Monday, May 22, 2006

Trailer Tales #2: The Maiden Voyage

Overall, the long weekend was a mixed bag of experiences but no disasters.

We camped at Tunnel Mountain in Banff. It's a Parks Canada campsite with full hook-ups. The washrooms were clean, the sites were level and the scenery was unbeatable. An elk herd frequented the fringes of the campsite, along with several young deer, only a stone's throw from our trailer. Campers were mostly quiet, well behaved family types.

The bad news: Late May in the mountains with a few rain showers and no firepits meant a cooler stay than I prefer. My expectations for "a quiet weekend of family bonding" were unrealistic. The video games (A) and TV (B) were too much competition. A's expectations for "all play and no work" became a source of friction. B developed a bad head cold before the weekend and suffered badly, contributing less effort than normal. Trailering takes significant work, especially the first time out in learning the ropes and proper operation/set-up. My inner brat surfaced and I threatened something along the lines of returning the trailer to the dealer..... (As if!)

Good news: The dog adapted well. Everything worked on the trailer except for an interior window blind. The trailer pulled well. The adjustment to the trailer brake output setting solved the jerky stops and made the drive almost pleasant. I had no problem keeping to the speed limit and passing when necessary. The new Coleman Road Trip grill easily hooked into the trailer's propane tanks with the optional Extend-a-flow hook-up. This meant cooking outdoors was possible and saved the trailer from extra mess. Our friends brought dinner out on Sunday and grilled fabulous steaks for us all. Window shopping in Banff is always fun. A really enjoyed biking around the park. In touring around the area, we found a new scenic look out – a close up view of the Hoodoos.

After balancing the pros and cons and agreeing with B that we need a family conference re: camping protocol in order to assign jobs and clarify expectations, I have decided not to sell the trailer after all.

It is now unpacked and clean, parked neatly in an obscure storage lot nearby, awaiting our next adventure.

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