The Distance: Oh my, did we put some miles on the odometer this month while we executed Phase 2 of our 2018 travel plans: 1,862 as we left Bar Harbor, entered Canada, went further east than I thought possible to the end of Nova Scotia, then worked our way back west through PEI, New Brunswick, Quebec, and Ontario. A big change from our very limited June travel distance where we set up a month long camp in Maine. The 2018 total is up to 5,546 miles. August will be more like June as we settle in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for a month.
The Places: We spent our last week in Bar Harbor before visiting our first ever Canadian campground, New River Beach Provincial Park in New Brunswick. From there it was on to Nova Scotia, starting with the fantastic town of Tatamagouche and ending with the extraordinary sea glass hunting beaches in Inverness. We took the ferry to Prince Edward Island for a five day stay at Cabot Lodge Provincial Park, then began our long run westward with stops in Mactaquac, Quebec City, and the shore of Lake Nipissing, punctuated by a couple of Walmart parking lot stays.
We spent 19 days in private parks, 10 in public campgrounds (provincial parks, the equivalent of a US state park) and 2 in parking lots. We enjoyed 3-Way service (full hook ups) for 11 days, 2 Way (power and water) for 13, electric only for 5, and dry camped for 2.
The Budget: 24 days into the month we were scraping along just under budget with Canada having proved surprisingly affordable. But our 1,300 mile run west from PEI necessitated a huge expenditure on gas, which is about $3.80 USD a gallon in Canada. This left us 15% over budget for the month. Once we left Bar Harbor we enjoyed very reasonable campground fees and didn’t splurge much on restaurants and the like, but with very limited sales opportunities this month we just could not overcome more than $900 in gas expenditures.
We are optimistic that August will be far better. We will have limited travel distance, and thus low gas costs for the month, along with reasonable campground fees in the UP’s affordable municipal campgrounds. And best of all for our finances, we expect to participate in 10 or more markets as vendors.
The Drama and the Improvements: Somewhere along the Canadian adventure, possibly on the way to PEI, the right half of our windshield popped out of the gasket in the upper right corner. This happened last year, but since the windshield was cracked anyway our insurance covered the full replacement. Now, less than a year after installation, the new shield has popped out again, with a visible gap you can almost put your fingers through. This results in horrific wind noise at speed. I’m not sure what to do about it at this point, but for the rest of our Canadian journey I solved the problem with a liberal amount of duct tape, so we look unusually classy.
We also had drama with our automatic stairs, which having not worked for most of the last year suddenly deciding to extend upon our arrival at Panorama Camp, but not retract upon departure. Thanks to a helpful young man in that Ontario campground, who found an apparently dirty connector, the stairs are now working perfectly. Hurray for free improvements!