Day 22… or Day 4, depending on how you count. Here I find myself in Wawa, Ontario. Wawa wasn’t on the list, but things being what they are, it is where we wound up when it got dark and moose-y last night.
I finally left the comfortable environs of friends and family on Thursday, landing at Grundy Lake provincial park, where I was cleverly booked for two nights so that we could spend a whole (uninterrupted) day at Science North without having to set up and take down on that day. If you are planning to replicate this at any point, you should know two things: 1. Science North is fabulous, and we got to pet a skunk! Also, go see the flying squirrel demonstration. 2. Grundy Lake is not, as advertised, conveniently located to Sudbury. Well, I suppose it is, if you were planning on getting out of Sudbury for a weekend. But for going into Sudbury for a day? Pick one of the commercial campgrounds that is NOT nearly 90 km out. Especially if you are driving a big truck which will happily consume nearly half a tank of gas doing that 180 km round trip. Lesson learned: Take a closer look at the driving directions. (Also, even google maps didn’t help me out on this one.)
We are also in the “learning to deal with the equipment” stage of the trip, in which I am starting to suspect that a pop-up trailer might be more effort than it is worth. I’ve managed to position it three times already, but the need to be COMPLETELY level is turning out to be challenging. Sometimes that sweet spot which is levelable (side-to-side) is too close to the edge of the site and doesn’t leave space for the pull-outs. Last night after spending some time helping me, the campground owner pointed me at a pull-through and said, “Why don’t you just take one of those, then?” (Which we hadn’t done in the first place only b/c the electric service is the wrong kind. So my attempt at having electric for the night was a wash-out… I have a HUGE extension cord, but it was about 20 feet too short to get back to the 15 amp service on the smaller site. Apparently those big rigs also have big power cords.) I haven’t managed to light the fridge, and we can’t access it during the day, which seems to me to be the main point of having a trailer. Basically, if I were to get a trailer, what I would be looking for is a kitchen on wheels. Sleeping optional. I’d be perfectly willing to have a dining trailer and keep sleeping in a tent. Somebody get on that, eh? (It has to come in under $300 though, so I’m not holding my breath.) On the plus side, it’s extremely comfortable. In my written journal, I described it as “almost, but not entirely, unlike camping.” The “like” part mostly has to do with mosquitoes and the fact that we had no potable source of water for three days. “Unlike” = real beds, electric lights, and a very well-laid-out banquette which the kids have been using for crafts (since we don’t eat in the trailer on account of bears and being like a tent.)
So I’m pretty happy that we didn’t have reservations until August 4. It gives me more time and space to play with, make corrections, and still have something resembling a vacation. Yesterday morning involved a 4-hour tear-down, a lot of whining on the part of the kids, and a lot of lecturing and ranting on my part. My son said, “This doesn’t feel much like a vacation.” I told them that this much work always gets done on vacation, there is just usually another adult to a) do some of the work, and b) take them swimming while the work gets done. I think this might be a good eye-opener for them.
Anyway, going to take advantage of hot water and an early morning to get cleaned up after a few days of swim, sand and sweat. So far, too much rushing. Another day today.