Crossing the Border

Some of you know the story from our last trip about crossing the border, so I was nervous. How many pocket knives do I have? You can only carry two bottles of wine. I had been using a tarp to cover the bikes in the truck and to also cover the cook box, but I figured this is an invitation to get searched, so I removed the tarp. Thankfully it wasn’t raining. We had a four and a half hour drive to Mont Tremblant, but then you have to add time for driving with a trailer, or getting lost, or being old and having to stop more than once. Then I allowed for one to two hours at the border, so we were off about 8:15. 

There was a short line at the border. I was worried about looking nervous, so I turned the air conditioner up a bit. Were my pupils dilated? Then it was our turn. “Bonjour” she said. “Where are you going? How long are you staying? Can you roll the back windows down? So I see you are camping, fishing, kayaking and biking. What else are you doing” All said with a pleasant smile. When I told here we were staying four months, she said, “Ah, four months in Canada. Good! Do you have fresh fruits or vegetables? How much wine?” When I told her two bottles, she asked why only two with a smile. Now I am smiling. She said you can bring two bottles per person, or it could be four bottles of vodka. A bit more friendly conversation and she wished us a great time and let us go. What a pleasant and nice lady! At 8:45 we were in Canada and on the road to Montreal. 

As we approached Montreal, traffic got busier. Then I felt like I was in DC with people driving crazy, zipping in and out of lanes, cutting in front with feet to spare. I thought when we picked up 15N it would be better, but it got worse and people were driving more madly. When we stopped to get some lunch and gas up, there were lines at the pump and the parking area was overflowing. I suspected a holiday and it’s Friday. It was still nuts as we got into the mountains and the parking lot was filled at the campground office. By the time we checked in, I asked what holiday is this? She said it is construction holiday, the busiest of the year, when all construction workers get time off. 

We found our campsite and I set up while Martha fixed some sandwiches. We were both tired and hungry, but it is a very nice campsite with electric and water. Our fresh water still tasted a bit funny from sanitizing it, so we decided to drain it. Martha said there was a path right across from us leading to the beach, so we walked down to the beach. Looking across Lac Chat you could see what I assume is Mont Tremblant. There is a stream flowing out of the lake where it looks like a perfect fishing spot. Across the lake I could see canoes in an obvious rental location. I would later learn it is $47/day to rent one and similar for a kayak. I should have bought the bike rack and put the canoe on top! Could have run a little business!

We came back to camp and I had a glass of wine and Martha promptly fell asleep in the camp chair. Still sweating from setting up camp and the short hike, I decided to go for a swim. there were probably 25 people on the beach and all of them happy. The water was cold at first, but once all the way in, it was great! I swam out a bit enjoying the beautiful scenery all around and felt refreshed. Back at camp we enjoyed watching four young men setting up a large tarp and tent, then chopping firewood. They had gear, but not exactly top of the line stuff, and a couple of them looked like they were totally new to camping. Then a middle-aged couple came in next to the boys. We couldn’t believe the amount of gear they had in the back of a tiny car, but they certainly knew what they were doing and set up a good looking camp with a tent and big tarp. Then it started to rain. Soon it was raining very hard, so we came inside and even had to close the door as it was coming down sideways. We had to close most of the windows. It is then you realize the importance of two more awnings. One, they keep the sun out and two, they keep the rain out. We felt for the boys, sitting under their tarp at the picnic table, now starting to put on more clothes. We felt very cozy in our Airstream. Then the power went out. At first I assumed it was our site, and our plug was bad, so I checked all that out, turning the breakers on and off. The fellow who sold us the trailer had a voltmeter plugged in by the door. I thought that was a great idea, so I bought one. Now as I tried different thing to restore power, Martha kept watching the voltmeter, but there was nothing. I walked to the campsite behind me and knocked on the door, scaring the poor lady to death, I asked if they had power. All their lights were on, and the nice young man at first said, “yes”, but then said, “let me check”. Then he said no, he was running on batteries and thanked me for alerting him. As I walked back, a young lady from another site asked me if we had water. She couldn’t get water pressure. Now I could tell her it was a bigger power outage from the storm. 

Now I checked our batteries and we were at 12.5, which is about half power, so I plugged the trailer into the truck and started the engine for a while. No solar, no generator!

  1 comment for “Crossing the Border

  1. Jane Ashley Skinner
    August 9, 2016 at 7:19 am

    This is why camping has never appealed to me–even in an airstream. It’s WAY too much work! I am just not cut out for it. Just reading your blog makes me anxious! I’d be wearing my mouthguard out right about now… I sure you and Martha are made of much tougher stuff.

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