Tag Archives: camping

Silent Lake Kayak Exploring

I got a little sidetracked with Evan’s birthday yesterday, but I still have very important (not actually) Labour Day glamping things to talk about.

We woke up on Monday to another gorgeous day, so we decided to take advantage and do some more lake exploring. Not on foot this time (and possibly not any time ever again), but on the water. We headed down to the boat rental area and got us a couple of kayaks for a few hours. Much preferable to hiking around the lake, because in a kayak you don’t have to worry about trekking up hills.

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Silent Lake is gorgeous. It is one my favourite lakes in the world, and I am kind of a lake connoisseur so you should trust my opinion on that. I highly recommend camping/yurting in this park, it is a nature enthusiasts dream, and it is just as beautiful as Algonquin (though it is much smaller) and not as far of a drive. And if you do happen to camp/yurt there, I highly recommend you do something out on that amazing lake. It is a MUST. The lake is small enough that you can explore it entirely by canoe or kayak in a few hours, but not so small that it isn’t an adventure. Also, there are no motorboats allowed on the lake, so there are no douchey jetskiers zooming by you and it is a very peaceful experience.

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Well, usually. Shortly after leaving the boat launch we came across a forest fire. A couple of hikers (doing the trail we did the day before, the only other brave souls we saw doing it, and we definitely warned them about the bear poop) were trying to put it out with a yogurt container and it wasn’t doing much. So we paddled over with our bail buckets to help them out. The fire somehow started at the base of a tree and was definitely underground as well. It was pretty crazy to see flames shooting up even after all the water we poured on it. We were able to keep it at bay until the rangers came (in a motorboat, I guess it’s allowed in emergencies) and finished the job with larger buckets.

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I don’t know what would have happened if no one had seen the fire. The ground was so dry that it probably would have spread really quickly.

After that unexpected detour we were back on the lake.

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Silent Lake feeds into another smaller lake called Second Silent Lake, and the two are joined by a narrow passage…

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Second Silent Lake was even quieter. Most of the people staying in the park packed up and left on Monday so we were almost the only ones in the park. In Second Silent Lake if you yelled you could hear your echo come back to you.

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It’s probably the coolest place I’ve ever canoed/kayaked, mainly because of the narrow passages that wound through the marshes. It was not immediately apparent where you could get through, so you had to kind of find your own way, and exploring the marshy areas was such a unique experience. I really enjoyed myself and it was a highlight of glamping for me.

We kayaked for a few hours, on the way back stopping on a rocky island for a break. The island had a beach, so it was perfect for swimming.

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We were the only ones around.
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After returning the kayaks we headed back to the yurt for lunch. Bacon cheeseburgers. Ohhhh my God.

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So good. I don’t know if it was because we worked up such an appetite with all the kayaking, or just the addition of the bacon, or if it’s because food tastes better when you’re camping! But man, I felt like I could eat that every day.

After lunch we headed back down to the beach to do more swimming.

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It wasn’t busy at all, but we still found a more private rock down the shore a bit so we could lay around and read our books in peace.

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We stayed until the early evening, and then headed back to our site for dinner (rigatoni with meat sauce that we had brought from home). After dinner we played bocce ball, cards, and had one last campfire.

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Once it got dark we headed down to the beach one last time to look at the stars. It wasn’t quite as clear as Saturday night but it was still pretty cool, and no one else was there so it was very quiet. Evan has the Skyview app for stargazing, which I highly recommend if you are interested in the constellations, it’s really cool and it’s free!

So that’s pretty much it. I have say, it was the perfect camping experience. We were able to do so much, we didn’t have one drop of rain, it wasn’t nearly as hot or humid as it was in the city, but it was still warm enough that neither of us ever needed a sweater, or even pants! And I got like one mosquito bite the entire weekend. It could not have been any better.

Bye yurt!

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Canada Day Camping in the Rockies

Last year on Canada Day, my best friend Lisa‘s sister Heather’s boyfriend Brent (that is a mouthful so I will just say my friend Brent now, because we are friends) posted this photo to Facebook.

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And I have never in my life been more jealous. I was like, where is this and why am I not there right now. Even though I was having a great Canada Day at the time (better than usual, even), that scene looked like a dream. I vowed that one day I would be there on that scenic beach and I would dance around in a Canada umbrella hat with mountains in the background.

