Category: Favorite Campgrounds

The Ferry to Newfoundland

Thursday, July 18, 2019

It was a bit chilly in the morning, and Martha asked for a little heat. I said, “Sure, turn it on.” “It doesn’t come on”, she said. I told her to put it on furnace, but still nothing. I got up to check the thermostat, but there was no power to it. None of the fuses were tripped. We have been lucky that everything else works since the accident, but traveling in Newfoundland for two months, we were going to need heat!

I showered in the nice shower house and walked around a bit. Battery Provincial Park is such a nice campground. We had an hour’s drive to North Sydney Terminal, and you are supposed to be there two hours early, so we left at 8:00 for an 11:45 ferry. We tooted at the office, but no one was in yet.

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We were surprised to see the lines had already started, and we had to wait to get through the toll gate. A nice young lady checked us in while another measured the truck and trailer at 47’. She gave us two passports. We went into the big terminal building and were surprised at an announcement to return to our vehicles. There were plenty of campers and lots of tractor-trailers.

There was a car with a pop-up trailer behind me and the driver motioned me over as I walked by. It was a young couple with two cute little girls. She was from Newfoundland, and they were going back to visit family as they did every year. I asked how it was in the winter. Then they described the deep, wet snows that sometimes made canyons after snow plows had done their work.

They loved the Airstream and wanted to know about the backup camera. At least he could see over the top of the popup camper, but he still couldn’t see what might be behind it. They told us many places to go and things to see when the line next to ours started moving. I told him he had to be an old fart like me to have an Airstream.

I got back in the truck, but our line wasn’t moving. Another Airstream owner, George, came up to my window and started talking. They are going over for a month. He would like to stay longer, but they have grandchildren and his wife, Karen, wanted to get back. He is a 61-year recently retired guy who loves traveling in the Airstream. He would be in Newfoundland all summer if Karen would do it. 

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We loaded up on the ferry and went up to the 8th floor for seats in front of the back window. There was a poor, young lady with an awful cold a few seats over. As she fell asleep, we got up and moved to the other side. 

It was cold on this floor, and we were surprised to see it wasn’t full at all. The 7th floor is the same kind of seating, but was more full. It’s amazing how many vehicles went on this ship, and it still wasn’t full. I asked Martha what floor we parked on and was happy when she said 3. I had no idea. I think they put the tractor-trailers down low.

The seas were choppy, but the big, heavy boat barely knew it. Once we got out in the middle it rocked a bit, making walking a bit humorous. I get seasick, but it didn’t really bother me. By 4:00 we went down to the 6th floor to a huge, nice restaurant for dinner. They had a nice staff and the meal was good.

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It was a 30-minute to Codroy Valley RV Park, a highly-rated private park on the Codroy River. Thankfully, there were very specific directions from the campground about how to get there. I have learned to follow those directions!

Alice greeted us and checked us in. I had given her the wrong arrival date, but fortunately it wasn’t a problem. She said her parents started the campground, and now their son, Jason, was doing most of the work. She said Jason had started a fire behind the office where people meet to chat about the days events. Often there is music and singing. It was another long day’s travel, so we just wanted to rest. First a walk on their pretty hiking trail through the forest. At every turn was a sign with an inspirational quote.

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A Day of Projects

Monday, July 25, 2019

A nice couple had stopped to admire the Airstream. They were from Newfoundland, but moved to Nova Scotia to be near their children. There are no grandchildren yet, but they were taking care of the dog this week. I asked if they knew a place where I might wash the Airstream. They suggested talking to the campground staff.

I had Googled truck wash, but it was questionable whether I could get the trailer in. Hooking up, I stopped at the office. Two young men were in their golf cart ready to start their workday at the campground. They told me there was a Shell station in the next town where they had seen lots of people washing their RV’s. I thanked them profusely and headed that way. It may not seem like much, but there are not so many places you can wash and Airstream, much less one of those big RVs.

I found the Shell station and very cautiously pulled in, getting out several times to check clearance and to see if the arm of the washing wand could travel to both sides of the Airstream. I was joyous when I saw it would. Finding no change machine or credit card way to pay, I went inside for Loonies. The lady said she could change my American, but without the exchange rate. I was just happy to find a place and agreed. 

I took a good hour or so to wash it good. A fellow with a big RV pulled in the bay next to me. Climbing up on the truck toolbox, I sprayed the solar panels and roof the best I could, wondering if it would leak.

I filled up with diesel, and started talking to a fellow gassing up on the other side of the pump. He was from Newfoundland, and wished me well in my travels. He was impressed we were going for two months. I drove back down the road to an auto parts store and bought five gallons of DEF. I asked the nice man at the desk for a hardware store, and he directed me. 

I looked all over the well-stocked hardware store for any kind of sheet metal before finally asking a man. He took me through a closed door into the sheet metal cutting shop and cut me a 3’ x 2’ piece of aluminum. I then got some sheet metal cutters. I have some, but did not bring them on the trip.

I felt good getting all this done before noon, so went back to Laurie Provincial Park, ate lunch and took a big nap.

The roof repair at Profile was pretty good, but there was a depression where water was collecting and eventually leaking. Backing the truck as close as possible, I could climb up on the roof. I usually bring a ladder, but of course this time I didn’t. I cut, placed and riveted aluminum in two pieces trying to level out the roof. I taped one with RV roof tape (great stuff), the other with duct tape since I ran out of RV roof tape. I would ask Martha to bring more. Lots of people watched as they walked by, but I couldn’t afford the time to look up. 

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Then I moved my “ladder” and washed the solar panels. Now I could engage with people walking by. Many said how much they liked the Airstream, and everyone was so nice. 

It was a good day. I got a lot of important things done, but now I was very tired. Martha comes late tomorrow night, and I still had a lot to do, but they were little, manageable things. 

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