Sometimes life requires creativity and improvisation. On Saturday morning we left PEI on the Woods Island Ferry to Nova Scotia. As we set up camp near Baddeck on Cape Breton Island, a cable on the tent trailer broke leaving one corner of the roof sagging. What to do? We managed to raise the fallen corner manually but had to find something to hold it up. Looking around at what we had on hand, we decided to try the broom handle. It worked! After considering our options concerning repairs and putting the trailer up and down successfully without having any done, we’ve decided to manage this way until we get home and can drop the trailer off at an RV place for however long is necessary. Today we’ll check out a building supply place and try to come up with something a little sturdier and longer than the broom handle.
It wasn’t raining when we set up camp but sprinkled a bit during the night and the rain began in earnest shortly before we got up the following morning. It clearly wasn’t a day for the Cabot Trail so we set off for the Fortress of Louisbourg, about an hour and a half away. Arriving at noon, we spent several hours touring Canada’s largest historical reconstruction. The 18th century French fortress lay in ruins for many years before the area was excavated and part of the military fort and surrounding village were reconstructed on the original foundations. Interpretive staff in period costumes played their roles extremely well adding to the feeling that we’d stepped back in time. At lunch, we were served a warm, hearty meal with only a large spoon to eat with. Apparently, that was how the soldiers of Louisbourg ate! It was a cool, wet day but we spent much of it indoors and with umbrellas in hand, we didn’t get too wet walking between the buildings.
One of the challenges of living in a tent trailer is keeping dry. The canvas portions of the trailer are laminated with a heavy plastic and don’t leak but, for reasons that I don’t understand, anything that rubs up against the canvas gets wet. The section where we sleep is wide enough that our bedding doesn’t touch the canvas but it isn’t very long and the foot of our bed touches it. How to keep the bedding dry? Again, the need to improvise. Unfolding one of our rain capes into a large rectangle of plastic and using a few clothespins, I managed to create a plastic envelope around the end of our bedding that has been keeping it dry through some pretty rainy nights. I just don’t know why I didn’t think of this years ago!
By Monday morning, the rain had stopped. It was still heavily overcast but we decided to give the Cabot Trail a try. We drove it in the sunshine 18 years ago but this time, the mood was different. As we headed up the west coast, it wasn’t raining but the wind was howling. As we climbed across the north end of the trail, we drove through patches of heavy fog and it rained most of the way down the eastern coast. Some of the views were obscured but there’s majesty and power in a stormy sea. At times, it was spectacular as it crashed on the rocky shore.
It was still raining the next morning as we broke camp and prepared to head south. Ours was a lovely campsite but it was in a low spot that had, by that time, gathered a lot of water! In addition to our sandals, which we haven’t had a lot of use for yet, we only brought one pair of shoes each. We didn’t even think of packing our rubber boots! I used to carry several pairs of shoes everywhere we went but I guess I got used to packing light on our treks around Asia! How would we keep our shoes dry while we packed up in the middle of the large puddles? That wasn’t difficult. We simply wrapped our feet in grocery bags! It might not have been stylish but it worked! Fortunately, Atlantic Coop grocery bags are much sturdier than the ones we get at the Sedgewick Coop!