July 2023

Travels with Murray Part 3

Problems started early this morning. As our campsite was full service, we had a sewer access point right beside the motorhome. After travelling for 6 days and having showers, it was time to dump the tanks. So, Murray started that job while I readied the interior. I heard the macerator  start but then abruptly stop.

For those that are not familiar with the term macerator, it is a grinder type of thing that makes poop into poop soup. Then it is easier to dump out through the hose, in theory. But, ours quit. Murray checks the fuses and finds one blown. Fuse changed and all is good again. Tanks are emptied and fresh water filled once more. We are off!

If you have never been to Canso NS, the roads to get there are hilly, twisty and not in great shape. They would be awesome to drive in a sports car but not quite so awesome in this lumbering beast of ours. To add to the thrill, the wind was trying to throw us off the road as well. But, we arrived at the campground in one piece. 

The check-in kiosk is at the tiptop of the highest hill in Canso. But, no one is there. We make our way down the series of hills to Area 2. Now to find our spot. Campsites are marked with stakes with two numbers on the card attached. We are in site 2108. I think I found it but it turns out to be 2103. Just a bit further. Murray walks down the track, checking numbers just as the heavens open up! Pouring rain again. There is only one other unit currently in this field so we have lots of space to make a big circle and get into position. 

We are here! It is raining but I had planned for chilli tonight so no need to barbeque. It is time to mix a drink and relax. No music is scheduled until Thursday evening when Alan Doyle and the Beautiful Beautiful Band are the headliners. We can explore Canso tomorrow. 

And we did. We offloaded the little car and checked out the village. Stopped at the grocery, supported a fundraiser for the medical clinic by buying burgers for lunch, had ice cream at a shop that just opened today and found another new shop selling seafood. When we returned to the campground, the check-in kiosk was open and we got signed in plus tickets for Thursday’s show which was an additional fee. Wow! Lots more units have checked in while we have been away! 

We took a golf cart shuttle to the festival site, bringing my walker and a chair for Murray. Quote The Raven played first, followed by Rum Ragged. They were both excellent Newfoundland bands. Alan Doyle put on a great show and it was the first time we had seen him in concert. 

The shuttle back to the campground scared us a little. He had no lights. When he took off, he said, “ I can see the people but cannot see the potholes. So hang on as it may be rough.” But, I don’t know how he could even see the people. Few had flashlights and the night was very dark with little moonlight. But, we did arrive safely back at our campsite without hitting anyone. 

That experience convinced us to take the little car to the festival grounds and park, using my Accessible pass. And that is what we did from then on. 

The highlights: Saturday’s tribute to Gordon Lightfoot: Sunday’s Singing Stan. New to us groups/singers that we enjoyed: Lisa Richard ( what a voice! );The Hello Darlins; Joe H. Henry; Carl Bond; Susan O’Neill; Steve Macintyre. Old friends enjoyed again: JP Cormier: Dave Gunning; Matthew Byrne. 

The rain continued to plague the concert schedule but most events were moved into the arena. It quickly became crowded and very warm. 

Canso was luckier than many places in Nova Scotia as the rain was not as heavy as forecast. Flooding has taken place in Windsor, Halifax and Lunenburg with 4 persons missing. Many roads are closed and areas evacuated. Our plans had been to travel to Lunenburg area but don’t think that we should go there right now. 

Monday finds us underway again, headed to Pictou area. There, of course, is a lot of road construction happening. In a tight spot, we hit a traffic cone and there was two tremendous crashes. Once we had a chance, we stopped to check the damage. The funny thing was that it hit the step and bent it. The step had given us trouble when we were departing Canso and this crash seems to have “fixed” it. Huh, lucky us? 

I found a campground for two days. We can do laundry, re-stock the larder and explore Pictou. We got checked in, plugged in and turned on the AC. Nothing happens! Except some colourful language from Murray. It is now 92F in the coach. Time to take the little car into town.

Books are out again, AC cover down, fuses checked. WTF! Murray had pulled a wire to stop the furnace from coming on randomly. No idea why it was doing that but we did not need the furnace currently. When he re-installed this wire, the fan worked on AC unit but still no cooling. What could it be? He checked the thermostat and found dead batteries. Replaced those and we have cool air blowing down! 

There is never a dull moment here. But, today we are off again. This time to a Boondockers Welcome site at a horse farm. We have two nights booked there and do not expect that we will have power. It will be very hot but there are beaches nearby. Perhaps we will swim.

Time to get the maps out and plan our next stops. Do we go to PEI now or later? Friends are arriving in Cape Breton soon. Should we head that way? Decisions, decisions. Stay tuned as I am sure that something else is sure to break.

That is Life on the Road,


Travels with Murray Part 2

Waving goodbye to George and Barb, we departed the farm on Friday morning shortly after 9:30. The traffic was heavy through Toronto with some slowdowns. But, we made good time and arrived at our planned stopping point ( a truck stop near Port Hope ) at only 12:30. Since we didn’t want to spend hours in a parking lot, surrounded by trucks, we pressed on. There were no Harvest Hosts or Boondockers Welcome nearby but I found a Walmart in Belleville that had some good reviews.

