2012 Trip 3: Rain, rain, rain...

Murphy's Point PP - June 2012

Rainy and overcast, and the forecast is for more of the same all weekend. Still headed out though, as it is nice to get out of the city and we are very comfortable in the Alto regardless of the weather. Hitched up last night, and it was only a drizzle when we pulled out.
As we headed west, we headed right into some dark rain clouds, and sure enough, the drizzle turned into full on showers. It was pretty steady when we pulled into our site.

Murphy's Point is a nice park on the Big Rideau Lake (part of the Rideau Canal system), however, I find it very dark because of the canopy of the trees. It is very dense, and not a lot of daylight seems to make it through. Compound this with dark rainstorm clouds, heavy wetness, and the feeling of gloom is very present. The park is very hilly and this impacts the sites. Last year our site had quite the slope, with the front of the Alto very high. We did a walk around to gather site numbers as we normally do, and selected this site based on those numbers. Well, this site is really sloped as well. We were not able to level out the trailer, and it is somewhat noticeable inside. Not a problem, just a little odd feeling. I think we will need to modify our site list, or perhaps just head to a different park.

It was nice to get inside. Dale already had the heat pump going, no surprise there, so it was nice and toasty. Cracked a beer, some munchies, then settled in and watched a documentary on Tom Thompson. It was very good, delving into his life, his painting style, and then the events surrounding his mysterious death. Rain is still falling real steady, and it sounds real nice on the roof. Every so often, a gust of wind blows through and the leaves empty themselves of water, causing a torrent of rain on the roof. The raindrops are great to fall asleep to.

Rain has stopped, but still quite overcast. A serious relaxation morning. Now if we were at home, I can envision a day of running around doing errands and puttering around, which is fun, but by the end of the day, you are ready for a nap. Out camping, you have no guilt about just relaxing, because that is why you are here in the first place. Not that we do nothing when camping, what with kayaking, biking or just hiking around, but this is a different kind of activity. This morning, it is serious cocooning inside.
notice a theme here...
Made a bit of a discovery this morning. When we travel with the kayaks, I run a strap around both of them and through the inside of the Santa Fe. This is in the event of any sort of failure to the racks, parnoid perhaps, but a simple secure solution. This morning when I went out to the car, I discovered that both front seats were soaking wet. All the windows were closed, so that was not the cause. I then saw that the water was in fact conducted in through the strap. In the heavy rain, the weaved nylon strap would absorb water, which then travelled downhill inside the strap, into the car, then at the lowest point, would accumulate into a drip, right onto each seat, from each side of the car. The strap was acting as a capillary for the water. Who would have thought? Will now have to remember to pull it off when it is not needed.

Took a walk up to the camp store and made a neat discovery, they have a small ice cream bar offering espresso flake ice cream!  After our evening meal we may make a trek there to have a cone. Talked to a lovely couple on the way back. They had a really nice Irish Setter, who was very excited to meet new people. This retired couple have traveled all over with their trailer, their most memorable trip being to the Yukon. That's the nice thing about camping, there are usually people who are interested in simply having a nice chat with other folks, and it is always interesting conversation.

The afternoon is looking really overcast, so we have decided to take a run into Westport. Westport is a funky little town on the shores of the Big Rideau Lake. We have been there a number times over the years and the town offers an interesting variety of stores, all supported by the great numbers of cottagers and campers in the area. Wandered around the shops and checked it all out. Made a beeline for a little bakery and came out with some classic goodies.
 Bought some nice looking smoked salmon in a little shop/takeout spot that does nothing but smoking fish. Picked up a couple of chunks of candied salmon, the base for the carmelization being maple syrup. The sampler chunk I tried was very tasty. Lots of people out this afternoon, probably spurred on in the same way we were.

In one store, carrying a mish mash of products, I discovered an interesting tv antenna, and at $25, I decided to give it a try. We are looking for something that might help pull in at least a couple of channels the odd time. We need some sort of outside antenna, as reception from the rabbit ear (a single pole design) seems pretty futile when you are encased aluminum. This will be an interesting experiment. Go to the Mods page to see an image.  Found a really nice kitchen shop, selling both food and gadgets. I am drawn to those stores like a moth to a light bulb. I could look at kitchen gadgets forever, and one never knows when you will come across something you just have to own.
a great name for a kitchen/food store
No rain in the afternoon and the sun did make the occasional brief appearance. Headed back to the site, read a bit of the paper and then we both had an awesome nap. A G&T kick started the dinner prep. Dinner this evening will be steaks with fried mushrooms and onions and a side of green beans. tonight's beer is called 'Muskoka Cream Ale'. Quite nice, with a good beer taste and certainly creamy as the name suggests. Instead of ice cream we forgot we had tucked in some rhubarb crisp.  So espressso ice cream...next time.

Read more of the paper, while the Tivoli pumped out tunes from one of Bill's playlists. Very chillin'. Watched a couple of episodes of The Big Bang Theory, then hit the pit. As there is no one near us, we pulled all the curtains open wide and enjoyed falling to sleep looking up at the light of the moon as it dappled through the trees. Snug as a bug...

Another cloudy, relaxing morning. Read The Globe & Mail, which we picked up yesterday. Breakfast is scrambled eggs with leftover steak and fried onions & mushrooms. The rain has started up again, which is unfortunate as it is always nicer to be hitching up when it is not raining. No biggie...


  1. Hi Jim - I have really been enjoying your blog the past while. Out here on Vancouver Island we don't see any Altos. I really like the look and concept of them - similar to an Airstream but at a different level. A well made unique design. Unfortunately very expensive, but I guess all those qualities don't come cheap. Would be nice to see a very slightly larger model with a full 3 piece bath and wardrobe space - and only 5 kg heavier! Except it would be $50,000!

    Have you ever had any problems with water leaks from outside?

    Will probably have more questions and comments in the future; in the meantime I'll be looking forward to your next postings.


  2. Hi Peter,
    Glad you have been enjoying the blog of our travels with the Alto. We find a blog is a great way to record and remember our adventures, and to think it may get read by others as well, that's pretty cool.

    The Alto is indeed a unique trailer, there is really nothing else quite like it on the market. The design and quality of construction is outstanding, and although it is expensive, it is an investment that will last a long time.

    It makes efficient use of the space it has, yet feels very large inside. The windows really bring in the outdoors, enhancing the feeling of space. We travel light, yet we feel we do not lack in creature comforts.

    We have not had any water leaks, and have been in some dandy storms, which would have tested it well. Again, good design and quality holds true.

    We have had a few comments lately, so perhaps a blog post about the Alto design features might be an idea.