The work it takes to make it through this trip.

Rod is a workhorse.  You need a workhorse to do this.  He is a man who just gets it done.
I have done my fair share as well.  I try to keep all of our stuff organized, so we can get going quickly when we need to.. Sadly I have a horrible memory, so I keep forgetting where I put everything…  At least the trailer is small enough, that I do eventually find the stuff.

We had all good intentions on getting the kids to do some of the work.  Every kid would have their task when it came to packing up the trailer or setting up camp.  There all had a specific blog to keep up with.

At first, the endless driving seemed like work to Rod.  Now that he is used to it, It is  a vacation from the work.  It is an opportunity to look at the sights and get some fresh air.  The kids are buckled in.

The work really starts when we get to the campground.   Just pulling onto a site is a project in itself with the trailer, where you want to park the trailer, where you want the door of trailer, how you will back in or pull through the site.  If you do not give it enough thought, you will scratch the fender off.  

Then there is the levelling.  Travelling with little water in the tank, the trailer has to be levelled just right or the taps will not work.  Travelling with too much water, you can increase your load by a thousand pounds.  If do not stabilize it right, it feels like you are sleeping in a canoe.

Then, you let the kids of out of the car.  Crap falls out of the car, crap follows them around the site for you to pick up later, and the worthwhile crap gets lost in the crap in the car.  So much effort is put into charging all the electronics.  We are four laptops, three smart phones and a dumb phone.  Cords are constantly being mixed up and all you here, is That is my cord, No it’s mine!  Who cares?  Let’s just charge your itouch!

Charging station.

When the kids are at their best, 40%0of the time, one opens all the windows in the trailer and a couple take out the camping chairs.  But if we are stopping to camp, inevitably, it’s dinner time.  I laugh to think of what the other campers are thinking as we pull up in this old trailer with writing all over it.  The doors open, out come seven people and within 12 minutes, the kids are making noise sitting on chairs, Rod has removed the propane tank and set-up the outside stove and something is already cooking and we each have a beer in our hand.

sidebar: after tasting so many microbrewery craft beers, Id like to say one thing:  ENOUGH WITH THE HOPPS ALREADY.  We both like the hoppy beer, but hopps doesn’t make the beer.

Packing up takes a steady one hour.  Dishes, putting away the beds and laundry.

Always laundry, no matter where you go!

Laundry.  Our first weekend at Auntie Mo’s House, she did all of our laundry.  Bliss.   I have had to do laundry twice this trip.  If we were close to a comfort station with laundry, I took advantage of it.  I never had enough quarters.  My loads were always too big.  The first time we almost drove away from the campground leaving the clothes in the dryer!  What a save that was.  Three nights ago, we were folding laundry, a little drunk, at 11 pm.  We have a little sorting to through at the end of this trip with all those girlie underwear!

Then we have the blog.  I know we would boot have taken so many pictures had it  not been for the blog.  After twelve years and all these kids, we are a little lazy about taking shots any more.  The kids were good about taking pictures.  I overheated my lap in the car, uploading pics from my camera, Rod’s and the Nikon camera.  I have to admit, we missed a few turns because I was busy editing.  Rod says the first priority is figuring out where you need to go before you blog.  I tried, I really tried.

North to Lake Huron

So far this trip has really followed the shore of Lakes Ontario, Erie and now we go to Huron.  Up from Point Pelee National Park is Petrolia.  The world’s first oil town.  I have been waiting for this the whole trip.  Petrolia Discovery, a sort of pioneer oil town museum.  Well, it’s Tuesday and the countryside shuts a lot of things down on Mondays and Tuesdays.  Not even a decent turn around for the trailer!  I had all these kind of things worked out, but since we have changed course like 4 times, I just lost track.  Bummer. We did picnic at a neat little park across the street from Petrolia with some awesome scupltures in the cut down tree trunks.  Sadly, the ash borer invasive bug has killed so many ash trees in Ontario.  While we were eating and walking around looking at the 7 sculptures, they had chainsawed 5 trees on the opposite side of the park.  The sound of a falling tree is like a car crash!

