Thursday, 16 August 2012

So, last  night Anne and I walked across the CP tracks to the Shell convenience store so I could buy myself some gum for the next days drive. Anne says to me , I wonder how often these tracks get used. LOL the next morning she was able to tell me. Yes there are some advantages to being hearing impaired. She said, nice campground except for the trains in the night. I understand there were at least 4.
Anyway we got on the road again about 9:30a.m. It started out to be a tame day drive with a little wind behind us. We got to Chaplan Sask and stopped for lunch. They dredge salt from a lake here or something so it looks like big piles of snow around. We could have stayed in the local campground there aka baseball event parking for $10 a night no electrical or $15 with. They had a little metal box for cheques with a note on it saying "we appreciate your honesty", true small town thinking. So you see if you really wanted to save money and there were no Walmarts around you still have options.
As I was saying it started out to be a tame drive day. We no sooner pulled onto the highway and I said to Anne I think the wind has changed directions. Yes sir , turns out for the next 2 hours I am bucking a strong almost cross wind again. This combined with Saskatchewan`s rutted highways from the big semis is not a relaxing way to drive. We made it to Maple Creek around 5pm and my left shoulder was not feeling great. We get settled in and I  check the weather on my HTC to find out there is a severe thunder storm warning for Maple Creek. We take Cash for his evening stroll and he has his tail between his legs and is shaking. He can sense the storm and hear the distant rumble of thunder. Back to the Hippyhome and batten down the hatches. Turns out we got the edge. Just some rain but all the electrical and thunder passed us on the west heading towards the extreme southeastern border of Sask. Met some interesting people there. One couple in an old well kept Ford travel van that had been to the Regina folk festival. They should have had our Hippymotor decals on their van , they looked more the part. Another older couple from east of Winnipeg travelling to Cypress hills to meet up with their kids from Calgary to take in the star gaze this weekend in the park and another senior couple in their Diesel Pleasureway van( they said they get 26/28 mpg, ah but we got the space) just touring the Cypress Hills area.
That is one of the best parts of rv`ing or tenting, is the people you meet.
On the road again for the last day of travel. Around 10:30 a.m. we crossed back into Alberta.
We got to Medicine Hat and filled up for our final km`s. Sure was nice to see $1.14/litre on the pump. Before we left Calgary I thought that was a lot until we were paying $1.34 /litre in Ontario.
Back in the 80`s when I worked in sales for Nestle my territory included Calgary, Brooks and Medicine Hat and I got so used to that drive you don`t notice things anymore. Well I noticed this time that especially from Medicine Hat to Calgary you are constantly climbing. Also between Red Cliff( outskirts of Med Hat) to Brooks I would have to say it is more barren landscape than what most people joke about Saskatchewan.
As we got closer to Calgary we once again realized how big the city is and bigger all the time. Makes you appreciate small towns like Indian Head, where you go into the local bakery for coffee and goodies and the locals talk to you. Speaking of Indian Head , I think I failed to mention in my last post and I also did not know that it was the location set for Little Mosque on the Prairie.
Well we got to our house about 4:30pm and that brought that brought this first episode of our Hippyhome Adventures to an end. When I checked the mileage we had travelled 8577km since June 27.
Friends and family have already asked if it is good to be home. Well yes, but home is where the heart is and truth be known if money were no object I would still be behind the wheel discovering new places and meeting new faces. Next summer we plan to go west to BC.

Thanks again for travelling with us. I am planning to have a slide show of some of our pix at my next drum circle.

Stayed tuned for my newest blog, "The Wheels on the bus....."

