Monday, August 16, 2010

Maiden Trip Part 1 - August 8 to 9

The maiden trip is now actually behind us, and we have all survived, including the cat!  I have to write this blog after the fact since I had no access to the internet in the Provincial Parks where we stayed, but I did keep an old-fashioned hand-written journal while we were away, so I will reconstruct it here day by day.

Sunday, August 8:
We are finally underway with the trailer all packed up and Grady, the cat, in the back seat of our truck.  Since he doesn't like car rides, we have to get him into the truck in his cat carrier and only once we are safely on our way do I release him, ensuring that the doors and windows are locked.  I know he can't open the vehicle doors, but he could step on the button to open a window and he might just jump out since his brain is the size of a walnut.  Anyway, it turns out he doesn't even want to LOOK out the window, and spends the entire distance from our house in Binbrook (southernmost Hamilton) to about Oakville howling

Brad and I comment on Grady`s vocabulary which ranges from `meow` to `mow` and `mecow` which are all different from his usual at-home whispery `meh`.  And once in a while he throws in a hearty `MEOW` which Brad says means `Can you hear me now?` because obviously we`re ignoring all the other complaints.

When we stop for lunch and gas on the way up, we have to put Grady back in his carrier so he doesn`t try to dash out of the truck.  Is this how everyone travels with a pet?  I guess dogs might be different because they are accustomed to a leash, but Grady gets out of a leash or harness in the blink of an eye.  The carrier will have to do for the longer trip in the winter too I guess, and we`ll have to figure out how to be able to eat in a restaurant, even a fast-food joint with him in the truck so he doesn`t get too hot.

Finally at Six Mile Lake Provincial Park near Port Severn, we still have to register and then fill our water tank as we have electrical hookup at our campsite, but no water hookup.  This takes 1/2 hour; then another 20 minutes to get the trailer into our site because we realize after we first back up that the trailer is on a bad angle, so we have to pull forward again and put boards under the tires on one side and do it again.  During this whole time, I have a migraine coming on, so I have to take my medication.

At home, Grady didn`t like being in the trailer; he was afraid of it.  But now, here, he likes it.  Perhaps it`s better than being in the truck which was scary.  Now he`s exploring in a new way, and Brad was insightful enough to bring Grady`s tower and his `bowling alley` (one of those circular toys that cats push the ball around).  So he settled down very quickly, and layed down on the couch with me.  I suppose he`s tired from the stressful trip, having missed his afternoon nap.  Me too - late dinner and early to bed tonight.

Marilyn and Grady chillin' at Six Mile Lake Provincial Park

Monday, August 9:

Bugle call is at 6am.  Grady sleeps with us all night, but as soon as dawn breaks, he comes crying for petting.  Six Mile Lake Provincial Park is right alongside the 400 Highway so you can hear the traffic noise, but we do manage to go back to sleep.  The other campers are very quiet.

Grady likes jumping from window to window or the screen door and sees his first chipmunk, which we don`t have at home.  He is very intrigued, but makes no attempt to try to get out (thank goodness!).

Brad and I rent kayaks today - both for $10 for 2 hours!  Great deal and we tour around this end of the lake looking for turtles, frogs and fish.  The paddling is easy, I just hope my arms don`t fall off tomorrow.  Brad jumps out in the middle of the lake and has a swim.  I am left holding his water shoes, life jacket, paddle and kayak.  For me, the water is a bit chilly - I like nothing less than 80 degrees F and a swimming pool!  Anyway, he enjoys acting like a duck and I`m tempted to paddle away but am holding onto too many things, plus I need him to hitch up the trailer.

Being in the trailer is awesome (compared to a tent or a tent-trailer, both of which I`ve had the `pleasure`).  Unfortunately, the fridge isn`t working properly.  It`s barely cool.  It was in for repair before we left, but still not fixed.  So we buy blocks of ice to put in the fridge to keep our food (and Brad`s beer) cold.  We call the dealer to let them know about that and also that they didn`t install a tailpipe on the generator we just had installed (minor detail of asphyxiation there!) - the Service Manager isn`t happy to hear about that.  Apparently fridge parts could take up to two weeks to arrive, but they promise to finish the generator job as soon as we get back, although little good that does us as we need the generator at our next stop in a few days at Killbear Provincial Park.  The SM agrees to cover our costs of any exhaust pipe we can buy right now, meaning we`ll need to stop in Parry Sound on our way to Killbear.

More on the rest of the trip to come...

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