Backyard Adventures


This charming story about the joys of RV’ing, literally, in your own backyard was submitted to us by Harold and Lynne McNeill back in 2012.

View from across our front yard. The story of the Gnome is posted below.

It only took four guys, three chain saws, one chipper, two hours and a bit of bush whacking, to clear a spot as close to home as we could get for our first “Camping Close to Home” experience of the 2012 season.  While driveway camping is “ok”, it just doesn’t feel the same as being surrounded by trees and a bit of grass especially when you look out from your bed at night.  It struck me this spring that I could do better than the driveway, so checked out the angles, trees and shrubs to find the best use of our smaller property.

After two days work this past week, the trailer was moved in, fireplace set up, BBQ moved from the back deck and we were ‘good to go’ for our first BBQ of the season. 

As those who live in Victoria know, this week-end really kicked in the feeling that summer is finally on its way. Along with our friends Linda, Bjorn, Sandy and Ron (Sandy and Ron over for the week-end from the Lower Mainland to visit the Island Boat Show in the Inner Harbour), we settled in for an evening of wine tasting, hamburgers, potato salad and corn on the cob. Given the weather we have had over the past few months, it was a treat to sit outside by the fire without feeling one was going to develop hypothermia with those frigid winds blowing in off the water.

Later in the evening, after our friends headed home, Lynn and I set up for a night of peaceful sleep under the trees.  Ahh, nothing better than having friends over, a couple of bottles of wine, great conversation and later, being able to snuggle in under the stars in the great outdoors.

Bring on summer – we are ready….

Remember – Whatever your Adventure…Arbutus has an RV for it!

Note on Gnome in front garden:

Gnowaway (Go Now Away or G’now for short):  G’now mysteriously appeared in our lives not long after Lynn and I returned from an extended trip to Australia. During our time camping along the Gold Coast, and after making friends with a young family on holidays from Melbourne, we became involved in a mystery trip to Fraser Island (a World Heritage Site off the Gold Coast). 

After the daughters, Nicole and Dana, asked us out one night to meet some of their nocturnal animal friends, we suddenly we found ourselves in a magical parallel world. In this new world we met a number of Australian animals, reptiles and birds, as well as a family of trolls with whom we could easily communicate. They took us on an amazing several day trip around Fraser Island.  As a result of the altered time and space, it seemed to others back in our world though we had only been away for an hour or so.  

After our return, I wrote of our experience and, along with pictures, posted the story on Facebook.  Then, several weeks after our return to Canada, we found this little Gnome in our front garden. In late night conversations with the young fellow, we learned his name was “Gnowaway” and it soon became clear we were kindred travel spirits.

Gnowaway told us that after having heard of the ‘crazy Canadians’ and the young girls from Melbourne found wandering around Fraser Island, he decided visit our family in Victoria (easy travel via a time warp).  He has since taken up residence in our front garden and in evening conversations it is clear he has found life in Victoria very much to his liking and decided to hang out with us for a few years.  More on his story and of our night travels on Fraser Island, will eventually be posted on this blog –

About six months after Gnowaway arrived, his older brother, Gfaraway (G’far) arrived.  The two have since taken up permanent residence and have shown no signs of wanting to leave.  I expect they have become close friends with the many deer, squirrels, otter, cougar, birds and slugs that live in the area. I am looking forward to finding the time to complete the stories these two have passed along about life in Australia and, in particular, on Fraser Island that I now realize is a sacred sanctuary for many animals that were previously held in captivity.


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