Musing about Mishaps

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Reliving a happier Red Chair time, The Dude and The Dog ponder life beside the Rideau Canal

Two months on the road. Two months, 5 provinces, 15 campgrounds, 2 dead-end roads, one tow, one locked 5th wheel door, three major rainstorms, one potential tornado and innumerable helpful people.

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Guess what, it’s not only a skating rink!

Now my people are a superstitious lot, I am constantly knocking on wood, throwing salt over my shoulder, no shoes on the table, walking under a ladder etc. etc. You get the picture. Which is why I have hesitated to talk about some of the trips mishaps, but now that we have more than 3 under our belt it’s safe to talk about it. Unless something else happens while writing this in which case all bets are off.

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Merrickville’s magical medicinal mishap memory remover

The most recent included a mysteriously locked RV door, frantic lock picking with a golf tee, panicked calls to CAA and a Hail Mary involving the picnic table, emergency window over the bedroom, a boost with The Dude hoisting the Dame’s butt and legs, with much wiggling and cursing across the sill before catapulting over the dresser onto the bed. Ahhh… life on the road, please tell us we’ll laugh about this later.

Other frustrations involve pull-throughs and back-in sites. One is a lottery win and the other is a soul-sucking exercise in embarrassment and frustration.

Some campgrounds don’t have pull-throughs; these will forever be known as the port of last resort. Port Perry had no pull-throughs but the end of the day was nigh, there were no other close options and so we relented. How bad could it be. The campsite was lovely, narrow and perched alongside a beautiful marina. It had rained a lot the lady said, so we’ll give you a drier site.

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As the truck and trailer sink into the marina, The Meanderers ponder what a great story this will make some day

Rain, being the torrential, tornado-warning type, had saturated the ground, so when we began the forward/backup dance of RV parking, the ground sucked in our rear tires and we were parked. Albeit in the middle of the campground road and close enough to the marina to dive in for a refreshing dip from the driver’s window.

The Marina has a repair shop busy this time of year getting those yachts and expensive water toys ready for the season. This being lunch time the fellas were lined up on the pier munching sandwiches and watching the show. An offer of a pull out by a backhoe on site was offered and then rescinded, a tow-truck was called, curious onlookers gathered to watch as our home on wheels was pulled from the muck.

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It’s not all bad, Merrickville is a great mix of history and eclectic shops and eateries

Other back-ins have been less stressful and involve the use of the “good enough” philosophy. If after a half hour of to-ing and fro-ing to park your RV and it is reasonably straight it is “good enough”. The Dude has enthusiastically adopted this strategy and uses it for all aspects of camping life.

Merrickville was a back-in site and definitely fell into the “good enough” category; in fact the Grey Ghost took up most of two sites after narrowly missing taking out the side of the RV in a misguided attempt to check out the rest of the campsite in search of an “easier” site. (Note to self, ask first, drive later.)

Thankfully the town of Merrickville, bisected by the Rideau Canal and a little gem of a place, had cold beverages, hot food and interesting shops to soothe our frazzled nerves.

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One of the canal locks, now if we only had a boat

Shamefully, my knowledge of the Rideau Canal was limited; a huge outdoor skating rink in Ottawa is the only thing that came to mind. As an engineering feat it is unparalleled, seeing the locks and how they are used to move boats from one body of water boggles the mind, given the resources and equipment available at the time they were built.


Patriotic yachters Buffy and Chip prepare for the long journey down the canal

We watched as yachts, glided by our campsite, close enough to borrow a cup of champagne and a dab of caviar. Not really what the builders intended I’m sure but “good enough”.

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Merrickville main street and one of the fine establishments there