2016 Trip 12: down to the last out...

Trip 12: Cedar Cove - Oct 2016

We headed to Cedar Cove this afternoon, our traditional spot to winterize the Alto and close out the camping season. Cedar Cove is a nice private campground, that is quite close to Ottawa. Although it is mostly a seasonal campground, the overnight sites are close to the water, fully serviced, and they also have a good restaurant. This gives you some options if you just don't feel like cranking up the Q and getting a dinner together. The weather was co-operating, a bit of a drizzle on Friday evening, but on the whole, pretty good. There was a large trailer on a site across from us, and the couple were lounging outside listening to the Jays game. He gave me a quick update on the game thus far, and I listened as we set up. There is something quite special about a ball game on the radio. It is always a pleasure to follow a baseball game over the radio, better than other sports. I think it has to do with the pace of the game, the strategy, the stats, the announcers...this all seems to lend to the feeling that you could actually be at the game, instead listening over the airwaves. Fellow Alto owners, Chris & Jennifer also arrived Friday with their 1743, and once we were all set up, we got together for a beverage and quick catch-up. This was their first season, and they are closing up this weekend as well.

It was nice having electricity, as the temperatures dropped into the low 30'sF overnight, so our various sources of heat got a good workout. Actually, this is only the second time we have electrics this season, the first being when we opened up back in May, at this very site. Our reliance on serviced sites has dropped way off over the years, as we slowly settled into our style of camping. As well, our trend to favour waterfront sites usually negates any chance of services. Interesting how things evolve, our camping style shaped by the experiences we most want to enjoy.

Coffee on the Coleman in the morning was definitely a brisk wake-up event. Even still, it is a great way to start the day, as usually you are out there alone, surveying and taking in all around you. There were others awake at this time, it is hunting season, and the faraway sounds of shotguns occasionally broke the morning quiet. Dale and Barley were still well tucked in under the covers when the coffee made its way back into the camper. It was a very relaxing day, a nice power walk, poked around the Alto, read a bit, grabbed a quick nap.  I also made a few notes on potential winter projects for the Alto, something I seem to do every closing weekend. Later in the afternoon we walked over to Chris & Jenn's for a pre dinner beverage and appies.

Afterwards we fired up our BBQ and we had dinner together inside our camper, where it was a lot cozier and warmer than outside.

Late Sunday morning we headed to the Antrim Truck Stop to meet Dale's parents for lunch. This place has been around for a long time. I can remember when I was a kid stopping here on our way to the cottage at Golden Lake. By all accounts, it was a thriving little business. Then the twinning of Hwy 17 into the the much wider Hwy 417 was planned and construction commenced. The upshot of this was that it effectively turned the former highway running past their business into an inaccessible dirt road. Customers then no way to access the truck stop. The owners livelihood was effectively stopped, and they applied to the Ontario Municipal Board for compensation. The OMB ruled in favour, and awarded compensation. This was then challenged by the province, and the Ontario Court of Appeal struck down the OMB decision. The owners then appealed the appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada, which then reinstated the original OMB compensation decision. The owners found another piece of land just beside a 417 exit, and rebuilt the business from the ground up.

Clearly this was a smart move as the place was hopping when we arrived.  It is a big truck stop, with all the usual services one would expect from a trucking perspective, as well as a huge restaurant, a bakery and a convenience store. The food was very tasty and the service was great. The bakery shares the lobby space with the restaurant lineup in front of it which is a brilliant strategy. Pretty hard to resist all the bakery goodies right before your eyes, and Dale was immediately making some selections to bring home with us. Nice that things have turned out OK for this business after all the legal wranglings.  They are known for their butterscotch meringue pie, which was not disappointing.

Arrived back late afternoon to visit and have drinks with Chris & Jenn, then a quiet evening. Having the luxury of an electrical hookup, we watched a movie, one of the ones we purchased used a while back. We always check out any DVD rental places we happen upon, and pick up any deals that may be going on used DVD's. Unfortunately for this particular find, the cover description was a lot better than the actual movie. To sum it up, when the skips and scratches on a used DVD, those bad enough to cause the player to go all wonky, turn out to be the best parts of the movie...well, enough said. Followed a bit of Game 3 on the radio and the internet, but crashed well before the exciting 10th inning.

Colder yet overnight, but at least the sun was beaming through the windows when we woke. Last day today, so on went the coffee and I rustled up a big breakfast on the Coleman, to fuel the morning's activities.  We started to pack things up outside, then worked on the winterizing. Tanks were drained and rinsed, antifreeze pumped all through the lines, everything double checked to minimize issues in the spring. It is not a big job at all, but it is important to cover all the bases, to prevent what could be a difficult and expensive repair. I've made a post outlining all our winterizing steps, and it can be found under in the "Around the Alto" section. Chris & Jenn were cruising through their first winterizing at the same time with no concerns, and were probably just a bit behind us in pulling out.

So another season is over, and once again, we really enjoyed it. From the Presqu'ile weekend getaway that ballooned into a full blown rally, to our camping staycations, we had a great summer.  The Alto plays a big part, and at the end of every season we look forward to the day when we can spend even more time exploring and staying in our little camper. It is always a pleasant affirmation of our long term plans for the future, although this is hardly a surprising revelation.

Now to get on with planning next summer...

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoy your Alto blog; a bit of Antrim history, warm friends, and even small trade off between comfort for autum sunset... very much inspiring! I am looking forward to your Alto next blog.