So when Lisa texted me last Sunday and was all “Hey do you maybe want to come to Calgary and see me for the long weekend and we can go camping in Revelstoke with Heather and Brent and friends?” I thought it over for about two minutes, and obviously I remembered that picture, before I texted back YUP. I am in.

It was the combination of seeing my bestie, and her sister and friends, camping at that beautiful spot, AND the fact that the beautiful camping spot was only an hour away from my mom and brother in Salmon Arm, so I could see them too. The entire situation could not have worked out any better. I was absolutely sold and I booked my flights that evening.

Five days later I flew out to Calgary and had a wine-filled Friday night in with Lisa and our friend Crystal, who also happens to live out there. Saturday morning Lis and I left for Revelstoke, BC, about a five hour drive from Calgary, Alberta, to meet up with Heather and Brent and their friends in the Rockies for what would be the best camping of my life.

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I have made the drive along the Trans Canada Highway from Calgary over to Salmon Arm several times now and it will never get old. It is my favourite drive in the world. Everywhere you look is just breathtakingly beautiful, the entire drive.

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So the scenery coupled with catching up with my best friend while we sang ridiculous car karaoke make me pretty overwhelmingly excited for the rest of our adventures that weekend.

The drive ended up taking us a bit longer than usual because of a minor directions snafu that led to us nearly getting on a ferry and making friends with a directions-savvy biker (thank God or I don’t think we would have found it), but we eventually made it to paradise.

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I know, right? Amazing.

I was delighted to find Jen, Corinna and Elliot from our Vegas crew, as well as Heather and Brent, in attendance, and several of their friends, and friends and friends who were all fun and welcoming. There were 17 people there at one point.

Lis and I immediately cracked a beer, got into our bathing suits and got in that glorious water!

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The campsite is on crown land and is not an actual campground, so we did not have to pay (which was awesome). We were totally in middle of nowhere in the mountains, no cell signal or any way of contacting the outside world really, and no other campers within a good couple of kilometres. Extremely secluded. Mountains on all sides!

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View of our site from the water

Pictures just do not do it justice. Even that picture with Brent didn’t prepare me for what I would experience when I saw that view in person.

Heather was all “I need to show you the bathroom, it’s so nice!” which…

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Cute

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and…rustic.

I guess. Pretty nice. I’ve seen worse, it did have a seat. And twinkle lights!

So for the next two days, we did all the camping things. We drank a lot. We spent hours and hours in the river, either floating, swimming, or sitting in chairs.

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The water was very cold, but it was very very hot (38 degrees C on Sunday! I don’t know what that is in F, but definitely over 100), so it was refreshing. Being outside would have been unbearable without the river. We had a good breeze, too.

I leisurely dog paddled around for about two hours on Sunday, swimming close to that mountain across the way and then lying on my back in the water and just staring up at it for a really long time. Lis and I also took our inflatable boats out there and floated around.

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We slept in a wonky tent that we left open to the sky so we could see the mountains and the stars.

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We ate all the camping food.

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We listened to Elliot and Lauren play their guitars and we all sang along.

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Hands down the best campsite I have ever had.

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Mainly I tried to convince Elliot to play Neil Young. 

We had campfires and roasted marshmallows.

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We played ladder ball and watched the sun go down, although it stayed light outside until 11pm. And even then it never got fully dark because the moon was so bright rising over the mountain. It was surreal.

I made new and closer friends. I laughed harder than I have in a long time, almost at everything. I got my bestie time.

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And I got my picture with the Canada umbrella hat.

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So, it was the best time ever. I was really sad to leave. The perfect way to celebrate Canada Day weekend!

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Bruce Peninsula: Indian Head Cove and Grotto

As mentioned yesterday, the main reason Cyprus Lake campground in Bruce Peninsula National Park stands out is because this:

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Indian Head Cove on the beautiful waters of Georgian Bay, is only a 25 minute hike from your campsite. It’s right along the Bruce Trail so if you’re not a camper you can hike in from another route, or you can just get a day pass for the campground and park at the head of trails and hike in. It is beautiful and I really do not know anywhere else like it. It doesn’t look like Ontario, or even Canada. It looks like the Caribbean.

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The water is so turquoise and deep and clear that this area is actually the scuba diving capital of Canada.

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If you’re swimming with a mask on sometimes if you look down you can see scuba divers 25 feet below you along the bottom.

