But wait! Why is the refrigerator making that beeping sound? Sometimes it does if it thinks you
are spending too much time looking for the cheese. It's saying, "Shut the door, dummy!" We do.
This time (at a great Shell truck stop in Manistique, MI with a view of Lake Michigan) it was saying
"no co" and refusing to stay on either AC or LP. The fridge is automatic: it shifts from AC to LP if
we disconnect. Well, it wasn't today. We read the troubleshooting section of The Book. It said,
"Reignite." We are not smart that way, and decided it was better left to the pros....thank God!
So once again, we call Pete's - Where the heck are we? It turns out there is a repair facility that
accepts Easy-Care in Madison, WI. Shades of Arnprior, except that we're going in the right
direction (to Baraboo.) Scott, of Custom RV will see us if we get ourselves down there pronto. We
do. Scott makes the repair - reignites the burner, which we could not have done, and sends us on
our way back 50 miles to Devil's Lake.
|The Chronicles of
© 2008 Gail Hunter
|Note: Click all photos to enlarge. Click the back arrow to return to page.
Looking for a specific topic - try the Topic Index
And I quote: "PHILIP BRASHER/THE REGISTER
Matt Liebman, a professor of agronomy at Iowa State University, checks one of his research projects on an
experimental farm near Ames. Behind him are plots of oats, alfalfa and corn. The crops are alternated
between fields each year to limit pest problems and to reduce the use of fertilizer. Crop rotation also helps
replenish nitrogen levels in the soil."
Between moving to Burlington North Beach, visiting Nantucket, rear-ending my own car (a real
neat trick,) mapping out our route, planning for food, and occasionally relieving Cor at the wheel, I
just never managed to fit in the time to catch up. Having taken over 800 photos and needing to
weed and edit, suddenly, it's almost September! So, without much ado....
August 15th - We cross the border on I 89 in Highgate, VT
We were surprised the Canadian border patrol asked so many questions:
Where were we going? How long would we be in the country? Where were
we exiting? What dates? Cor and I aren't quick with that kind of answer.
Coming back in at Sault St. Marie Ontario/Michigan was easier. The agents
were American and I guess they figured we couldn't be terrorists if we tried.
Day 1 - Terrible traffic going around Montreal and even worse
(because of torrential rain) around Ottawa. We might have
thought more of going thru upstate NY and crossing further west.
Fortunately, I had printed out a complete
itinerary with dates, place names,
telephone numbers, etc. Cor handed this
over to the guard - he took a quick, but
thorough glance and waived us on.
Ah! The romance of the trip began when we passed Ottawa and merged onto the
Transcanada Highway (Rt. 7 W). The traffic thinned, the rain went south of us,
and we could now enjoy the scenery, very similar to New England, except for the
huge size and number of silos. We assume this is because of the longer and colder
winter days. We counted six on one farm!
We rapidly returned to earth.that evening. Overnighting in truck stops was part of the plan, but this
one, in Pembroke ON left us feeling a bit isolated. We parked way over in a corner so the fridge
would remain level (a concept we still don't thoroughly understand, but respect.)
The Canadians are the friendliest people! As Cor was filling the tank, I happened to notice a
slippery liquid on our left rear tire. Back to the sailing days of tasting the water in the bilge - is it salt
or fresh? This was neither; it was oil. What do we do now? Fortunately, we both look kind of old
and helpless, so when we went back into the truck stop and asked if they knew of any RV repair
places nearby, a couple of cheerful truckers said, "Let's go take a look!" In the dark, yet.
They lay down in the dirt, squirmed under the body, found that only the outer tire was oily and
proclaimed we had a leaking axle seal (I think.) The only help they knew was back down in
Arnprior. We cried, "But we just came from there! Isn't there one further west?"
"No. When you leave here there's nothing until you get to Sudbury, a couple of hundred miles
So we checked with Pete's, and then Easy-Care to make sure it would be approved (with a $250
deductible.) It was, so on day two, with around 300 miles to go west to make our reservation at
Chutes Provincial Park, we drove on back east to Arnprior.
There, at the Antrim Truck Stop, we found Larry - recommended by our two Pembroke friends,
who incidentally refused a tip, Bless them! Doug, the service writer, fit us in right away and Larry
went to work. Presto! The axle gasket had torn. He replaced it with something blown in as he didn't
have one that size. Gave us the old gasket (thanks a lot), charged us all of $24.00 and sent us on
our way to Chutes - which we did make before the gates closed for the night.
left: our home for the night. Right - Larry fixing the gasket
We arrived at Chutes in timely fashion.
It was well worth the visit. Government
parks, both in the US and Canada are
very reasonable per night, but you
must also pay the entrance fees
Unless you plan on spending some time in the area, it's quite a setback.
The sites at Chutes are large and wooded. They are arranged so that
you are not side-by-side with your neighbor, but scattered, a pattern
we've come to appreciate. It would have been nice to spend more time
here, but we had our ultimate destination to pursue.
|From Chutes to Baraboo, Wisconsin
Why I thought Canada, Michigan and Wisconsin would be hilly, I don't know. (Provincial, I guess)
Well, they are not, but they are beautiful nontheless We filled our eyes with spreading fields of
bright yellow roadside flowers interspersed with purple; crazy quilt fields of corn and wheat; farms
with towering silos, cows and rolls of harvested hay. One sight in particular took us awhile to
figure out, but I think we've got it!
From somewhere in the past, I think I learned the term, "crop rotation." The crazy quilt fields
were light green (corn?) with acres of the darkest, shiny green. We thought it was spinach at
first, but decided all America couldn't eat that much spinach. Then I remembered: Alfalfa! Upon
Googling it, I found this is how farmers renourish their fields - so that must have been it? This
was bolstered by the fact corn was popping up randomly in the alfalfa? fields. I could be wrong.
Random scenes from Canada, over the border at Sault
St. Marie, Michigan's Upper Peninsula, and Wisconsin's
shore at Green Bay. Good roads, good times.
|Now on to Devil's Lake, Wisconsin State Park in Baraboo, Wisconsin
The winding, descending entrance to Devi's Lake - really
quite awesome! and scary if you're not in to switchbacks,
ravines, sheer drops, and all that other good stuff. My
camera could not do it justice - go see for yourself. The site
itself was excellent, private, near the wash house (for
handicapped only.) Unfortunately, we nestled in a bed of
goldenrod and I've been sneezing ever since.
When Scott relit the pilot for the fridge, he told us he could do it again if needed, but that any more
times and we'd probably need a new "cold unit." Oh? And sure enough, two days before we were
to leave Baraboo, it went out again. Phone calls, and the next morning we were back in Madison,
forfeiting our last site rental. One more relight, but we felt it was time to get it right. A Call to
Pete's got us hooked up with an outfit in Longmont, CO where we'd be for two weeks. Only
problem, without paying $350 for 3-day freight, it might take more than two weeks to get it here.
The bright side of that dilemma is this: We'll go from here to Colorado Springs, where we had not
intended to spend any time. There, we'll stay for a few days and get to see The Garden of the
God's, the Pike's Peak Cog Railway, and the Airforce Academy while the cold unit plods its
way slowly to a Route 66 dealer, Pike's Peak RV. Save $250, get a Route 66 dealer, and see
all those good things to boot. Are we lucky, or not? And remember, "It's only money."
NEXT - COLORADO! We reach the westernmost point of this excursion, We've spent nearly $1000 for gas,
but that was from 600' altitude to 12,000' at Estes National Park'. It's all downhill going home.