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!

GAMES the kids play.

Day 11 was a non eventful day. Yesterday was jammed pack and Matthew and Ginnie arrived to meet us. We have also allowed the kids to stay up too late too many nights in a row playing UNO. Fatigue has caught up, so we thought we would slow it down.

We also have a killer drive to Point Pellee tomorrow so we drove half way to break it up. We had a great spot at Rock point Provincial Park but the beach did not deliver so we left early for Point Burwell. Beach. The provincial park was full so we just went to the public beach. It was sandy and nice, extremely shallow. The water quality was unknown but we had a nice time. The great view from the beach were the 29 windmills on a point to the east.

I thought I would use this slow day as a post about the games the kids play.

Number one is UNO. A classic card game. Sadly they left the deck by the sink and the cards got wet and stuck together! They ended each day playing three rounds. It was so funny listening to them. One day they said, let’s play without saying a word! Their silence was the funniest of all!

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They also play funny make believe games at every campsite. Changing campsites allows the kids to create different worlds every night. They really are funny! They play town hall, and nail salon. I had to pick up all this play money they had made from scraps of paper at the site this morning. The other day they played some kind of Mystery Date game show where Arthur had to pick the best girl. As we made dinner tonight, I heard them on the next site opening a bar I think? Five bucks a beer.

Here is a picture of Josie “hypnotizing” Ruby with her new pocket watch.

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I love it! I just can not keep up with their imaginations.

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A great game, until they lost the ball, was HOT. Rod and I would sit in our chairs and marvel at the fact that our kids were happily playing ball!
Josie explains the game:
We all stand in a circle equally apart and pass the ball randomly to each other, or a bad throw. If someone misses the catch or throw they get a letter spelling hot. It is a game we like to play with Arthur when he is acting normal.

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Making Lists

This is a post to all those parents who embark on treks with the kids.

How much can you bring?
How little can you bring?

We try to cover everything: what if it rains, hails, heat waves, poison ivy, spontaneous art projects, game breaks(will they even want to play? if the do I’ll be ready!), car boredom, snacks, snacks and snacks, and of course clothes and shoes, cause they will lose their shoes.  I lose mine all the time!  NOT.

The good thing is that once departure arrives, the tedious work of lists is over.  It is a challenge to get that list right.  It has paid off many times.  It has also allowed me to bring more, okay way more, than I needed some times.  That is okay at a cottage, but we have serious limited space in the trailer and even less in the truck.

Let the lists begin!

 

Let the journey begin with a list.

First, make a list of the lists needed:

  • Stuff to bring from MY Cottage
  • Stuff from ROD’s cottage
  • Our clothes
  • medications and toiletries, including complete First Aid kit
  • Game box
  • Blog to dos
  • Beach gear
  • Rain Gear
  • Car bags
  • Kitchen
  • Food
  • Books
  • Groceries
  • Crafts

Check.  I hope that is all of it……