My loving wife Kathie (aka “The Goddess of Everything”) really wanted to have her parents share in the experience that is Sandbanks Provincial Park. You may recall from an earlier post, (and if not, please stop reading immediately and click here The Good, The Bad and The In-Laws to read said earlier post, so the rest of this post may make some semblance of sense)… now, where the heck was I… right… from an earlier post… in 2014 we had taken Kathie’s parents (Gloria and Alan) with us to Pinery Provincial Park for a long weekend of camping.
“The Good”… As Sandbanks had been an early favorite of Kathie and mine, she thought it would be really nice to invite them camping again this year and to share a park they had never experienced before. As an added bonus, we were able to invite Kathie’s sister Sandra.
Sandra is Kathie’s younger sister, and only sibling, whom the entire family calls Sam, save for Sierra who calls her Aunt Sandie. If you ever meet her, do not, I repeat, do not call her Sandie as we have recently discovered she hates that! Sierra, by way of a long-standing grandfathered Aunt clause, is allowed to continue calling her that but the rest of the family has been forewarned. It is Sam or Sandra if you must, but call her Sandie and small but ferocious attack birds will be released to deal with your carcass!
Our previous stay (last year) at Sandbanks was at the Outlet River campgrounds, which was nestled in the woods with a short walk to the Outlet River (hence the name) as well as the amazing beaches. For this stay, we were trying a different campground within the park, called Woodlands.
“The Bad”… You would think that a campground named Woodlands would be as the name indicates, in the woods. But in reality, only half of the sites are actually nestled nicely in the forest. The remainder of the sites, are situated in a wide-open field, complete with long grasses and weeds dividing each site and nary a shade tree to be found. And, wouldn’t you know, we had one of those sites. Perhaps the campgrounds used to be The Woodlands and Tundra campsite and, over time, was shortened to The Woodlands? That might explain the discrepancy between the perceived expectation of lots of trees and shade and the reality of flies buzzing, crickets chirping and buzzards circling overhead (okay, so they were turkey vultures).
Now don’t get me wrong, we did know this when we booked the site, so it wasn’t a surprise to us when we pulled onto the site. The Woodlands (Tundra) sites are extremely large in size and nice and flat, so we had no issue backing up the toy hauler leaving plenty of space to drop the back gate down and leave ourselves tons of room out the side for “living” space.
Once we were backed in and the trailer stabilized, the race was now on! Along with not having any shade whatsoever, it also happened to be one of the hottest days of the summer so far. With Kathie’s parents and sister coming, it was a race against time to get the truck unloaded and everything in the trailer set up. We had decided that our time would be better spent getting the trailer ready inside rather than trying to set up outsize gazebos and canopies to provide more shade than just our RV our awning, so that when they arrived they could simply move right in and enjoy the A/C and not have to endure the near 37 C (100 F).
“The Bad Gets Worse”…To say we were slightly annoyed when the 30 Amp breaker on the park power supply continually kept tripping, would be an understatement. For more than an hour I would reset the breaker, scratch my head at what could be causing the tripping, investigate a bit, then go back to unpacking the truck and setting up the trailer. I even went over to the neighbours site to ask if they had issues but this did no good as they were from Quebec and spoke next to no English, I spoke next to no French and my Frenglish wasn’t working too well either, so they did not have a clue what I was asking them.
It was Kathie who finally determined the cause (and dented my manhood). With trailer doors wide open while loading the contents of the truck, the trailer A/C cranked on full to cool things down, combined with the refrigerator and the hot water heater both switched on “electric”, the draw on power was just too great. I, however, did restore my manliness by pushing the switches to convert the refrigerator and the hot water heater over to running off propane.
From that point on there was no loss of power, there was no tripping of breakers, the trailer and fridge got cooler, the water got hot, there were no awkward trips to the neighbours, and Steve stopped muttering to himself (about the tripping breaker at least). This was a learning experience that will be lodged in the back of my mind for the rest of my RVing life (hopefully) and, if not, I am sure Kathie will be sure to remind me.
“The In-Laws”…The rest of the clan arrived, well after we had successfully unloaded and set up. Thankfully, they took the scenic route to get to the park and make a few stops along the way. We spent the next couple of days relaxing around the trailer in the shade as the heatwave continued and everyone lacked energy to do much of anything else.
The first couple of evenings were warm, though it not too warm to want to sit around a campfire. However, as we were in the middle of a wide-open field (tundra), it was prime mosquito weather and, as we were unable to start the bonfire in time to ward off the annoying beasts, we were forced inside for the evening. There was one benefit to being in the middle of a field. Each night we were treated to an amazing light show from hundreds upon hundreds of fireflies.
When the two-day heat wave finally ended, Kathie, Sam and Gloria broke out the adult colouring books (no not that kind of adult) and spent a relaxing afternoon colouring at the picnic table, while Al relaxed in the shade and I wandered around with my camera. Later on, we drove Kathie’s parents around the park to show them it was truly more than the woodlands and tundra.
We were finally able to enjoy a bonfire (without mosquitoes) and, as has become customary, Kathie brought out the s’mores kit. Only this time, she had a surprise in store for us. She had found some giant marshmallows, which were the size of four regular-sized marshmallows. Gloria, in particular, took a liking to the oversized mallows and indulged in just a few more than she normally would. As the fire dimmed, the conversation got giddier and we realized it was time to call it a night.
The remainder of the stay was spent relaxing around the campsite and enjoying the company. It was sad to see Gloria, Al and Sam leave but look forward to having them come camping with us again.
Our next trip will see us back at Sandbanks Provincial Park in a few weeks, in which we will be enjoying a two-week stay in the Outlet River campgrounds, in the actual wooded area of the park.
Until next time… Enjoy the Ride!