There we found a spot in the shade and Murray checked over the rig. The passenger trailer rear light had been acting strangely. When he removed it, he found that the outside of the light had been broken and water had intruded at some time in the past. I found a Truck and Trailer Supply place nearby and we offloaded the car. When he installed the new light, he found a light bar under the lip of the trailer that he hadn’t seen before. Another trip to Truck and Trailer Supply and we now have many lights working on the back of the trailer. Dinner time found us walking to a nearby pub. The night was noisy but no one bothered us.

The next day’s drive took us almost to Cornwall. Following gps, we headed for Upper Canada Village. I missed the entrance and we made a u-turn just down the road. There was a nasty noise when we entered that lot but all seemed well. Returning to Upper Canada Village, we found a parking spot and got ready for adventures. Murray checked the rig and discovered that the trailer jack had spun itself down and the bottom had hit the pavement. The jack was badly bent! Using a two inch heavy duty ratchet strap, and a hammer, he managed to get it almost straight again. Then, he used bungee cords to prevent it from spinning down once more.

It was a very hot and humid day and right about noon. But, we will still plan to go into Upper Canada Village. At the ticket booth, we discovered that there was no seniors rate nor was there a half day rate. As I cannot walk much more than an hour, we decided $50 for an hour was just too much. 

Time to head to our Boondockers Welcome spot for the night, with a view of the water. Our lovely hosts welcomed us before leaving to attend a party. Gord loaned Murray some tools to cut off the bottom of the jack tube. It had been worn away due to contact with the pavement. I will attach a photo.

It is now Sunday and time to enter Quebec as our out-of-province health insurance is active. The roads varied from lovely new smooth pavement to atrocious broken s*#t. The motorhome sounded as though it was breaking apart at times. And the rain! Heavy at times to the point that we slowed substantially. At other times, just a light drizzle. But it had no intention of clearing. We followed my phone’s gps to our Harvest Host spot for the night at a winery. But, I missed the corner and we had to make another u-turn. Eventually, we found the correct spot and carefully made our way up their driveway. On either side of said narrow driveway was very deep ditches! We parked and checked in. After a wine tasting and some shopping, we relaxed, ate dinner, watched the rain and crashed into bed. 

Our thirsty beast need fuel before we could even head for the freeway. The nearby gas station was a nightmare with heavy customer traffic ( 2 truck and trailer rv’s plus us plus regular cars), a tight parking lot and a Tim Horton’s as well.  But, we managed and Murray handles this thing like a race car. 

On through Quebec and into New Brunswick, the miles clicked off beneath our tires. Arrived in Woodstock NB mid afternoon and stopped at Canadian Tire to purchase a new trailer jack. The old one just keeps winding down and impacting the pavement. Not a good thing. Not far from Woodstock was our spot for the night. Strawberry Fields Farm is another Harvest Host location and Tim guides us through a muddy lane to our parking place. He told us to pick any ripe strawberries that we found. The recent rains had ended their harvest. A truck and fifth wheel trailer with three persons aboard joined us for the evening. It was lovely to sit out and listen to the birds while watching the sunset.

Now, we only have one more day before we arrive in Canso for the Stan Rogers Folk Festival. I suggested that I find a campground near Amherst NS where we can get water, dump waste and do laundry. Loch Lomond Campground was near the highway and we got a drive through spot for $49. After research, it was determined that liquor was cheaper in New Brunswick so a stop was planned at the last town before Nova Scotia. Even with that stop, we arrived at the campground by 1:30. Lots of time for me to do laundry and for Murray to remove the old jack. 

But, of course, our issues are not over. The refrigerator keeps failing when on gas but nothing has thawed out yet. The slide is making groaning noises sometimes. And tomorrow is a new day. Who knows might crop up? I can almost guarantee that there will be something. That is what travelling in a motorhome is like. When you take your house and drive it down the rough roads, all sorts of things go wrong. 

That is Life on the Road!


Heather & Murray

Damaged trailer jack on left, new one on right.

Travels with Murray Part 1

It was a bit of a rush job but we got there. The motorhome came back to our home in Tillsonburg  on Tuesday, July 11th, in the afternoon after being a cottage for family in the Port Burwell Provincial Park for a week. Final laundry done, clothes packed. If this enough? Okay add these shorts and another shirt or two. Empty the big frig in the house into the small one in the motorhome, plus freezer stuff. Better bring the cheque book. Pull the garlic plants, pick peppers and rhubarb. Grab some books both print ones and digital. Double check the list. Triple check the list. I think that we are ready! We left our house on Thursday afternoon! 

That day we went all of 50 km! All the way to the farm. And it was a good thing because we found the first of our soon-to-be many issues. The new radio was showing the cameras when right or left signal was on or if the motorhome was in reverse. But, not today. No picture, no how. I spent quite a while on the phone with JVC tech service who decided that the VS-41 switcher, that we had installed to make the cameras work with the new radio, had failed. They would replace it on warranty but it would take 4-5 days. And we leave tomorrow! 

So, Murray again pulled the radio out of the dash and, after some poking around, we discovered a disconnected power wire. Eureka! Re-connected and cameras work! 

After some stress-relieving liquids and a lovely dinner provided by Barb and George,  we collapsed into our bunk, ready for tomorrow’s departure.

What could possibly go wrong next you might ask yourself? Stay tuned for the next episode. 

Hugs from

Heather & Murray

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