Richard & Anne

Monday, 13 August 2012

Here we are , down the the second last night of our amazing road trip. Hard to believe.
Since I last wrote in Thunder Bay we have travelled quite a few more clicks. Let me share with you some of the days.
We got up and headed out of Thunder Bay about 9:30a.m. and pointed the windshield towards Fort Frances. We arrived there about noon and had our lunch by Rainy River at the Fort Frances Marina Park. They have done a really nice job of this area with benches, flower gardens and what a nice view of the river. The land on the other side is of course was Minnesota USA. As we sat and had lunch we watched small float planes take off , a favourite pass time of mine as when I was 18 I had my pilots licence.
A friend of mine from Foothills Academy, Joyce was in the area visiting her brother and sister in law and via email had invited us over if we were passing through. She left me her phone number which I wrote down and phoned to get directions. For some reason I thought she was visiting her mom( not possible as she passed 5 yrs ago) so when the elderly person on the other end answered I thought it was her mom. As we chatted I got to thinking how older people in NW Ontario sound alike . This lady sounded just like my Aunt Vera in Thunder Bay, same expressions even. When she remarked how we had had a great visit the day before I realised that I had misdialed and was talking to my Aunt.
Anyway hooked up with Joyce and went to the cottage to visit with them for a few hours. Cash got to swim in Rainy Lake and had a blast.
From there we headed north to Caliper Lake Provincial Park. A small park but we had a very scenic site up on a hillside with towering pine trees all around. Not a place I would recommend to anyone with a big rig as the roads are very narrow. The day after we got there some one managed to get their big trailer stuck coming out. Apparently happens often and it is usually their awing that gets got on a tree as they are driving.
Oh on the way to the park we had a bear cross the road in front of us on the highway.
On that note Anne and I were walking to the gate house to pick up paddles and life vests for the canoe we rented. We thought we might as well drop off the garbage and recycling on the way. Anne heard a loud crash and then said b-e-a-r. Here about 20 feet to our left was a very scared adult black bear making his way up a tree. Chatted with him as we went by and told him to please kindly stay in the tree.
We took out a canoe and paddled our way up the shoreline and back for about 45 -50minutes. On route we saw and heard a few loons, tailed a beaver until he gave us the warning slap of his tail and also saw I believe an Osprey. Nature at its finest.
So two nights at Caliper then we were on the road again. Just missed our daughter Kelly and family who were visiting her mom 20 minutes up the road the day before at Sioux Narrows. We drove out of Ontario and were happy to see that even though the visitor centre at the border was stilled closed they had cleaned up the disgusting garbage on the site.
I think we drove about 424 km and stayed the night just east of Portage La Prairie at a private campground called Creekside. They don`t do any advertising so it was just one of those gems we found by accident. We headed out about 10a.m. this morning and did another 400 and some odd km and here we are at Indian Head Good Sam campground, formerly at KOA.Very well kept and friendly people. Tomorrow we will head out for the Maple Creek area or Cypress Hills for what will likely be our last  night on the road as we plan to be in Calgary by Wednesday evening.
I will add one last post but thanks to all who have been following this great hippyhome adventure of ours.

