2019 Holiday Plans!

We’ve officially planned and booked our two longer holidays for this year!

First up and Dave’s choice, is nine days at Hammock Harbour on Lake Couchiching. We’ll be taking our boat as the purpose of this holiday is mainly fishing Lake Simcoe and Lake Couchiching. Our campsite and boat slip are booked! This will be a new park for us as will using our powerboat on these lakes. There is a lack of hiking trails in the area, but there’s a couple golf courses, a biking trail around the lake and Casino Rama nearby. I’m sure we’ll find some cool things to do when not fishing. Downtown Orillia is also a very pretty place to visit and spend some time.

Our second holiday and my choice is Batman’s Cottages and Campground on Manitoulin Island for about nine days. We won’t be taking our boat, but I’m hoping we’ll be taking our kayaks. I’ve warned Dave to get his hiking boots warmed up as I’ve found lots of beautiful trails near the park. Misery Bay Provincial Park looks amazing as does the Cup and Saucer Trail. I booked a pull thru, lakefront site and I’m hoping we can park the fiver so my back large window looks out over the lake. We’ll be visiting here mid-August. This will also be our first visit to this campground. We have been to Manitoulin once, maybe 30 years ago with friends but we didn’t camp.

We plan on booking Camper’s Halloween at Bronte Creek this year. We really missed it last year. The plan is to leave our seasonal on Thanksgiving Monday when the park closes and park at Bronte until the following Sunday. Also, we plan on booking a week again at Fifty Point in November. We’ll be out a little later, like mid November which will still allow time for our dealer to replace our floor before winter camping 2020 starts! It seems strange to look that far ahead but hey, planning is fun!

In the meantime, we’ve got only five weekends left of winter camping at Valens! I believe we’re almost halfway through the season already! Wow! So far winter camping has been more challenging than usual, but it’s still a fun way to use our fiver all year and enjoy all four seasons RVing!

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Thursday at Camp

Tough day at camp today. My arm is still really sore from yesterday’s fall on the ice. I had so much I wanted to get done. The pain meds made me sleepy but I finally got myself together around 10am. By 2pm I’d had enough moping about and decided it was time to get stuff done, pain or not! I managed to take a bunch of 4L water bottles to the comfort station to refill. I just carry everything with my left arm. I brought them back to top up our large blue water jugs which I have no hope of carrying with a bad arm. We’ve started using our water system a different way. Instead of filling our fresh water tank, we de-winterize, open the hot water tank and fill it from our large blue jugs. We leave the setting on winterize and pull fresh water from the large blue jugs. Voila! Hot water and fresh water with minimal work.

After that chore, I tidied up Calista, emptied garbages and changed thd bedding. What a nice duvet cover from Ikea! ☺

To do what little I did today seemed to tire me quickly. No walks or hikes for me despite the decent weather. It was colder than yesterday,  about -1C earlier, with breaks of sunshine. I’m  hoping for a little more energy tomorrow and less pain. If so, I’ll head into Cambridge for some supplies and tackle the Reflectix chore if I can lift the mattress. Aside from that, I need a nature fix, like a nice hike! Until tomorrow, cheers!

 

Holidays!

Yay for hoĺidays! Hoping to land at our winter campsite a little earlier this week and enjoy some peace, solitude and much needed downtime! We also have some chores to do such as putting the Reflectix on the plywood under the bed.

I wonder how much snow we have at our campsite? Ice reports on Valens Lake are 8 inches, which is safe for skating and ice fishing! Oh I can’t wait to get back to our second home!

Happy Winter Camping!        ❄🔥☃️❄🔥☃️

 

Hello 2019!

Here we are mid way through the month of January. Dave and I have already spent two weekends at Valens in our new winter campsite. Next month marks our one year anniversary with Calista. ❤ We spent a lot of time with Calista this past year and still love everything about her. ☺ I’ll be catching up on our 2018 RV adventures over the next few weeks, but here’s a brief recap.

We spent our winter season of 2018 at Valens as is usually the case. In fact this year, 2019 marks our fifth season winter camping!❄⛄🔥 We ended our winter season late April and towed to Fifty Point Conservation Area for a weeks stay. Thats usually our post winter camping water flush out and fiver bath time.🛁🛀🚿

A couple weeks after Fifty Point,  we moved our fiver to Long Beach Conservation Area where we began our first experience at being seasonal. There were pros and there were cons but in general it was great. The most appealing part to me was being able to live in the fiver for the duration we did. It gave us a great taste of full time living.☺🚙

We pulled off our seasonal site twice in June. Once for a long weekend at Selkirk Provincial Park for my Facebook groups potluck and for a nine day holiday at County Shores on Bay of Quinte. 🎣⛵

July and August we lived at the seasonal enjoying boating and fishing🎣⛵🐟 on Lake Erie and different races at Toronto Motorsport and Jukasa Speedway.🚘🏁 Long Beach is close to a few launches on Lake Erie and golf courses as well⛳. We had plenty to do nearby.

