Sunday, June 10, 2018

Hecla Island Trip.

Two hours north of Winnipeg; the longest trip so far for the Mack. Leave Friday afternoon, return Sunday afternoon.

Hecla Provincial Park used to be a farming community before the feeble soil stopped growing crops. Most of the first settlers came from Iceland and the family names still reflect the Icelandic heritage.

Gull Harbour has a new marina but not a lot of boats.

Sunset Beach on the North Shore; white sand and flat limestone rocks. Driftwood and a total absence of litter made for a very pleasant environment.

Limestone was quarried on Hecla Island and shipped to Winnipeg in the first quarter of the 20th century.

The Mack parked at the old mainland ferry terminal. A vehicle ferry service started in 1953, giving the 500 inhabitants of Hecla their first regular link with the rest of Manitoba. The population promptly halved.

Today, the main industries are tourism and commercial fishing. Pickerel is the main catch of these small boats based at Gull Harbour. Sport fishing is very popular, both from boats and from the beaches.

Gull Harbour is the location of the Provincial Camp Ground, about 200 sites with most offering an electrical hook-up.

Most of Hecla Island is wooded. There are plenty of beaches and in early June, the place is almost deserted.

Cycle and walking trails lead out from the camp ground. This one went to the West Quarry Wharf on the North Shore; about 10 kilometres of shady woodland tracks. Most of the other islands in Lake Winnipeg are uninhabited.

West Quarry shipped limestone rubble to Winnipeg.

The old timbers are all that's left of the wharf. The 4 inch wide tyres of the Bigfoot bike were ideal for riding on the sand and limestone rubble. 

Plenty of pelicans on Hecla Island. Maybe if they had called it Pelican Harbour and not Gull Harbour then more tourists would visit.

Map of Hecla Island that shows the causeway that now links it with the mainland and the two villages of Hecla and Gull Harbour.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Endless Details.

After a couple of overnight trips; there appeared to be a lot of things I had forgotten. One thing was a mirror.

Everything has to have a place and there is as much stuff as in a house. These cleaning utensils don't look to clever in their rack.

Carbon-monoxide alarm was another addition to the shopping list. Essential, as the hob runs on propane.

Finally filled the magnetic spice rack jars and attached the masking tape labels.

The windows in the back-doors posed a problem as I didn't want curtains blowing about all day.

I decided on a plywood and polystyrene sandwich covered in the same material as the curtains over the side windows. They wedge themselves in quite snugly and have loops to pull them free. Inspiration from the old Volvo F7 which had same idea for it's sleeper-cab windows. 

I had a go at metal-polishing. What a filthy job. I had hoped to do the chequer-plate throughout the truck but soon gave-up on that idea.

I did this bit of stainless steel and it came up with a nice mirror finish but took ages.

I might do some more small pieces of stainless steel that came out of the truck but the chequer-plate can stay dull and preserve my health. 

Oldsmobile night at the Pony Corral Sunday Cruise on Grant.

Bright overcast weather and a chance to get some better pictures. Not too much shadow or glare.

Nice Jaguar XK 150 with wire wheels and white wall tyres.

Also on Sunday Nights: another Cruise Night over near Ikea and Cabela's, just of Route 90.

A younger group of car enthusiasts with jacked-up and lowered pick-up trucks, the tuning scene and everything in between.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Getting A Tidy Cab.Finally

Finally got rid of the nasty patch of rust on the air-cleaner. An expensive job at the body-shop; so I had a go myself with three aerosol cans of paint, three packs of wet-n-dry and a tube of bondo. It looks alright from a distance.

The wood-rimmed 18 inch steering wheel replaces the original 22 inch model and gives more room in the cab.

The new cloth seats have thinner backs and also make for a roomier driving position then the old vinyl ones.. They also have better side-support on both back and seat. The cup-holder is also a new addition and takes the place of the intercom system that linked the cab with the rear seating area.

Rear view of the truck at this weekend's campsite. Not the most level of sites; the truck was level but the ground dropped away and made for a high step up into the back.

The Mack and the Bigfoot Bike are going to be seeing a lot of each other from now on.


Monday, May 21, 2018

Pony Corral Sunday Night Cruise 2018

A car with my name on it and age next birthday.

Deflated air ride.

Old classic from 1958.

Custom hood.

Just nice and simple.

Roadtrip car on the roadtrip blog.

Three Shelby Mustangs.

1927 Roadster.

Short Impala.


Bright sunshine doesn't make for good car photos but this is one of the better ones.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Solar Power Switched On.

The last of the unused slide-out trays was used for the batteries. It was too narrow so needed a shelf fixed on top but plenty capable of holding the weight.

I went for four 6 volt, deep-cell wet acid batteries rated at 235 amp-hours each. The slide-out will make it easy to top them up with distilled water. 

A lot of care was needed in wiring the four 6 volt batteries to give a 12 volt output. First, a pair in series and then the two pairs in parallel. The inverter  is 2000 watt pure sine wave with wired remote control switch. Inverters work best when installed close to their batteries; you can't get closer than that.
The batteries power everything that is 12 volt inside the living quarters and are independent from the 12 volt truck system. I fitted a 12 volt outlet on the bottom edge of the shelf for the external shower.

There is already plenty of wiring in the vehicle with 12 volt, 115 volt and 240 volt circuits. I have used some of the old 240 volt wires to connect up the interior lights, the fridge, the water pump and extractor fan. I am leaving the fridge switched-on 24/7 at the moment to give the system a test. So far the batteries have been full all the time after taking two days to get maximum charge.

All the solar panel and  house battery stuff came from " The Battery Man " in Winnipeg. They had it all in stock and worked out what cables and connectors that I would need to do the job. I might have got it a bit cheaper on the Internet but I was happy to purchase it locally and couldn't fault their service.

The charge controller is an important bit of kit as it saves the batteries from being over-charged and stops them discharging into the panels during the night. Overall the whole system was very easy to install, most difficult thing was running the cables down from the roof and keeping them out of sight.

The roof-rack adds about 12 inches to the height of the truck, taking it up to 12 foot 6 inches. The solar panels are not really noticeable when laying flat on the roof.