Friday, June 22, 2018

The Weekend At Falcon Lake.

East on the Trans-Canada Highway.
____ Just over a 300 kilometre round-trip in the Mack on the four-lane Trans-Canada Highway. A good chance to record the fuel consumption for out-of-town driving. Around the town, it is about 7.5 to 8 mpg. [US 3.85 litre/gallon] It was just over 9 mpg for the weekend as I filled up, there and back, at Deacon's Corner on the edge of Winnipeg. It would have been better if I hadn't done about 30 kilometres on the dirt roads to the Falcon Ridge Ski Slopes and Mountain Bike Trail Area. I also found out that you cannot leave the windows open when driving on dirt or you will finish-up with a dust-coated vehicle interior in a very short time.

____ This was another trip to fine-tune the living requirements of the Mack. The insect netting for the doors worked well; held-up with magnets and clothes pegs. The shower wasn't so good. Water pressure was fine but the shower hose needs to be longer and the Off/On switch for the pump needs to be more accessible. The soak-lather-rinse routine  would be better and save water if the water could be turned-off easily after the wetting-down. But three and a half gallons of water does give a good shower when pumped at 2 gallons per minute.

 ____ The solar panels and house batteries seem to be coping with the demand very well The fridge is drawing power all the time from the 12 volt system with just occasional use of the water pumps and interior lights. 300 watts from the sun and 800 amp/hours of storage means the batteries have yet to show less than 75% capacity and are always showing 100% by mid-afternoon; although it has been a sunny June and the sun is at it's highest in the sky.

____These first trips are about finding a place for all the things that get used regularly and discarding all those items that will never be utilized and take up too much space. Too many wine glasses when all the beer is being drunk straight from the can. Having guests is great but carrying enough crockery to feed five thousand is not an option. Same with space in the fridge: half-full bottles of different salad-dressings and bar-b-q sauces take away too much valuable beer-chilling capacity. Milk for the coffee and HP sauce for the bacon butties are enough for the fridge door.

The beach at Falcon Lake Provincial Park; within earshot of traffic on the TCH, sadly.

Photo-opportunity for the Mack at the new Centre of Canada sign, just east of Winnipeg on Highway 1.

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.