Richard & Anne

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Ok so last night August 8th I had done a complete update was doing spell check when I hit a wrong button and lost it all. Hopefully that won`t happen tonight.
We are on our second night camped at an rv site at the historic Old Fort William in Thunder Bay. I am outside at the picnic table for now but if the bugs persist I will head in.
So before TBay we did a long drive (for me 424km) from Sault Ste Marie to Neys Provincial Park which is just west of Marathon Ontario on the north shore of Lake Superior. Beautiful park. We had stopped there on our way to S Ontario and decided we would stay two nights there on the way back.
Part of the park during WWII was a German POW prison camp. After that it became a camp for misplaced Japanese who had been interred during the war and all their land taken from them. It was a place where families could get together to start over.
It has a beautiful beach about 3km long. You can go out about 300metres and it is sandy bottom and only up to your hips.
We did a hike up what they call the look out trail where you can see Pic Island. For all you artists out there this is one of the famous paintings done by Lauren Harris of the Group of Seven. On the way down we were just about out when Cash started to pull and bark and I saw a baby black bear scurry up a tree beside the path. I was going to get my camera back out but we felt momma bear may be close so just grabbed a quick shot with my HTC. When we got back to the campgrounds one of the campers told us another hiker had just come out and reported seeing a momma bear and two cubs.
We went down to the interpretive centre and they had a model of the former POW camp. Before the Great Escape of movie fame in Germany there was an attempt here near this camp. A camp called Angler and 26 made it out. Most were caught right away but one pair was picked up in Medicine Hat Alberta. One guy made skates out of his bed boards with the intention of skating across Superior to the states. Unfortunately he did not realise that Superior does not freeze totalling so had to return and turn himself in.
From Neys we drove to Thunder Bay with a stop in Nipigon for gas and to eat lunch. I had last filled up in Sault Ste Marie and was down to just under a 1/4 tank. I may have made it to TBay but it would have been on fumes. Not worth the risk. On the way into Thunder Bay we stopped at the lookout and monument for Terry Fox. Very nicely done. I had been there before but is always a nice stop and they had a info centre with two very helpful young ladies who phoned ahead to the rv campground at the fort to make sure there was room for us. Turns out there is about 6 of us here that could hold probably a couple of hundred.It gets well used apparently when they have a big event on.
It poured rain in the night and when I stepped outside this morning it was like a lake. Cash and I went for a walk in the pouring rain and got to make use of the rain gear I brought with me. Currently on the other side of the field are about 70 Canada Geese all honking away. Six more just arrived. They must be having a convention. 7 more just did a low level over our site to join the crowd. Here come 5  more.
Today we did some grocery shopping and other things. Went to visit my aunt Vera and my cousin Kathy. Could to see them. Anne and I took Vera to Boston Pizza with us tonight. She is quite the card. She, my mom and dad used to sit in my parents kitchen and get into fits of laughter over who knows what until I had to caution them that someone would soon need a sponge between their legs. Another 6 geese just landed so now close to 90.
Today on the laptop we booked a really nice site at Caliper Lake which is where we will head tomorrow. We opted for a non service site so that we could be right on the lake. Should be nice.
Well I will attempt spell check again for my teacher friends. We have two teachers beside us tonight from Quebec. They have travelled out to Calgary, Banff , Jasper and are now on their way home as well.
Until I am back in Internet range, ciao

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Time flies , it is now August 5th and we are making our way back home. Since I last wrote we picked up Anne`s dad in London and took him for a spin up the Bruce Peninsula to Anne`s sister Cathie`s cottage. We spent a couple of days there then headed up to Tobermory and took the ferry from there to Manitoulin Island where we stayed at the Providence Bay Tent and Trailer park. We had a nice site and the weather was good. There was a huge sand beach across the road and they had built this 1-2km boardwalk along it so as not to disturb the dunes. You of course could also walk the beach which we also did. Found a spot at one end where Cash could go for a splash now that he knows he can swim.
Did some bike riding in the area and also went to a bake sale at the Providence Bay United Church. On our way off the island we did a hike called the Cup and Saucer. The trail took us up to part of the Niagara Escarpment with some very open and high up cliffs. There were a couple of spots where if you did not look in front with eyes down you could drop about 300-400 metres to the trees below.
Friday we headed off the island and spent two nights at Chutes Provincial Park which is in the town of Massey. It was a small but very nicely kept park and we had a really nice site there as well. Unfortunately there were no serviced sites available so we ran off our batteries and water tank which is fine except yesterday it got up to 34C and with the humidex around 38C so we were all three bagged out pretty easily. We did about a 5km hike in the morning but even then it was hot. Took Cash down to the river that afternoon for a dip to cool him off. Sleeping last night was not good. There was a major weather change in the night with a thunder storm and strong winds which dropped the temperature.
We battled about 50-60km head and cross winds coming from there to the Sault today. Very tiring and hard on the concentration in that kind of weather. When we got to Sault Ste Marie and stepped outside it was about 17C  and windy. I am sitting outside right now with my jeans and warm hoody on , what a difference a day makes.
Well we will head out early tomorrow and do about 400km and try for Neys Provincial Park which is just west of Marathon , spend a few days there if the weather is good then on to Thunder Bay. Thats if for this update

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Hippyhome Adventures: So jumping ahead to the 26th and we are just outsi...