September we traveled to Trailside Resort in Parry Sound then on to Balsam Lake Provincial Park for our second Facebook group potluck. 😆😆

Our seasonal camping ended Thanksgiving but I wasn’t ready to go home so we moved on to Fifty Point until November 4th. Our fiver had some minor warranty work and we wanted to leave the dealership lots of time to finish before winter camping began.

Every year is a little bit different with my work schedule but it looks like we’ll have some extended time at Valens and a week in the Spring at Fifty Point before we move back to our seasonal site in May. Our two main holidays will be in July and August this year. We’re undecided as of yet where we’ll be going. Oh and one other big event in 2018 saw my crazy hubby adopt a third cat. We’ve always had our two boys with us, but THREE? Hubby says no problem, it will all work out, but I’m apprehensive. Time will tell, so stay tuned for those adventures!!! 🐾🐱☺ More to follow!

Happy Camping!!!

Good-bye March, Hello April!

It’s almost the end of another month spent winter camping at Valens Conservation Area! We spent only four nights at Valens in March, but they were both wonderful weekends! Both times I came up early on Friday and got camp set up and a fire started for my love to come home to after work. I dewinterized our water system and filled the fresh water tank without any issues both weekends. It is a bit of work to haul the four 6 gallon jugs to the comfort station to fill then back to the fiver to pump into the tank, but for hot running water, it’s worth it! It usually takes me about two trips to fill all four jugs twice, to fill our fresh water tank. I also use some of the water to pump the pink out of the lines before filling the tanks.

This past weekend we had much better weather than our previous visits, although still cold from the wind chill. Mornings were below zero with a windchill, but it warmed up significantly by afternoon. The sunshine during the day was spectacular and warmed things up wonderfully. Both Dave and I at one time or another fell asleep in the sunshine sitting around the fire. I got in some excellent hikes, topping out my step count at over 21,000 on Friday and over 12,000 on Saturday.

The swans still have not returned, but it looks like the dam isn’t in yet as the water level has not yet risen. We didn’t hear the coyotes either, but the variety of birds were amazing! Around my feeders, I had two pair of bluejays, a pair of cardinals, two pair of doves, a Downy Woodpecker, a Red Bellied Woodpecker, Red Breasted Nuthatches, House Sparrows and a Red Winged Blackbird! The doves and the Red Winged Blackbird were new arrivals this year! This is the first year they’ve visited. Of course the psycho female cardinal was back again flying at its reflection in the truck window, mirror, chrome bumper and of course any window of the fiver it flew past. Both my suction cup window feeders were on the ground and broken when I arrived on Friday as was one of the larger feeders that had been knocked to the ground.

As is usually the case, we ate well, got a lot of outdoor exercise time in and a lot of time relaxing around the campfire. We were fortunate to have our oldest daughter and her husband come out to see us and stay overnight on Saturday. We had a fire all day which lasted well into the night. The skies were so clear both nights with many, many stars visible. We spent a good amount of time with the Google Sky app checking out the starry sky! It was such an amazing weekend. The company, the weather, the beautiful place we spend our time camping all  made for an amazing time away.

April will see us visiting Valens twice more. Once at the beginning of April and the third weekend of April which will be the last time out for the winter program and a short weekend as we won’t be able to arrive until Friday evening. April 29th we pick our fiver up at Valens and drop it at Fifty Point Conservation Area. We’ll spend the week there and the weekend of May 4th. This will give us time to clean out the fiver, hopefully give it a quick wash, flush all the tanks and test anything we haven’t over the winter such as the AC. After we leave Fifty Point, our fiver goes back to the dealer for some minor warranty work. They’ll likely have it for the week then it will have to be stored for a couple weeks until we can move it to our seasonal site which is the week of May 14th.

When you camp every month of year and every season, one just seems to run into the other. The winter season at Valens has seemed to go by so quickly! Spring is here but the weather has yet to catch up. I’m hoping for warmer temperatures our first trip out in April, but we’ll have to wait and see. If all goes according to schedule, we’ll stay a couple days longer that trip which will see us over by two nights in the winter program.  I look forward to seeing Spring come at Valens!

