Out for a walk at the Loynton Moss Nature Reserve, Staffordshire, England.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Preston, Lancashire, England.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Wyke, West Yorkshire, England on May 29th!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Glad that's over with!

Yesterday was the first day that we start to take reservations here at the campground. It began at 8:00am, and the phone rang constantly. As soon as I finished with one person and hung up the phone, it would ring again instantly.

Although we have around 110 full hookup sites, 80 of them are taken up by seasonal campers. It's a popular park and there is also a waiting list to become a seasonal camper and there are around 35 names on the list.

So with only 30 sites available to the general public, it's no wonder the phone line never stopped.

But, I did this exact same thing last year, and so I had some experience going into it this year. I think I was a little faster taking the bookings and doing the computer work. The phone had pretty much stopped ringing by noon,  whereas last year it was closer to 1:00pm.

Last year, I took a total of 47 bookings for the day, this year it was 52.

It's a pain in the butt for four hours, and we've looked at other ways of doing things to try and make it easier for me as well as the people trying to make reservations (some of them tried for more than two hours to get through) but this way I'm able to talk to each person individually to get them into the sites that suite their needs. You don't end up with any double bookings or screw ups in any way, and in the end everybody seemed pretty happy with what they got. The whole idea is to have happy campers and even though this one day isn't a lot of fun, it's over pretty quickly and everything works out.

May long weekend is early this year. It's supposed to celebrate Queen Victoria's birthday on May 24th, but I guess somebody a few years ago changed it to be "the Monday prior to May 25th".

Well this year, May 25th is on a Monday, so the holiday becomes a week earlier. So we no longer celebrate Queen Victoria's birthday on her birthday. Anyhow, this year the holiday is the earliest it can be which means that May long weekend in Canada starts May 15 with the holiday Monday being the 18th.

We have two reservations for that weekend, although I'm sure a few of the seasonals will bring their trailers in that weekend if the weather is decent. It's typically a quiet weekend at this particular park.

Low water level at Lake Diefenbaker.

Our water level doesn't usually rise until mid June, but this year it's lower than normal. There was a very mild winter west of here and in the rocky mountains and so we're not expecting as much spring runoff. We're curious to see how it all ends up next month.

12 month chart of the water level.

You can see in the chart above that the water level is lower now than it was one year ago at this time.

We've been watching our owls, but they haven't been posing for photos very well....this is the best we've been able to get over the last few days...

Baby great horned owl twins!

We're in the market for a new GPS, but we need one that includes maps of Mexico.

So I've been keeping my eye on prices, and I did come across a great deal this morning although this deal is not for us because it doesn't include Mexico. However for most of you it's a good deal. Especially the deal for Canadians! Not very often a truly great deal comes up on Amazon.ca, but this is one of those times...

This 5" GPS includes lifetime free map updates, as well as detailed maps of both Canada and the U.S., and this is the cheapest price I've ever seen for this unit in Canada...

The exact same unit is also on sale at Amazon.com in the US, however it includes only maps of the U.S.. Still, it's a great deal if you never plan on leaving the States!


  1. Kevin, I am interested in the GPS and I think I was one of the first to use your Amazon.ca link the day you first posted it...bought the first aid kits...I can't find any reference to Mexico maps which we also need. Have I missed something ?

    1. I had meant to mention that. This unit does not include Mexico maps, and I've changed the post above to include that comment.

      We're also in the market for a unit that includes Mexico maps, so I'll be sure to post a link when I find the right deal for us!

      Yes, several people bought those first aid kits...that was a good deal too!

    2. Thanks for the clarification Kevin, I will stay tuned for your post about the Mexico maps GPS.

  2. Great owl shot! Good to have that reservation onslaught over with. I would say that 4 hours out of your entire stay is not a big deal and like you say, no screw ups.

    1. Thanks Contessa, the owls are getting harder to photograph now s the leaves re really starting to come out on the trees. Last year at this time it wasn't a problem. Hoping that we can get a better shot of them before the leaves are fully out.

      Yes, four hours isn't too bad, unfortunately it was a totally beautiful day that he spent inside instead of outside.

  3. We found a GPS with Mexico maps at Best Buy in the U.S. Perhaps the U.S.website will have it.

    1. Oh, the Canadian Amazon site has one of the models we're looking for. Just not at the right price yet. If it doesn't come on sale between now and October, we'll look for one in the U.S. in October...provided the price and exchange rate at the time make sense. With a 25% difference on the dollar, even a U.S. deal is not so much a deal for us Canadians!

    2. I bought a garmin last year and got the add on for Mexico as an add on I'm not sure what it cost for that but you can look into it at garminhttps://www.facebook.com/karen.mccubbing.5/posts/327040807480945

    3. Thanks Wendy, we know you can get the add on's but we are hoping to get a GPS with the Mexico map already there and for a good price. I know we are asking a little much but you know that Kevin loves a challenge. ;-)

  4. I bought that exact GPS last year. I'd give it a three thumbs up if I had three thumbs! ;c)

    1. Nice to hear that you are happy with the GPS unit. Good thing you don't have three thumbs or you might look pretty silly! ;-)

  5. Not a fun day on the phones, but now that is behind you, back outside to play some more.

    1. Considering that that is the most he will be on the phone all season, it really isn't too bad!


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