The water is not warm like the Caribbean though…it is frigid. It is ridiculously cold. It is the kind of cold that your body never really gets used to, you just get numb. It is the kind of cold that shocks your system when you jump in and makes your skin feel like it might burn off your body. It is cold like if you were to fill your bathtub with only cold water and then got in. I am not exaggerating, that is how cold it is. Everyone should just skip the ice bucket challenge and jump in this water instead. Like we did.

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We are dying. But you have to suck it up and get in because if you don’t you will seriously regret it. It is the most refreshing water I’ve ever experienced. If you have a hangover all you need to do is jump in this water and it is like everything that happened the night before is erased. And when you get out your skin is cool to the touch for the rest of the day. It’s like swimming in bottled water. I love it. I absolutely love it there.

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This area used to be a hidden gem, but it has definitely gotten a lot more busy in recent years. When I went when I was 13 with my bestie we were the only ones I saw swimming, and we were celebrities around the campground because of it. People kept asking us if we had warmed up yet. Now though, they have made the trail leading to this beautiful place a lot more accessible so therefore more people can get there. And a lot more people seem to be open to swimming there. Not such a hidden gem anymore, but it’s still awesome.

There are huge cliffs and little nooks and crannies everywhere, and if you walk a ways from the beach there is a little water cave that is open from the top.

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I think you can only access the inside from the water though. It would be difficult to climb down into there. But if you walk a bit further you come to the main attraction: the grotto. This is the view from the top of the grotto.

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It’s ridiculous!

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The best way to get to the grotto is to swim there from the beach, but it was just a bit too cold for that. So the other way is to climb down. You can either scale a pretty serious cliff face (the rock is easy to grab onto though, so it’s not too bad), or you can do what I personally think is the easiest way. You do a little spelunking.

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You climb down through that hole. It’s quite narrow. But Evan is over 6 feet and Ian is like 6’4″, and they both made it through. I was actually more worried about Dorothy, ’cause she is just a tiny minx and you really need to stretch your legs out to feel around for where you can put your feet down. As is custom for when Evan and I are doing this sort of thing, Evan goes first (;

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I promise it is NOT as bad as it looks. Once you get your body through the hole it opens up immediately.

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But you are not out of the woods just yet… It requires a bit more climbing down through the rock to the grotto area.

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But again you gotta suck it up and do it because if you don’t you will regret it. This is what awaits you when you finish your descent:

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The grotto (you can read more about it there), an underwater cave.

Inside the grotto is the same cool, clear, deep, turquoise water…

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And there is an underwater tunnel that leads to the outside of the cliffs, which lets sunlight in through the water and creates this mystical feel…

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We had our masks with us so we swam down to the tunnel opening…

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It is further down than it looks. You can swim through it and apparently it takes about 30 seconds to get to the other side, but I have never done it. I think I’d want fins. But also, the water is so freezing that I can’t be sure that I wouldn’t panic. The tunnel is also not straight either and has an upward curve to it, so you’d have to make sure you cleared that. A guy swam through it while we were there and reported back to us and said it was awesome, and I have to admit I was tempted. One day I will do it! But on this day we were fine just looking at it.

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I would say it’s at least 30 feet deep in there, and you can jump off the ledges on the side. Or you can just sit on them and have a beer as we did.

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We brought our cans back with us, don’t worry. No littering. And this would be a beautiful photo if my waterproof camera didn’t have a fail moment…

And the view from our perch:

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And from the mouth of the cave:

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To get out of the grotto it’s pretty much impossible to go back to way you came, unless you have incredible upper body strength and can pull yourself out of that hole (I am weak and probably cannot do that). So the easiest way is to climb up the cliff.

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Again, there are many foot steps and hand holds so it’s not too bad. But I did feel like I was legit rock climbing!

The trail continues along the shore to a lot of other cool rock places, but the grotto is definitely the highlight of the area. Ontarians, this is ours to discover! If you haven’t been there before, go!!! It is amazing.

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Cyprus Lake Camping

Hello from the land of sporadic blogging! Oh, what else is new, eh? I am always a sporadic blogger. I honestly do have intentions to write every day (well, just weekdays, let’s not get too excited) but in the summer things are so crazy I just have too much to talk about and I can’t get it out fast enough. And then the winter is the opposite. I tend to hibernate a bit and the adventures are fewer and further between. And adventures, of course, are my favourite things to talk about (food is second, love is probably third).

