Parry Sound, a Comedy of Errors


Leaving Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario with a restocked supply of vodka, we headed for Parry Sound. We would need that vodka.  Our drive took us along the North Channel of Lake Huron then South along the Georgian Bay on highway 69. To break it up we spent one night in Sudbury. We probably could have pushed through in one day, but when time is no issue why bother? We got in early and had a leisurely dinner, knowing we had a short drive to Parry Sound the next day. The road from Sudbury to Parry Sound is very scenic. Most of it is blasted through rock exposing layers of deep tans or pink granites. It was impressive and we enjoyed the short, relaxing drive.

We had reservations at Trailside Campground. It’s on 300 acres and has three lakes, so we were looking forward to spending our time there while exploring the Georgian Bay area. We arrived around 1 pm, checked in and got directions to our site. Driving to it, noticing how small the sites seemed, our finly tuned warning bells started to go off. When we arrived at our site, we found someone else in the process of setting up on it. They explained that they couldn’t fit into the site they  had been assigned, so a woman from the camp who was driving by in a golf cart told them to take the one we were to be in. I guess the office hadn’t been told. Those warning bells were getting louder.

To the uninformed, you should know that the connections for water, sewer, electric and cable are on the drivers side, in the rear of the vehicle. So when you back in, you need to position the RV so your hoses and cables will reach the spot where the campground hook-ups are. This works real well unless you are in a campground that makes two adjoining sites share the connections. The water, sewer, cable and electric posts are in the middle, between the two sites. This means when two RVs back in, the connections for one of you are on the wrong side. You need to have long enough hoses and cables to run under the RV, over to the passenger side, in order to hook up.

Our neighbors, who had taken our original spot, had a hard time setting up. Not only was the site short and narrow, but the water and electric post that we would be sharing was on the wrong side for them and they had to jockey around to reach them.  We also had to maneuver around because the way the site was set up we were too far away for our water hose to reach the spigot. There was much scraping of branches and “delightful” banter as Hubby and I worked to squeeze our 33 foot RV into what seemed like a 20 foot site. We also discovered they didn’t have cable, or Wifi. Meanwhile, as we were all jockeying around to fit into the shoe box size sites, with connections in all the wrong places, a couple in a rented RV pulled up having been assigned the spot we just set up in…a comedy of errors and typical, it seems, of how the camp was run. It made for quick friends though, we all celebrated settling in with some cocktails and an impromptu barbecue of burgers.


We rented a canoe and fished the lake. We enjoyed the scenery and watching loons but caught no fish so we gave up on finishing and explored Parry Sound. We returned to camp to find our air conditioning cutting on and off. It didn’t seem to be the breakers, but rather the flow from the electric post itself cutting in and out. After about 45 minutes of fooling with it we just opened the windows and lived with it. By this time our neighbors returned to camp and we had another evening of cocktails and friendly chatter. We were all leaving the next day and hoped we would be able to get out of these tight spots without an ensuing divorce. The campground was pretty, and it had a nice lake, but none of us thought we’d be back.

Parry Sound Sunset

About JudithC99

Wanderer. Writer. Artist. Photographer. Learner. Traveler of the Red Roads


  1. reneesylvie

    This is my fear for when we finally do get our 5th wheel camper….space in campgrounds!!! My husband says don’t worry, it should be fine, but lets face it, its something we need to keep in mind. I think he needs to read your post, lol. Safe travels!!!

    • If you use Trailer Life Directory or similar reference you should have no problem, they tell you the size, if you have to share services etc. Most campgrounds also ask you size and what you are driving/towing. This was in Canada and we didn’t do our homework.

  2. Cocktails make everything better!

  3. It has been fun reading about your great travels. Somehow, you even turned a difficulty into a way to meet and enjoy the neighbors! Be well and safe travels, Ann and Jerry

  4. Pingback: Runaway Cows on the Bruce Peninsula « Red Road Diaries

  5. I am laughing reading this but I’m sure it was not laughable at the time. Seems you certainly made the best of it. And that’s a stunning loon picture!

  6. I like the Great Northern Diver, we get them on the coast here occasionally.

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