2010 Trip 5 - Breaker Heaven...

Sandbanks Provincial Park - July 2010

Extra long weekend trip to Sandbanks. Headed out Thursday morning. Travelled Hwy 15 to Kingston, then hopped the 401 to Hwy 49 into Picton. Pretty hot day, so we had the air on a lot, which in combination with pulling the trailer and the 401 part of the drive, really seemed to kick the hell out of the gas mileage. That little needle just kept dropping and dropping...and given that the tank on the SF is over 20L larger, it really is kinda disturbing to think of the numbers. More on that later.
Our site is excellent. Huge, well treed, with reasonable privacy from the neighbours. Actually, on our usual walkaround to scope out other sites, we were able to make note of a number of really great sites...gives us many options for future bookings.

Got set up and settled in, then headed straight for the beach for a swim.  The wind was up, which made for excellent water conditions...if you like breakers that is...which we do. Spent tons of time in the water... floating and bobbing in the waves on our trusty noodles. Had a quick shower then headed to Picton to meet our friends Joey & Geoff. They live outside of Picton, and we always get together over dinner to get caught up. Went to the Inn on the Lake of the Mountain. Nice spot, good food. Bit of a thunderstorm overnight, not really a lot of rain, but lots of thunder and lightning.

The rain cleared out later in the morning. Walked the campsite, then went to the beach for another swim. Excellent conditions again. Lots of people, but we have seen more, and it is really only Friday afternoon. Tomorrow will be different. Our friends Helen & Paul arrived to Bloomfield in the afternoon, they are staying at a B&B. Out to see us for dinner. Fired up the Q and did some rib eyes with roquefort butter, pretty much a copy of the meal my brother made during our last visit. Ate outside at the picnic table, lasted until after dark, then the mosquitos drove us into the Alto. More campers pulling in this evening.  Watched a really nice Airstream pull by...a dually, probably 28' long, and simply gleaming. Looked pretty new, and well cared for.  Those things are gorgeous, with tons of classic history to them.  They have such a unique style to them...and clearly iconic. A standout in any campsite. Funny thing though, we looked for it afterwards and could not find it in our area.  Perhaps they were just fishing for a better spot. 

Saturday was another great day... lots of sun, but with occasional cloudy periods, which is fine as it gives you a bit of a break. Hung out around camp in the morning, then wandered around Bloomfield in the early afternoon. Lots of great shops to explore, and the girls always find something they need to have. There was a soapbox derby being held on one of the side streets...a long easy slope to the finish line, but steep enough to give a kid a good thrill. Probably about 8 racers, all of varying degrees of sophistication. One was clearly a fathers hobby. It was really well engineered and built, and it showed. In talking with the father and daughter, we learned it has won the derby the past 2 years. On the other end of the scale, there were a couple of matching racers that must have come from the father's welding shop...pretty rough metal frames, fat wheels off some sort of hand cart, and rather unique looking fenders. They did however, have the best drivers seats of the bunch...Dale quickly pointed out that they were old Hermann Miller fiberglass office seating...worth a bit of coin in their time. Now retired on a couple of soapbox racers. The racing was classic...and mostly in slow motion. One poor guy just could not get any momentum going, and stopped numerous times on the track. One other kid performed a harrowing (for him) zig zag down the road before ending his race up on the curb. The little girl in the over engineered speed machine, once again sailed to an easy victory... and surprisingly, at a very noticeable difference in speed than the other entrants. 

Back to the site for some pre-beach cocktails, then we went to the beach. Conditions great once again. The breakers were huge... and it is quite interesting just how much of an undertow there can be.  Certainly manageable for an adult, but it could probably give a kid a scare. Lots more people today. Lots more people on the beach today... probably including day use folks... who could resist? And the sand... incredibly fine, like talc powder. Once its on you, you cannot seem to brush it off. And it get everywhere... nothing like a tasty beach snack that grits between your teeth. Does it ever get hot as well... really soaks up the sun. A shower is really mandatory after hitting this beach.

Ice is not lasting long in the cooler this weekend...but does it ever do a great job on beer. gotta love beer out of a watery ice cold cooler...nothing better. We have discovered a tasty refresher in San Pellegrino Limonata...very zesty and sparkling. It may become our go to thirst quencher... when it is too early for a beer...actually, does that time really exist??? All of us went out to dinner to Portabello in Picton... a nice mid range place to eat. Had another great visit.

Sunday morning we started to pack up. We hoped to squeeze in another swim, but time just did not permit. We did walk the beach a bit near our campground, as Dale really needed to feel the water one last time.

Broke camp around noon, did the dumping station gig, then met Helen & Paul in Picton. Grabbed a Buddah Dog for lunch, then headed for the ferry. We always take the ferry across at Glenora, then drive Hwy 33 into Kingston. While on the ferry, I saw a few people take pictures of the Alto...behaviour we have seen in the past. We thinks it's cool. It really catches peoples eye.

The drive along the shoreline is really nice. Hopped the 401 up to 15 again, then back home.

Ran the numbers on the fuel economy... pretty dismal on the way down. Only got on average, 20L/100Klm, which is a standard way of viewing gas mileage in these parts. On the way home though, we averaged, 13L/100Klm, which is better. I think the A/C, the heat, the 401 and the trailer all added up to kill the numbers. On the trip to Royal Oak earlier, which was a perfect example for getting true Hwy numbers, we averaged 10.2L/100Klm. A big difference. So towing a trailer, even a little one, can really impact your fuel consumption. Interesting numbers to crunch, but in the end, so what? It's really the adventure that counts!

So after this really long weekend, we now wish all work weeks were only three days long... can anyone tell us why they are not?


  1. Really enjoying your writing style and mode of travel yet I've a question for you. Where do you store the cooler? Inside the Alto or within the storage bin underneath?

  2. Hi,
    The Alto has a fridge that runs off either propane or electricity. It is a reasonable size and keeps everything nice and cold. We have never had the need for a cooler.