Phoebe was away from Shadybrook at Seba Beach for exactly one month. We brought her back last Wednesday after work. Showing up on a Wednesday at 7:30 pm allowed us to back in to the site without the peering eyes of our Shadybrook neighbours. It also meant we could whipper snip the weeds. This noisy task is not permitted on the weekends.
We came out on Saturday morning and walked around the village for a bit before venturing down the road to Kokanee Springs, another seasonal campsite. After touring around Kokanee Springs we concluded that Shadybrook is more our style. Both sites are the same price, about $3100 for the season (May 1 - Sept. 30) and that includes full hook ups. At Shadybrook you can leave your trailer on your site over the winter with a $500 non-refundable deposit toward the next season.
Very soon we have to decide if we want to pay the $500 to reserve our site for next year.
This is what we know:
- Phoebe is too small for a seasonal campsite.
- We would need to invest more to make our site more comfortable. (People at Shadybrook have decks built up to their trailers, eating tents, landscaped sites, large TVs with satellite dishes...)
- We like exploring and don't want to be tied to one campsite.
- Although, it is nice not to have to set up a campsite every time we camp.
- We like camping but we don't want to camp every weekend. The Edmonton area is really great in the summer!
- If we give up the site we will have to plot out where we want to camp next year and book sites early.
- We need to store Phoebe over the winter somewhere. An indoor storage space would be lovely.
- Including this weekend, we have stayed in Phoebe at Shadybrook eight nights. If we do the math about the cost per night...o.k., just don't do the math.
Right now we still have a lot of questions. We don't regret trying out Shadybrook this year as it allowed us to use the trailer without towing. We're confident the answer will come to us soon.
A few friends suggested we visit Sir Winston Churchill Provincial Park on Lac La Biche. It made us reflect on quotes from Churchill like, “If you’re going through hell, keep going” and of course the classic, “I may be drunk, Miss, but in the morning I will be sober and you will still be ugly.” With a lead up like that we were so curious to see a campground named for such a quotable leader.
We were pretty much ready to hit the road when we got home from work on Friday. After hitching up Phoebe and unplugging from shore power the strong sewer smell that we had observed while camping at Emma Lake had returned. We couldn’t blame it on the campground this time, something was definitely up with the trailer. With no handy uncles around to help us, we had to figure it out. Thanks to Google, we determined it was an issue with the battery. We unhooked the battery in question and carried on. Well, we carried on after we turned around on Whitemud Drive to return home to pick up the campsite tag we forgot to print. Now we are off…
Three hours later we arrived in Lac La Biche and were treated to a stunning sunset as we crossed the causeway to the provincial park, which is actually on an island. It was beautiful but not the best time to arrive. Especially for newbies.
The campsite and trail systems at the park are awesome. A must visit for any kind of camper - there were tents, tent trailers and of course big monster trailers. Next time we will bring our bikes.
On the way home Phoebe wanted a photo with the gigantic sausage in Mundare so we obliged. Then we bought some sausage at the Esso - the only place to buy the Stawnichy's products on Sunday.
Here’s what we learned from the adventure:
There is a silver lining. Back at home we connected with a very nice couple who are experienced Airstream owners and handy people. We look forward to getting to know them better - they have been on some great adventures with their 23’ Flying Cloud.
The “tails”, our dogs Westley and Phin, were thrilled to go on the adventure. They have taken to Phoebe as their second home. Westley sleeps in his bed on the floor with a heated blanket. Phin is the social dude and likes to sleep under the blankets or on your foot or too close to your face.
Which leads us back to Churchill and a final quote: “Kites rise highest against the wind - not with it.” Not sure what that means. But we do like his campground.
Here are more images from our weekend:
You knew it was just a matter of time before Phoebe would leave her nest at Seba Beach and venture out to explore new lands. For this trip the new land was Saskatchewan, and for all who are either from there (most of Edmonton) or have crossed the border it is a very different world.
To start it is flat, the colours of yellow canola fields glisten in the sun, the big sky with The Simpsons-styles fluffy clouds in the shapes of birds and dinosaurs.
And don’t forget the fandemonium of the Saskatchewan Rough Riders and “Rider Pride.” Oh and of course PIL beer.
What you might not know is that lakes and rivers cover more than 12% of Saskatchewan. In fact there are over 100,000 lakes and rivers in Northern Saskatchewan alone. 100,000! We stayed on Emma Lake.
And we also took a day trip to Waskesui Lake in the town of Waskesui—Prince Albert National Park. So we have more than 99,990 lakes and rivers to go! Yikes!
Here’s what we learned about Phoebe on the trip:
Phoebe is most happy when she has a place to head to. And she will be happy to know (we haven’t told her yet) that she is heading to two more campsites in the coming month. She can do what she does best—come along for the ride and be a place to call home when we’re done exploring for the day.
We are excited to say that the next two trips include our tails, Phin and Westley. They stayed home this round to look after the house with our dog sitter but they are ready for our next adventures!
Here are some more photos of our excellent week in Saskatchewan with family
Mellissa & James live in Edmonton, Alberta and enjoy exploring. Currently our Airstream is parked at a seasonal site about an hour from our home.