The great windswept hills, valleys and plains of the Prairies. The endless open sky. On a moonless summer night the stars are uncountable. On a cloudy winter day, the ground and sky become one. The Canadian Prairies have a beauty unlike any other.
Long ago, millions of bison roamed the Prairies. Today their loss is felt on the edges of aspen forests, where the native but invasive tree takes over the grasslands with nothing to stop them. Bison and grassfires were the only natural forces that kept aspen forests from taking over the grasslands. What little is left of that unique and endangered ecosystem would be lost if not carefully managed today.
While searching for Bison in Grasslands National Park in Saskatchewan, one of the few true Prairie preserves in Canada, we discovered a lone bison walking across the empty landscape. It wasn’t wandering, but seemed to be on a mission. It had a destination, but what was it? There were no other bison in sight. What could possess a herd animal, no matter how large and dangerous, to travel so far from the herd, so distant from safety? Was it injured? Sick? Outcast?
None of these. He just needed to scratch his balls.
Slide-outs. The handiest of the handy when you want more space. Trailers without slide-outs are pretty cramped, so at least one is pretty well a necessity if you’re a family going full time.
Unless you travel a lot. Because when we go between Manitoba and BC (more than 2300km, or 1400 miles) it isn’t like it is convenient to open and shut the slide every night and morning. Some people seem to have no problems with their slide-outs, but remember that you’re living in an RV; EVERYTHING BREAKS. I major warning from multiple full timers has been to ensure that your RV is level before using your slide-out motor, or risk breaking it. As such, we simply don’t touch it while on the road.
As you have seen if you follow our blog, our plans go wonky very quickly. We bounce back, but at no point do our goals ever stay static simply because life throws us too many curve balls for that to ever be a thing.
Case in point, our trip to Vancouver Island last winter.
We weren’t sure if we were going to try to stay on the Island or not. Going back and forth is expensive, especially with the ferry fee. But we don’t have a setup capable of handling Manitoba’s frigid winters.
We started on the Island volunteering. But the trip had been far more expensive than planned. Right away, though, I was able to land a job with an arborist. Even though I was also supposed to be volunteering, I couldn’t very well turn down a steady paycheque. I managed to handle both for several weeks.
After having finally sold the van, we decided to splurge and have some fun in Vegas before we’d be flying back to Canada. We booked the Golden Nugget hotel, which had a water slide that went through a shark tank!
But when we got to the hotel… the shark tank was empty; closed for renovations.
So after the lights went out in Vegas, we had to get to California with the van and meet the buyer.
The original plan was to meet him in Santa Clarita at the car rental lot, do the trade and take the last of the cash, drive to the ocean, then head back to Vegas. Because the hotels and flights everywhere within a thousand miles were vastly more expensive than staying in Vegas.
Normally I do posts several months after the fact, but this is an update as of today!
I am now working 50 hours per week landscaping and am working on getting my air brake endorsement. I am also teaching a wild edibles class every other week, had to buy and fix a second vehicle so that Lyndsay can take Aurora to classes and things and get a part time job (and there is more to do on both vehicles), am trying to find time to write two books (one fiction and one non-fiction), and of course still need Shabbat off for family time.