So, moving on to the adventures. This weekend we went camping! And not just any old camping, we went to my favourite place in Ontario: Bruce Peninsula National Park (click on that link if you want to see how crazy beautiful it is there).

My parents took my Bestie Lisa and I (and my baby brother Eric) when I was 13 and we had such a great time that the entire experience has really stuck with me. I have been a handful of times since. For a while I was trying to go every year. I love camping, consider myself a pretty seasoned camper, and I have been to many parks in Ontario, but Bruce Peninsula is my favourite. The campsites are spacious and (mostly) private, the trails are plentiful and woodsy and beautiful, Cyprus Lake (where the campground is located) is pretty, calm, and has a great beach…but you can say that about many campgrounds. What Bruce Peninsula has that other places don’t is the clear, deep, and turquoise (and FRIGID) waters of Georgian Bay, rock cliffs, rock beaches, and a natural grotto.

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It’s truly a natural phenomenon. But more on the rocks/cliffs/grotto adventure later, let’s talk about the camping stuff first.

Evan and I went on this trip with our friends Dorothy and Ian.

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And Bolt, who was a DREAM camp dog. He was so well behaved while also being so entertaining and hilarious that he kind of blew us all away. He can come camping with us any time!

On Friday we packed up Evan’s truck and hit the road. It is nearly a four hour drive but it went by surprisingly fast and we made it to our campsite by the early afternoon. Here it is in all its glory.

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Not too shabby at all. And it is car camping so our car is on site with us, which is handy and a half. We quickly got to work setting up shop for the next three days. The tent that Evan and I used last year in Algonquin (when we got rained out) is pretty small, so since we had the dog with us we decided to get a new tent for the occasion. I found a really good deal at Walmart on this beauty.

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It is probably the most spacious tent I have ever slept in. I called it the Sultan’s Tent and I felt like I should be in there leisuring on a plush chair while Evan fed me grapes. We had enough room for a queen-sized air mattress, with lots of room on either side…

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And then a whole separate area for Bolt’s crate, our bags, other gear we wanted to store…

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AND we could stand up in there. It was perfect. My one pet peeve camping is when I am changing out of my bathing suit after swimming and I can’t stand in the tent so I am awkwardly lying on an air mattress trying to get pants onto my clammy legs and I get all frustrated and sweaty. It was so nice to be able to stand and change. You don’t realize what a luxury it is until you can’t.

We also had a sweet screened dining tent.

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Not totally necessary, but it’s nice to have around and it sets up instantly.

While we were setting things up, Mr. Bolt settled in and started stalking the squirrels, as he does.

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He lives to stalk squirrels. And I’m pretty sure they live to torment him.

After we set up our tents and relaxed on our site for a bit, we headed down to Cyprus Lake beach. It was about a two minute walk from our campsite. Last week was extremely humid and foggy and the fog was still hanging around on Friday.

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Still so pretty and peaceful though. Bolt wanted right in that water.

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We went back to the lake on both Saturday and Sunday when we (luckily!) had perfect weather and it was much more clear.

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Ian and Evan are way out there

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Isn’t the water so clear?!

I’ve never seen Bolt swim before and he was absolutely hilarious. He just bounds around and tries to eat the water. I wish I got it on video.

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Chomp chomp, yum water, chomp.

Then he comes out, gags/throws up the water he just ate, rolls in the sand like a maniac, and then runs back in and does the same thing.

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What a little weirdo. Evan calls him the furry white coconut.

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My favourite was watching Evan teaching him how to fetch. I have always thought that Bolt might be a bit too intelligent for playing fetch, like it was above him to chase some silly stick or ball. He doesn’t do it when we try in the field near our house. He just stands there and looks at us and then the stick like “what, I’m supposed to retrieve this?” But around the water he was kind of game. Evan would throw a stick into the water, Bolt would chase it, grab it, and bring it back.

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Evan pointing out where the stick is

The first time he brought it back he threw the stick into the bushes, peed on it, and then came back to Evan without it. The second time Evan threw the stick (a different stick), Bolt ran into the water to retrieve it, brought it back onto the beach, threw it down away from Evan, shook water all over it, and then went back and sat down in front of Evan. Stickless. Dorothy, Ian and I were in the water watching and we were all just dying of laughter.

But the third time Evan threw a stick, Bolt retrieved it from the water and brought it directly back to him. I think he was getting the hang of it and was actually starting to like it.

