stay off the QEII — that section passing Red Deer is a particular nightmare for RVs which we learned the hard way back in 2009 (I think it was), so we have no desire whatsoever to battle traffic there, let alone on the Deerfoot Trail through Calgary.

We left Acheson and Zoe (that’s the name of our GPS, so named because that’s the voice’s name…I know, not terribly original, but we like the name anyway and know a couple very nice people who have that name) took us south through Devon and then east to get us essentially on Highway 21. We had already decided to split the normally short trip to Calgary/Okotoks into two days, with our first night boondocking.

Mother Nature decided to kick our first mid-distance RV trip up a notch by ensuring that enough rain and wind was produced along our path to issue storm warnings. The first day it was mostly about the rain. Lots and lots of rain most of the way to our first stop and pouring all night. The wind started over night and continued at about 30 km/hr until we got settled into our campsite in Okotoks.

Max’s Diner, Bashaw

We stopped half way to our first campsite for lunch at Max’s Diner in Bashaw. They were short staffed so the food was take-out only, which we ate in the truck before getting back on the road. I had an individual pizza which I really enjoyed. Dan had a burger which he said was really good going in, but he later found it was not so good coming out, if you get my meaning.

D&A Gardens, Elnora

We took advantage of our Harvest Host/Boondockers Welcome membership and stayed at a lovely nursery/winery called DNA (D&A) Gardens. They have a fruit orchard with various fruits, including upwards of 19 different species of saskatoons. Who knew there were so many varieties of saskatoons??? We sure didn’t. They also sell various fruit trees and other types of trees. They have a wonderful cafe on site, selling foods that include their product, including scrumptious pies. We indulged in a piece of saskatoon pie and cherry pie, and they were delightful!

Hascap Berries

We chatted with the owner in the farm store, where we purchased a jar of saskatoon jam and a jar of brownie mix (yes, I’m going to try again). I think the owner may have sold Dan on purchasing a Hascap berry bush which produces a fruit that looks like a funky cross between a saskatoon, blueberry, and grape, but that apparently tastes like a cross between a blueberry and a raspberry. I may have to go back on my way home to pick up a tree… We did not get to go on either the Bat Trail Walk or the Nature Trail Walk; we figured the paths would be too wet to enjoy walking on, and we were already wet enough given it was still raining.

One of the other family member owners (I didn’t catch any of their names) lead us to the campsites. They have about six large spots lined up between two sections of the orchard. Each site has a firepit. The sites are grass and the road in is loose gravel. Everything was really soggy (did I mentioned it rained?), but the ground held up really well. We didn’t have any trouble driving around another camper (who had parked their rig on the road instead of on the grass) and backing into the spot at the furthest end of the row. We got all set up, opened the propane, confirmed the battery was full and the solar panels were working (despite the cloud cover…have I mentioned it was raining?), confirmed there was water in the water heater, and then turned the water heater gas switch on.

Then we went for supper. We ended up in a nice little community called Delburne and had supper at a cute little bistro called The Delburne Bistro. Then we stopped in at the local Co-op for milk and bread before going back to the campsite. That’s when we discovered the water heater wasn’t working. Say what? Yeah, no hot water. We tried to power it with the electric switch, but the battery doesn’t provide enough energy, so that didn’t work. We tried the propane again, but the pilot light wouldn’t light. It was fairly late in the evening at that point and pouring rain outside, so the idea of trying to figure out the problem at that point was not appealing. We agreed if we really needed hot water to do anything (you know, like dishes) we could boil water on the stove. That, and I accepted that I would have to forgo having a shower in the morning, unless I was okay with having a really cold shower, which I was not. We would call Trailblazer for their advice in the morning.

