Photos, Fire, and a Friend

Thursday at Twenty Mile Bay was filled with a couple of long hikes and a few big meals. After breakfast, we ventured around the campsite along the water’s edge and capture some amazing pictures, and a little snake.

We did a ton of artsy pictures throughout the day. My daughters and I discussed photography (as I took it in High School, and they are as well). So we tried to out do one another.

The end of the day, we sat around the campfire and tossed in some Mystical Fire to add some colours to the flames.

It was a great way to end our last night of camping.

Rain? Only for Half a Day

Wednesday started with a light rain. Between the short bursts of showers, we made scrambled eggs and bacon for breakfast then went for a hike.

Periodically it rained throughout the morning and early afternoon. Just a few drops, but enough that we stayed at our shelter and played cards most of the day.

Just before dinner, we hit the beach again and played in the water. It was far warmer out that way than at our campsite in the forest.

My son built a small shelter from some drift wood throughout the day. He wanted to sleep in it, but we couldn’t allow that. The night ended with more card games and lots of laughs.

20 Miles of Fun

First couple of days at Twenty Mile Bay were beautiful as expected. We set up camp and my wife came up with a genius layout. We used the back of the Rogue as a pantry while we were there.

Once we unloaded, we hit the water. And had a ton of fun. Harrison Lake was as beautiful as it has been every year. My wife and I enjoyed the tubing at Leavenworth so we bought a couple for this camping trip.

We ended with a calm night by the fire. Some toasted marshmallows for a quick sugar rush. Putting a marshmallow between two chocolate chip cookies FTW.

We did enjoy the wind on the second day as it pushed us down the lake into the bay on our inflatables. The kids got their kites out and did their best to sail them as well. Lots of laughs as the wind gusted heavily. We even spotted someone else’s lost kite in the trees.

So far the weather had cooperated. It was a great couple of days to get started.

Camping 2018

I’m not sure what the weather will do this week. But we are heading out to do some camping at Twenty Mile Bay like we did last year and the year before. My wife has enjoyed our last two trips because the weather has been perfect.

The last time I checked was on Sunday, so it looks like the end of the week will be blah.

I’m not sure if we will stay the entire time we had planned. We may cut it short in the end. That’s the unfortunate reality of camping. Whatever time we get though, I’m sure we will make the most of it with the family.

I’m okay with a bit of rain while camping. Only a bit though. Downpours and we are outta there.

Back to Getting Ready for Back to School

Last week we received an email about our daughters’ courses for the upcoming school year. As with every year, there are mistakes that need to be corrected before starting in September. No big deal really. In fact, the school is pretty good about fixing these things. Especially the academic courses.

This morning, my wife is heading out to the school office to make the appropriate changes. Being that our oldest is entering her last two years of high school, we deemed it important to get on the corrections immediately. Crazy to think that even as a teenager, our kids have to start planning for university well in advance.

I’m impressed at the goals our kids are setting for themselves. My wife and I will support them as much as possible throughout these crucial years. Hard to believe that another summer is drawing to an end though.

I’m starting to miss my children being kids already.

Dinner Train

A coworker of mine found out about an upper class dinner train in Squamish. It was for one night only. They offered an 8 course meal and a short ride. I agreed to the idea, because hey- I’m a railroader. So she booked a table for the four of us in the open air car.

As you can see, it was a fancy dinner. So my wife and I dressed a bit more than just casual for this dinner date with our friends. I was nominated to be the designated driver which was a good thing in the end.

We left early in the afternoon to make our way up to Squamish. It was about an hour and a half drive and you never know how the Sea To Sky Highway will be. We arrived early enough that we found a local brew house called A Frame and the ladies each had a flight of beers. Then it was off to the Heritage Park Railway Museum.

We walked in and checked out the old steam engines and enjoyed some hors d’ouvres. Side note: I was one of the last conductors to take the 2860 Steam Train from Squamish to North Vancouver a few years back. Still a great memory.

We met up with some of our other friends and shared a few glasses of sparkling wine and appetizers. The weather had gotten a better, but was still a bit cooler than expected.

Once we boarded, we proceeded to have lots of fun at our table. We were in an open air car, so a nice breeze was coming through. It also gave us a bit more freedom to wander around. We were probably the loudest table because of all the laughs we were having.

