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  • Writer's pictureRobert Gidley

Household chores with Harvey

Yeah, it’s been a day or two, but they haven’t been completely Pan Days. We’ve been doing stuff, just not interesting stuff. Plus, we ran out of blueberries on Friday, so we went out to breakfast on Saturday, which is way easier if we don’t try to write a Trip Log first.

Anyway, onward!

But first—there has been some demand for mentioning a particular incident that happened on Thursday:

We’re pulling into our RV site in Whitehorse and Gini wants to rearrange where the picnic table goes because she likes to Feng Shui our camping sites (“Those pine trees totally change the energy flow”). Robert is sitting in Harvey patiently (well, somewhat patiently, in the sense of “totally wanting to get this the heck over!”).

Gini calls to Robert asking for help moving the picnic table, so Robert, being the loving and helpful husband he is, jumps out of Harvey and runs over to help. (Or “grumbles about could we please just let me back Harvey in and get set up?”).

Gini says, “Harvey is moving!”

Robert glances over and sees Harvey making a break for it. Yikes! He runs over and opens the passenger side door and manages to lean over and turn the engine off.

This slows Harvey down, but he’s got a head of steam going and he’s headed downhill, so he’s still rolling. It’s very challenging to get from the passenger side to the driver’s side in Harvey because the engine is in the way. (This was a design “feature” of Ford Vans—they put the engine between the front seats.)

So Robert runs around Harvey (choosing to run behind the moving van, in a rare display of sensibility) and jumps in the driver’s seat and puts Harvey in park.

Moral: Don’t be so eager to help your wife that you forget to put Harvey in park before you get out—and no we don’t have a photo of this as Gini was standing there with her mouth open captivated watching Robert’s rescue effort.

Aug 19, 2022 (Fri)

The Sandman dumped a ton of sand on our weary little eyes this morning. The alarm went off and we both said “Nope!”

One drawback to Harvey is that when one of us gets up, we both get up. When the table and couch are in the “sleep” position, there is enough room to clamber to the bathroom and that’s about it. If you really wanted to, you could stand by the sink wash your hands (as long as you moved the dirty clothes bag to someplace else).

Usually, we both agree to get up when the alarm goes off, sometimes one of us doesn’t (too bad, Gini, we’re getting up anyway!), and rarely both of us Nope out. This was one of those days.

Gini does a bit of multi-tasking—editing the Trip Log, checking news on her phone, and holding the stuff from the microwave while Robert makes her some hot chocolate

We eventually dragged ourselves out and set about getting Harvey a spa day. First, we cleaned his insides—we have gotten way better at dumping his tanks. Then we went to the RV cleaning place at this campground, which consists of a high-pressure hose with soap at $1 for three minutes and a brush. After $3 worth of soaping and rinsing, we managed to remove the first layer of dust from Harvey.

We no longer get filthy any time we touch Harvey. Just slightly dusty.

Robert gives Harvey the once over

Then it’s time for the clothes to get washed (“Five bucks a load!”), Robert to get washed (“Free—so I took eight minutes!”) and music to get practiced. We must say, it is a lovely feeling to practice music outside in a pastoral setting with a light breeze going. Aah!

Drying shirts, an autoharp, Harvey, and thou!

Aug 20, 2022 (Sat)

As mentioned, we ran out of blueberries, so we were berry-less (no straw, blue, black, or hasp) and decided to try out a local place for breakfast. The Alpine Bakery beckoned and sure enough, it was run by Alpiners (Alpinessers?). Two older women were in charge bossing around half a dozen staff and—boy howdy!—there was a bunch of bread and baked goods and…

And nothing like breakfast foods. But it all looked so good that Gini had Vegetable Soup for breakfast. Robert got a “South African Curry Roll” which turned out to be a roll stuffed with curry (yummy). We had the requisite sweet roll, bought a loaf of bread, loaded up on a couple of other necessities (“Look! They sell drinking chocolate mix!”) and departed.

Gini enjoys her sweet roll (in her Chicken T-shirt)

Robert shows off his “South African Curry Roll” with Gini’s soup in the foreground

Have we talked about internet in Canada? It’s crazy. In the U.S., it seems like there is free Wi-Fi available everywhere. Park outside a Starbucks and you’ve got 50 megabits of streaming goodness. In Canada, even if you’re on a paid network (like at our RV park), it’s so slow you can see the electrons strolling through the cable.

Robert has a video thing he wants to do (a fundraiser for a comics group backed by Keith Knight) and we’ll need more video than the meager internet pipe at our RV park can provide. So we start cruising around Whitehorse for an open Wi-Fi network with enough bandwidth.

Starbucks? They don’t even have any Wi-Fi up here!

Canada Tire? Nope. (Despite the name, they carry a bunch of stuff besides tires)

Yukon Public Library? Well, it’ll barely do, eh?

We do manage to get on and get a lo-fi version of the event (with only two or three disconnects). Whew!


There’s a chain of stores called the ”Canadian Superstore,” which seems like a good place to shop (“Super” seems good, right?). Robert says they ought to be called the “Canadian Wanna Be A Store.” Half their shelves are empty—it’s like a flashback to the height of Covid quarantine where empty shelves were the norm. No berries of any kind.

Also, they require a dollar deposit to use a shopping cart (right after Robert gave all his pocket change to a musician playing outside the store). And, if you don’t have a bag, they ain’t giving you one. They’ll sell you a cloth bag for $2.50, or you can carry all that crap you just bought in your arms. (Of course, up here in the Yukon, most men have big manly arms. Robert had to buy a bag.)

Naturally, as soon as Robert is done shopping there, we run across a friendly little grocery store whose shelves are just bursting with goods and they have all the berries (blue, straw and black). And you could use their shopping carts for free! Although you still had to either bring your own bags or your own burly arms.

By the numbers

“Time keeps on slipping, slipping, slipping, into the future.” Steve Miller

Miles traveled so far: 3,129

Estimated Percentage of total road miles: 98%

Days so far: 28 days

Estimated Percentage of total road days: A bunch. We lost track. A week from Saturday, we board our ferry in Skagway.

Gini & Robert

Harvey Staff

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