Off to Rock Glen Gorge, near Grand Bend in Arkona.  The Ausable river runs through this gorge and there are so many fossils to be found.  It was a wonderful 2 hour stop, a great walk along a boardwalk, up the rocky valley with beautiful potholes and treasures to be found.  Rod wishes we made it to the museum, but by the time we got through we had forgotten to look for it.

JOSIE SAYS:  7: I liked lots of clay and if you stood really still, 3 damsel flies would land on your arm!

LILY SAYS: 7: It was fun and lots of great life there.  I liked rubbing the clay and the fact that there are such old fossils to be found three hours away from our house in incredible.

ARTHUR: 7: There was a big pool under a cliff.  Not the kind you swim in though.

RUBY: 7: It was fun and nice.
CHARLIE: 8: I really liked rocking across the rocks up the river.

Arthur had a knack for finding the smallest pieces of fossils.

We are now headed past the PInery and will camp where we run out of gas and patience!  We are headed for Tobermory the top end of the Bruce Peninsula, one of Canada’s newest National Parks.  It’s far, I need to turn five pages in the map book!

LESSONS LEARNED:

When on a long camping trip, always secretly pack some coffee whitener and a firelog, just in case.

Close the windows at the back of the trailer when on a gravel road or everything will get covered with grey dust.

Bring lots of quarters, toonies and loonies for the laundry machines.  TIP:  do not use this change for ice cream!

Welcome to the tip of Canada!

In the face of dwindling interest and awesome things overload for the kids, we had to throw the big guns at them: Point Pelee. The most southern tip of Canada and an Eco wonderland.

Point Pelee Provincial Park

The trip isn’t over yet but it is a constant battle to keep them focused. As soon as we arrived at the visitor’s centre, they were running around enjoying a really good interactive museum.  It was really well set up, everyone from Arthur (6) to Josie, almost 12, found something that excited them.  On the shuttle down to the tip of Canada, we discussed that perhaps this would be our last day, three of the five were very upset. Majority wins!  We reached the southern tip, and tried to keep Arthur from jumping into dangerous undertows. We found another beach and swam on a pebble shore with four foot waves. The kids were smiling and laughing and throwing themselves in the waves. A rating of 9 and 10 s for Point Pelee.

RUBY SAYS:

At Point Pellee the waves were massive.  i could go there all the time except you swallowed a bunch of water.

I don’t think they realize that they still have five weeks of summer after this, enough time to catch up on reruns and sleep.

Rod just bought an assortment of micro beers and fresh perch, so we are here for a while longer.  Back to Wheatley Provincial Park, a perfect place to rest for these two days.  The campground host came by to say hello and brought some colouring pages for the kids.  When we arrived from our little trip to Point Pelee, there were 7 eggs sitting on our picnic table.  Freaked us out, cause Rod had been searching for our four leftover eggs this morning, and all of a sudden there were 7, 1 for each of us, on the table.  We assume from our host and not some wild chicken in this amazing bird sanctuary.

Give a little, Get a little

Rod here.  I could tell these kids were about to pop, all we did was drive 250 km to see Belfountain park and the Cheltenham badlands and they acted like we took them on a 24 hour endurance race across the Sahara. I can’t remember what that’s called but i know it’s grueling.  We needed to find a campsite last night and stayed at Rockwood, which turned out to be an unusual site!  We went on a night hike and saw bats and these giant potholes.  They were about 12 feet around.  We were impressed and only realized that they were on the list this morning driving away!

Rockwood Potholes, although very impressive.

 

 

 

 

 

Anyway we had to give them a break if we were going to keep them in this so we decided to whimp out and hit Elora Gorge only an hour away. That better buy us some mileage later on.

