Even though our first night out was spent in a parking lot, it feels just like we’re in a secluded forest. We wake to the sound of a squirrel trying to run across our roof, lose its footing, and scamper down the side. It sounds like someone is trying to get into the trailer which makes me jolt awake, but no. Just a silly rodent.
We pack up our stuff and get on the road – being sure to do a quick gas run before actually putting the trailer back on the car. I am not looking forward to the day I have to try and lug the trailer in to the gas station with me, so I’ll be avoiding it at all costs. Convenient that there’s no one around to watch me smoothly pull out of the parking space this morning after having such a large audience of people watching me struggle to back it in last night.
Today is probably one of the shortest trips we’ll make. Just two hours to the next campsite! Some days we’ve planned to be driving for six, which will probably end up being more like eight if we’re being real.
We’ve heard lots of good things about KOA campgrounds, and booked our first one here in Sturgeon Falls. So far, they seem a little desperate because they won’t stop texting me. I’m getting notifications about how to order pizza to the trailer (a great idea but we already have dinner plans), a welcome message, and more. Am I ghosting them if I don’t respond?
As soon as we roll up we’re greeted by an extremely enthusiastic youth who mentions that part of her interview for this job involved singing. Apparently all the staff had to pass the singing test, and will be performing a ‘concert’ in a few minutes. Another staff member comes up to the desk while she’s asking us and he sings at her. I’m confused but I think I love it.
When we get to the campsite Chesney and I swap seats so he can get some practice parking. It’s just another back-in spot and is a little more spacious than the parking lot so it seems like the perfect time to do some trial and error. But ooooooooh how wrong we were.
I’m chillin behind the trailer waving my arms for Chesney to back up and swing into the spot. I think he’s doing great. But almost immediately, all the men in the surrounding campsites start yelling stuff about how, where and when to turn the wheel. “Has he done this before?” someone shouts to me while hopping to the ‘rescue’. It seems they all feel like they have a responsibility to help us poor idiots, even though I swear we’re doing just fine on our own. We don’t even mind having to try 10 times to get it right – we learn by trial and error! But it’s too late. I try to shoot Chesney a subtle apology with my eyes as two men walk up to the driver’s side window.
While one man (a professional truck driver) is focused on teaching Chesney a driving lesson, which involves a lot of “not like that”, “too much”, “more”, “stops”, and “go’s”… another guy comes up to me holding two cans of beer. He lets me take my pick, and saves the second for Chesney, saying we’ll need them because learning to park a trailer is hard. Bless him.
Chesney survives his parking lesson and comes to join me in chatting to the nice beer man about trailer stuff. There’s a lot of jargon that goes way over my head so I do a lot of nodding. He and his wife are both teachers so it’s interesting to listen to him talk about what it’s been like and what it will be like having to go back to school in the fall. I probably don’t have to tell you he’s not a fan.
He invites us to come over to his trailer so he can tell us about what campsites to stay in when we get further West to the other provinces. This sounds like something I absolutely don’t want to do but we agree to swing by after we’ve set up. We agonize about it for ages. Will we get stuck talking for hours? Should we bring him a beer? What about his wife and ambiguously-aged child? Will he even like our beer? We have IPAs from the last brewery where we stayed and he handed us cans of Molson Canadian. We can’t even see him sitting outside anymore… so are we supposed to knock on his trailer door? I would hate that.
What are the rules?!
He isn’t even in sight so we just go about our business and start on dinner. My dad cooked an entire god damn brisket before we left for the trip. A ‘going away meal’… A.K.A. celebration that their 28 year old child was finally leaving home again. And like true adorable parents, they packed us a little doggie bag of like three pounds of leftover brisket. Incredible.
I can’t cook but Chesney is basically a chef and manages to turn this brisket into stew, mixing in a Guinness and letting it slow roast over the fire. I’m spoiled af.
We never see our mate again, which is fine by me. I know we have lots to learn about RV life, so it would have been a good opportunity to hear about some of the lesser known ins and outs. But I’m sure we’ll have many more opportunities over the next six weeks. Tomorrow we’re on the road again and heading further West. It’s going to take us an entire week just to get out of the province!