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Aside from all the swimming we did, we went hiking a lot (it’s a good 25 minute hike to the cliff beach on the Georgian Bay side). I particularly love the hiking trails around Cyprus Lake. They are beautiful.

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We hung out a lot around our site as well. Bolt either chilled out beside us on a blanket…

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Or just on the dirt.

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He was so dirty by the time we got home, although the dirt just seems to absorb into his fur and it doesn’t show. He is always snow white even when he is absolutely filthy.

We had some goooood times around the campfire!

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And I have to mention that Dorothy had the best camping chair…

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Hers would be the tiny Spongebob one. I think she should have made Ian use it.

On our very first night we accidentally left some chips in the dining tent so we woke up at 2am to a family of raccoons pigging out on those. It sounded like the Tazmanian Devil interspersed with loud crunching. Fun times.

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Can you spot that pesky little raccoon eating our chips? They remind me of Winnie (who also loves chips). Evan originally thought it was just one raccoon so he went to go into the tent and chase it off, and then realized there were three so he abandoned that mission. Instead he just took pictures of them from our tent while he laughed harder than I have ever heard him laugh before. Like doubled over at our tent door not being able to breathe. Eventually they ate all the chips and took off. We were much more careful with the food after that.

On Saturday morning we were having some issues with our camp stove so we drove into Tobermory for breakfast. It is the cutest little town, and basically just consists of a bunch of tourist-y stores around a little bay.

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It is the scuba diving capital of Canada also (the water is INSANELY clear), so they have a glass bottom boat tour that takes you around to a bunch of ship wrecks, but we opted out of that. It’s expensive and Dorothy and I have both done it before. We preferred to just go back and go swimming and hang around the campground.

So had a really great camping weekend! More to come on Georgian Bay rock climbing and, of course, the food!

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Camping!

Last weekend, so two weekends ago now, my friend Sherrie organized a big camping trip for all our friends/her friends/all the friends. This was the second annual friends camping trip, and unfortunately I had to miss last year so this time I was IN. Camping is my favourite. But we had just gotten back from a very exhausting trip (I hesitate to say vacation as we were very busy every day and it wasn’t exactly relaxing, it was a trip) so an entire weekend away camping wasn’t doable for me. I had stuff to get done at home. Evan had even more stuff to do, so I just drove up myself on Saturday morning for one night.

I arrived just after noon and everyone was already up and in the water.

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I like how they’re all like “Heyyyyyyy. GET IN HERE!”

Sherrie and I actually stumbled upon this campground two years ago when we got kicked out of Algonquin Park for being too noisy. This place, Pine Grove Point, is a privately owned campground on the outskirts of Algonquin (it’s actually where Evan and I picked up our canoe from when we were backcountry camping last year), and they are much more lenient about things than provincial parks are. They actually encourage you to bring drinks down to the beach.

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And they purposely put us all at a huge site at the very pack of the campground so we are free to be loud (though I don’t know if they encourage singing Disney songs on the beach at midnight…)

I love provincial parks, and they are beautiful and all that, but almost every time I’ve camped in one I’ve gotten at least one noise complaint. So if your plan is to have more of a party time with your friends, finding a good private campground is the way to go. For me the most important aspect of a good campground is good lake swimming. Hiking trails are always nice too, but lake swimming is probably my favourite activity of all time and something that I don’t get to do every day, so I definitely cherish it. This place has the BEST lake swimming. Clear and deep. J’adore.

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It also helps that they have a bunch of floating trampolines and a floating dock. We swam for hours and hours that Saturday afternoon. It was my dream.

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My ol’ pal Sherrie

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Kim!

My friends Dawn, Mark, Emily and Corey were up for just the Friday night, so I was sad to miss them all on Saturday. But I really enjoy Sherrie’s friends, and I have hung out with them so much that I consider them my friends. And Sherrie has hung out with my friends so much that she considers them her friends. And all our friends have hung out together so much that everyone considers everyone friends. It is a great thing.

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Eventually we packed up around dinnertime and headed back to our site. I brought myself a chicken burger to grill, however I knew from experience that the camp store/snack bar at the park has really amazing poutine. Really. Amazing.

