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Preparations and Route Planning

Ottawa River Flooding, Packing (and repacking), Plans for the first 30 days,

sunny 20 °C

Trip Preparations:

It has been a long winter here in Nova Scotia, one of the coldest in recent years. TaJ (our 2017 R-pod) has been tucked away in the side yard for the winter. It was six months exactly since we winterized her. We store the mattress in the house and completely drain the water lines. Finally, we split open a 25 pound bag of lump charcoal and leave that open on the bed to help absorb odors.

Once closed up we just leave the trailer alone and go about surviving a Canadian winter. Our house is super cozy and we have a wood stove that makes sitting down with a cup of coffee and a good book an excellent winter survival strategy

We took the cover off on April 10, and set to work. We have owned trailers for several years and are quite familiar with all the routine items required to get the trailer ready for the road. We had the wheel bearings on TaJ repacked (they needed it) and purchased a tire pressure monitoring system for the trailer. This allows us to see the tire pressures and temperatures of our trailer axle. We dealt with a myriad of small issues that come up every year, like purifying the water system, and checking all the seams on our fiberglass trailer. We had one area around a roof vent that needed to be resealed this year.

If you recall from blog entry #1 we are going to do everything in our power to lighten the load this time around. We hoped to cut about 600 pounds out of the 1400 pound of'stuff' we took along on our last trip. Well,we did it, we weighed everything, cut out what we thought we could live without and ended up at 800 pounds, divided with 350 pounds in Sully, and 450 pounds, split 275 pounds in the front of TaJ and 175 pounds in the rear of the trailer.

Here is a photo of our clothes closet where we made up these racks to hold all our clothes.


Food is a big item to consider as we hit the road. Given that we travel on a limited budget, we tend to eat almost all meals at the trailer and we have a number of regular recipes that we use. We stock a lot of the essentials in used peanut butter jars. They are light weight, re-usable and are pretty well spill proof. As you can see from this picture, Jenny goes wild with the label maker so we can easily see what is in each jar. They stack very nicely in the pantry as well. We carry a Rubbermaid tub with a number of canned goods, crackers, etc. As we travel along the way we shop for each planned stay.


Route Planning

We are headed out on a 5 month trip around Canada. Our ultimate destination in Vancouver Island. Once we have spent time there, we will catch the ferry north to Prince Rupert to begin our homeward journey.

Sully (our 2016 Honda Pilot) has gotten an oil change, a wheel alignment and a systems check and is good to go for the first 6,000 kilometer leg.

For the blog we will be break our trip into 5 parts. The blog entry covers the plan for the first month on the road. At the beginning of each part we will post a map of the planned route.

Our trip is starting very early in the camping season in Canada. In much of this first month's travel it is quite likely that we will encounter evening frosts. In the northern areas of Quebec and Ontario there is still snow on the ground, but it is rapidly melting. We will also be heading into the early stages of bug season. We have not had great success with 'easy up' screen tents but will try again this year to find one that is truly easy up and does the job. Ticks are also an issue here in Canada and we will have to be on the lookout for those little beasts as well.

We travel without making camping reservations except during peak season. Our original route was going to take us to Ottawa, ON and then to follow the Ottawa River into Northern Ontario. Unfortunately, the Ottawa River has been flooding the city of Ottawa, parts of Montreal and many other smaller communities on the way north. This changed our plans and we are now heading deep into Northern Quebec on our way west. Even though the flooding is now subsiding, these communities are focused on clean-up and not tourism.

One of our stops, Camping Sainte Agathe, in Quebec, does not open until May 16, but they have agreed to provide us with a site 4 days early, on May 12. It certainly helps having a location to stop, with full services. We also made a reservation at Kakabeka Falls Provincial Park, near Thunder Bay, as we arrive there on the Victoria Day weekend, the traditional start of camping season in much of Canada.

The map also allows our family and friends to know where we are supposed to be along our route. Just in case we disappear along the way. Writing a weekly entry to the blog also lets people know we are OK and not in a ditch somewhere.

And away we go

We leave tomorrow, May 8, and will spend our first night on the road at the Walmart in Edmundston, New Brunswick. It is about 800 kilometers from home and will take us about 11 hours, with stops to get there. We consider New Brunswick to be a local destination just a few hours from where we live. When not going cross country we spend a lot of time there. Besides, it is always nice to get in a good first day.

Posted by Rooseboom-Scott 10:14 Archived in Canada Tagged packing_up route_planning

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Hope this first part of the trip goes well. We will join you soon!

by Karmen Reid

Bon voyage!

by George Reid

We read the blog. Thanks for the update.We will miss you. Keep in touch all along the way. Safe travels and have memorable experiences.

by Bet and Ger

Good luck for a safe journey, looking forward to your posts

by Pauline

Bon voyage Jenny and Tony

by Mary Klimek

Have fun and stay safe!!

by Lynne Johnstone

Have a great journey. Safe travels!

by Dave Green

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