Lots of travel and not so much downtime the last few days, but very many hot times to share with you. As in 30 degrees C, or 92 degrees F, or just plain boiling. I know that some people live in that sort of warmth all the time and do just fine, but Team Toto doesn’t include any of those people. Lots of good times anyway.
We’ve had a trip to Vancouver Island planned for many months. We like to get out of the USA when July 4 rolls around, because the Americans celebrate their Independence Day in manner that’s far to disturbing to Tyler and Wally. They are Earth Dogs, not Fireworks Dogs.
Our plan was to stay in Washington State Park just south of the Canadian border on the 30th and the 1st — to avoid the Canada fireworks on the 1st — then dash over the border and catch a ferry to Nanaimo on the 2nd. From there we would make the 4-hour drive (3 in a Miata, definitely 4 for Team Toto) to Tofino.
But two developments developed. First, the geniuses at Escape Trailer Industries somehow convinced Dometic, the manufacturer of the refrigerator, to replace the units like ours with a better-performing model. And the company offered to do the swap for Escape 21 owners like us for a nominal fee. All we had to do was get Toto to Chilliwack, and they would do the rest.
The other development was months in the making. The Washington State legislature found itself unable to pass its biennial budget. That meant certain non-essential state services (including State Parks) would shut down late on June 30. And there we would be, with no place to camp. While the shutdown wasn’t a certainty, the State Parks people offered to let people with potentially affected camping reservations cancel without the customary draconian penalty.
Wait — there was a third development. BC Ferries announced steeply discounted fares for “oversized rigs” (like TinMan and Toto) on certain sailings.
So we changed our plans a little and began with a trip to Chilliwack.
So, CamperLand at Bridal Falls. Or Bridal Veil Falls. We saw it both ways, so apparently there’s no universal agreement on what to call the falls. It was 95F / 31C when we arrived at 3:30. The friendly staff assigned us to site 26, which was just long enough for us to back into and not have to unhook — a good thing, because we would be hauling Toto over to his birthplace the next morning for a refrigerator swap and the now-legendary wall-reinforcement-for-a-TV-mount.
Got parked (very tight quarters, but we made it), got leveled, got plugged in almost. No juice at the current bush. None. Tried all my little gadgets to test it… no juice. None.
I walked over to the office, waited endlessly for my turn, and asked for help. “The maintenance guy will be right over.” Meanwhile, the heat-adverse team simmered (no shade at site 26).
Only 40 minutes later the juice was back on. Someone had flipped a circuit breaker somewhere in a hidden shack. Air conditioning activated. Team Toto formed a sort of prayer circle under the roof-mounted Dometic (yes, same brand as the fridge) and looked toward the heavens. Ahhhhhhhhhhh.
Next day, off to Escape Trailer Industries (ETI)! Owners Tammy and Reace treated us like royalty — according to rumor this is how they treat all their customers — and we rode off in TinMan to explore a car wash, the local Safeway supermarket, and… Camperland at Bridal Whatever. We had some time to kill, so we used it to shop for a better campsite, and found one (pictured above). Very shady, and right on the Provincial Park boundary. Very nice.
I think we learned here that it’s okay to ask for a different / better site. They can always say no, but maybe we end up with a better site. We did this time. And, BONUS, it was a shorter walk to the falls, which we did with the boys. That meant pushing them up a stupidly steep cliff in Wally’s stroller. It was a nice view, and worth it if you’re not pushing 70 pounds of stroller and dog.
There. That was refreshing. Next up: the journey continues with another voyage (and a spiffy new refrigerator).Sharing is caring!
Following is daring.