HAPPY CAMPING!!!

March Camping!

Three more days and we’re off to Valens again! Two weeks between visits seems so long and I miss our fiver so much in between. We’ve used our new fiver a total of seven days so far and absolutely love it! The last weekend away I decided to use our water system for the first time. It worked terrifically after a comedy of errors on my part! In my defense, I must say I had worked Thursday night then drove up and set up camp immediately after finishing work on Friday morning. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it!

I have a procedure that I follow when we’re using our fresh water in the winter. First, I get the heat going, put my wireless thermometer in the front pass thru and wait until it’s warmed up in there to about 12C or above. I have four 6 gallon blue jugs that I fill with water to put into the tank. The first thing I do once the temps are reached is run fresh water through the taps to flush out the pink. Once that’s done, I change the setting on our water control to pump water into our tank. The pump on our new fiver seems faster than the old one and it is definitely a different model. It really doesn’t take long to do this. Once the tank is full, then I turn the pump off, switch the setting to “Dry Camp” and turn the pump back on. This fills the hot water tank too.

Despite that plan, things didn’t quite go so smoothly. First, in my tiredness, I mistook the sound of water running through the lines to fill the tank and found it was the sound of water running out the open tank valve onto the gravel pad. I realized only after I’d dumped almost two 6 gallon jugs on the ground. After additional trips to the comfort station to fill my containers again, I succeeded in filling the tank to full. I changed the settings on the control panel, turned the pump on and went inside. About 15 minutes later I realized I forgot to turn the hot water heater on outside. The sight of water gushing out the hot water panel greeted me. The anode rod was not inserted. Of course it wasn’t – it was a new fiver and the system had not been used! I turned the pump off, checked the tank level – EMPTY!!! Geez….. back to the comfort station – twice – for more water. Sigh…… I blame it on nightshift and being tired LOL. By about 5pm I had full tanks, hot water and everything sorted out!

I do notice a difference with the dual pane windows in terms of drafts and moisture in the fiver. We have had average winter temperatures, but nothing extreme. I really wish I’d had this new fiver for New Years weekend to see the difference in REALLY cold temperatures. So far in comparison to the previous two years with the other fiver, I can say the drafts situation has improved. Before, when sitting at the back of the fiver where the large window is, there was always a draft. Now there’s now. As well, nothing in the slides when we’re sitting in the theatre seating.

I love the little changes like the kitchen window. It adds so much brightness to the fiver and it’s nice to open the window when cooking. I think the motion sensor lights in the bedroom closet are wonderful. I open the door to get something and a light comes on. The change in design of the closet is nice to. Being full length, I can store my broom and vacuum in there with so much space to spare. The light switch in the bathroom – thank you KZ! Not sure how that was not in my first fiver but I’m glad it’s in this one. I really enjoy the theatre seating – so much more than the recliners our other one had. I could go on and on, but I won’t. Let’s just say both of us really like our new fiver!

I believe we have about ten nights of camping left at Valens for this winter . That will take us to our last weekend at the end of April. It seems to have gone so fast this year. Likely the fastest season so far! I’m not sure if it’s because of switching fivers at the beginning of February but whatever the reason, I can’t believe how fast time has gone.

The weather forecast for this weekend is 1C for Friday, 1C for Saturday and 2C for Sunday. Every day is supposed to be sunny which will be very nice. It always seems nicer when the sun shines! I’m pretty sure we’ll use our water system again. It was so nice to be able to use our own shower and have hot running water! It’s a bit of work, but well worth it to me. So, I’ll be posting some photos of our weekend so stay tuned!

 

 

Winter Camping Photos!

I’ve updated my Google Photo Albums with photos from our time winter camping January and February at Valens Conservation Area! Here are the links:

For January:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/D12stmnOxQ6Dejke2

For February:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/xN9tMVSfGmysfDDn1

Valens is such a beautiful park in the winter! In just two months, we’ve already seen such a range of weather. It’s such a beautiful place to spend the cold days and it’s not like we’d be camping anywhere else. Nope, we’d be doing what everyone else does and storing the fiver waiting patiently for Spring! No waiting for us – we enjoy campfires and camping all year long!

I encourage everyone to give winter camping a try. It’s a different world out there in the off season. So quiet and so beautiful! This is our fourth year in the winter warrior program at Valens and until we retire, I think we’ll always sign up for it!

HAPPY WINTER CAMPING FRIENDS!!!