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Old 03-31-2009, 08:05 AM   #1
Rivet Master
RangerJay's Avatar
2002 19' Bambi
Northwestern Ontario , - on the backside of the map and just above the big green spot
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 819
Images: 44
Early Spring is a Tough Time of Year

Early spring is a tough time of year ....

The snowpack is shrinking ....

..... the trailer seems to call ....

..... and I always seem to answer that call a little too early ....

.... yesterday seemed like a great day to start waking it up - I got the battery out of the garage, cleaned the terminals, then took it out to the trailer - only to discover that the snow may have melted off the roof and around the trailer - but between the propane tank and the trailer it was still chock full of packed snow and ice .... so .....back to the garage .... maybe next weekend ....

.... and so it goes ....

My wife and kids have pretty much written me off as a wacko this time of year .... as someone showing serious signs of eccentricity .... or maybe its senility .... they talk about me in hushed tones ....

- the annual spring move of my “office” into the trailer is a big day on my annual calendar (of course, moving the back into the house for the winter is just as big a day - only on the other side of the ruler).
- my screen saver shifts to images of last years road trips.
- once NHL playoffs begin they can ONLY be watched in the trailer on it’s 13” screen (despite the fact that the house has a big screen high definition surround-sound system that has outstanding picture quality - especially for sports.)
- the ritual of a daily martini takes on an almost spiritual level of inner-meaning when sipped in the trailer.
- the Sunday afternoon nap simply doesn’t cut it on the living room couch when the trailer has been fired up.

.... of course this is all while it is still in the driveway ......

.... and it gets worse ....

- the trailer has to be polished twice before our first camping trip.
- the sewage lines have to be cleaned and treated with Armor All till they gleam with a deep black lustre.
- my wife is not allowed to clean the inside of the trailer because I do a better job (.... this has never gone over well ....)
- the trailer is stocked and made ready to go on a moments notice .... “just in case”

What can I say .....

The camping season is just around the corner ......

Bambi - 2002 (The Toaster)
Pathfinder - 2009 (The Buggy)

"I'm not young enough to know everything ....."
(Oscar Wilde)
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Old 03-31-2009, 08:12 AM   #2
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2007 Interstate
Normal , Illinois
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 18,020
But you just can't wait to get ready and get out there! It just CALLS to you! We know the feeling.
🏡 🚐 Cherish and appreciate those you love. This moment could be your last.🌹🐚
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Old 03-31-2009, 08:24 AM   #3

2003 25' Classic
Houstatlantavegas , Malebolgia
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Thumbs up

Jay...great post!!
Started last Saturday for me.
Got a good start with the wheel bearings & brakes. Then, rain/sleet on Sun, snow & wind yesterday.

I think Mother Nature just doesn't understand us.
"You don't know where you've been until you leave, enjoy life" RLC
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Old 03-31-2009, 11:28 AM   #4
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1973 27' Overlander
Tucson , AZ
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Love it ... but admit, I don't *get* the Armour All of the sewage lines. Maybe I need to take more pride in dumping?

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Old 03-31-2009, 11:48 AM   #5
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2008 25' Safari FB SE
Grand Junction , Colorado
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Two weeks ago is was in the 60's here and I repacked the wheel bearings, adjusted the brakes and put vinyl tubing around all the propane lines under the trailer. All the snow had melted and I was itching to get on the road. I know this is Colorado, and the weather changes every 5 minutes, but maybe this year, an early Spring!

Then, a week ago, winter came back. Cold and snow. Betrayed again!

Jay, I hope you can get to your battery box soon, but having to watch the NHL playoffs on a 13" screen when you have a big screen in the house is cruelty. Are you sure your wife is a Canadian? I don't think there'll be much reason to watch the playoffs here since Colorado has the worst team in the western conference.

We plan to be coming through western Ontario in mid-May, driving from Ft. Frances to Kenora and then west to Manitoba. I hope the snow is melted and the campgrounds seem to be open by then. We drove through there in 2004 and it's beautiful country.

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Old 03-31-2009, 02:42 PM   #6
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1963 24' Tradewind
San Diego , California
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 360
I know how you feel, Spring is a tough time of year. Just the other day I left the house in long pants, tee shirt and flip flops. I should have put shorts on instead. O well, off to the beach to do a little surf fishing!!
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Old 03-31-2009, 03:35 PM   #7
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2002 19' Bambi
Northwestern Ontario , - on the backside of the map and just above the big green spot
Join Date: Nov 2003
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Welcome to Northwestern Ontario!

There are 3 provincial parks on highway 71 between Fort Frances and Kenora that you might want to consider:

Caliper Lake Provincial Park:
This is a small park - and some sections of it can be a bit of a challenge (read impossible) for a big rig - but for the Bambi it is OK and we like it - will spend a weekend in late summer every couple of years. The better sites (in our view) are the ones without hydro.

Sioux Narrows Provincial Park:
Never spent time in this park but include it just because it is on the way.

Rushing River Provincial Park:
This is a real gem - although the campground is small it is quite picturesque in many sections - and very popular - also close to Kenora if you want to spend some time there - if you are thinking about visiting on our May long weekend (May 15 - 18) you will want to make reservations.

for reservations:

for operating dates:
At least as far as Provincial Parks are concerned it looks like the opening date for all three is May 15th - you might have trouble before that date.

Two hours to the east of Fort Frances is where we will be this May long weekend - at Dawson Trail Campground of Quetico Provincial Park - thought you might like to see a couple pictures of the site we had there over the May long weekend in 2007 so you will know what you will be getting into this time of year .... note the skiff of morning snow ..... be prepared for anything - heat, cold, rain, snow, sun - and, of course, black flies .... if the spring stays cool they won't be out by that time .... but if things warm up quickly .... well .....

Current update is that snow on steeper south facing slopes is pretty much gone or close to it - but away from the sun there is still lots - much of our backyard is protected from the sun and we still have a good couple of feet .... it's snowing now ....

Enjoy your trip.

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Bambi - 2002 (The Toaster)
Pathfinder - 2009 (The Buggy)

"I'm not young enough to know everything ....."
(Oscar Wilde)
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Old 03-31-2009, 03:57 PM   #8
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2008 25' Safari FB SE
Grand Junction , Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 12,689
Jay, thanks for the information. I just printed it and will bring it with us. My somewhat loose plans are to go to Jackson Center, drive up through Michigan and over to Superior National Forest in Minnesota, then arrive at the border on May 12. We will have been on the road for 2 1/2 weeks by then. There are several private campgrounds between Ft. Frances and Kenora opening earlier in May I think, so I think we will be ok. I checked the Manitoba parks and I think some will have just opened there by mid-May. We often travel when very little is open (we were probably the only tourists in Newfoundland in late May once year)—it's quiet, but sometimes difficult. By Victoria Day, we will be in Wyoming, perhaps.

We have those black flies in the mountains here too. Not a lot of them, but it only takes one to drive someone insane. "Spring" weather here can be just as exciting. I feel sorry for those poor unfortunate souls in San Diego—same weather, day in day, year after year. What a boring and desperate life!

From 2002 through 2006 we visited Canada every year, but haven't been back since, so we are looking forward for 4 or 5 days in Ontario, Manitoba and a bit of Saskatchewan. We will be sure to fill up the gas tank in Minnesota!

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