2011 Trip 2: Hail !!!

Silver Lake PP - May 2011

Long weekend...gotta love em!  Heading back to Silver Lake PP, same time as last year, but on a different site.  Nice day today, the rainy week seems over, at least for when we would like it to be. Traffic was suprisingly light, kinda unusual, perhaps a side effect of the risng gas prices.
  Pulled in and found our site, turned out to be real nice. Bit of a downward slope, but we found a good spot for the Alto. Reasonable privacy, lots of trees and brush between sites, definitely a keeper. Got set up pretty quick, then went for a walk around the place.
More people arriving slowly, not like last year where there was a line up at the rangers office. We are just down from the 2 couples we met last year. One couple is from Ottawa and their friends are from Toronto...we stopped and said hello, then continued to explore. The beach is looking good, shucked the crocs and waded in up to my knees...seriously cold. A swim this weekend will not be for the faint of heart.

As we got back near our site, we heard a big storm rolling in. Thick, loud and really dark. Stopped to help our neighbours set up a huge tarp...rushing against the immenent downpour. Got a couple of corners tied off, but not in time. The sky opened up and it just started to pound down the rain. Scooted under their awning, and we watched the rain turn into hail. Tons of it. Raining white, the size of chickpeas...simply awesome. Caught a bunch in my hand, very bizarre. Dale was in the Alto at the time and said it was really loud inside. It probably lasted about 5 minutes before the cloud finally blew by. I checked out the roof of the Alto and there were no marks, not really expecting any given the hail was not really that large. Been a very long time since I have seen hail. A pretty impressive feat of nature. Relaxed a bit, then hit the pit.

Bright sunny Saturday morning. Got going, then headed into Perth for a look around. Nice little town with a bunch of funky shops. Picked up some stuff at Foodsmiths, then back to the site.  Started on my next project, the addition of a 12v jack next to where the Tivoli sits.  I made up a couple of plastic mounting plates for the jacks, then screwed these to the walls. The wire between the jacks ran along with some existing Alto wiring. The whole idea being the jacks will be powered by either the AC adaptor or the 12v outlet on the front wall, and no clutter of cords. Looks sweet and works well.

The next project was to mount our new remote temperature sensor for our digital clock/thermometer.  Ordered this gizmo from REI, it displays the time as well as in/out temperatures. Pretty handy. I needed to figure out where to mount the sensor, under the Alto, so that it would be protected out of the elements, but still exposed to the ambient air.  I settled upon mounting it on the side of the slide-out step supports.  Here it will be out of the wind and spray while travelling, and well protected if it rains while we are set up. I then made a shield for it out of black coroplast, to protect it from any spray the wheel may kick up while on the road. Unless you were looking, it is not a noticeable installation.

The trilliums are out in big numbers this year, and lots of the purple ones as well. Dale wandered through the bush and took a bunch of pics.

Read the paper later in the afternoon and watched the goings on. Campers are starting to crank up the Q's now, the smell of briquets just hanging in the air. Then I hear it...a kinda loud distinctive blowtorch sound, coming from across the way. The guy is starting his Q with a blowtorch...and not one used for plumbing. I've seen these things used by roofers, when they are melting tar or rolled roofing. They are about 3 feet long, connected to a propane tank, with a massive torch at the other end. He is blasting away at the briquets, but probably only for a few minutes, then it was off. A proud fist bump with his buddy, then they slapped on the burgs. A little scary, but certainly ingenious. We started our Q with the built-in piezo spark...how very mundane... Our burgs were awesome though. I made up an army of paddies last week for our camping this year, all packaged, frozen and ready to travel.  This particular weekend is part of the alcohol ban in the Parks, although that does not seem to stop the older adults from walking around with coffee mugs all day.
awesome burgy, orzo salad and discrete beer...
Our neighbour dropped by for a chat, and we all wandered over to their friend's bonfire for the evening. Lots of good conversation and laughs.

Sunday was an overcast day, warmer, but a little dull. Slowly got going, coffee of course, and a bit of breakfast. Went for a walk around the site, a few brave souls in the water, but most just relaxing like us. Been reading up on my new digital, a Canon S95, to better understand its operation. Quite the camera, pretty sophisticated in its menus and options. Played around with its settings to find a good overall combination. It seems to take a technically excellent photo.

Going over to Helen & Pauls cottage, which is close to the park, for dinner. Before we left, a car pulled up with 2 women in it, and a fabulous wooden kayak on top. Started to chat, and it turns out they are friends with Terri, who I have been talking to and has just taken delivery of an Alto. Small world indeed. Both these women own "Little Guy's", a classic styled aluminum teardrop trailer. We showed them our Alto and had a visit. We are going to wander over to their sites in the morning to check out their trailers. Dinner was great, and of course the conversation was as well.

Walked over to see the 2 Little Guys trailers. They are very cool indeed. Very well made with quality components.  The inside has a queen size bed, and it is all bed, with some storage cupboards. The back has a lift up clamshell, which exposes the kitchen area. Very compact and efficient.  One was brand new, and the couple were on the shakedown cruise with it. So far, they were very excited about it.

Pulled out around 11:30, stopped for lunch at Dale's parents, then got home in the late afternoon. Another great weekend.


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