This is primarily a travel blog in which I write about traveling in our motorhome. Our travels have

Nacogdoches, TX, United States
I began this blog as a vehicle for reporting on a 47-day trip made by my wife and me in our motorhome down to the Yucatan Peninsula and back. I continued writing about our post-Yucatan travels and gradually began including non-travel related topics. I often rant about things that piss me off, such as gun violence, fracking, healthcare, education, and anything else that pushes my button. I have a photography gallery on my Smugmug site (

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Cape Breton and N. Sydney

The day went from very good to very frustrating once we arrived at the Arm of Gold Campground.  Once I parked and was leveling the coach, I made the stupid mistake of switching off the ignition while the electric leveling jacks were in operation.  That put them into Error Mode and started a loud and continuous high-pitched squealing alarm.  To get them out of Error Mode and working again requires a frigging Einstein to interpret the manufacturer’s four pages of instructions.  This happened once earlier in our trip and I eventually got everything corrected.  However, I tried repeatedly for the first hour after we arrived until I was dripping with sweat and my fingers were sore.  My fingers are sore because there are 8 buttons on the control pad and various combinations of up to four buttons at a time must be held down in a particular order and with significant pressure for up to 15 seconds for each one of the four jacks.  I would try a combination of buttons, run outside, and look under the coach to see if the jack moved up, down, or did nothing.  I believe that I followed the instructions to a “T,” yet had no success.  If I can’t solve the problem by bedtime I’ll just remove the control pad from the wall and disconnect it to shut off the alarm.  I will be without leveling jacks but I’ve been there before.

It was recommended that we get on the road by 9:00 this morning and we made it by 9:20.  Not too bad for us.  We needed fuel and planned to stop about 11 miles down the road at a station that was listed in our trip log as a “truck stop”.  We took the exit and found a small service station with only one outside lane of pumps that were available to a large vehicle.  Once I pulled in I could see that there was no diesel in that lane but we were committed and had to drive through the pump lane and do a U-Turn in the road to get back onto the northbound lane of the highway.  We tried again a few miles further up the highway and found a station with diesel and that could accommodate our rig.

I saw an interesting sign today as I was driving along.  It marked the halfway point between the North Pole and the Equator.  I would have thought we were much closer to the North Pole than to the Equator but I would have thought wrong.

We stopped at a Cape Breton visitors’ center (centre in Canada) for some maps and bought some T-shirts and sweatshirts in the gift shop.  We grabbed a late lunch at The Red Barn restaurant for lunch.  Carol Ann had fish and chips and I had a hamburger.  We made another stop to top off our fuel tank just prior to entering the Arm of Gold Campground.  Other than that, the trip itself was a rather boring 250-miles but then we reached the campground and my frustration with the jacks replaced the boredom with frustration and irritation.

There was an interesting tidbit that I forgot to mention about our visit to Halifax yesterday.  We passed by a building with a sign reading “Canadian Language Learning College.”  I was a little surprised to see that because I never knew there was a “Canadian Language.”  Carol Ann told me that it was actually a Canadian college where people went to learn languages but I don’t think so.  I always thought that Canada was kind of like Australia as far as languages go.  I don’t believe there is an “Australian Language” either, which reminds me of a true (I swear) story.  Many years ago a colleague of mine married a very beautiful, but a not so brilliant young lady.  They traveled to Australia on their honeymoon and upon returning to the US she spoke of the Australians in the highest of terms because they could speak the English language so well!  I have found the same thing to be true of the Canadians except for certain words and phrases.  Here are a few examples:

ABM - Automated Banking Machine (same as ATM)
Bluenose - Resident of Nova Scotia
Come From Away (or CFA) - Not from around here
Eh? (Similar to “huh” in English) - What did you say?  What do you think?  Wow!  What do you mean?  Sure! Or to denote the end of a sentence
Garburator - Garbage disposal under the sink
Gas Bar - Gas station
Loonie - $1 Canadian coin
Pop - Soft drink or Coke (“Pop” is also a Yankee word)
Tattoo (not skin art) - Military musical, acrobatic, and drill extravaganza                                             Toonie - $2 Canadian coin
Washroom - Bathroom, toilet (not a laundry room)

By the way, it has not rained one drop since Carol Ann and I bought rain boots and rain suits.  We have experienced cold, rain, fog and sun, heat, and humidity so far during this trip.  Someone told me that Canada has only two seasons instead of four as we have in the States.  Canada has six months of winter and six months of poor snowmobiling.     

We have a drivers’ meeting 30 minutes from now to discuss how we are to get our RVs on a ferry tomorrow for a 5- to 7-hour cruise to Newfoundland (pronounced like “understand”, as in “understand Newfoundland”).  OK, back from the meeting.  All 22 RVs have to leave the park together in a caravan at 7:30AM for the 15-minute drive to the ferry.  The ferry is about 700-feet long, the longest in North America.  They begin loading about 8:30AM and departure is at 9:30AM. 

Tomorrow night at 7:00PM we will be attending a “Screech-In”, which should be a lot of fun.  I know what a “Screech-In is but I don’t won’t to spoil the fun for those in the group who are unfamiliar with this unique “Newfie” ritualistic ceremony so I will not tell what it is tonight.


Croft Randle said...
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Croft Randle said...

When the first Europeans landed in Canada they encountered a group of the local inhabitants and asked them what the new land was called Unable to understand the word, they asked the inhabitants to spell it. The local answered, "C, eh, N, eh, D, eh".

True story, eh?