2015 Trip 2: a little electrical work...

Silver Lake PP - May 2015

Like Cedar Cove is our first weekend, Silver Lake PP always seems to be our May long weekend destination. It is relatively close, within 2 hours, and we get to visit Helen & Paul at their nearby cottage.

 Traffic was slow, totally expected, given it is a long weekend. Did not eyeball many trailers on the road, only a few, perhaps they are not as brave as us this early in the season.
It's a nice drive down Hwy 7, although it still brings frown to many peoples faces when you mention you actually like the highway. It is much improved over the days when if you got stuck behind someone poking along, you were well and truly stuck. The addition of several passing lanes has improved traffic flow a lot. I think a lot of people just want to get to their destination, thus the lure of the 4 lane. If you want to meander along, which is generally the case if you are pulling, then the secondary highway is your friend.

We are driving into a bit of rain, but the clouds do not seem dark and heavy enough for it to be more than just a sprinkle. Arrived at our regular site, and as there is another entrance, we backed in from that direction, which means we are now sitting at a 45 degree angle on the site. Kinda nice...a good view over the back field, and we can watch the goings on around us. A few trailers in our area, well perhaps a little more than a few. After we were in and set up, the rain started a bit harder so we headed inside. The heat pump took a bit of the chill and dampness off real quick. We heated up some Farm Boy mac and cheese for dinner, a change from sandwiches or wraps, but still in the spirit of Friday night convenience.

A couple of big fifth wheels rolled in, one pulled by a big diesel dually. I watched them get backed in and set up, which went on forever. Getting unhitched seemed to be a big process, then there were jacks coming out of everywhere. Tons more energy expended than what we have to do. Off and on rain on the roof will be great for sleeping. Rolled out the bolster and in a jiffy, it became a comfy mattress topper. Tonight will need and extra blanket, but we are well prepared. The nice thing about camping is the ability to just go to bed when you feel like it, regardless of the time. At home, there is always the tv, to catch the news or other even more mindless crap, and the next thing you know, it's a tad later than you had thought. Out in the Alto, we have no hesitation turning in early...like tonight. Great to catch up on those extra zzz's.

Rained off and on all night, and it was little cool. Overcast and cool in the morning, so we put on the furnace to take the chill off. The furnace is quieter than the heat pump, so if it is earlier in the morning, we put it on, then wait until people are up and about before switching to the heat pump. Not that it makes that much noise, but depending on where your neighbours are, they could hear it going, especially if it was 6:00 in the morning. Looks like it is shaping up to be a seriously relaxing day. We will do our regular power walk, a bit of exercise, and we always like to see what is going on in the rest of the campground.

Just about to head out for a walk when a fellow camper appeared on our site. He was having problems getting power to his trailer, and he was clearly looking for someone with the same Marinco style power connection. I offered to wander over and have a look at his setup, as I could tell from the way he was talking that he seemed a little overwhelmed. I grabbed my handy multimeter (now how geeky does that sound?) and followed him over. Sure enough, he is a newbie, having just gotten his trailer a few weeks ago. Story goes that he bought it used, some clown rear ended the trailer, he took it in for repair, and now no power. He seemed a little frantic to get it sorted, as his wife had already pulled the D ring and bailed to a friends place down the highway...clearly a man in distress. He was concerned that his power cords were not working, but my trusty multimeter dismissed that theory pretty quickly. He mentioned when he was setting up last night, in the rain, that when he touched the bumper of his trailer, he got a low level power tingle. This told me that something was screwed up with the outlet. Turns out the repair shop was messing around with this as part of the repair.

I checked the power coming into the panel and there was zero AC hitting that panel. I suspected there was an issue with the Marinco plug. I pulled it apart, and sure enough, some moron had wired the neutral to the ground terminal, thus the low level tingling he got when he touched his bumper, as he now had one half of the AC circuit replacing the ground wire. If it had have been the hot, it may have not been just a warning.

I rewired the outlet, put it all back together, plugged it in, and he was good to go. He was as happy as a pig in sh*t, as when it came to electrical, he was clearly out of his weight class. Nice feeling when you can help a fellow camper, and he did feel bad he was using up a chunk of my afternoon, but he did not know is that I actually eat this stuff up. Truly a win win.

Went for our power walk around the campsite. Made our way to the point, truly one of my favourite spots at a provincial campsite in Ontario. A combination of Canadian Shield rock and classic jack pine. Sitting there on the rock, looking over the ripples of the lake, toes sunk into the pine needles nestled amongst the gnarly growth of roots, clinging desperately to keep the jack upright and thriving, you can't help but get a strong sense that all that makes up Canada is wafting over you.

pretty gnarly
Talked to a nice couple who had a modern remake of the classic Sportsman. It looked exactly like the old ones, albeit, as they said, updated on the inside with some modern conveniences. It looked very cool. Back home, we pulled out the Q and got ready to slap on the kabobs, our meal for the evening. We made up some rice before we left, so it was just a matter of cooking the kabobs, and we were off. Pulled the JBL out onto the picnic table, and fired on Surfs Up by the Beach Boys. A great album, reflecting their later move towards social commentary rather than bubblegum beach bop. Some good stuff there. Have a listen. You may be surprised.

Barley keeps an eye on everything
Nice sunset, but it did chill off, necessitating a move indoors. Which of course, we have no issues with. Nice sunset coming in through the walls of glass...a classic Alto benefit.

we love our refreshed little abode
Cool last night, but great for sleeping. Sky is clear so tomorrow may shape up to be a nice day?  Low key morning, but we did do a nice power walk around the campsite. Back at the site we tossed the ring around, a game from Dale's childhood. A simple rubber ring, about 8 inches in diameter, that is tossed back and forth. As simple as it is, it is kinda fun, a little exercise and nice to pass the time. Two young couples stopped and talked to us about the Alto, so we gave them a little tour. Afterwards we went to the comfort station for a quick shower, then I fired up some egg mcmuffins for brunch.

Over to Helen & Paul's cottage in the afternoon, Paul and I went fishing while Helen and Dale scooted into Perth for a little exploring. Simply an awesome day, tons of sun and nice temps. Porks ribs on the Q and dinner on the patio finished off the day.

The past couple of evenings were a little chilly, and for some reason, we never even thought of pulling out our trusty oscillating heater. Another case of needing to shake the cobwebs off a new season. This will keep the chill at bay tonight.

We are so lucky that our little guy Barley is a patient man, as we did not stir until well after 8:30. Earlier editions of our four legged friends would have been clawing at our ears by 6:00 to get us up and heading towards their food bowl. This guy starts his campaign when we are clearly awake, which is very considerate of him.

Another power walk this morning, taking advantage of the nice morning. Slowly started to get stuff sorted to head home, no rush, but the forecast is calling for a bit of rain to move in. Pulled out around 1:00, traffic was light and we were soon home. Both the Santa Fe and the Alto were covered in light tree sap, although sap brings up the wrong mental image, it is more of a misting of tree fluid. Figured it was wise to give them both a quick wash, before the sun really started to bake it on in the driveway. Another good weekend out, time to relax, slow down, and recharge. Exactly what we want out of our little weekend excursions.


  1. Hi Jim! Nice to meet you the other day ay gggs! I really like your blog.

  2. Great to meet you as well Joeli.