We moseyed back to Alberta just in time for Canadian May long weekend. Aside from 2014 when we were in Australia, Todd has NOT missed a May long weekend camping event in Alberta for over 30 years with his friends. Everyone knows that he will be out to save “the spot” at least 4 days before the weekend starts! Lucky for us, our “spot” is a mere 20 minutes from the family property we normally have Ruby parked on. So, Ruby was packed up with enough supplies for a week to our off grid / boondocking spot on the Tues before the long weekend, located at KM 10.2, across the bridge along the Burnt Timber creek.

It was very noticeable when we drove down the gravel roads, that the camping nodes were basically empty, there were no early campers that’s for sure. Most likely due too:

  • A fire ban throughout the entire province (there were >50 uncontrolled wildfires in northern Alberta)
  • Smoke was so thick it blocked the sun (makes it hard to breath for some)
  • OHV ban (off highway vehicles)

We are not usually bothered by a fire ban, since we can still use propane firepits, and there was hardly any smoke in the air all weekend. The OHV ban was a crisis for many people in our group. Personally I don’t care, since I don’t have an OHV, but many of the people in our camping group do and if they can’t ride, then why would they come?. We perched Ruby on the creek bank and hung out for a few days in nature with the Wild horses, while we waited to see who would show up on Friday. Jill ended up driving back to the city to work for 2 days and Todd drove back to the family land during the day to get some projects done for the summer. But on the Friday, we were surprised at the smaller crowd that made it out (30 out of the regular 60) but also happy for a smaller, more intimate group with way less people and noise (says Jill only). We also missed our Madison – who has been to every May long weekend since she was born; she had a school trip to Sri Lanka – so we made sure she still joined along with all the fun! Aside from a few golf cart treks, a couple rounds of every game, a lot of great food and only 2 visits from the RCMP – we managed to survive the weekend without rain or snow and only 1 broken bone! I would say a successful weekend! Here’s a few photo’s of all the fun; May long etc (rumble.com)

We had only 2 weeks in between the long weekend and the next venture out to Three Hills for the annual car show, show and shine and the drag race. In that 2 weeks we managed to have problems with ALL the buses:

  • Ruby’s black water tank was leaking and after a full cleanout, removal and inspection….there were 7 holes in the tank that needed to be fixed! A bit of epoxy and fiberglass fixed it up in no time. Here’s the video explaining what Todd did: Black tank repair (rumble.com)
  • Big Bus had a fuel tank leak…..removed the fuel from the tank, removed the tank, bought new tank, installed new tank transferred the fuel back in…..good to go
  • Jolene had leaking water tanks…removed tanks, bought new ones, installed it, half the plumbing and not quite ready for the weekend but close enough
  • Schoolie – leaking oil pan…didn’t take a chance on the highway and left her at home

Aside from all the issues, plus Ruby’s engine auto-shutdown half way to Three Hills and Todd’s MacGyver methods to get her back up and running…..we all made it fairly unscathed. Now if only I had remembered to take pictures of any of the very cool cars at the car show!

It was a long day, that ended with a propane firepit and a visit with friends we hadn’t seen since before covid. After a hearty breakfast, we packed up and headed over to the air strip for the drag races….ALWAYS bring your earplugs for that!

and of the drag race: Drag races (rumble.com)