Why the 10-day Owen Sound Salmon Spectacular, you ask?
Well, my sister “Sue” and brother-in-law “Cal” live in Tara, about 30 minutes from Owen Sound. Together with my Mom & Gil, they had attended last year’s festivities and they all talked it up so much that we put it on our “to do” list for 2015.
We started this adventure by staying 5 nights in their drive way in Tara – and what, a fabulous driveway for our coach! Solid concrete, 75’ long, plenty of width for the slide-outs with room to walk around, a view of their back yard and the Sauble River.
AND, then to top it off, they installed 50Amp service while we were there! No more running the generator!
We also took full advantage of their washer, dryer and clothes line, bathroom and shower. Now that’s boon docking with benefits – altho’ they just laughed at me when I asked when the sewer hook-up would be available…
We left Tara on Wednesday and headed back to Barrie for one night. Our Whirlpool washing machine stopped working the beginning of July (2 days after the warranty expired) and Newmar made arrangements for the new replacement machine to be installed at the Hitch House. We parked overnight at the Hitch House and moved the coach into the service bay by 8:00 a.m. The installation was complete by 11:30 a.m. and we were back on the road to Owen Sound.
We were booked into the Georgian Shore Marina for 10 days – home of the 28th annual Salmon Spectacular – where the festivities were taking place – and we had front row parking at the Big Tent.
We were joined by family on and off for a few days – Sue and Cal with their RV, Mom & Gil and my sister Kelly.
We also had no hook-ups and it was the hottest week of the summer! The generator was running 10 – 12 hours a day to keep the coach cool. One day our thermostat recorded 105º on the front windshield! We never reached temp’s that high in the Arizona desert!
Fishing tickets were $25/person or $60 for a family of 4 – and aside from any food or beverages you could purchase (and camping fees) – that was the ONLY charge for the 10 day fishing derby. Every day had free daily and evening entertainment, there was a free children’s day, a free ladies day, a free seniors day, free Bingo, breakfast with Elvis, free nightly concerts and free parking. A host of local sponsors generously donated to make all this possible.
Each and every day there were prizes for the 10 largest salmon and the 5 largest trout and fishermen and women of all ages participated. A total of 1301 fish went through the weigh scales – bringing a questionable end to the “woe is me” comment – there’s no fish in them waters…
The 1st story of the week was about Chris Yates, a local from Chatsworth, who caught 4 salmon in one day – with 3 of them on the top 10 leader board – all caught in a kayak! He held on to the lead for a few days with his 21.56 lb. (9.71 kg) salmon. So much for the large boats and motors; fish finders; GPS; down rigging equipment – and all that stuff…
The winning fisherman (from Cambridge) weighed in a 23.11 lb. (10.41 kg) salmon and the 2nd story of the week was he brought it in from the wall! He didn’t own a boat! He has one now – the grand prize was a 17.2′ boat and custom trailer, a 115 HP outboard motor, 2 electric down riggers, a lowrance graph (I have no idea what this is…) and a replica mount of his salmon. And the “coup de gras” is his wife won $450 in the 50/50 draw that afternoon following the prize awards!
It takes an army of volunteers to pull something like this off and we met a wonderful 3-generation family who were all volunteering – for I don’t remember how many years. They were my inspiration and I volunteered for a couple of shifts in the kitchen working the cash, grilling up burgers, frying french fries and onion rings, running drinks from the coolers – whatever needed doing I would do. It was FUN – better than fishing!
Chuck went fishing a couple of times but not even a nibble. He’ll be the first to say he really didn’t know what he was doing… BUT, we had fun!