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2020 is a very unusual and stressful for most of us. The covid pandemic, depressed oil prices, and now racism issues in our society have combined to disrupt everyone’s lives. We remain optimistic that things will improve going forward.

Here in Alberta, the campgrounds finally opened up for campers on June 1st. One June 7th we were out for the first time. We have several trips planned for this summer, all relatively close to home as interprovincial and international borders remain closed or restricted.

2020 Camping Trips

Finally, our first trip of the season. The covid-19 pandemic started 3 months ago and the first wave is under control so the campgrounds were reopened on June 1st. Provincial and national borders are still partially or fully closed so we will be sticking to Alberta destinations this year, at least. We missed camping and fishing on Tess’ birthday for the first time in many years.

Last month I replaced the flooring in 7 from the bedroom doorway forward to the windshield. I am pleased with the results. With an extra layer up front, the engine noise is reduced too. Camper hates the vinyl plank floor because he gets no traction and can’t jump up onto the couch or my recliner. We’ll have to get an area rug for him. Yes, he rules our lives!

I also installed a new toilet and did the usual maintenance on the mechanical bits. New blinds and shocks will have to wait until next year though because the fridge and hot water tank have decided to only work on 110 volts and the step isn’t locking into position when it extends. (see below) I’m sure they will all be expensive to fix.

Here’s what it looked like before.



We got underway about noon and it rained all day, sometimes heavily. Carson Lake is higher than usual, as expected. We settled into our site, levelled, and opened the slides and awning. I opened the door and the steps extended as usual but there was a bang at the end like something broke. They no longer locked into position so something did break I put a block of wood under them for temporary support. As mentioned, the fridge is now AC power only so we wound up with popsicle soup, but no other food was ruined. We will be able to freeze the fish we are going to catch.

One thing about an older RV, there is always a list of things to be fixed.

It rained well into the night so we didn’t fish at all today. No campfire either. There is no TV signal out here so we listened to the radio and read the evening away.

Day #

Date:   Sunday, June 7

Site:  H177

Campground:  Carson-Pegasus Prov Park

1

Weather:  steady rain

Temp:  10

Nearby Town:  Whitecourt AB

Day #

Date:   Monday, June 8

Site:  H177

Campground:  Carson-Pegasus Prov Park

2

Weather:  Cloudy

Temp:  14

Nearby Town:  Whitecourt AB

As forecast, the rain stopped by the time we rolled out of bed. We had 2 neighbours yesterday and now we have 3. Tess took Camper for a walk and found lots of fishers on the seawall but no fish coming in. There several class C motorhomes up top so the peninsula loop is about a third full.

Tess and Camper went fishing just as the sun came out. They came home later but without a fish. Not really surprising with the weather change.

We had an early dinner, the bbq one we usually have on the first day. Then I tried my luck fishing but had no bites in nearly 2 hours. I did have a curious squirrel visit.

Back home I lit a fire in the propane fire pit and settled down to read. There are lots of birds singing and I heard a woodpecker tapping away looking for his dinner.



The hot water heater made some odd noises when trying to run on propane. Basic troubleshooting showed no bugs or crud and the circuit board seems to work as it should. Partially blocked propane supply line? I’ll get at it when we get home.

There are only 2 empty sites in this loop now. Since it is mid June, it doesn’t get dark until nearly 11:00pm so people are out walking their dogs quite late. Weather is forecast to be better tomorrow. Hope the fish start to bite.

Day #

Date:   Tuesday, June 9

Site:  H177

Campground:  Carson-Pegasus Prov Park

3

Weather:  Sunny

Temp:  16

Nearby Town:  Whitecourt AB

Tess caught a nice little rainbow and I caught a sucker today. Tess will have her trout for breakfast tomorrow morning.

While were fishing, Camper was laying on a bench. There was a bag of chips beside him but he was a good boy and left it alone. A squirrel was visiting the fishers next to us and they shooed it away. It came over to us and hopped up onto the end of Camper’s bench. I think he spotted the chips and just went for it. Camper just sat there and watched him. Strange dog.

