Monday, August 24, 2009

Amqui, Quebec

Monday, August 3, 2009

Another moving day. I had hoped to get a little closer to Nova Scotia or at least to the Restigouche museum & battle site but such was not the case. Leaving our little campground at St. Luce we headed inland and only made about 40 miles before I spotted an irresistible campground on the river at Amqui. One of the reasons for this unplanned stop was to fix the leaky roof. Convinced the next rain storm would be worse than the last, I bought some marine sealer and decided to make the repairs now rather than trust in the weather remaining clear.

This campground had over 300 sites but all those with power were occupied. Therefore, we had to take one in the cheaper section: thirty dollars a night as opposed to forty for the ones with juice. In spite of the most severe recession in over 80 years, business is booming in the vacation/camping world. Watching the stock market and reading the financial times, one would think there should be soup kitchens in every city and village. Thus far we have simply found this not to be the case. I read about all these foreclosures, layoffs and bankruptcies but seldom see any actual changes in the real world. People are still driving around, shopping, dining, etc.. perhaps less, but I haven't noticed any drastic differences. Maybe all the new homeless people are just less visible or are living with relatives but in any case, for most people, the band plays on.

Meanwhile back at Amqui, the campsite we took turned out to be too shady for the solar panels to work effectively. When fully charged, the deep cycle battery in the Casita will only power us for three days. Without a battery gauge I never know what state it's in so the solar panels are important. They won't fully recharge it but they do keep it from running out entirely. What all this means is that we needed to be careful about using the water pump and lights. So far, so good. When we'd pulled in our neighbors were away so things had seemed peaceful. However, shortly after we got set up, they returned. All twenty of them! Well, maybe not that many but enough to be thankful we both had noise canceling headphones.

One of the first things I like to do after getting settled in a new campground is to take the bikes off the rack and do a quick recon. It's amazing what one can learn by simply riding around. Plus, having Nicky perched in Carol's basket is always a great ice-breaker. Kids just love to pet her and grownups ask about her breed and such. Since she was nearly run over by a truck this afternoon, I was more appreciative of her contributions to our life than usual. The occasional inconveniences she presents pale in comparison to the miles of smiles she gives in return.

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