We have been busy!
What have we been doing?
In mid-May my older sister Louise passed away in Dundas, Ontario after a 1.5 month hospital stay at the relatively young age of 77. Consequently she had not taken time to get her home organized for a few years years. We had planned to come up to see her this week and attend a family reunion party with other Duthies. Instead we had a memorial service in a church which was attended by family and her many friends. The service was at a church in Cambridge (right hand steeple in the photo). After the service we walked to the Cambridge Mill Restaurant beside the Grand River and had the reunion with 14 family members from Nashville, Minneapolis, New York, Toronto, Aurora, and Cambridge.
Sorting and Cleaning Up the House
Prior to the service we spent three exhausting days with our sons, daughter in law, and a cousin cleaning out the stuff in Louise's house. We rented a 20 cubic yard dumpster and filled it with trash with about half the rooms in the house cleaned out. There were mountains of letters, documents, etc. that all had to be viewed and either saved or trashed. There were countless boxes of jewelry that Mavis worked on and sorted out. The prize find was a ruby ring in a shoebox that was appraised for thousands years ago. Several relatives and friends gave eulogies and it was great to learn so many things about Louise.
Winnebago Grand National Rally (GNR)
We are now heading west at a rate of 300 miles per day to the Winnebago GNR in Forest City, Iowa which starts on Monday. The new Trend is a joy to drive compared to our View and so far has performed almost faultlessly. The one fault has been in the dash board display which started out showing how many miles we could go before the unit would run out of gas. Suddenly, without reason that display was replaced by the Month-Day-Year. So far I have been unable to get the far more important fuel display back.
Posted on 07/17/2015 11:12 PM by Bob Duthie
Ferry to Middle Bass Island
We left the trailer park at 8:00AM, parked the Trend in a large free lot about ¼ mile from the ferry terminal, and took the 8:30 ferry to Middle Bass Island. The only sun today was a small spot on the water on the way over. Rather than rent a golf cart we rode a bus for $5 to the town and had breakfast at the bakery.
We walked over to the Commodore Perry International Peace Memorial and learned all about the 1813 naval war between the US and England. The US under Perry won the battle. England surrendered and that was the last hostility between the two countries, Canada included. There is an elevator that takes you to the top 350 feet above the base, with a magnificent view of the islands and even Point Pelee Island 10 miles away in Canada. The bronze lion sculpture is on the ring on the very top of the statue.
We wandered around downtown which is mostly restaurants and a few souvenir shops. It started to rain so we took the guided train tour of the island with its many handsome cottages and were dropped off at the ferry terminal. Mavis and I were the only passengers on the train tour and as result we were taken right to the ferry terminal. The line of cars waiting for the ferry was immense. Total cost for transportation with tip was $28. Compare that to the taxi alone which was going to be $32 and a rental golf cart who knows what it would cost. We were back in Catawba around 1:30 and decided not to go back to the trailer park and get stuck in the mud again, but to just continue to Detroit and stay at a park in Canada. Tonight we are in very nice park right beside Lake Erie near a town called Morpeth. There is a trail down a cliff to the water which is 50 feet or so below the campsites. I set a new record today on the Garmin Vivoactive step counter of 11,400 steps. The orchid is growing on the Trend beside the window above the dinette table.
- Two nights ago at Olive Branch, while talking to a neighbor with a new trailer, I asked if it had a rubber roof. He said unfortunately it did. Furthermore, he bought the new unit to replace his older trailer that also had a rubber roof. That one was eaten up by buzzards In the Everglades. The buzzards removed round chunks of rubber about 2" in diameter. That reminded me of my buzzard story on our Tennessee River cruise in 2013. Read about it here.
- This morning while eating outside at the bakery Mavis was attacked on the head by a Red Wing Blackbird. She thinks she was too close to its nest.
Posted on 07/13/2015 7:13 PM by Bob Duthie
Trailer Park; It's Just a Place To Spend the Night
The top photo is the magnificent entrance road to Olive Branch Campground where we spent last night. Even though the campground is just a few hundred yards from I-71 there is no truck noise due the thick woods along the entrance road. Olive Branch was a top of the line Resort Park.
Now look at the trailer park we are in tonight and tomorrow night. We dug up the mud on the way in to our site. It seems that on weekends everything is full all along the Lake Erie coast. This was all we could get. The residents appear to be mostly full timers in beat up old trailers. There is a cloud of cigarette smoke much of the time. Lots of yelling and name calling. However, the camp ground is located just 3 miles from the ferry. The park host recommends we take a taxi and leave our Trend here. Later he said it is $8 per person each way to go three miles. More than the ferry. Once on the South Bass Island we can rent a golf cart to get around and see the National Park at Put-In-Bay. Our last memory of this place is when we went by Put-In-Bay on the Katy Leigh on our way to Kentucky Lake in the spring of1999. Here is another photo of the derelect unit beside us.
Posted on 07/11/2015 6:21 PM by Bob Duthie
The Inaugural Cruise on the 2016 Winnebago Trend
We spent a lot of time during the week installing a new clear window in the entry door, a towel bar in the bathroom like the View had, a towel bar under the galley counter, and motion detector lights in the hanging locker and under the sink. Amazingly we got all our stuff into the available storage spaces with space left over. Even though the Trend has half the storage of the View we have all we need for a 21 day trip. We planned to leave the house at 7:00AM only to find I had lost one set of keys the previous night. We never did find the keys and finally left at 8:00 for a campground near Oregonia, OH.
We stayed at the Olive Branch Campground with nice level sites.The Trend is a dream to drive on the Interstates with very little push from trucks, much less noise inside, large rear view mirrors, and a great brightly lit dash display that shows how many miles we can go on the gas remaining in the tank. It looks like a full tank can take us 336 miles at 65 mph. The dash display also shows the date, time of day, and outside temperature. There is lots of power and passing trucks is not the problem it used to be with the View. At one point we were doing 70 mph and hardly noticed it. Tomorrow we head 210 miles to Catawba Island on Lake Erie. We will stay two nights and spend Sunday at Put-In-Bay.
Posted on 07/10/2015 10:56 PM by Bob Duthie