Hippyhome Adventures: So jumping ahead to the 26th and we are just outsi...: So jumping ahead to the 26th and we are just outside of Forest Ontario at Anne`s cousins. Coming across from London on Tuesday was quite the...
So jumping ahead to the 26th and we are just outside of Forest Ontario at Anne`s cousins. Coming across from London on Tuesday was quite the ride. I must have had about a 60km crosswind t boning me all the way. Narrow bumpy highway and cross wind together make it a stressful ride, but we captain Richie Rich at the wheel we made it here safe and sound . Having a great visit with Eric and Audrey and Scoobie the beagle. Cash gets to run free in there big fenced yard which is good. Walked down the road the first night and watched a gorgeous sunset on Lake Huron.
Last night we had to pleasure of dinning with Anne`s friend Joanne and her husband Bill who have a farm. They grow corn, onions and potatoes so last night we had potatoes and corn fresh from the field so to speak. Bill took us in their truck on a tour of their fields. Because of a lack of rain as in about a month things are drying up.
Before we headed back last night we prayed for rain. Guess we better be more specific. We were treated to a severe thunderstorm last night that actually rocked our 12000lb rv. That was a bit unsettling but we survived and they did get about 30-50mm of rain.
Unfortuneatley we did get some water in again on my side window. I checked today and the only thing I can see is it has a weep well in the window sill that is supposed to drain water out and I suspect it was not clean. I took some pix hanging wire today and ran it inside and hopefully that will be it. If not I will have to get it checked on our return.
Heading back to London tomorrow to pick up Anne`s dad and take him up to her sisters cottage on the Bruce Peninsula and they on Tuesday if we can get on we will take the ferry to Manitoulan Island and then start our journey back west.
Yesterday marked 1 month on the road and we are still both enjoying it as well as Cash. This Saturday we will celebrate our 28th anniversary on the 28th.
That is it for now . Best wishes to you all.

Richie Rich

Sunday, 22 July 2012

I`m melting, I`m melting. I write to you tonight from Fanshawe Conservation Area campground in London Ontario. The sun is down and my outside thermometer is reading 28.8 and the inside one is reading 30C. I would turn on the a/c but we have a little glitch with the power converter that I have a 2pm appointment tomorrow to get fixed. Anne is spending the night with her dad in his air conditioned retirement home and Cash and I are sweating our testicles off, ok I am he does not have any.
We had a beautiful 4.5 days with cousin Jane at her cottage on Lake Muskoka where it was about 28 in the daytime and 10 at night. We actually had to put the furnace on in the morning. Boy do I long for that now. Got to see my Aunt Rene (97yrs young) and my cousin Lee and her husband as well whom I had not seen since about 1994.
from there we drove to Cannington yesterday and spent the night with old friends from Calgary that now live there.
Today we did the drive from there to London. Must say the 407 was not bad but when it blended in with the 401 west of Toronto I could do without that . A lot of traffic and major semi traffic plus a cross wind. I was glad to get to the site and then over to Anne`s dads.
We are now on the second part of the journey that in about a week will head us back west.
Will be in London until Wednesday then head west to visit cousin Eric in Forest on Lake Huron. Then back to London to pick up Anne`s dad and take him up to her sisters cottage on the Bruce Peninsula. From there not sure if we are returning him or catching the ferry to Manitoulin Island. Well time to see if I can cool off and hit the sack. Until we talk again.
Namaste and hope everyone is well.


Wednesday, 18 July 2012

As of today we have been on the road for 3 weeks. Now at my cousin`s cottage on Lake Muskoka for a few days. 3nights to be exact. Anne `s grandmother used to say  company is like fish after 3 days it starts to stink so that is our rule of thumb.
Did some calculations this morning and figured out that we have done approx 3050 km so far. Totalled up our gas and campground fees and at this point it works out to approx $82/day. Not as bad as people think with an rv. We would spend more than that at a Super 8 motel for the night plus restaurants. We did not figure in our groceries as we would have been spending the same money for groceries if we were at home.We have gone out a couple of times for dinner but nothing expensive.
We spent the night before at Carols campground just 4km south of Sudbury . I think I mentioned this in my last post.  It was a place to stay but a lot of permanent campers and a lot of clutter. Shed upon shed etc.
Anne is currently giving cousin Jane a restorative yoga class. Trade off for no camping fees to park on her property. Good deal.
Cash has been for about a 40 min walk with me but the humidity kills him so he is crashed out on the floor.
We hope to see my 97 yr old aunt this afternoon or evening if she is having an ok day.
I will update again  before we head south. Not sure if that will be to Cannington or straight to London. We hope to see those we wish to see and get out of the heat to linger a bit more on the way home along the north shore of Superior and nw Ontario