Other than that bit of excitement, it was a nice camping day: relaxing, eating, walking the dog, and visiting with the neighbours.




Day #

Date:   Wednesday, June 10

Site:  H177

Campground:  Carson-Pegasus Prov Park

4

Weather:  Sunny

Temp:  18

Nearby Town:  Whitecourt AB

We were all set to face the day by noon. For breakfast, Tess enjoyed her trout and I got bacon. Mmmm, bacon. We spent several hours fishing off the seawall but got skunked. A teen fishing for suckers with a pickerel rig and worms caught two suckers at the same time. Twice! First time I’ve seen that.

Several of our neighbours left today. We never spoke to them so I don’t know if they were in transit or just wanted to get out of the house for a couple of days. The entire campground is reservation only this year so it will be an unusual season for us.

We had showers today and the electric hot water tank was up to the task. Excellent. A quick trip to town for some odds and ends then back home for a fire. Later we watched a movie then bed.

Day #

Date:   Thursday, June 11

Site:  H177

Campground:  Carson-Pegasus Prov Park

5

Weather:  Sunny

Temp:  18

Nearby Town:  Whitecourt AB

Today I finally caught a trout, and a big one at that. I’d say 2 lbs. Tess had to cut it in half to fit in the frying pan so she was happy. We had a nice relaxing day.

After dinner at about 9:00pm the Conservation Officer came around and told us we should have left this afternoon and the next campers had called him. They had found a vacant site to camp in for the night. My bad, obviously. We apologized and promised to be out before noon. And we were gone by 11:00am.


Day #

Date:   Sunday, June 21

Site:  A34

Campground:  Long Lake Prov Park

6

Weather:  Sunny

Temp:  21

Nearby Town:  Boyle, AB

When I tried to bring Seven home on Friday, it was stuck in the mud at the storage place, right to the axles. The owner of the storage lot paid for the tow truck. Woo Hoo!

Happy Father’s Day to Mark and I. He and Isla came over to the house yesterday and spent the night. Mark cooked a great breakfast and then we got ready to go camping. By 12:30 Tess, Isla, Camper, and I were on the road and it was amazing to see the steady stream of RVs heading home after a weekend out at the campgrounds. We arrived right at the 2:00 checkout time and the previous tenants were still in our site. We parked nearby and in a half hour or so they were gone and we settled in. This loop is nearly filled and there are kids, campfires, and laughter all around us.

The campground has not been maintained much this year; the weeds are high and the garbage is overflowing. Not good in bear country! The roads have not seen a grader in years and the rates are now $38 per night with 15 amp power. I am disappointed in the lack of value for our camping dollar.

Today was a typical first day out. BBQ dinner but no fire tonight. Isla and I got some quality time doing crafty things and then I managed to tweak my back (belt line muscle from side to side) and couldn’t do much of anything. Tess, Camper, and Isla went for a walk before dinner while I napped. After dinner the girls went fishing for Yellow Perch.

So far, the good news is that nothing else has broken on Seven. I ordered a new gas control valve for the hot water heater but it had not arrived by the time we left. The fridge is working well on 110VAC so everything stayed cold for the 2 hours were without power on the way here. The jacks still require a little fiddling with wires to get them to wake up properly but that’s an easy no $ fix. Two of the wood blocks I use for the jacks fit perfectly under the steps making them nice and solid.

Day #

Date:   Monday, June 22

Site:  A34

Campground:  Long Lake Prov Park

7

Weather:  Sunny

Temp:  22

Nearby Town:  Boyle, AB

What a busy day!

Camper was sick overnight – out of both ends. Isla slept through it all but Tess and I were up three times cleaning up the floor, carpet and most importantly, our bed. Poor Campie.

We were all up around 9:00am and after breakfast, we were ready to go to the beach. Isla and I spent 3 hours there. I visited with the Mum of Isla’s new friend. Isla and Izzy chased minnows, collected rocks, splashed, and played together for hours. She had a great time. I sat on a lawn chair on the beach and killed 125 black flies! We left the beach about 2:30 and went home for lunch.