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Obviously I had to get this. It was quite large and in charge so I had to rope some friends into helping me finish it, but I don’t think they minded. People will tell you that you aren’t eating real poutine unless your fries are topped with cheese curds as opposed to shredded cheese and I will tell you right now that I disagree. I love a good cheese curd, but I really enjoy all types of cheese so I can’t discriminate. I don’t know if that poutine would have been better with cheese curds. And I don’t even know if that was real cheese. But it was pretty perfect as-is.

And if you want to catch a glimpse inside a random camping store…

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Alllll the things you could possibly need for your camping trip, just in case you forget your…cat food.

As I mentioned, our campsite was basically a huge area at the back of the campground that had been cleared of brush.

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Complete with a sleeping/tent area, an eating/fire area (good thing, since about 16 people were up at some point over the weekend so there were a lot of tents), and a GAMES AREA!

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Sherrie brought our trusty, faithful ladder ball. It is always a good time. It is especially a good time in the dark when you tie glow sticks around the three levels and throw the balls in the pitch black, hoping for the best.

We also played a lot of Euchre, which is my favourite card game of all time.

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I do not get to play nearly as often as I like because I find it difficult to get four people together who all know how to play Euchre (I actually play online – Hardwood Euchre! It is the best! If anyone has it seriously let me know, I’ll be your partner). We had a bunch of people who knew how to play though, so we had a bit of a tournament.

We also played some flip cup. Because a party is not a party unless there is flip cup. This team was undefeated.

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And they are jerks. My team never won.

Eventually we all saddled up around the fire and two of the guys broke out guitars (and a ukelele!) and serenaded us. I think they ended up hating us though, because we were all “Can you play this? Play Neil Young! But can you play THIS?! Play this, play this!” Note to self: learn how to play the guitar, and learn how to play all the campfire songs.

Last time Sherrie and I were camping there it was theme night and they turned the entire campground into Halloween (in August), complete with a haunted house. And a bunch of adults were dressed up…

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We were not so lucky this time. But it was still a fun time.

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It was raining in the morning, so we all packed up early and I was home just after noon. Just in time for Sunday leisuring before work on Monday.

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Rained Out

Something that is very important to my positive camping experience is the food. I don’t know why, but food always seems to taste better to me when I am camping. Maybe because it takes longer and it is more effort to cook things? Who knows. But we had good food on this camping trip.

Evan borrowed this sweet camp stove from his friend Ian.

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Coleman it is not, and it does not take propane. You feed small pieces of wood into it, light it, turn it on (it runs a fan), and you have this little fire that you can cook on. Magical. Also, that green light is a USB charger, so once it’s heated up you can charge all your devices. I had no signal on my iPhone, but I was using it to read my book and listen to music so it was very handy to be able to charge it.

We used the little stove to brown ground beef for tacos.

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And it worked out a lot better than I expected! Seriously, it’s awesome.

Evan was in charge of the food, and usually for things like this I like to take on that important role so I know I will be eating well and in abundance, but he actually might be a bigger food lover than I am. And he’s certainly a better cook. And he’s more organized. So I trusted him. We had also planned all our meals in advance so I had a good idea of what he would be bringing. I was not expecting him to bust out containers of pre-chopped lettuce and tomato so our tacos would be less of a hassle to make, but again with the good common sense. He exceeded my expectations in the food department (and he brought the best snacks also!).

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We did forget a cheese grater though, so we had to finely slice the cheese with a butter knife.

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But it worked out.

The tacos were amazing. I had three of them, and Evan was just starting on his fourth when all hell broke loose.

Up until this point it was only raining lightly, so we were fine under our tarp. It started raining quite a lot harder while we were eating our tacos, and the water was not properly draining off the tarp above us so it was collecting in a pocket directly above where Evan was sitting eating his taco. We noticed it and were going to take care of it when we finished eating, but then it just started downpouring and the tarp filled with water and suddenly collapsed directly on top of Evan’s head, gushing water everywhere and ruining his taco. I was beside him but half the tarp just dropped, completely missed me, and created kind of a wall between us. When I pushed the tarp aside and saw Evan’s expression I just died. I don’t think I have ever seen anyone look so disappointed. I started hysterical silent scream laughing and I could not stop. Every so often for the rest of the evening I would picture wet Evan with the broken tarp all around him and start laughing again. Sporadically for the rest of the weekend I would just start laughing really hard for no apparent reason and Evan would be like “What? What happened? What’s funny?” and I would manage to get out “Still you and the tarp!” Seriously funniest thing I have seen in a long time. I still laugh when I think about it. It will probably be a cartoon post at some point.

