2014 Trip 9: another season closes...and, more rain!

Cedar Cove Resort, White Lake, Oct 2014

It seems that a Cedar Cove weekend represents two opposite emotions for us...the excitement of the start of another new Alto season, or the sadness that another Alto season is drawing to a close.

Recently we have been communicating with a number of new or soon to be Alto owners, some in the southern States and California, and it made us realize how much longer their Alto seasons are. Makes us look forward to our retirement, when we will be able to hitch up and follow the Canada geese south to warmer climes and extended travels. We just can't wait.

Beautiful, warm sunny evening driving in but it is forecasted to be another weekend of rain, which is getting to be pretty funny. Last weekend was fabulous, but of course, we were not camping, this weekend, rain while camping. Luck of the draw I guess. Fortunately White Lake is only an hour away, as at this time of year the sun sets so early now, you are guaranteed of setting up after dusk. Sure enough, it was dark by the time we got checked in and were backing on to the site. It is a favourite site facing the water and no one around us.  The site is great but when dark it is a tad difficult to back into. Got nicely set up, services all attached, just in time for a sprinkling of rain to start...naturally.
nestled in...

As we are closing up this weekend, before we left home I put some Dawn dishwasher liquid into a bucket of  hot water and pour this into both the black and grey waste tanks. While we are on the road, this will slosh around in the tanks and should give the them a bit of an extra cleaning. I have read that some people will throw in a bag of cubed ice into the black tank to act as an abrasive as the cubes are tumbling around. Makes sense, particularly for the black tank. Drained the tanks after we got set up, then headed inside. Started to rain, not hard, just steady. Sat around and relaxed, and turned in early. Rain pattering on the roof put us to sleep pretty fast.

Rained off and on most of the night, but thankfully the temperatures did not drop as expected.  Did not do much of anything, other than a walk of the campground and basically lounged around all day. Saving our energy for all the winterizing stuff we will be tackling tomorrow morning. One step I did do this afternoon was to give the fresh water tank a bleach treatment. Even though we don't drink directly from this tank, other than brushing our teeth, I like to try to keep it as clean and bacteria free as possible. I bleach the tank at the start and end of the season. A couple of ounces of bleach in a full tank, let it sit for about an hour, then drain and rinse a bit, and you should end up with a healthy tank. I have read that this is generally a start up activity, but I figure, why not at closing as well.

Since this campground has a very nice pub/restaurant called 'The Lakeside Grill' which is popular with the campground's seasonal campers and local people who live in the nearby towns, we decided to treat ourselves there for our evening dinner.  Bonus too that the restaurant is only steps away from our site so if it is teaming down the rain we will not get drenched.  Quite civilized I would say...
this guy was seriously chowing down on some tasty clover, beefing up for the long cold winter ahead
A huge break in the clouds developed just as the sun started to set and created a warm yellow glow across the lake. This made for some nice sunset shots. We had a drink before heading up for a bite to eat. A fair number of people were there, and we sat in the bar area. Chatted with a few of the local folks, and it was interesting to overhear their perspectives on a number of topics, especially politics. Nice meal, cold beer and a casual atmosphere made for a nice evening.

playing a bit with the aspect ratio on the camera. same focal length, top pic is a 4:3 ratio, the bottom is 16:9. interesting to see the change
Watched a couple of episodes of Mad Men, then hit the pit. The temperature has been dropping slowly all day, and it is to get to barely above freezing overnight. Definitely cool last night, the thermometer was reading 40F as the low overnight. We left the oscillating heater on low, and it kept the Alto at around 50F, perhaps a little cool, but we were fine under the duvet. Woke up in the middle of the night and we could see through the windows of lots of stars and a full moon glowing on the water, which was nice. This also meant that the clouds had moved out and should be a nice day tomorrow.

Sure enough, we woke to a nice sunny crisp morning . This is what I was hoping for (except for the crisp part...), as we have a bit of outdoor work to do to complete the winterizing. A little cool in the Alto, woke up to 50F, so we turned up the 2 little heaters and put on the furnace. In about 15 minutes we went from 50F to 70F, very cozy indeed. Only goes to show that you can never have too many sources for generating heat, and important as well to be able to generate heat without having electrical power, and this is when the furnace really helps. You never know what situation you may be in where a little warmth will be really appreciated.

Started the winterizing after coffee (of course!) and breakfast. Although not a difficult process, there are a number of steps to do to complete the work correctly. A complete description of how we winterize our Alto, which I will add the Maintenance page of the blog, so stay tuned.

All in all, another great Alto season. No big road trip this year, but we did enjoy the vacation, relaxing rather than driving. A nice change of pace. So now we shift into thinking and planning for next year, and dreaming up other little projects tht we can do to make our Alto even more perfect.


  1. Thanks for sharing your adventures with us! We just sold our T@B after 3 fun seasons and pick up our new Alto in early December in Ontario. We look forward to getting acquainted to our Alto and start the fun of making it 'ours'. I'm sure we will be in touch in the future for some advice. Bart and Pete, Indianapolis, Indiana.

  2. Glad you have enjoyed our blog. It's a great way to keep a journal, and share your adventures and tips about the Alto. We were looking at the TAB as a possible purchase before we discovered the Alto. Seeing the windows, and being able to stand up inside sold it for me, my wife was sold on the design immediately. Exciting times to be waiting for yours to be ready. I suspect you will find it a bit of a step up from the TAB.


  3. Hi,
    I am planning a trip to Canada this June to rent an Alto 1713 to try it out. I plan on taking it to the U.S. stopping in New York City and Washington D.C. Any tips?


  4. Hi Terry,

    We went to NYC a few years back, and we camped on Long Island and took the commuter train in to the city. Great way to do it. Plan where you are going to stay along your trip, or at least have a good idea of the options. Really helps to do a little research before you head out. Leave me your email in a comment, and you may want to check out the Altoistes group on Facebook, lots of Alto owners are communicating there.