The rain poured and the wind blew all night, but we still managed to have a pretty good sleep. We were warm enough until the next morning when we learned our first actual lesson about boondocking, which is not to use the furnace on battery power unless you have a generator or more than one fully charged battery. Solar power will not supplement enough to accommodate the amount of power a furnace will use when it’s actually cool enough to need the furnace. We have now agreed and accepted that we will need to use more blankets and have warm pajamas available for those occasions when the temperature drops below 12 or 10 degrees. We will also likely get a second lithium battery, but we’ll assess for that when we go out in September with our new-found attitude towards managing temperature swings.

The water heater was still not working in the morning. We called Trailblazer and they suggested that while it could be a couple of different things it likely was the thermal cutoff fuse. They said we could try replacing it ourselves, but if we didn’t know what to look for we would have to bring it in to get it looked at. Given our location at the time we were clearly not bringing the trailer in. We decided to get settled in Okotoks and then see what Dan could figure out with the water heater. We packed things up and hit the road.

I had intended to attempt to drive with the trailer for a while on the way to Okotoks, but the wind was blowing and that made me nervous, so I didn’t say anything and just left it for Dan to be his competent self and get us where we needed to be. It turned out that half the way the wind was pushing along behind us, which was a bit of a relief given the other half it was trying to blow us crosswise off the road. It wasn’t really so strong as to be unsafe to drive in, it was just a new experience. But Dan got us there just fine.

We arrived at Riverbend Campground in Okotoks early Friday afternoon and checked into our electrical/water site. A couple of weeks ago I realized I had goofed up in making the reservations here a few months ago and instead of booking a full-service site (electricity/water/sewer) I had booked an electrical/water only site. There was no way we could go a full week without the sewer hookup, but the campsite didn’t have any full-service sites available on the weekends, so we managed to make a compromise. We’re staying in the e/w site for two nights and on Sunday we’ll transfer to a full-service site for the rest of the week. Our e/w site is comfortably large, with plenty of room for both the trailer and more than one vehicle. There’s a fire pit ring provided, as well as the picnic table, and it’s on the shore of the Sheep River. The river is flowing high and fast, and it’s wonderful! We’re really pleased with this site. The pad doesn’t look very level, but didn’t turn out to be too bad. This site is literally across the road from the bath house and laundry room, so I did get my shower that day after all.

Once we got settled, Dan did his YouTube homework (the manual was pretty useless for troubleshooting) and confirmed that the problem with the water heater could be either the motherboard or the fuse, but likely was the fuse because the water heater was working with the electrical power. But the electrical power didn’t even work until Dan removed and bypassed the fuse, so that was even stronger evidence that the fuse was the problem. The thermal cutoff fuse is necessary regardless of whether you’re using electrical power or propane power, and it shuts down the water heater when the fuse gets overheated. Usually the fuse will get overheated when there’s a flare up of the gas flame. But when you’re boondocking (i.e. not hooked up to electricity) you don’t waste your battery on the water heater, you use the propane to heat your water or you don’t get hot water. We figured replacing the fuse would be the appropriate first step. If that didn’t fix the problem, then we could look into replacing the motherboard or otherwise getting the dealer to investigate the problem.

Now that we had electricity hooked up the urgency for fixing the propane power to the water heater had lessened, so we took a break Friday night, built a fire, cooked some smokies, and enjoyed the outdoors for a bit before watching a show and calling it a night.

Saturday (today) we got up, took care of a bit of work-related business, and then went into Okotoks to purchase some replacement fuses. Yes, plural; can’t hurt to have spares on hand. We also browsed through the Buskersfest while we were there, briefly saw Antje at work at Monkey Mountain Toys and Games, and went for lunch at Heartland Cafe and Restaurant before returning to the campsite. Dan replaced the fuse and magically the propane-powered water heater was a real thing again! Woo-hoo! Major kudos to both Trailblazer for identifying the likely issue and to the Youtubers who provided visual guidance and advice.

We ended the day with venturing further into Calgary for supper at the Taj Mahal Restaurant — which was fantastic! — followed by a comedy show at The Laugh Shop headlining Mayce Galoni. It was a pretty low-key crowd, but Mayce was very entertaining.