Monday, 16 July 2012

Here I am again. Monday July 16. On Wed of this week we will have been on the road for 3 weeks. Funny how time flies when you have no deadlines. We are currently at Carols Campground just outside Sudbury. Ok site for a night but it is very noisy as the highway goes by close. Just chatted with a guy who is fully retired and travelling from Virginia to the west coast and then up the Alaskan panhandle. I see now we have a trailer pulling in from Quebec beside us. Having some issues backing his small fifth wheel in. Makes me happy I am driving a single unit that goes the same direction when I turn the wheel. This is not a difficult site to get into but he is about to take out the picnic table. Getting out of his truck to look. probably a good idea. Makes me feel like a pro.
Anyway let me tell you about yesterday.  I did find our friends the other night that we had met at Neys. They pulled into Pancake Bay later. They had a rough day . One of those bad rv days. They are pulling a small trailer so not inside on the road obviously. When they stopped and opened it up a cubboard had broken I guess on some rough roads and dishes and glasses came flying out and smashed all over the floor. One of their dogs also had been bitten by a tic. So they were having a drink, having dinner and heading to bed. We did see them the next morning though and were able to exchange email addresses.
From there we left and did a really short day to Sault Ste Marie so we could get groceries etc so stayed at the KOA. What a nice siter that was. Kamp K9  an off leash area for dogs and a dog walk. They also had a nice pool and Anne and I had refreshing swim.
People were leaving really early though like 5am and Cash was barking at that so we were up early.
We arrived here around 2:30pm . Tomorrow we push for Bracebridge and cousin Jane. Well time to end this and go in.This Frenchman has been trying to put is trailer into a wide open site for 20 min and can not  do it. I can not bear to watch any longer. His wheels are also locking up on him and his is dragging gravel.
Ciao for now

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Here we are two days later and a couple hundred clicks down the highway at Batchawana Provincial Park. Not a bad park but we back right on to the highway so a tad noisy. I just saw the people drive by that were our neighbours at Neys the other night so will have to go find them later.
On that note we had met some people in Spruce Woods Prov Park in Manitoba a week or so back .They had also purchased a ex rental from Canadream and were heading to Calgary. Well yesterday about an hour west of here we pulled off at a lookout stop and ended up behind another class c from Canadream. When they got out it was the people we had met in Manitoba. They had already been to Bow Valley Campground outside of Canmore and were heading back home to Leamington so they basically lapped us. Driving hard and burning gas.
About 9:30am we went for a hike on a nature trail in the park. Took us almost an hour to do it and with the humidity we felt like we had done a 3 hr hike in the mountains.
Had trouble putting water in my tank again today. Must get an airlock in the breathing tube. Turned the pressure up to high and must have blown whatever lock out of it and was able to get it filled so we could use our shower. Used the campground ones last night. They are ok but definetly like our own better.
They have a part of the beach here for dogs to go in and Cash has been enjoying the waves. They even have a sign showing dog beach with an icon of a dog paddling away.
This afternoon Anne and I walked part of the beach and it reminded me of the Dominican. I actually went for a dip in Lake Superior today. I think that is a first for me. It is known to be cold because of its depth but with global warming the water was actually not bad. Quite refressing.
Time to throw on a shirt and hop on the bike for a spin , see if I can find our friends froom the other night.