So we fixed the tarp and tried to sit underneath it, with our ponchos on for extra protection.

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I have arms, I promise

Still relatively happy campers, but it was around this time that a serious storm rolled in and sheets of rain started coming down. It was honestly raining sideways. It was all fine and dandy when it was raining lightly in the daytime, but as soon darkness came it got really nasty outside. There was no way we could have prepared for an intense rainstorm, and our tarp was useless.

If the rain wasn’t bad enough, the wind was worse. It blew everything everywhere. It was absolute chaos.

Batten down the hatches!

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I think this next picture really shows how much Evan was impressed with the situation.

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If I could have chosen anyone to be in this wet experience with me, it would have been Evan. We really tried to stop everything from getting wet (including ourselves), but it was just in vain. Everything aside from what was in our tent was soaked. Eventually I just resigned myself to the fact that I was going to be wet and dirty for a prolonged period of time and I got in my bathing suit and poncho and helped Evan protect our gear. I even went swimming that night because I figured I was already as wet as I would be if I was swimming anyway.

I headed straight to our tent afterwards to dry off (with paper towels because our towels were wet) while Evan went and tied our food in a tree. He was all “Be right back!” and then he was gone for a long time and I couldn’t hear anything except the wind and the rain, and I couldn’t see anything except darkness when I looked outside, so I was afraid he had gotten eaten by a bear. All those urban legends about the boyfriend not returning after saying “be right back!” flashed through my mind and I had a momentary freakout. But he returned safe and wet, and we spent the rest of the evening in the tent while the storm did its thing outside. It didn’t stop until at least 3am, so we read our books until we fell asleep. That was actually nice and cozy (if a bit damp) and I slept pretty well as the rain drowned out all other noises of potential animals and axe murderers.

Evan did not sleep quite as well. He had his own momentary freak out in the middle of the night when he heard a noise that sounded like a gunshot and he thought it was a bear breaking the branch the garbage was tied to. He didn’t tell me at the time because he said he didn’t want to scare me, but I think it was tricky for him to sleep after that. You just lie awake listening to every noise and wonder what it is. I’m sure we all know that sleep.

The next morning we got up and surveyed the damage. Our site was destroyed. Everything was soaked and there was a river running through the middle of it all. I thought my clothes bag was safe and in a dry zone, but nope, wrong, I found it sitting in a puddle of water. All I had that wasn’t wet was the pajamas I was wearing and a sweater.

I tried to dry my stuff out by the fire…

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But our wood was wet so my clothes just got smoked out. Everything I owned smelled like hickory smoked bacon.

Our canoe took on some water as well…

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I feel like I am beating a dead horse rambling on about the rain here, but honestly it rained so much that I couldn’t believe it was STILL raining. How could it possibly keep raining? I have experienced rain while camping before, and it’s obviously not as fun as sunshine, but that was just too much.

We really tried to make the best of the situation, even though it was cold and everything was wet.

For breakfast we had Mr. Noodles on the camp stove.

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Breakfast of champions

That right there really boosted my spirits.

And in the early afternoon we were finally able to get a fire started, despite our wet wood, so that means hot dog time.

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But not just hot dogs, hot dog sandwiches!

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And the bun was toasted with butter and garlic salt. All Evan’s idea, and it was just delicious.

Our original plan was to stay over Saturday night as well and leave on Sunday, but the sun did not look like it was going to ever come out again and camping in the rain is just not as good. Evan floated the idea of going home early by me, and I had already been thinking it, but I was glad I wasn’t the first one to bring it up. As soon as I started thinking about a hot shower and my nice warm bed I could not stop. So maybe you will say we chickened out, but I’m alright with that. We packed up and said one last goodbye to our beautiful campsite.

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STILL happy campers though!

We left around 6, stopped at a little ribs restaurant on the way home, where they cooked the ribs on a barbecue in the backyard (and no one noticed how bad we smelled because we just smelled like the ribs) and I had maybe the best pulled pork of my life…

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And I was safe and home and dry by 10pm.

So it was quite the experience. I definitely enjoyed myself, and I would go again…just not in the rain. And it really is so much more convenient having your car on the site so you can be sure that you have somewhere dry to store everything.

Have you ever gone camping in the rain? Or even just been stuck outside while it was storming?

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