Yesterday we had the great plan to drive up to Barrie, run some errands then met up with my BiL for a trail ride. It was raining when we left but the weather network said <1mm after 1pm so we figured by the time we got to his place, tuned up the bikes (thanks again JP) that we still would have plenty of time for a ride. Well, we waited and waited for the rain to let up... moving on past 4pm and it was still POURING. By this time a ride was impossible as we had to get home for the dog and make dinner. As we were leaving the rain stopped. *eyeroll* Yep.
JP was amazing with his attention to our new bikes. Cleaned them up, got rid of the tacky reflectors, regripped and gave both bikes a tune-up, in addition to a quick tutorial on how to remove a tube from the bike. Bdot preferred the reverse bdot method. We managed a short visit as well. My sister is racing in Chicago.
It looks like more rain early this week too. Hmmmpt.
Bdot got a ton of useful info on SUPs which she is looking into getting. The MEC staff (Taylor) was very helpful.
It was a recovery and preparation week for camping at Bon Echo. Bdot did pretty much everything as I was restricted to not lift anything more than 15lbs. Hmmpt. Which mean you can do pretty much nothing when it comes to camping gear. We were mostly packed by Wednesday and left Thursday. As usual, we grossly overpacked, the car couldn’t fit a loaf of bread when we finally left. It was a pretty long drive to Bon Echo Provincial Park, near home for Bdot. We arrived to a massive parade of Deerflies that followed the car all the way to our site in Hardwood. This was our first visit to Bon Echo – we pretty had to take the site that was available. We weren’t aware that Hardwood is basically a separate section from the main camping area at Bon Echo. It was a long bumping drive to our site. We were oddly the only campers in our loop the first, delightfully quiet night. Now back to the bugs… good lord, the bugs… yes, of course, I expect mosquitos and deerflies when I camp. But I don’t expect them to be UNRELENTING FOR HOURS on end. We probably would have left Friday if bdot hadn’t packed the screened dining tent. It was a life saver for sure. The other craptastic thing we discovered late, was that a fire ban was in place. So no evening fires, no roasting marshmallows and no cooking over coals. That turned out to be hugely disappointing. The site itself was quite nice: Tall trees, and massive roads were strewn about with ample space for all our gear.
Friday we had an incredible day canoeing on massive Mazinaw Lake. All along one side of the lake were incredible tall cliffs (see above). Some of the cliffs had faded Indigenous pictographs which were pretty cool to see up close. After the canoe voyage, we ventured out of the park for ice. We found a great store that had all the stuff we were looking for called The Maz. Bdot is looking for a Stand Up Paddleboard and the owner answered a bazillion of her questions about them. We had a nice chat with the owner about dogs while enjoying some Kawartha Dairy Ice Cream. Black Raspberry Thunder. OMG. A great store – highly recommended if you need anything while camping at Bon Echo.
Unfortunately, as we expected, the sites around us filled in Friday night. They filled in with noisy, selfish campers. It was supposed to be a radio free zone. NOPE. It was supposed to be a fire ban. NOPE. It was supposed to quiet after 11AM. NOPE. 12? NOPE. 1AM NOPE. 2??? NO. 3!!!? Finally. Yes these drunken assholes kept me up all night long, screaming, yelling and noise noise noise. I don’t care if I sound like an old get-off-my-lawn bastard, the noise was ridiculous. Where the hell were the park patrols?? We saw them three times the night before, but when they were actual laws to enforce – nothing. That soured my opinion of Bon Echo greatly. It should be a family friendly park not a nightclub. I get having a few beers and a good time but carrying on like teenagers at Spring Break in Florida should be unacceptable at a Provincial Park. Grrr…..
We slept in late due to the lack of sleep. Saturday we spent more of the day at the main beach. There was a nice breeze so it was pretty chill. We made the mistake trying one of the trails. MY GOD. What a mistake. I don’t know why we didn’t turn around but we didn’t. We literally jogged the 1km loop attacked by mosquitos and blackflies THE ENTIRE TIME. It will henceforth be known as the 2nd worst hike ever. (Yes, Cold Creek was still worse) If that wasn’t enough, we followed the road presumably home and not the path. Well, we have no idea where the road was going but it wasn’t back to the beach. So in the baking Sun, still being bombarded non-stop by insects we were getting pretty pissed off. Fortunately, we eventually found a trail that connected us back to the beach area. By this time, however, we were spitting daggers. We contemplated another miserable night of noise and opted just to pack up and return home. There were certainly some good aspects to Bon Echo, but there was also some substantial downs as well.