Thursday, 12 July 2012

It is now July 12th and as I type this I am looking out our front window at Lake Superior from Neys Provincial Park which is just west of Marathon Ontario. It has occured to me that the reason some of you can not see my posts because I have to link it to Facebook each time I do one.
This is a beautiful area huge beach and one of those spots you could just stay for a few more days. We spent the last two days at Lake Marie Louise campground in Sleeping Giant Prov Park which is another place we could have just stayed, but we have to keep in mind that we do have a long way to go yet and just as far to get back home.
Cash was having a blast going after sticks in the lake especially after he figures out the waves which were a pretty could size. He mostly got shoved back to shore. Washed all the dirt off him anyway as when he is outside he prefers the earth over our nice matt.
We only did about 264km today but I find the highway here with all the big hills and rock cuts and trucks takes a lot of my concentration so decided to get off the road around 2:30pm. We had been told by a few other campers we have met along the way that it is a pretty spot so that sealed the deal.
Tomorrow we will shoot for Lake Superior Park. Not sure what we will run into in the way of weekend traffic in the parks. Here at Neys they had 100 open when we arrived this afternoon but he said on weekends it fills up.
We will see where we end up. For tonight I am going to enjoy the view.

Hippyhome Adventures: Decided to create another blog just with travel no...

Hippyhome Adventures: Decided to create another blog just with travel no...: Decided to create another blog just with travel notes from our adventures in our class C motorhome dubbed the hippyhome. It was supposed to ...

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Time marches on. Funny when you don`t have a regular job how the days blend into each other and you end up asking each other what day it is. My trusty watch tells me that it is Sunday July 8. We have now been on the road 12 days. I thought 10 but Anne just checked her journal and it is day 12. We are now at a friends in Thunder Bay. Their property is on Lake Superior and nestled in the trees so it is very pleasant. I can not remember when I updated last since we have been in and out of internet reception over the 12 days.
After Spruce Woods Prov Park we headed to Winnipeg and spent the night at a KOA. From their we had a short day of driving to Rushing River Provincial Park south of Kenora Ontario. I must say the highways in Ontario are in perfect shape. I wish I could say the same of their tourist centres. When we got to the Ontario border the centre was "closed for the season" aka government cutbacks. What a disgrace to Ontario. People have gotten the gate open and are using the picnic tables anyway with garbage overflowing the bins and litterly scattered all over the patio and people were still sitting amongst all the crap having lunch. "Welcome to Ontario" NOT
We found out that they had also closed the one in Kenora and Fort Frances as well.
Rushing River campground is quite nice but the site we were on was very unlevel front to back and sideways so took some manipulating to get the rv positioned so we did not feel like we were on a ship in a storm.
We were going to stay another day but the rain came so decided to make the 500+km run to Thunder Bay. Anne was able to book a site at the KOA in Thunder Bay on our laptop. So we drove in the rain. The nice thing about a class C rv is that you can pull over turn on the propane have a nice lunch , boil water for tea take a leak and then pull back on to the highway. We drove the highway between Fort Frances and TBay for kms without meeting another vehicle. Rocks. lakes and tress and beautiful pavement.
After a night at the KOA we came to our friends Robb and Val`s place . They have an acreage in the trees on Lake Superior. Saw my one aunt yesterday and hope to see the other tomorrow. Then we will head to Sleeping Giant Prov Park where one of our goals is to hike to the top of the giant.From there we will head down the north shore of Superior.
Until we have interenet again, stay well.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Well it is time to update our adventures. We have been out of internet service pretty much since we left Medicine Hat. Also I have not had much success with posting via my Rogers phone. We are currently at a KOA just west of Winnipeg and I am on their wi fi so will take this opportunity to let you know what we have been up to. After the Ha we headed down to Val Marie in South Saskatchewan to stay at a place called The Crossing which is literally right on the border of the park. An retired couple bough the property about 12 years ago and have been developing it as a resort since then. They have a few rv spots and tent spots plus about 3 suites that an be rented. We had one of two sites that had electrical so we could use the microwave and our Fantastic Fan but since it was only 20amp we could not run the a\c. That was too bad as it was about 28C both days we were there. First let me say anything that you have heard about the roads in S Saskatchewan is true. More like an ox cart route. We went down through Shaunovan and let me tell you past there the road was literally chewed up. Had to be very careful and go slow as to not damage the rv. We turned east at Climax Sask. Can not figure why they called it that.
To get to the one hike called 70mile butte we had to go down a very washboardy , gravel narrow road for 5km. Luckily there are not many people down that way. If I had met someone we would have had trouble passing by each other. The hike itself was interesting , kinda like Drumheller extreme. We started the hike about 9:30am as we did not want to have Cash in the heat. Well by 10am my thermometer attached to my backpack was reading 26C. So much for that. The views from the top were amazing and we saw all kind of Prickly Pair in bloom. Cash only managed to get one cactus spear in the top of his paw and we did not see that until we got back to the rv. We were also on the watch for rattle snakes but saw none. The next day we did a hike on the other side of the resort but honestly it was like extreme Nose Hill. I did get a good pix though  of a night hawk.
From Grasslands we headed to a friend of Anne`s in Moose Jaw and camped out in her driveway.
 That night we got to experience our first severe thunder storm in the rv. First crack of thunder had Cash barking. I went on for about 2-3 hours and he was shivering and hiding in a corner. We had monsoon like rains and all seemed well until we went to bed and my side of the mattress by the window was wet. No I did not pee the bed. We learn as we go. I found that I had not locked the window tight and also it is our emergency window and when making the bed I must have nicked the catch as it was also not tight. Lesson learnt.
Monday we headed to Spruce Woods Provincial Park which is about 30km south of the Trans Canada and below Carberry Manitoba. We thought we had left all the crap roads in Saskatchewan well this height 37 was nuts. It was paved and looked smooth but it was like driving on a washboard. The speed limit was 90 and I had to take it down to 40km/hr or have the rv shaken to bits.
The two days there the temp was around 32C . Luckily we had a 30amp plug so could use the a/c. The main part of their campground was washed out in a flood of the Assinaboine river in 2011 so we were actually in group camping area which was ok. We had a double spot so the first night we had retired people from Cape Breton travelling in a Pleasureway van and heading back from a Vancouver and the next night retired couple in a fifth wheel travelling back from Alberta to Ottawa after being on the road for 6 weeks. Both were very interesting and doing the same kind of stuff as us.
Well that brings us to now , at a KOA campsite just west of Winnipeg. Stopped in Portage La Prairie for groceries and at this campground for laundry. A short day but you need those. Tomorrow on to Ontario and by the weekend we should be in Thunder Bay unless something else calls us. Until I am on the net again, namaste

