It feels like a century since we put our 1974 Dodge Travco “Lucky Seven” into winter storage. We’ve thought about and planned for the 2017 camping season virtually since we put the RV away for the cold months.
Today, Lucky Seven arises from her hibernation. In few short hours we will be pulling her into our driveway and hooking her up to hydro and water, checking everything over and preparing for this summer’s adventures.
The first several weeks we will limit ourselves to short day-trips. We have an annual day pass for Ontario’s provincial parks, and I believe one of the best parks in the province is less than a half hour’s drive from our house: Sandbanks Provincial Park has kilometres of sand beaches and trails to hike and enjoy on the shores of Lake Ontario.
We’ll be packing a picnic lunch or bringing along BBQ treats, and while my husband is walking the dog I’ll be collecting driftwood for my new venture Catch My Drift? my one of a kind driftwood art creations.
Gotta go get the Travco now. Going on an adventure soon!
Our first weekend camping in Lucky Seven was a great success.
We discovered a lakefront campsite at a small local campground on Lake Consecon, about 20 minutes from Picton, Ontario in Prince Edward County. The weather was perfect, the location comfortable and the people friendly without being nosy pests. Even our dog GirlyGirl made new friends.
Only one negative thing: The County is under a burn ban due to drought, so no campfires. We haven’t had a good rain here in weeks. Everything is tinder dry.
After missing camping last year during our search for a Travco, this weekend felt like paradise. A stiff breeze kept the stifling heat at bay both day and night. A little boy and girl followed their dad up from the dock with the catch of the day – a walleye and a grass pike. As dusk settled on the still water, a loon floated by, calling eerily between diving for minnows.
There’s nothing like camping in the summer, and camping in our beautifully restored Travco made it even better. We’ve reserved this site for the rest of the season, and will probably go back for burgers on the barbecue and a swim later today.
Well, it’s all over. September has begun, my son goes back to school next Tuesday and there is one last long weekend left.
But we are still not camping.
It appears our Travco restoration will take us through the winter and into early spring 2016. We have been stuck on the brakes (no pun intended) since we bought the vehicle June 26 of this year. Finally this week my connections introduced me to Geoff – aka The Brake God – at Alretta Truck Parts in Massachusetts. He provided us with the correct parts and detailed instructions on how to complete the brake job. Our first major hurdle should be over by the end of September if not sooner.
We have missed out on camping this year, but the summer hasn’t been a total loss. We kept busy with local day trips to the Sandbanks beach nearby, and did a couple special mini-vacations. The new Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto was impressive and we highly recommend it to anyone with or without children. We spent a full day there marveling at the sea life.
Yesterday we travelled two hours northwest to the Petroglyphs Park and the Indian River Reptile Zoo near Peterborough, Ontario. The Petroglyphs site is between 600-1,200 years old, and is a well preserved collection of Ojibwa rock carvings. The site is recognized as a religious site by modern natives, and out of respect, no photography of the carvings is permitted.
The reptile zoo was fun for my husband and son, but honestly it made me nervous. I am not a snake fan, and they had plenty of them there, from pit vipers to pythons and every toxic species in between. They were all safely behind glass, and I did photograph several but even looking at the photos gives me chills.
I liked watching the tortoises munching grass, and the animatronic dinosaur display was really something. Life-sized dinosaurs snapping their jaws and roaring while children laughed and reached up to try to touch the robots was quite a sight!
The reptile zoo recently added a new building to house a special collection. They participated in the rescue of 150 adult crocodiles from a residence in the Toronto area. Yes, somebody had these animals in their home in the city! Even more surprising is the animals were healthy and well cared for when handed over. The identity and location of the individual has been kept quiet, as the rescuers felt it was more important to save the animals than risk losing them through prosecuting their owner who gave them up willingly.
It has been a quiet summer for us, but it has been a learning experience as well. Of course we are way over budget on the Travco restoration, but we will persevere. I have come up with a plan for the winter months when snow and frost will prevent any further progress. I plan on knitting new curtains to replace the sun-rotted original ones. We will see how that goes. Should keep me busy for weeks.