Thursday afternoon my friend Sherrie and I packed up her car and hit the road for Algonquin Park for a weekend camping trip. I love camping, and I usually go a few times a summer. This was my first (and probably last) camping trip this year though, so I was pretty pumped for it.
Algonquin Park is about a three and half hour drive from Sherrie’s house, but the drive went by ridiculously fast. It was a gorgeous day, so Sher and I had the windows down, sunroof open, and music blaring. We sang at the top of our lungs almost the entire drive. Sherrie enjoys the same music as I do on road trips: anything you can sing very loudly and ridiculously to (a lot of old rock and 90′s beats such as Good Vibrations and Another Night Another Dream), so it worked out very well. Possibly the best road trip I can remember.
As we got closer to the park the scenery was beautiful. It was forest on all sides.
We finally arrived at Pog Lake around 8pm, and found our campsite. Sherrie and I quickly set up and started a fire, and started our leisuring.
Sherrie’s cousin Nick, his fiance, and her best friend met us there shortly after, and as they were setting up camp, two rangers in bulletproof vests came over and told us we needed to keep it down. Blowing up the air mattress was apparently very loud. Um, friends, we JUST got here. I figured it was not going to be a good omen for the weekend, but I have never camped at a Provincial Park and not gotten a noise complaint (they are very strict about the noise). So we dismissed it.
But we did listen at 1am when they came back in their vests and again said we were being too loud. And we asked about their vests and asked if they thought we looked like the type of people who would be carrying guns and they said “You never know.” Alright then.
Actually, as we were packing up the car in Sherrie’s driveway before we left, Sherrie’s neighbours (who are nearly 10 years younger than us) were also packing up their car for a camping trip at a private campground near Algonquin Park, and when we mentioned where we were going they were all “Good luck, you’re totally going to get kicked out! Provincial Parks are so strict!” but we laughed it off..
When we went to bed that first night I discovered why we were so loud. It was so silent in that park. There weren’t even crickets. There was no noise at all. You could hear a twig snap a mile away. So our voices probably carried and woke everyone and their kids up.
I also woke up at about 4am needing to pee so, so badly, and I immediately thought of my uncle and my adventures with the apple juice. I did not want a repeat of that situation (we had no apple juice), so I reluctantly went outside. And this picture haunted me the entire time:
I was terrified that a bear was going to sneak up on me and attack me at any second. It was frightening.
The next day was slightly overcast, and it did rain a tiny bit, so we spent most of the day leisuring around the fire at our campsite. We had ladder golf and frisbee cup, so we played that for a while.
And eventually we made it out on a pretty long walk to explore the park. There was a river just behind our campsite, so we hung out there for a while once it got sunny in the afternoon.
Pog Lake may have been strict about the noise, but it was beautiful, so we were ready to forgive it.
In the late afternoon, Sherrie and I headed into town to pick up her friend Alicia, who was taking a bus there from Toronto to meet up with us. Alicia had never been camping before, but it was on her bucket-list, so she really wanted to make it. Alicia kills me. She is so cute and at the same time very sassy, and her reactions to things make me laugh hard.
With Alicia’s arrival, this made five girls in our party, as well as Sherrie’s cousin Nick.
And do you know what five girls are? Loud. We are loud. We can’t help it!
We were all laughing and talking over eachother, and our voices probably just carried right up to the ranger’s station. Eventually the rangers came back over, and informed us that we were being evicted, due to excessive noise, and we would have to vacate our site by 9 the next morning.
This was very bad. We were not done our camping yet! Alicia had only been there for a few hours and she had only seen our campsite in the dark. We still wanted to show her how amazing camping was! I was really surprised this happened, because although I know Provincial Parks are strict with noise, I have never actually gotten evicted.
We didn’t want to just go home, so Sherrie sent a text to her neighbours, the ones who had made fun of us for going to Algonquin Park in the first place because we were probably going to get kicked out. She was all “We should have listened to you youngsters! Where you at? We’re coming to your campground!”
And so, at 9 the next morning, Sherrie, Alicia and I campsite hopped to a privately owned campground just outside of Algonquin Park. We got our own site right by Sherrie’s neighbours and friends.
It was the best decision of the weekend, and we all ended up being grateful we were there. It was MUCH more suited towards our camping lifestyle.
As we were checking in, the owner told us she put us by the back in the kid-free zone so we could be as loud as we wanted. And then she said there was a water trampoline that was more fun after you had a few drinks, so we should bring our drinks down to the beach.
I am pretty sure I turned to Sherrie and said “Is this heaven?”
So, that is what we did.
Sherrie’s neighbours and friends were already at the beach, so we swam around with them for hours and hours. I LOVE deep water lake swimming so much. It is one of my favourite things in the world.
Alicia is not a fan of lakes, and didn’t want to get wet, but we didn’t want her to feel left out when we were all in the water, so we floated her on a raft like Cleopatra over to the floating dock. She never even had to touch the water.
Alicia loved camping. I am just going to go ahead and say she had the best time of her life. We taught her how enjoy a sausage cooked over the fire…
How to set up a tent…
How to stoke the fire…
And many other camping activities. She was loving it.
That night happened to be “Halloween” in our new campground, which we noticed as we were walking and there were ghosts and cobwebs hanging from the trees.
And even some of the adults were dressed in costumes. Like this nurse:
In my years of camping, I have never heard of a theme night like this. The kids were going around trick or treating to all the different sites, and they had a haunted house. A haunted house!
Sherrie and Alicia were not down with the haunted house, but I convinced Sherrie’s neighbours and friends to go with me.
So here is our original haunted house crew:
The effort they put into that house was ridiculous.
The haunted house was in a hall, and they had the entire thing sectioned off into a maze. It was pitch black in there, had numerous things hanging from the ceiling, and volunteers who would jump out and scare you.
I loved it. I absolutely loved the haunted house. I ran back to the beach and was all “Sherrie, you NEED to go through the haunted house! You have to come with us!” and we rounded up some more people to go through again.
And Sherrie just happened to have light-up devil horns that she brought with her (she has learned all about props from my high school friends). So we said it was fate that we ended up there on “Halloween”.
After the second time through the house, I scored a candy apple that I dipped in caramel myself, and a bag of Doritos.
So I was a happy camper (literally).
I am so glad we ended up at that second campground. It was a much better fit for us. And the Halloween thing was just the icing on the cake. It was so funny. And I loved camping with Sherrie! We are so alike, so it was great to spend time with her.
As for eats all weekend, there was a LOT of burgers and hotdogs:
Jiffy Pop cooked right over the fire…
Massive amounts of bacon and eggs, and chips and nacho dip eaten off the ground, because we are classy like that.
Best nacho dip I’ve ever eaten.
And as for drinks, beer, beer and more beer. Since I have been home I have been concentrating on re-hydrating myself, because I’m pretty sure I only drank one bottle of water all weekend and I also used it to brush my teeth.
So that was our weekend camping festivities, and it was fun, fun times! Minus getting evicted, but what can ya do? I think it worked out for the best.