1000 Islands

Well, it’s not really true…  There’re actually 1,864 islands (this year) within a 50-mile stretch of the St. Lawrence River between Ontario and New York State.  The border zigs and zags among the islands, intentionally keeping each island wholly within either the US or Canada. Although there is a greater number of islands in Canada, several in the US are larger, rendering the total acreage of all the islands about even. The count changes periodically since there are rules to qualify as an island. Each land mass must have at least one square foot of land above water level year-round and support at least two living trees. Some of the smaller islands come and go.

Smallest island
Smallest island

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Alternative transportation

Sometimes, RVs tow cars behind them. It comes in handy to park the RV and travel around with a smaller car. On the other hand, the RV can go (and stay) more places without a towed car, affectionately known as a ‘toad.’ (If you don’t get it, re-read out loud…) To tow or not to tow? There are pros and cons for either. We’re starting out without a toad, planning to be creative with alternatives – rentals, Uber, parking, and of course, bicycles. We’ll reassess once we’ve been on the road for a bit.

The bikes are packed and ready to go. They’ll be lovingly known as our polliwogs…

Polliwogs
Polliwogs

RV Mods

In the short time that we’ve owned our motorhome – a 2008 Winnebago View 24J – we’ve made a few modifications that we’re really pleased with. These include replacing the “house” radio/CD/DVD player in the galley with a framed photo of our backyard and installing a unit into the dash that can handle all of our media needs; adding swivel adapters to the seats up front; installing USB power outlets here and there; and a handful of power-related upgrades.

This is kind of a geeky post, so if that sort of thing interests you, do keep reading – if not, you’ve already got the gist of it.

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The Crunch

Yes! Our rolling home has been freed from winter storage. We hooked up the batteries, checked the tires, started ‘er up and drove off. Awesome!

Now the crunch begins – five weeks to get the stationary house ready for a house-sitter, de-winterize, clean, service, and load up the rig (also fix a couple of things and make a couple of mods), check over the bikes & make sure the new bike rack works, pack up the instruments, check our total weight (and figure out what stays behind? Hope not!), say goodbye to everybody, and hit the road.

View at home

Beginning to get ready to get started…

We went over to check on the RV in storage this morning, not having seen or touched it since we shut the door at the beginning of November. I wasn’t sure of the best way to deal with the batteries over the winter, so I’d opted to try the simplest solution first: charge them up, disconnect them, and leave them alone. This morning I was very pleased to find all the batteries holding a pretty good charge — 12.2V on the coach battery (50-60%), 12.35V and 12.42V on the house batteries (70-80%) — so we should be able to hook ’em up and drive away! I won’t even bother to put them on the charger until we get home. Also found no evidence of any long-term mouse infestation, another big relief.

Storing the View