These gates can’t really be bear-proof

August 25 Tuesday
We read, while camping in Winnipeg a couple of weeks ago, reports of black bears outsmarting the “bear-proof” canisters for backpacker food. The former design included a large screw thread in the lid with a recessed spring-loaded release button. The new design has two release buttons and the bears reportedly are still defeating the interlocks. We’re not in a tent and so are exempt from having our food in these canisters.

Last night’s low temperature was 37.9F (3.3C). This morning is bright, full sunshine, and no clouds. Jim’s up early, before 0900 hours, to turn up the heater from 50F (4C) to all it can do, and to make a pot of tea. An hour later the RV is up to 57F (14.1C) and Deb is sitting up, peering out the window. Again, we slept great and only know a train went by because we were already stirring at that time. Then nothing heard until we arose.

On the other hand, Neal and Michelle from Sequim, WA, pulled out this morning, a day early. Their spaniel couldn’t tolerate the trains passing by. Each time a train passed by the campground, all night and day, the spaniel pranced, moaned, and barked. And it just wasn’t worth it for those folks, so they’ll find a better place for the whole family today. Gee, doesn’t it make us wish we had a pet dog? Les and Sharon left this morning headed for the Ice Fields and on to Jasper.

Today is an in-camp day. We overdid our walk a little yesterday, so decided to relax and enjoy incomparable weather and mess around here today. We refilled one of our two 30# propane cylinders, putting 27 liters (or 7 gallons) into it for $28 Canadian. Since there is full electrical service and nice showers, we are only using propane for cooking. Our next several campgrounds, however, will likely be without any services. So heat, cooking, and water heating will all be from our propane. We leave here next week with two full cylinders.

Several days ago we were pouring over the various propane fittings at Bucars RV in Calgary. The precise fitting we need eluded us. We want to connect our gas grill’s included hose to the trailer’s gas plumbing. Some RVs include a quick-connect propane fitting under the RV’s curb side. Hey, if the RV manufacturer is including them, these little things must not cost much. But the store at Bucars didn’t include what we thought we needed or, at least, not for an amount we were willing to pay.

We receive a two to five percent discount from our credit card rebate plus the dollar exchange rate. Still, prices at an RV store seemed high for these accessories. We figured we would wait until we return to the States to look for these parts. We brought several one pound propane cans with us for the gas grill, so we might not need to purchase these in Canada. We are seeing these propane cans for up to twice the price we found them in the States.

Today Jim stood outside the RV staring into the large propane bottle enclosure. When Deb joined him, they discussed a scheme to connect the grill’s propane hose to one of the large propane cylinders. It turns out to be too simple. We disconnected one of the RV’s two bottle hoses, and connected the grill’s hose to the now unencumbered cylinder. Voila! We can place the grill on our portable table up to fifteen feet away from the RV’s propane bottles.

The hose remains connected to one large cylinder. Just before turning off the grill we will close the cylinder valve and let the hose depressurize into the grill’s burner. We will coil the hose around the large propane bottles inside the RV’s bottle enclosure before we travel. The cylinder remains closed (off) at all times except when we are grilling. We plan to serve the RV with one thirty-pound cylinder, and when the primary cylinder runs below 1/8 we will swap the grill hose to the depleted cylinder and refill it when convenient.

This little exercise avoided paying up to $80 Canadian for a 5 or 10 pound cylinder, or $100 for a tee-fitting, or $60 for the least expensive adapter we could find. We had everything we need, but hadn’t put on our thinking cap. Let’s try this solution awhile and see how it works out.

picture of gate in campground's electric fence

picture of gate in campground's electric fence

Speaking of a little exercise, we walked the LL tent campground today. It seems prettier than the trailer one but has limited spaces for trailers. The sites are definitely nicer looking. The cost is a little less, and there is not electricity at the sits. Oh, one more little thing. The entire campground is surrounded by bear-proof five feet tall electric fencing. It is really hard to believe the bears haven’t figured out the gates. If the bears can defeat double release buttons to unscrew the food canister lid, it’s — just a matter of time, clearly.

Jim and Debbie
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