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Well the Great Hippyhome Adventure started today. We departed Calgary approx 1:35pm and putted down the highway with the cruise set for 90km . We arrived at Gas City Campground at 6pm. Really nice to have your own washroom aboard. No need to cross your legs in pain when you can pull over walk to the back and relieve yourself.
We encountered very strong winds leaving Calgary on Stoney Trail on the east side of the city. Had to hold on especially when going under an overpass.
They now have built a really big roadside turnout between Gleichen and Bassano. A bit of a marsh there where we saw some yellow headed black birds.
The Gas City Campground sits up on a hill in Medicine Hats sw. Nicely surrounded by trees to break the wind. The South Saskatchewan River is to the north of us and down a steep embankment and it running very high.
Right beside the campround is a bike bath that we followed for at least an hour and it seemed to go on forever. Along the way we saw flowering cactus. We have water hookup and 30amp power so I was able to check to see if the A/C works since we have not tried it out yet and yeah it does so if we get into the heat in Ontario and can find 30amp we are good to go.
We have use of the microwave as well tonight so one of my home made burgers and a Kokanee went down well.
It is now 9:35pm and Cash is crashed beside me on his bed and Anne has found a way to yoga, legs up the wardrobe.
We will hit the road early tomorrow as we have a long stretch to Val Marie Saskatcheway and our 3 day stay at Grasslands National Park.
One thing before I go , it seems strange to be surrounded by trees but not lodgepole pine.
Good night