I finished another Potter book while at Bon Echo. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. The books continue to be enthralling.
The World Cup final was mildly disappointing. Sadly the key play was a judgment call made with VAR. I didn’t think it was conclusive either way. After the PK Croatia had to gamble and it resulted in odd man rushes against them that France capitalized on. I think Croatia played a better overall game but France was better at taking advantage of what few chances they had. Ultimately, I don’t mind the France win, it is better than a roll-around-on-the-ground nation. *cough* *Brazil* *cough* *Columbia* I was surprised Russia held such a trouble free games. I was expecting a lot of Putin-esque BS.
Ba-ZING-a should be illegal.
Watched Vietnam War: Ken Burns. Excellent documentary.
I guess I owe the blog an update! We are often away during weekends in the Summer, and this year is no exception. Two weekends ago we spent the weekend at my SiL’s cottage. It was oppressively hot, felt like upper 30s… So being near the water was wonderful. We were greeted by Black Sabbath blasting from an LP, I thought that was an exalted welcome. (We ended up listing to the whole album after we got settled…) Due to the extreme heat – most of the activities involved the boat or chilling by the lake. We enjoyed a lovely cruise navigated by Captain Liam one night, the (above) sunset was quite nice. The major outing was a boat trip to The Waubic. This included a voyage through Big Chute and its interesting lock.
It was a stupidly hot day. Once we arrived at the Waubic we were told the heat had taken out a number of their appliances (including a beer fridge – RIP) – so they were having a horrible day trying to keep up with orders. Frankly, I’m surprised they stayed open. But the staff admirably trudged through, what I’m sure, was an awful day for them. It was NOT reflected in their attitude. Remarkably, they remained welcoming and relaxed. So – in spite of the ridiculously long way for our delicious food, we didn’t complain. The World Cup was on and Flying Monkey’s were on site – so there was plenty of distraction. I would return, I was impressed by the Waubic. I thought it was neat to boat to a restaurant too. Not too surprisingly, all the Sun took its toll on me. I was wiped out by the time we returned to the cottage. I spent most of the night in bed with a headache. Sigh.
While at the cottage, I talked SNES Classic with Bdot’s BiL. Apparently the system is very hackable, with low risk… I tried it when I got home and added tons of games to the system flawlessly. I was a little disappointed initially with the games but with the hack, and the ability to add vitually any SNES game, the system is a good buy.
The rest of the weekend was spent eating, reading, swimming and relaxing. Typical cottage weekend. It was a good time.
We have a lot of gardens on our property. Seven big garden beds. Keeping them (and the lawn) watered consistently is difficult and time-consuming. We have spent a good deal of money on landscaping, plants and the exterior of the property – so in a small way – we wanted to protect our investment. So we had a sprinkler system installed last week. To attempt to keep the cost down we helped with the prep and install. I moved tons of pea gravel and we both helped with the install. *eyeroll* It saved us a measly $200 bucks, which, IMHO, was waaaaaaaaaay less than the time and effort we put into it. Nevertheless, the plants and lawns are now on a schedule and we don’t have to worry about them when we are away throughout the hot Summer days.
The big news story over the past few weeks was the rescue of the Thai Boy’s Soccer team that was trapped in a cave for over a week. In a rare instance, the World seemed to pull together and join forces to mount the rescue. Divers and resources from all over the World were brought in to save the boys. Miraculously, ALL the boys and the coach got out alive. It was an incredible story of the power of unity. It is a shame it happens so rarely. Sadly a Thai Navy Seal died during the rescue.
The World Cup is down to three team for the Cup: France, England and Croatia. England and Croatia square off today. The games have been good with the exception off all the embarrassing theatrics by some of the players. Neymar acted like such a baby the internet memed him badly. I’m hoping for a England/France final.
We are camping at Bon Echo this weekend. Sadly we just found out there is a fire ban there, so that is disappointing.
I’m such a sucker for Linux Mint. We have a long on and off relationship. We are dating again. I’ve installed 19 on the laptop. So far it is solid. Which I say every time until it isn’t….
I got snipped yesterday. That was a very unpleasant experience.