It was a long, challenging winter and we desperately needed a break so we planned a twelve-day driving trip to Ontario. Relaxation was key. This trip needed to be simple with little running around. We combined visiting friends with our love of camping and we had almost four full and relaxing days with family. In preparation for our trip we started work on a horse shelter/tack room and got it functional in order that our farm-sitters would not have to deal with the “she-devils”.
We left home on the Wednesday morning only one hour behind schedule (which is really good for us!) Eight kilometers down the road we stopped so I could confirm the packing of a crucial item. (I had!) At the highway (22 km from home) we stopped again to ensure that the incredibly bumpy Kempt Head Road had not turned off the fridgerator. Dave was taking a very long time and when finally returned to the truck he announced that a brand new jug of maple syrup had fallen out of the cupboard. There was maple syrup all over the floor. It also managed to splash onto the counter, the ceiling and even on the cushions. We mopped it up the best we could and then detoured into Baddeck and bought a mop and bucket. The store gave us warm water and we mopped away. Every time we stopped that day I mopped the floor.
Midnight the following night we pulled into our campsite. The sky was a canopy of stars and we could hear the waves. This was going to be good! We had three wonderful days of camping.
The weather was perfect, the company was awesome, Lake Huron was almost swimmable and the campfires, well, there is nothing better than sitting around a campfire with good friends.
After camping we headed to Sarnia for two days to visit with Dad and Paulette.
We were pretty anti-social in Sarnia, choosing to hang out at the house and to not venture very far (Dave did not even sneak out to Princess Auto!)
Wednesday noon we started to head back East with a planned side-trip to IKEA and two-nights of “camping” in our eldest son’s apartment parking lot (with permission from the landlord, of course). We arrived at Tanner and Erin’s a bit later than planned but we still managed to head out for a late supper.
The next morning Dave and I played tourist while Erin worked and Tanner attended school. That evening Tanner and Erin prepared a wonderful dinner (my Mother’s Day dinner) and we drank wine and talked into the wee hours.
Early Friday morning (3:35 am to be exact) I awoke to the sounds of “rummaging”. At first I ignored it – we were in a parking lot after all – but, upon closer “observation” the sounds were quite close so Arctic and I went outside to investigate. Much to my surprise, I found a young man looking under the tonneau cover of our truck. He was quite startled when I asked if I could help him. He hightailed it further into the parking lot, fetched his bicycle and made a hasty exit. In the meantime I discovered he had slashed the tonneau. I went and woke up Dave and we decided to call the police.
At this point it may be prudent to add that the parking lot we were “camped” in was adjacent to the Peterborough Police Headquarters parking lot AND it was now 3:40 am.
For the first time in my life, I dailed 9-1-1.
“Police please. Our truck has been vandalised. The perp has just left the scene”
“Where are you?”
“In the parking lot beside you.”
I sat on the steps of the trailer and watched the police cars head off in search of the vandal. Not long after, a police car pulled up and the fun began. We discovered that the vandal had almost cut the tonneau off the frame but that he failed to find anything of value (aka small enough to fit into his satchel). The police officer informed us that the guy had been caught, that he admitted his crime, and that he was on parole and known to the police. We watched as two police cruisers headed back to the station, one with a bicycle in the trunk and the other with our “visitor”. The police officer assured us that he would be in jail for the remainder of the night.
At about 4:30 am, after making a written statement for the police (I had to hand-write it … where are the laptops?) Dave and I crawled back into bed wondering if we would get any sleep. I feel asleep to the sounds of the birds waking up. In the morning I discovered that Erin’s beloved motorcycle had also been vandalized. Fortunately, it suffered minor damage.
So our first day heading out and our first day heading back had interesting beginings. Fortunately the other parts were practically perfect! Yep, maple syrup and 9-1-1.
In closing, Dave and I have some people to thank. This vacation would not have been possible without them. First, thank you to our sweet WWOOFer Cordy who hammered hundreds of nails into the walls of the horse shelter. She did begin to dread Tuesdays (Dave’s day off) but she never complained. Last, but certainly not least, we thank our farm-sitters. They are fabulous friends and we are so appreciative of the major part they played in enabling us to get away for a few days. To Pat and Dennis and Bruce and Graca … you guys are the best! Thank you so very much. You are wonderful neighbour-friends! Knowing that we left the farm in such good hands made our trip even more enjoyable.
This sunset comes to you from just west of Quebec City. Enjoy!
~Terri and Dave