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Well time to update our travels and learning experiences with our rv. On the 15th of June we headed out from Calgary with the destination of Crandell campground in Waterton AB. This time I had a full tank of gas but had dumped most of my fresh water so I was not carrying additional unnecessary weight.. I had about 90km already on the tank from doing some running around but still on the full mark. By the time we were parked we were down to half a tank. Picked a spot in the trees as it can get quite windy down there. Nice site but unfortuneatly they deal them out when you come in so unless you are familiar with the campground you don`t know what the site is like until you get to it. In our case it was a nice site but I was unable to put the awning out do to a lodgepole pine right about half way down the length of the awning. This was our first trip doing dry camping as the campground is totally unserviced sites. There are modern(flush toilets) but no showers which was good as my wife and our friend got to try out the rv one so we know it works. Yes they showerd separately.I learned a new lesson though and that is if two or more are going to shower and you are washing dishes, hands and flushing toilets , even for only two nights then it is a good idea to fill the fresh tank 100% not 75%. We were down to about 9% water as we pulled out of the site. Heading to the dump station where I got to try out my new 20foot sewer hose which works much better than stretching the small one that came with the rv.
After checking out we headed to Red Rock Canyon another 7km down a twisty and narrow road with no issues until we headed back out to the main highway. I encountered lots of rigs ours size or larger and most were very courteous in moving over a bit. But as always there was one who did not slow down and his mirrors were out as far as mine . I thought we would hit so I moved over more and that is when we heard the bang. My wife was watching in her mirro and told me I had clipped the guard rail. I got out and saw no damage. It was not until I got home that I noticed I notched the fibreglass wheel flairings.  A few inches higher and i would have ripped off my new awning. From then on when people approached I get my window down and just pulled in my mirror.
Coming north on the number 2 near Stavely the wind was howling and gusting across the highway. I was definitely aware of the push but it was not as bad as I thought and I think that is because we are only 25 feet and sitting on a very stable E450 frame.
I decided to make for the north end of Calgary on my half tank so I could see how far I could go. Got home and was between 1/4 and empty.  I found out the next day when it took about 189 litres that it means I only have about 20litres left. Even with the wind I did do better on mileage this time coming in at approx 10.2 miles per gallon or approx 27litres/100km.
Well the big trip comes up next week . We will be on the road for about 6-7 weeks and the first stop will be Medicine Hat. I will post as we go along on this great Hippyhome Adventure

Monday, 28 May 2012

Decided to create another blog just with travel notes from our adventures in our class C motorhome dubbed the hippyhome. It was supposed to be a van originally but when we saw all we wanted to take plus our black lab/border collie child it morphed into a class C motorhome. This past weekend was our maiden voyage so to speak to make sure we know how all the stuff works, to see what we need and most of all to see how Cash the dog dealt with life in the rv. We booked into Bolton Creek in Kananaskis in the Cdn Rocky Mountains for Friday night and Saturday. The drive started out pretty normal watching ominous clouds off to my left. As we got closer to the Peter Lougheed park we got into some rain which turned to snow and also some low cloud. Well I thought, good thing we have a furnace and good thing I brought that Hudsons  Bay blanket as a backup.
Closer to the campground in the valley we ditched most of the snow etc. Ok so first back in with the rv and I managed ok. On line the site looked pretty level but on parking on it we were definitely pointing down a bit. This turned out to be good as I got to try out my levelling blocks. Got it plugged in, and was happy I had invested in a good extension cord or I would have been about 5 feet ( 3 and a bit metres) short of making it to the power post. Fired up the furnace and all was good. Oh they forgot to mention that the water at the sites was not turned on yet so I though no problem we will drink from my on board tank. Seems you need to run a lot of fresh water through the lines when de winterizing which I had not done so the water tasted like soap. Off I walked to the camp store. Did not know the shortcut so it took almost 30 min. I bought an 8 litre portable water jug, stopped at the shower house on my way back and filled up. That is when I found out the thing leaked.
Mastered putting the awning up and down no problems. All went well.

I was thinking today at work at just how relaxing it all was. No phones( had my cell by out of range), no tv, and no computers. Had to resort to talking to each other, reading books and going for walks, go figure. Seems to me before all the technology I did more of that.

The rv has been cleaned out floor washed, water tank drained somewhat topped up with more gas and now waits patiently in storage lot until our next adventure on June 15.