It’s not a New Year’s resolution but it’s time to stop procrastinating. I now have the time as we enjoy life at our small cabin to reflect on a great summer of travel in our RV. We had a great three-month trip through northern Manitoba combined with many short stays at Nipawin Regional Park, the Narrows in Prince Albert National Park, and Spruce River in Great Blue Heron Provincial Park and Zeden Lake campground in Narrow Hills Provincial Park all in northern Saskatchewan. This included a trip to La Ronge to pick up another new-to-us canoe.
Not sure how many days in total we were on the road, as we had no plans when we left except we had a photo assignment to complete in Nipawin. Our plan to possibly head to Dawson City in the Northwest Territories went by the wayside. We were close to Manitoba and I wanted to show Charlotte Flin Flon, heading to Dawson City after was still in the plans at that time. That was until we experienced the Canadian Shield area of northern Manitoba around Flin Flon. This countryside, sparse in people, heavy in spruce forests, lakes with great fishing and canoeing everywhere in between the rock formations, was everything we could ask for. We did not leave for approximately 90 days.
The beauty of northern Manitoba rivals that of British Columbia without the grand prix course through the mountains and people everywhere. I almost hate sharing the beauty we found in case it becomes a Jasper or Banff and the simple natural beauty untouched by man will remain. A close friend of mine Keith agrees with Charlotte and myself, there is just something about the northern forest and the naturalness that calms the soul and is almost a spiritual feeling.
Now I have started I guess I owe it to the readers of Down the Road to share the beauty we found in the upcoming series of articles to be posted.
The greatest feeling of all was the feeling of total freedom, we had no destination, no time frame, no place we needed to be or anything we had to do but to enjoy the people we met and the beauty. For us this was possible, as we are definitely not wealthy, if you consider money as a measure of wealth, but for our desire for a simple life free of a lot of things to tie us down. We love the RV lifestyle, it has taught us to be aware of our surroundings, and conservation of our resources. Many times we are without shore power, and water. As a society we think nothing of leaving on lights, running water endlessly and heating massive areas we do not even use in our homes.
Our truck camper is a luxury we enjoy. In that small space we have everything we need, shower, toilet, oven, stove, big fridge and freezer, a useless TV, queen size bed and even the kitchen table and sink. The freedom of a small unit with 4 wheel drive allows us to go just about anywhere we want and enjoy areas many cannot. Our solar power, two six volt batteries and with some conservation we can do without hookups for weeks. We are totally self-contained and able to park almost anywhere. We have had from a 38 foot fifth wheel to pull behinds and are back to a truck camper. We have had several and find smaller is better. Perhaps that is why the van campers are becoming very popular.
The beauty of camping off grid is most campgrounds that offer power and services are now taking bookings on line. As regular travelers who may want the option of staying for a week or more in an area we like, we got tired of being booted out on Thursday to make room for a booking on that spot for someone who wants it Friday night and Saturday. Many times the campground is booked solid and you have to move on. It happens all the time in all provincial parks that take on line bookings so we avoid these parks as much as we can because we do not enjoy relocating every 3-4 days. Yes we could book online like everyone else…that is if we knew where we would be, had access to the internet, and even at that, the first thing in spring most popular campgrounds are booked every weekend before May, even if the site, in many cases, is not used. Personally I prefer the old way which we never had any problems with, first come first serve, or at least enforced if you have booked it you use it. We have found too many times it’s just a nice place to store your camper until you may want to use it…..sometimes we just have too much money to spend.
Where I was going with this is, it’s not money that we make that allows us to live this lifestyle but the money we get to keep. We have found freedom with the less we have that we really do not need. Our small cabin is comfortable and everything we need, yes there are times we think we want more, but don’t need it. The money we do not send for taxes, power, heating, insurance and upkeep every month we get to keep while doing without anything. We do not drive exotic vehicles; we find the vintage ones we’ve got that are paid for, get us where we want to go. To sum this up, the more you have the more you need, it’s nice to have a big fire….but it requires a lot of wood to keep it going. At the end of the day were you any warmer than close to a smaller one and enjoyed sitting around that fire rather than constantly cutting wood.
This year we may spend close to 200 days plus on the road, and the above comments may answer the question we get a lot, wow must be nice, how do you do it?
Looking forward to see you “Down the Road”.