Late July 2005

Relaxing On A Long Weekend

- This is a holiday weekend in Ontario, Monday being called the Civic Holiday in many areas of Canada and serves as a midsummer holiday.
    So, here's a picture of me on the News page for a change, showing me in a place and activity that's very common and how Sandra sees me most of the time.
    What's uncommon about this particular shot, and not too obvious in such a small image, is that I'm wearing eyeglasses for the first time in 40 years. Click on the photo for a closer look at them, brand new this morning.
    As mentioned a couple days ago, my vision has changed little during my adult life and I don't have to wear glasses, but felt they'd be beneficial in helping to read road and street signs at night and the small print on maps.
    So we checked out some of the local opticians who all wanted 5 to 7 working days to produce a pair of simple eyeglasses and that would have been cutting it too close for our schedule. Then we went to a Lenscrafters and true to their advertising, they not only fixed me up with eyeglasses in an hour, but they are progressive bifocals as well, something other opticians said would take two weeks. The others cost less, but not by much.
    Getting glasses is a fairly significant event in my life, even though I wore glasses as a kid, but with traveling so much in unfamiliar territory and so often straining to be able to read signs before it was too late, I felt it time to get them. Now to get used to them.

This day we checked out a few opticians; Sandra had her annual mammogram (one of the main reasons for our return to Ottawa this time); visited with sister Margie and her family who have a family of peregrine (we think) falcons nesting in the top of one of their trees so I shot some photos of the birds (photo on the right) but hope to do better in a subsequent visit; and then took Bib to the vet for his annual checkup and shots (always traumatic for all concerned).

Yesterday, we bought a new BBQ to replace our old rusting one; dropped Sandra off at BreconRidge to visit with former co-workers; while I checked out Lenscrafters; then met with Ellen, a former client (and friend) who talked me partway out of retirement, agreeing to do some work for her in the future
, feasible now that we have solid internet access once again; and then visited with LeRoy, my main computer supplier (and also friend).

Really Busy Day

- Yesterday we were scheduled to take the RV (Big Harv) back to the dealer to have them install a second battery and make sure no serious damage had been done from the water leak we had last winter.
    Since the appointment was for 9am, this meant we had to get up at the crack of dawn, clear out the storage compartment (where the additional battery would be installed) and decamp.
    However, what to do with the satellite antenna was the big question. It's big enough to be awkward and difficult enough to setup that on one hand I wanted to leave it like it was and on the other not wanting to leave it there by itself, looking abandoned. Campers are some of the most honest people around and look out for each other, but I also didn't want to press our luck.
    So what we did was pitch the little tent I've carried around for years but hadn't used for the last 20 of them. The tent served to not only keep our campsite from looking abandoned, but also gave us a place to put the things we removed from the storage compartment.
    Unfortunately, light rain was falling during all this, so by the time we had everything setup, moved, and the RV hitched and ready to roll, Sandra and I were both wet.
    But all went well and while the dealer dealt with our two biggest concerns, we also had them check out several other things, like inspect the hitch in the truck to make sure it had not suffered any wear, same with the brakes and tires on the RV, fix a problem with a molding on one of the slideouts, and generally just make sure everything looked okay after nearly a year of use and 13,000 kms (7,800 miles) on the road.
    While they were doing this, we drove back to the campsite to make sure no one had walked off with the satellite antenna, shopped for some things I needed to do a better job of feeding the satellite cables into the RV, and had lunch, before heading back to the RV dealer, bringing the RV back, setting up camp again, and while the storage compartment was still empty, vacuuming it out, reorganizing what we'd taken out as we put it back, and throwing away anything we hadn't used since starting our travels.
    I also took advantage of this whirlwind of activity to implement the better technique I'd come up with for feeding in the satellite cables which also allowed moving the router and satellite modem from off the desk to under it and out of the way.
    So things are more shipshape around here now, but it was sure a busy day yesterday.
    The photo above was taken on a less frenzied day in the little village of Appleton, downriver several miles from the campground, which is by the Canadian Mississippi River, not to be confused with the different and much larger and more famous river of the same name in the USA.

