A Summer of Holidays

We probably have too many ways to go on holiday. Way too many.  We have invested in the proper gear for enough different ways to get away that we don’t actually have enough time to use all them to their fullest.

We just returned from a short (one night) outing with our travel trailer.  We bought the trailer in the fall of 2008.  It is a small unit with just the right amenities for the two of us and the dog.  This was the first outing for this year.  the next one will be the Labour Day weekend when we camp as a church at a local provincial park.  We may get out later in the fall, but, it looks like we will spend about four nights in the trailer this year.  It’s convenient, quick, and conventional.  It can also be surprisingly  costly.  Camping fees at provincial parks are over $40/night with electricity.

In 2007 we bought the canoe and outfitted ourselves for interior canoe trips.  These are trips of four to seven days (for us anyway) where everything that you bring along fits in a canoe and will need to be carried across portages from time to time.  The equipment needs to be light, so we have special stoves, cookware, even chairs for this type of holiday. This year we will be spending a week in the interior of Algonquin Park with two other couples.  These are unconventional holidays with lots of exercise and solitude.  Interior trips are inexpensive because there is very little service provided ($11/person/night)

This year we dove into the most unconventional type of holiday yet (for us anyway), unsupported bicycle touring.  We had tried this in a small way last summer using our road bikes and staying in B&B’s.  Recently, we bought the bikes, more panniers, a smaller tent (different from the canoeing one, that one needs to fit the dog) and various other bits that are only really good for this job.  We have our first tour of the year in and have another two weeks coming up at the beginning of August.  In terms of cost, this type of holiday is not that much cheaper than the trailer.  We use non electric sites in provincial parks (about an$8 saving), but we tend to hole up in hotels when no campgrounds are available or to get away from bad weather, adding to the overall cost.

Oh, did I mention that we also enjoy visiting our kids in Edmonton and San Fransisco?  None of the aforementioned stuff is any good for those trips.

We are blessed to be in a place in our lives where our schedules are flexible enough and our health is good enough to be able to enjoy all of these holidays in a single summer.  Hopefully we can continue to enjoy life, people and God’s creation for many more years with as many choices.

Scammer

I hooked a scammer last week, and it was kind of fun!

A little more than a week ago, I advertised one of my bikes on Craigslist.  Last Friday I received this short message from kiloinator@gmail.com:  “Is it still available for sale?” To which I replied “Yes”

The next day I receive this message:

Thanks for your mail  I would like to make an outright
purchase immediately so i would want you withdraw the advert from the web.
Regarding the payment, I will pay you with a certified check in U.S dollars
so pls let me have the following informations so that the payment can
be made to you :
1.Your full name to be on the check.
2.Your physical address.
3.Your postal code
4.Your mobile phone number (For easier communication).
Kindly get me the above requested information as soon as
possible.Concerning the shipment,it is my regular shipper that will
come for the pick up as soon as you recieve your money in hands.

Without to much thought, I send my new friend the requested information.  Sober second thought and a little research had me suspicious so I followed up with an email asking Kilo to call me to confirm details (he had my phone number already).

Shortly after a follow up email arrives:

Hello,
Due to shipping and insurance that a mover company is coming to pick
up from you the cashier`s check you will be receiving will be in the
amount of $3200 the shipers fund will be added to it..So this is what
you are going to do.After you receive the cheque and cash it you will
deduct your own money $600 plus a commission of $100 for keeping the
item for me then you will assist me in forwarding the rest money to my
moving company via Western Union to the mover who will be coming to
pick up the item, and this must be done in good faith.I believe that i
can trust you with the rest money. I will like to read from you back
today so that i can contact my shipping company to get ready for the
pick up.Thanks and moreblessing. Awaiting your response today

I did respond immediately with this email:  “I can’t believe what a good deal this is turning out to be.  You really need to call me so that I can get all the details straight.  You have my number.  There is no deal if you don’t call.  Looking forward to hearing from you!”

So far, Kilo has not called.  I’m a little disappointed.