Elora Quarry

We figured the hottest day of the year could be spent floating down the gorge on a tube and we told them so. Ooops, no sooner had we explained our plan to treat them to a relaxing drift in visual heaven we discovered that the drift would cost us 25$ a head plus extras. WOW, we were looking at 175$ plus registration charges plus 75$ per person deposit on the gear. At the end the kids were expected to haul a 4 foot truck tube back the 2 km to where we started. Man we just can’t get a break, you should have heard Arthur start balling(maybe you did we’re not that far away) as if his life had just been altered forever. Either way this just wasn’t going to happen, that kind of money can be spent much more wisely especially with Josie’s birthday right around the corner. So we cheaped out and hit the Elora quarry where we could swim for free and enjoy a beautiful limestone quarry likely a hundred feet deep. Ginette thought it was so cool to swim in a quarry, after seeing that huge Marmora Hole quarry a few days ago.

Rules, rules,rules, no floatation devices which aren’t CSA approved, really, is that what the CSA does? I thought they tested light fixtures for safety hazards. So we left a few floaties behind only to find that no one follows the rules here anyway. Not only were people floating around on any dollar store item that had an air pocket but the rule about not jumping from the cliffs seemed to be confusing all the teenagers.  Seemed they didn’t see the signs, so neither did I. I was the first one up in the group followed by Ruby the smallest.  Scared the crap out of me but I have a rep to uphold so off I went and Ruby came right behind me. Shortly thereafter, Lily and Ginette, but to my surprise Josie mustered the guts to follow along too. Nothing shocked me about the Davies jumping off cliffs, Ginette has been known to do it nude, but when my spawn actually pull off something like this I’m always impressed.  It’s usually Josie, she was so scared I could see her shaking from the water below.  These were only the smaller cliffs. The rangers let the public get away with it.  This nutso family started jumping off the 50 foot cliffs and they were booted out of the quarry.  Josie and Charlie stick by the rules.  This was a learning moment:  break the little rules if it is safe and fun, but push the limit and you get will get caught.

So that was our easy day of little driving and a little diving, more chicken for supper and perhaps an aperitif after, nothing hard of course, there’s an alcohol ban at this park. But they promised they wouldn’t search the trailer.

A few pics of just chill in on the campsite, in the intense heat.

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Lessons Learned

DAY 6

  • When things are getting really bad, just hang in there, cause something good is about to happen.

Warsaw caves, Petroglyphs and dinner!

UNUSUAL SPOTS TO SEE:
Petroglyphs Provincial Park

Warsaw Caves And Disappearing River

Marmora Hole

Hey it’s Lily! We’re stopping at Theresa’s Diner for dinner in Marmora! Delish! We had burgers, pancakes, omlettes, and sweet cold water!!!

At the Diner!!!

Last night was our first night in the trailer. We “boon docked” and Rod was so proud to camp for free! Arthur just can’t shut his mouth. “Goodnight girls, I hope you have nightmares” was the last thing we heard from him before the grownups kicked him out.

The four girls trying to sleep in. Sorry no curtains ladies!

We woke up to Rod blasting Adele, bacon, and life cereal. We made it to Petroglyphs provincial parks and saw the amazing aboriginal drawings.

Then we headed to Warsaw caves and met up with Ginnie and Daddy. The caves were INCREDIBLE! I would definitely go back! We all had fun exploring and ended with a trip to the beach. Tuna bagels were the perfect lunch for grimy sandy hands.



After that we climbed into the cars and headed to Belleville.

Hold on! Do we really have time to go to the big hole of Marmora? I guess so!

IT WAS AMAZING!!! All nine of us all shouted out at the same time and created an insane echo. It was almost too far for a real echo. The colour of the water was sooooooo blue. SO BLUE. SOOOOOOOOOOOOO blue.

Toodles, Lily:)

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Packing day!!!

Today is packing day! Hooray… The parents say we get one backpack full of whatever we need. Are you kidding me?
My make-up and nail polish kit wont fit in an entire backpack. So I will just bring mascara, OH THE HARDSHIPS I’m going to face, List of stuff I need:

– long sleeve sweater

– 6 t-shirts

– a bunch of other stuff

Thanks for reading -Lily:)