Next was a quick trip into Boyle, about 15 minutes north of the park. Tess somehow forgot to bring the bag with our food for the next few days! She says it was because she was distracted by Isla in the confusion of getting ready to go.

On the way back home, we stopped at the playground at the opposite end of the campground for a half hour. Of course, Isla made a new friend immediately and they had fun on the playground equipment.

After a great dinner of ground beef and rice (which Isla and I voted for), she and I went fishing. It only took her about 15 minutes to learn to use her new casting reel although we didn’t catch a perch. Maybe tomorrow.


Back home we built a fire and made S’mores. Isla ate one and a half and Tess ate one too, her first ever! They were both a sticky mess.

After Isla went to bed, Tess and I stayed up to finish the fire. It was nice to have some “us” time. A doe wandered up the road just as were coming in around 10:30pm.



Day #

Date:   Tuesday, June 23

Site:  A34

Campground:  Long Lake Prov Park

8

Weather:  Sunny with a shower

Temp:  26

Nearby Town:  Boyle, AB

It was a hot one today! Once we got organized this morning, Isla and I went back to the beach. She made a couple of new friends and played in the water for nearly 3 hours.

I continued my mission to kill every black fly on the beach and added 67 to my kill count for a total of 192.

There were lots of kids there today, mostly in the 1 – 3-year-old range. Lots of boats pulling tubers and kneeboarders too.

We came home at 3:00, not long before the thunderstorm hit. Isla and I were both tired and had naps through most of it.

We ate dinner at a reasonable hour and then after watched an excellent movie Frozen II. By the end of it, Isla was pretty much asleep and Tess and I were ready for bed.


Day #

Date:   Wednesday, June 24

Site:  A34

Campground:  Long Lake Prov Park

8

Weather:  Sunny with a shower

Temp:  23

Nearby Town:  Boyle, AB

Not quite so hot today and we had a thundershower in the afternoon but all in all, a good day. I killed another 32 flies today bringing my total to 224. Isla and I were at the beach for several hours before the rain and although she didn’t find a friend today, she had fun playing in the water and on the beach.

As it started to rain, we made the dash for home and naps. The sun and cold water took a lot out of Isla so after her hot shower she was dead to the world for a couple of hours.

We ate BBQ dinner after the rain stopped. Because it was chilly and damp, instead of fishing today, we decided to stay in and watch another movie – Trolls.

By the time it was over around 9:00pm, It was bedtime for Isla, and Tess and I retired to read. It turned out that we let her nap too long this afternoon and she had trouble getting to sleep but it all worked out.


All in all, a nice last day here at Long Lake; back home tomorrow.

On the way home we saw a deer and a moose.


#Day1 #Day6 #Day9

Days 1 - 5 at Carson-Pegasus Prov Park near Whitecourt, AB

Days 6 - 8 at Long Lake Prov Park near Boyle, AB

Days 9 - 12 at Wabamun Prov Park near Wabamun, AB

Click on the photo of 7 to read about each trip.

Day #

Date:   Monday, July 27

Site:  106

Campground:  Wabamun Prov Park

9

Weather:  Sunny

Temp:  30

Nearby Town:  Wabamun, AB

It has been a month since we were out but there are good reasons for that: lots of rain making getting 7 out of the storage lot iffy (needed  tow truck again) and that damn Covid virus is still with us. We are here now and stay until my birthday so I’ll get my favourite pizza as my birthday dinner.

Before we left home, I spent a couple of days working on Seven. I repaired the power steps which had two broken bolts, and for good measure, I ground off the rust and repainted them.

I installed the new gas valve in the hot water heater and it now works on 110v and propane. Lastly, I checked over the fridge again and found a broken ground wire. It works again on 110 VAC but still not on propane.

The drive out was uneventful although there was a line-up to get into the park. The day use area was full and they were turning people away at the gate. Since we are registered campers, we sailed right through. We are in the top loop backing onto the paved access road to the unserviced campground loops. Lots of trees and our site is well shaded. We have 30 amp power which we need because it is hot!

