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RV Trip #2 to the Tall Ships Landing Condo in Brockville Ontario
We left Nashville on Saturday, drove to Murray to pick up the motorhome and then on to Louisville via Elizabethtown. We stayed at an old RV park across the Ohio in Clarksville, IN. Don’t use the Garmin GPS to find this park as it will try to take you under a low bridge. Get directions from the owners. The park used to be a KOA but the owners got tired of the revenue amount they had to share with KOA. It is the only RV park I have ever seen that has gasoline pumps. It is a short walk along the road to a dinner playhouse with live shows. Even more interesting is a very large RV dealership with a parts store and service bays. Guess what? It was sold to Camping World for a time and then bought back. Is there a trend to Camping World giving up on RV dealerships?
We almost finished furnishing the condo with two new living room swivel chairs and some balcony furniture. Getting a custom built wall unit with drawers and desk has proven to be a challenge. Our first choice was a small furniture business that burned down before work could start. We are now waiting for a quote from another builder. It may take till 2018 before we have a place to put our clothes other than plastic boxes. I did buy a folding table at Walmart for my business that has worked out well. We brought up a painting from Nashville that looks great in the dining room. Amost every night we enjoyed 180 degrees of beautiful sunsets through our huge Northwest facing windows.
We walk everywhere in Brockville even though we rented a car for the month which was rarely used. When I filled it up with gas to return it to Enterprise we had only used $25.00 CAN. The big events in Brockville were:
- 150th Anniversary Fireworks on July 1. Great view from our unit of a 15 minute show with no breaks.
- Hydroplane racing on the 4th to 6th. One boat flipped over due to a broken rudder in the first race. No one was hurt and the boat was repaired and back that afternoon. In the last race on the 6th another boat lost its rudder and ran straight for Blockhouse Island narrowly missing a boat that was watching the event. No one was hurt or damaged but that was the last race and the rest of the day was cancelled due to high waves. ,
- Poker run on July 15th with over 100 boats . We had a great view of the go fast boats and listed to the collosal noise they make. The race went from Clayton NY to Ogdensburg where they turned around and headed back past our condo.
- Graham, Cathy, Michael and Max arrived by train on July 4 for four days. They spent two nights in Toronto on their way and had a great time at the CN Tower. In Brockville la lot of time was spent in the Aquatarium with Max balancing on a suspended walkway.
- We all visited Fulford Place, a mansion on King Street built in the early 1900s for a millionaire that made his fortune selling “Pink Pills for Pale People”. They had signs inside that photograph taking was not allowed. I explained that was an old fashioned idea and that modern cameras don’t need to flash and work well in low light. I said that few visitors will buy postcards because they communicate with social media. I pointed out that most museums now allow photograph taking and it is free advertising and will increase the number of visitors. I learned at a ROMEO lunch that a man I know was on the board of the Ontario Historic Commission that is in charge of Fulford Place. I sent him an email and a few days later I received a nice letter that most museums do allow photos today and that the Ontario policy was going to be reviewed. Maybe next year I can show you what the mansion looks like inside.
- Visits with old friends that worked at Automatic Electric kept us busy. The one thing in common is they are all 40 years older when I last saw them. However, two of our friends look exactly like they did 40 years ago. Earl is now close to 90 and now lives with Sandy in the Executive condos and view of the river. I used the Enterphone system (we designed at Automatic Electric in the 1970’s) to find him which worked like a charm. He came down to meet me and gave me a tour of his building. The fancy modern computer entrance system in the Tall Ships Landing doesn’t work at all. We got together on July 24th and drove out to Charleston Lake where he and Sandy had lived for 45 years. He had built a rambling cottage over the years that had just sold. The buyers from Texas bought it as a summer home and were leaving for the rest of the year in a week. We drove around the bay to another huge home being constructed on the water with a Spanish architecture. Not exactly a classic cottage.
- Linda and Harley have a beautifully restored home on the river a few doors west of the Yacht Club. Linda worked with me in my group at Automatic Electric as librarian. She was crowned as Miss Brockville Centennial for the 100th anniversary of Canada in 1967. The Brockville Museum we all visited had an exhibit devoted to her. She became a council member for a number of years and now has devoted her time to the Tunnel Restoration project. Unfortunately we will miss the grand opening on August 12th but will see it when we get back. The tunnel was built in 1860 as the first tunnel in Canada. It provided a direct route from the St. Laurence river front North to Sand Point on the Ottawa River. The tunnel was used until 1970 when it was given to the city.. The photo shows the unfinished north end.
- It is very enjoyable to walk along King St East to see the 1800’s homes there. One of them belongs to Bob Panter and had a banner celebrating 50 years in the same home. Bob worked with the R&D group at Automatic Electric. I knocked on the door in the late afternoon and within minutes we were drinking beer and reminiscing about the great times we had living in Brockville in the 60s and 70s. We will get together in our next trip in October.
The total drive north to Brockville was 1261 miles. I found after I could have saved 26 miles going through Evansville. On the return trip we took I-81 and I-40 all the way to Nashville and Murray, KY for a total 1210 miles. The shortest possible route is 1141 miles but this has 6 cities with potential heavy traffic to fight; Buffalo, Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Louisville, and Nashville. The I-81/I-40 route has only 2 cities, Nashville and Knoxville. We burned 172 gallons of gas and averaged 13.2 mpg at a total fuel cost of $390. Campsites for 4 nights cost $158. Grand total $548. Had we taken the plane to Toronto and train to Brockville it would have cost $940 plane fare plus $240 for the train a total of $1180. Using the RV saved $632 !