setup I managed to escape the Roadtrek factory for a weekend of R&R, and wanted to head to someplace nearby that would allow me to enjoy nature in solitude. Thanks to our exploration of Ontario provincial parks last May, I knew just where to go – Selkirk Provincial Park on Lake Erie. We left Kitchener and noodled down highway 24 past farms and through small towns, enjoying the warm temperatures and sunny weather. Ten dollars at the park entrance, and we were free to while away the hours on the lakeshore.  One of the rangers remembered us – particularly Fiona the Fearless Kitty – from our visit last spring.  It’s a friendly place.

mapleIt was also a wet place – we had seen standing water in fields all the way down, so we knew that they had gotten a bunch of rain here lately. Sure enough, I got stuck in the mud as I tried to pull into the spot we parked last year – good sun all day and a clear shot at the satellites.  A little muddy digging was to no avail – the ground was waterlogged and this clay is slippery. Luckily, a couple of friendly guys came by and offered to push. I explained that at over 9000 pounds this rig doesn’t respond much to pushing, but I’d appreciate a pull.

strapOut came my handy tow strap and five minutes later I was back on solid ground. These tow straps are cheap, much lighter than equivalently strong cables or chains, and compact to store. It rankles me immensely to pay $200 for a commercial tow of approximately six feet, and it really doesn’t take much of a vehicle to pull you out of mud or sand, unless you’re down in a ditch or something.  Consider adding one to your emergency kit of jumper cables and so forth.  I thanked the guys and promised not to badmouth Dodges so much in the future, since that’s what pulled me out.

Apple blossom buds - they'll be out in a week.

Apple blossom buds- they’ll be out in a week.

Spring is in the process of arriving up here – the apple blossoms are ready to pop, the violets are out, and there are dandelions all OVER the place. It’s pretty wild-looking down here by the lake, since it’s too wet to mow, but I like it that way. There’s that wonderful deep fresh water smell coming off the lake that you get only up here on the big water.  The maples are very busy putting out leaves, but they’re still nowhere near filling in a canopy cover overhead.

violetsWe’re going to pass on the park’s camping facilities – provincial parks charge about $40 a night, with no local or senior citizen discount, so we’ll head back to Simcoe for a night of boondocking in the closed Zeller’s parking lot and come back out in the morning,  maybe with a doughnut of two we pick up in town. The countryside is wonderful, with huge working horses out in pastures, lilacs blooming (Sharon’s fingers are itching – she’s got a  criminal history going back five decades for lilac-snitching), and  big wind turbines dotting the countryside. Ontario may get ugly in a hurry when that cold weather arrives in the fall, but the spring here almost makes up for it.