Adelle and Dan

Northern Spirit Shakedown Cruise – Decidedly Dull Travel Days

Howdy, folks. I realize I never did do the closing post for Northern Spirit Shakedown, but frankly there really wasn’t much to report and I was tired. The only wildlife we saw between Edmonton and High Level was road kill, and the only wildlife between High Level and Yellowknife was… oh, well, actually, we did see three or four black bears, so that was interesting, but otherwise it was just a lot of bison. Bison, bison everywhere, crossing the road, changing their minds and crossing back…silly beasts.

We have now started our second venture with the Northern Spirit, which will take us actually on the road to Okotoks. Well, technically we have arrived in Spruce Grove and will begin our second venture tomorrow morning.

I would like to be able to report an exciting and eventful two days of travel from Yellowknife to Spruce Grove. I would like to, but I can’t. The title of this post says it all. Really, all we saw yesterday (again) was a whole lot of bison. Okay, I did run into Mennonite (I think) families RVing at Big River and fishing in the Mackenzie. Something you don’t see every day in the NWT. I spoke briefly with one of the women, who confirmed that they had successfully caught some small pickerel, nothing terribly large. I thought that was pretty good considering they were fishing from shore, and told her I thought they’d have to get further into the river to get anything bigger. Either way, pickerel is good eating, so I think they were doing well.

But other than that interesting little visit, nothing actually happened. We eventually saw horses today. A coyote tried to cross the road near Onoway. It rained… okay we apparently did a little bit of hydroplaning at one point, but I didn’t even notice until Dan told me. Clearly he did not lose control of the vehicle. We saw a Class A motorhome towing an Airstream. And an admittedly amusing small vehicle driving on the highway with two queen size mattresses poorly strapped to the roof. It looked like a toupee blowing in the wind.

At any rate, we arrived at our hotel after doing some running around in Edmonton. After checking in we took a short walk across the street for supper to a place called Broadway and Grand. Totally worth checking out! There’s the bright and airy cafe style restaurant and then there’s the speakeasy-styled lounge. They share the same menu, but I think the cafe also has quick cooler options. We checked out the speakeasy, which required actually entering a code into a pad hidden behind a plaque to open the locked door. Hehe. Inside was the lounge, with table seating as well as bar seating, a selection of board games in one corner and a pool table in the other corner. The menu wasn’t very large, but they are in transition after the pandemic and are hoping to expand the menu later in the season with the addition of a larger smoker they have on order. Dan had the Philly Beefsteak, which came with the cheese on the side. He said it was really good. I ordered the B&G Mac and Cheese with Bacon, and honestly I thought it was fantastic. We were really pleased with our experience, so if you get a chance to stop in Spruce Grove give this place a try.

Adelle and Dan

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!

Northern Spirit Shakedown – Glamping Days 1 through 4

Hi! Did you miss me? Just a little? I’ve missed you, but boy, has this learning experience ever taken up our days. We’ve had long days since picking up the trailer, what with orientation, figuring out how to use our new toy without breaking it, and kitting it out with the bare necessities. As green as we are at this glamping life we really don’t have a foundation to start from, so we’re trying to be as logical and practical as we can.

That’s us with our new Place!

The people at Trailblazer RV are fantastic and so friendly and patient with us. The orientation went smoothly, but it was a lot of information to take in. When we got to the campsite at Diamond Grove RV Campground it took a bit to get the hitch to disconnect, but we did not need to call for assistance. Then we thought we locked ourselves out of the trailer, but just as I connected with someone at Trailblazer Dan pulled the latch the right way and voila! The door was open! I told whoever answered the phone that all it took was to just make the phone call to them to convince the door to cooperate – Murphy’s Law in our world. We’ve had no problems with the door since.

Dan noticed some of the seals on the outside panels appeared to have gaps, so Trailblazer is going to take care of that when we return home.

Plug in the shower???

