Yesterday I wrote about a couple of my previous experiences camping as a young adult. As fun and memorable as those camping trips are, those days needed to remain in my past. I am now on to creating new memories, only this time with my family.
A couple of years ago, I took my kids out for a night of camping just to see if they liked it. They did. We all wanted to go again, but it took me two years to convince my wife to join us.
Earlier this week, I had changed my work schedule and got a “three day weekend”. From Monday-Thursday morning we hit the road and said farewell to our luxuries. No electricity, no running water, no internet. We still had our cellphones for music and photos- we aren’t savages- so I’d like to share some pictures of our trip as well as my thoughts.
We drove about two and a half hours from our home. The last hour or so was down a 33 km logging road which included a few wrong turns. But we made it to our destination at 20 Mile Bay by dinner. We set up our tents and made our little piece of home in the seclusion of the wilderness (albeit still a Provincially run campground). The campground had 50 sites, and we booked a double site on the south end. No one was near us until the last evening. The solitude and peace was just what we needed.
20 Mile Bay is right on Harrison Lake. A beautiful lake that I’ve been boating on with friends in the past. The bay itself is just that, a shallow bay with warm water that looks out into the rest of the lake. For the three nights we spent there, we only saw a couple of other campers. It felt like we owned the lake. It felt like paradise.
During the days we cooled off in the water. The kids got along famously. Our dog enjoyed a dip as well as all the new smells in the air. My wife and I put our chairs in what felt like the middle of the lake and read our books. We went for walks around the lake with our dog walking calmly beside us unleashed. I even taught my children how to use a slingshot and skip rocks across the water.
In the late evening, we enjoyed a campfire along the beach. We roasted marshmallows, some getting burned like they usually do. We added a packet of coloring to the fire, making green, blue and purple flames. The children were at peace and we talked. The night sky was clear our entire trip and we saw more stars in the sky than we usually do at home.
Our last night there, a campfire ban was put in place by the Province. So we sat around our table and played cards in the evening and enjoyed some hot chocolate. This was also when we received new neighbors at the site next to us.
Ugh. These new arrivals almost ruined our experience. They were the epitome of “White Trash Glampers”. Travel trailer got parked, the guy immediately fired up his chainsaw (what????) to cut a log to balance the trailer, the dirt bikes unloaded, tarps and lights strung out, the generator went on, the young kids (two of them under the age of five) dumped their toys everywhere around the beach and site, the mother constantly yelling at them while the kids fought, and their dog got tied up and yelped all evening into the early part of the night. As it grew dark, the noise level increased and their friends also showed up with a travel trailer and in the darkness attempted to set up as well. Absolute chaos and pandemonium was happening next to us.~END RANT~
As we sat at our table playing cards under the light of a single Coleman lantern, with our music on at a level just loud enough that we could still talk and sing without yelling. We were glad that we had a couple of nights without these people. The next day, we packed up to head home. Each of us working together talking already about our next trip. My wife has now become a camper and it looks like we will do this trip again.