Really Good Day

- Yesterday they were predicting a swelteringly hot and humid day for today before a cool front was to move through. They sure blew that forecast. It has been cloudy with sporadic rain all day but hanging right around the ideal 72°F/22°C, so it's been a most pleasant day.
    Particularly since this afternoon I had my eyes examined for the first time in years, macular degeneration being my primary concern since it runs in the paternal side of my family as well as cataracts in the maternal, but the opthamologist described my eyes as physically being in 'pristine' condition. Pretty good words to hear for eyes that will soon be 59 years old.
    As to vision, he checked this as well and it too has stayed much as it has been for years - I can see well enough to not need glasses, but could use glasses to see things with crystal clarity in order that I don't have to squint to see the fine print on maps. So he gave me a prescription for glasses but said it was up to me whether I wanted them or not.
    This too was good news, but it was quite a relief for him to see no sign of macular degeneration or cataracts.
    Then we picked up our mail at sister Margie's and there in the stack of envelopes was Sandra's rather hefty income tax return, this being the icing on the cake of a really good day.

Now Back Online

- After spending a rotten night last night from being so upset with myself for screwing up the satellite connection, we are now back online via the satellite. It took three long phone calls, but the third one solved the problem and I think I have a better understanding of exactly what's happening with some of the settings and will have a better idea what to do the next time a problem arises. The whole process is needlessly complicated, but I have no complaints about the customer service from the place we bought the system from or from the ISP we use.
    Anyway, this is a huge relief and hopefully we will also soon have some relief from the heat since cooler weather is supposed to move in over the next couple days. I've seen it hotter up here and probably for just as long, but it's not the norm.

Now Back Near Ottawa

- As planned, today Sandra and I pulled up stakes and moved the 273 miles from Acton to Carleton Place, Ontario, about 30 miles southwest of Ottawa
    We got up early and hit the road by 7:45am. Unfortunately, from where we were, we had little choice but to drive through Toronto, something I normally avoid whenever possible. Fortunately, if one has to drive through Toronto, early on a Sunday morning has the best odds of avoiding traffic jams.
    Happily this not only proved to be the case, but as it turned out, the design of the main freeway, the 401, is so well done that we never had to change lanes, which in my experience is an amazing thing for a major metropolitan area.

The Good News

Anyway, we arrived in Carleton Place a little after 1pm for a 5 and a half hour drive that went remarkably smoothly.
     That's the good news.

The Bad News

Some bad news is that in setting up the satellite for the new location, I screwed something up and it being Sunday means little technical support help was available.
    Hopefully Monday we'll be able to get it straightened out, but until then we will be having very little internet access. I'll try to upload this via wi-fi.

The photo above is our current campsite in the Tranquil Acres Campground. The route in purple on the map shows the path we followed today. Click on either for a larger image.

Action in Acton

- Where does the time go? Here it is, our last full day in Acton and only my first update to the news page about what we've been doing around here. So to get caught up, I'll cover the most recent thing first.
    As it happens, a long-time friend of Sandra's, Laura, lives nearby, basically a few miles down the road and around the corner, so last night we made the short drive over to her place and had dinner with her and her guy Steve. We had a most enjoyable evening, dining out on the patio and getting caught up on things and reminiscing.
    Pictured here, on the left is Laura (one of the most steadfast readers of this newsletter) and my now redhead wife Sandra, who up until a couple days ago had been an ash blond. So for now, my daughter Michelle is not the only redhead in the family. As always, click on the photos for a larger image.
    Otherwise, Sandra and I have done little but doing the necessities of life (like taking the truck in for its scheduled maintenance, getting haircuts and groceries, and so forth) and driving around, looking at the area, and seeing the sights.
    Like the Bruce Peninsula, this area is along the Niagara Escarpment, so there's quite a bit of variation to the terrain, which makes it an interesting drive no matter where one goes, but the towns around here, including the city of Guelph have proven to be quite pretty as well.
    My favorite has to be Elora, about 30 miles away. It is not only quaint with a fair bit of European look to it (as seen in this photo of the Dalby House there), but is right on the very scenic Elora Gorge of Ontario's Grand River. So far I haven't been able to photograph the gorge to my satisfaction, but hopefully will be able to remedy that today.
    I hope so, because today will be my last chance since we are moving out of Acton tomorrow and heading back to Ottawa to take care of some business there. We are scheduled to once again be staying just outside Carleton Place at the Tranquil Acres Campground, our first location after starting our nomadic lifestyle, so when we arrive there we will have gone full circle.