And the plug in the shower — yes, plug in the shower, I know, why does a shower need a plug??? — would not stay open and the little handle kept popping off when we’d pull it. We didn’t know what kind of plug it was, so we didn’t want to put too much pressure on it (you know, with a lever or something) because we didn’t want to break it. After consulting with Dale at Trailblazer (who also shook his head at the idea of a plug in the shower), he looked into it and confirmed that we could just pull that entire cap right off the drain and problem should be solved. They’ll take a closer look as well while they have the trailer.

As in all (most?) trailers like this one, the bed lifts up on hydraulics to expose storage space underneath. What’s different about our storage space is that the manufacturer has designed bins, drawers, and a seating area in that storage space, including a spot to keep the laundry basket. It’s awesome! I love the smart use of that area. The only problem here is the motion sensor light that was provided in the space. It switches on and off at the slightest movement or shadow, day and night. In other words, all night every night the light would start flashing on and off from under our bed. We mentioned that to Dale as well, and he suggested we could either have it removed entirely or change it from a motion sensor to an on/off switch. I like the latter idea, so they’ll do that for us while they have the trailer as well.

The only other issue is not one we’ll be asking the dealer to look into because it’s not a defect, it’s just an observation and one that I can remedy myself. And this one is odd coming from a Northerner like myself who is used to sleeping through sunlit night skies. The skylights and vent covers in the trailer (as I understand in most trailers) pretty much glow when there’s any external light. So we’ve found that despite having the blinds drawn in the bedroom, the vent cover is what lets us know that dawn has arrived. The easy fix, of course, is to velcro a dark piece of cloth over the vent at night, so I’ll take measurements and make something when we go home to bring back later in June.

Now, we have no point of reference from which to know how much rocking and rolling (without the obvious explanations for such, wink, wink) is normal and how much is because we haven’t applied the stabilizers properly. Whether what we experienced — which wasn’t terrible, but was definitely noticeable, especially when Dan is walking around (you can hear him walking around in our house, and our house is solid) — was normal or not is now moot. Dan being Dan has used 2×4’s to build additional stabilizers at the hitch jack (for the front/back rolling) and for the stabilizer jacks (for the side/side rocking), as well as the wheel chocks between both pairs of wheels. This trailer is barely moving at all now, not even in the gusts of wind we’ve experienced the last couple of nights!

We were warned at the orientation that the oven temperature would not likely match the numbers marked on the oven dial, and my first lighting of the oven proved her correct. We were very glad we took her suggestion to get an oven thermometer. I have to set the dial at the highest setting of 490 to get it to reach 400, and about 432-ish to get to 350 (which is what I needed to bake brownies…). I still couldn’t bake the brownies the first night I turned the oven on and learned about the temperature gauge, though. I’m sure there are those of you out there who have probably guessed why. It turns out there’s ‘stuff’ that needs to burn off in the oven before you should use it the first time. It got really smoky and smelly in the trailer there for a bit…

Our first cooked meal in the trailer.

We did get to use the range sooner than intended. We had planned to roast hot dogs over a fire for our first meal at the trailer, but shortly after purchasing the wood and before Dan could actually start making kindling out of some of it, dark clouds started rolling in, the temperature dropped, and it eventually started to rain. Yeah, we fried those hot dogs in a frying pan with some onions on the range instead. It was actually pretty awesome, and damn, does the gas range ever cook fast! Totally have to get used to adjusting the heat levels down from what I’m used to. We had purchased the ‘camping condiments set’ — ketchup, mustard, relish — to compliment our meal, but decided not to partake of the provided ketchup upon discovering the seal had not properly set at the manufacturing facility. Still trying to find a small bottle of ketchup to replace it.

Adelle, Dan, Paul, Sarah – First visitors!

We had our first visitors at the site Saturday morning, which was pretty exciting I do have to say. My Uncle Paul and Aunt Sarah stopped by and received the grand tour of our new wheels. They’re glamping veterans themselves, so they duly appreciated what we have and offered invaluable advice as well. We had a nice visit and hope to see them again later this week.