I brought my painting supplies and decided to try my hand at painting over one of the small vinyl stripes on the back panel. I’m very pleased with the result and the navy blue colour looks great.

After dinner we went down to the day use area and it was a madhouse. There were a lot of people – hundreds! They were not all crowded together shoulder to shoulder but they were dense enough that we didn’t feel comfortable walking along the boardwalk.

We hung out near the boat launch watching the boats coming in for the night. Everyone knew what they were doing so although the I want that boat factor was high, the bone-headed boater entertainment factor was low.

It was still in the mid-20s at bedtime so we didn’t have a fire. The forecast for the next few days is more of the same.

Day #

Date:   Tuesday, July 28

Site:  106

Campground:  Wabamun Prov Park

10

Weather:  Sunny

Temp:  29

Nearby Town:  Wabamun, AB

The AC kept us comfy overnight and we got up at our usual times. By about 11:00am I had decided to tackle the lower rear stripe over the rear slideout. It took an hour to clean and prep and then 5 coats of navy blue later, it looks as good as the little stripe I did yesterday on the back. It will take a while, but I will eventually do them all in navy blue, chocolate brown, and black.

After I finished painting for the day, we went into Wabamun to see if they still have a farmers’ market on Tuesday afternoons. Nope. The day use beach area was busy but by-law officers were there controlling access.

There were lots of boats coming and going, fishers and kids. We didn’t get out of the car – just too many bodies.

Back home, we hung around the campground, read, napped, ate – the usual. The occasional squirrel came to visit and a whole family of 4 gophers came by too.

After dinner the Oilers are hosting the Flames but the exhibition game wasn’t televised on any of the 5 over the air channels we can get here.

We will be back home when the actual Stanley Cup playoff games begin on Friday in this delayed season.


Day #

Date:   Wednesday, July 29

Site:  106

Campground:  Wabamun Prov Park

11

Weather:  Sunny

Temp:  28

Nearby Town:  Wabamun, AB

Today was a typical camping day for the three of us. I was outside having my first coffee at about 10am and had a gopher surprise me by climbing up on my foot. I jumped and he took off and didn’t come back! I decided to tackle the black door handles on the curb side. Scotch Brite pad, Frog Tape, masking tape and newspaper with a rattle can semi-gloss black and they look great. Perhaps I’ll tackle the latches on the street side tomorrow.

We ate, visited with neighbours, and generally relaxed all day. After dinner we had a nice fire and went in when it started to spit around 9:30. A good day.

Day #

Date:   Thursday, July 30

Site:  106

Campground:  Wabamun Prov Park

12

Weather:  Sunny

Temp:  27

Nearby Town:  Wabamun, AB

Each day is cooling off by 1 degree so it has gone from too hot to just right over the last few days. After a big breakfast and the required rest, I got back at the painting and finished off the door latches on the street side. They look great. Tess and Camper went for a long walk to the day use area and on the way back, Camper ran out of steam so Tess wound up carrying him for the last kilometre or so. He’s getting old like the rest of us.

We went into Wabamun town for an ice cream cone and to watch the comings and goings along the waterfront. The ice cream was excellent but the beachfront park and boat launch were nearly empty. Quite a contrast from the previous two days. I wonder why. Since we were out and about, on the way home we decided to check out the waterfront area here in the Provincial Park.

Again, far fewer people and boats. It isn’t the weather; I suspect people are getting ready for the upcoming long weekend rather than heading out here for the day. As was the case the other day, all the boaters knew what they were doing and the entertainment value was low. There are sure some nice boats though.

After a BBQ dinner of all the remaining food, Tess tidied up inside while I read outside. No fire tonight. I came in around 9:30 and we watched a little TV before bed.

Back home tomorrow with our personal batteries recharged. We will get to see Isla as she and Mark will be sleeping over for two nights while Mark and Astin move into their new place in St Albert over the weekend.