Now in Acton, Ontario

- As planned, we moved out of Sauble Beach, Ontario this morning, leaving around 10:15am, heading for Acton, Ontario around 110 miles to the southeast and the closest campground we could find to Fergus and Elora, our real destinations.
    I wasn't really ready to leave Sauble Beach but we couldn't stay any longer at the campsite we had and the truck needs its scheduled maintenance and none of the Dodge dealers could get us in last week but one near Acton in Milton could, so that more or less decided matters. We can always return to Sauble Beach next year to see the things we missed in the area this year.
    The move today was uneventful but slow. It was over two lane roads with heavy traffic, one small town after another, and one road closure that forced us to take an unmarked detour that we had to figure out on our own, always a joy when towing a 38 foot RV which can't go just anywhere or turn on a dime.
    Anyway, we made it with no wrong turns but didn't get onto the campsite until 1:45pm, so it took 3.5 hours to go 110 miles, or an average of 31 miles per hour.
    However, camp set up quickly and we accessed the satellite with little fuss, so here we are
    This campground in general is not as nice as we were expecting, rather dumpy in some ways and disorganized, but our views out the back and out the door are quite easy to look at, a large tree-lined grass field behind us and a grove of trees with picnic tables out the door.
    We are scheduled to be here until Sunday when we have to return to Ottawa.

Doings in Sauble Beach

- It's cloudy today, so we are taking a break from our activities around Sauble Beach and I thought this a good time to let everyone know what we've been up to the last couple days...other than trying to stay cool in the ongoing heat wave we've been having.

After posting our announcement of arrival below, Sandra and I went back to town later that evening and dined out at a restaurant called Lobbies that has a terrace with a view of the beach. We both had a burger, mine sans bun, of course, found them to be excellent, and mine agreeing with my touchy digestive system.

Despite the heat, on this day while Sandra hit the shops in earnest, I walked along the dunes that parallel the beach and took photos where I saw them, like the one above that I've turned into a pseudo postcard because I thought it looked like a postcard shot. It was quite hot walking in the sun and I worked up quite a sweat, but no price is too dear to pay for the next photo...well, within reason. It was fun even though uncomfortable.
    Then that evening, I returned to the beach to see if the sunset would be worth photographing and while it wasn't a spectacular sunset due to a lack of clouds, I did get some decent photos.

First thing we did this day since we have to leave on Monday, was to make arrangements for our next campground, which turned out to be in Acton, Ontario near the scenic villages of Fergus and Elora, my next area to photograph.
    After getting reservations made, we then hopped in the truck around midday and drove 12 miles (20 km) south to the Lake Huron port town of Southampton and were pleasantly surprised to find it not only pretty but having public access along almost its entire shoreline with Lake Huron, most of which is beach, and also having two picturesque lighthouses, the smaller but more accessible one shown here, the Saugeen River Lighthouse. The other larger lighthouse, the more well-known and classic-styled Chantry Island Lighthouse, is on an island a short distance out in the lake and has limited access since it is a bird sanctuary.
    We liked Southampton so well, we returned there that evening for the sunset and weren't disappointed.

So that's what we've been up to. More photos I've taken in this area can be found at the bottom of my Bruce Peninsula photo gallery.


For Older News

To read details of our previous stops and camps, visit the News Archives.

Updated Saturday, August 6, 2005

Copyright © 2005 by Gordon L Wolford .
All rights reserved.



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