After getting some more shopping done that afternoon (it seems never ending!) we finally took some time to ourselves by going to West Edmonton Mall for supper and a show. Bourbon Street has changed its selection of restaurants over the years since we were last there, but we ended up going to Earl’s because the wait wasn’t terribly long and gave us time to go across the hall afterwards to Rick Bronson’s The Comic Strip. I have to mention, the clam chowder at Earl’s was amazing! They tweaked the recipe to really make it their own signature dish with a subtle smoky-sweet taste. Totally worth it, and likely all I’ll be ordering at future visits.

ISMO at The Comic Strip

At The Comic Strip we were entertained by the host (who’s name I now forget, I’m sorry), the opening act named Gulliver Twist, and the main attraction: ISMO. Look him up, he’s a Finnish fella now living in LA giving a solid bit on the oddness of the English language and the varying uses of the word “shit”. It was a good show and I’d recommend seeing him if you get the chance.

Sunday ended up being a fuller day than intended, starting with taking longer than I’d hoped to update our books (i.e. pay some bills) in the morning before managing to get out to another fun event: the Leduc Rodeo and Car Show. Specifically this afternoon we watched some barrel racing, which I thought was a lot of fun, and then took a closer look at the vintage vehicles at the car show.

Carmen on Posse
Julia on Navajo
Cassie on Crimes Times Nine
Ford F100
Check out the plate.

We finally ended the weekend having my Mom and Step-Dad over for supper, which was entirely made on the range/oven. Fried chicken breasts, fried baby potatoes with green onions and spinach, orzo pasta salad, and garlic bread. My mom didn’t know what to do with herself because the kitchen is way too small for more than one person to work in it, lol! We followed up with brownies, which almost turned out except that I didn’t know I had burned the crust until I served it. But the inside and top were still good, so I’ll take it as another learning experience for this oven. Mom and I played a game of Canasta while Dan and Andy watched some local TV.

So that pretty much catches us up here. It’s already Midnight again and I have an early appointment tomorrow, so I’d best let you all go.

Adelle and Dan

Northern Spirit Shakedown – Travel Day 2

Good evening….tired tonight so expect this post to be short. Despite the room we stayed in being comfortable I did not get much sleep. I may have been a tad too excited for this trip. The lack of sleep resulted in today feeling rather long, even though it really wasn’t any longer than it was expected to be or that we are used to (eight hours from High Level to Edmonton is pretty standard).

Of course, it didn’t help that the fan in the truck appears to have crapped out, so we did not benefit from any air conditioning. It was rather stuffy in the truck today, likely contributing to my general feeling of tiredness. We’re going to try and get the truck in to get checked before we have to go home.

We arrived at my mother’s at around 6:30 pm, just in time for a BBQ steak supper with all the trimmings, including puffed wheat squares for me and Mom and apple pie with ice cream for Dan and Andy. The puffed wheat square I had been anticipating from the High Level Esso Station was disappointing and I did not eat it; it was odd because they usually make a really great puffed wheat square. The pleasant surprise was that my Mom had just made puffed wheat squares, and honestly nobody can beat hers anyway.

The evening ended with a thunder and lightning show, which was pretty cool. Tomorrow will be a full day of picking up the trailer, orienting ourselves to it, and kitting it out.

No photos today, nothing really caught my attention and the following critters didn’t stick around long enough to capture.

Wildlife sightings primarily consisted of the bird variety with a whole bunch of ducks, about a dozen geese, one magpie, two hawks, and two grouse. The grouse were actually the last thing we saw, in my Mother’s back yard of all places, where we usually see a ridiculous number of rabbits or hares. We did also see one coyote and one chipmunk. That’s right, a chipmunk, crossing the road in front of us. Lucky he didn’t become roadkill…

Anyhoo, going to try and get some shut eye now. Talk to you tomorrow.

Adelle and Dan