Once we stopped for the main courses, a chilly breeze swept over us. You could see the darkness in the sky of a possible storm on the way. Some blankets were supplied to give us some warmth. We enjoyed the views and continued through our eight course meal.

Because we worked at the railway, we knew the conductors and a few other people on the train. Our table ended up being pretty popular- with many people stopping by. A couple of young ladies in their early twenties seated next to us joined us for some more laughs. They kept telling us that we were “cute couples” and could tell that we loved each other very much.

The train arrived back a bit later than planned, but we were still laughing and talking with our new friends. Once we disembarked, the rowdiness of our group began to subside. Since most of the energy was burned off during our dinner train ride- the drive home was fairly peaceful. For probably the last hour or so of the drive, my passengers slept.

It was a great evening and we will probably do it again next year.

Regroup

We came home Friday afternoon from our cabin trip. Immediately unpacked and did laundry. We each took some down time as well to just chill out.

A late evening family dinner and called it a day. A quick recovery and recharge before hitting the weekend in full force.

On to more adventures and experiences! Time to regroup has passed.

Cabin Adventures: Day 4

The smoke from the forest fires has unfortunately settled down over the lake we are at.

Before:

After:

This has made it more difficult to enjoy the outdoors. Even with the warmth of the day, the haze is killer on the eyes and breathing.

We were lucky that our first days on the lake were clear. The kids did a great job playing every where around the site. We noticed the smoke on Wednesday filling the air while out horseback riding.

We figured we’d spend most of the day indoors on Thursday playing games and watching movies. To break it up a bit, we headed out to Bridge Lake Ice Caves for a quick hike.

The caves were more like crevices. Fairly untouched in their beauty. Last year some bridges were built over top of the crevices. We still ventured down to see these caves more in depth. Afterwards we wandered towards a pathway that was still being built.

Then trails were only marked with some tags on the trees labeled “SKID TRAIL“. The kids enjoyed roughing through the woods alongside the lake. It was a bit strenuous going back up the hill to return to our cars. But well worth the adventure.

We headed back to the cabin and watched a couple of old cartoons from mine and my friend’s youth. Both were old cartoons. First was GI Joe The Movie second was Transformers.

Lots of cheesy fun.

We played a few more more rounds of FLUXX afterwards. There were lots of laughs and a ton of fun had by all of us.

And lots of farts.

Ya. Dads and farts go hand in hand. It’s not the best combo when stuck in a cabin. But still humorous all the same.

Not sure which is worse for my breathing- the smoke in the air or the farts. Either way, my inhaler has been used in full force. Hope you enjoy your time off!

Cabin Adventures: Day 3

We are making the most of our time here. It’s super peaceful. The water is so clear in the lake that it seems fake. In fact everything we are doing feels surreal.

Lots of lounging around, swimming, and walking. On Tuesday we did canoeing while at the lake. It was a two hour adventure. We headed out through a small canal and off towards a tiny island. The kids paddled their arms off as we raced down the lake.

On Wednesday we took the kids horseback riding. None of them have rode on horses before- so this was a great opportunity for them. The boys went for a trail ride while the girls did a few loops around the Montana Hill Guest Ranch. The hosts at the ranch were extremely friendly and helpful. They took the fear out of riding.

We’ve kept the kids active as well as giving them these experiences. It’s been a blast so far. My buddy and I are doing a fairly decent job at being fathers with these four kiddos. Our cabin neighbors, these two older ladies, are equally impressed at how well behaved the kids have been. They even bought popsicles for our kids as a treat.

If this keeps up for the last couple days we may try and do another vacation next year.

I have a feeling “Dad of the Year Award” is coming my way… just sayin’.

Cabin Adventures: Day 2

Let’s talk about food shall we? A very important aspect of any trip. Especially at a cabin or when camping.

Tuesday- waking up at the crack of dawn, the kids were calmly playing together. I was half awake/half asleep laying in bed until 8:30am. Mostly because the kids were getting hungry and started bugging me to make breakfast. They knew what I was making and their hunger was growing.

Before coming to the cabin, I had laid out a meal plan. This helps keep the guesswork out of the day. This morning was French toast and bacon. The smell of breakfast filled our little cabin and constant questions from the kids of “when is breakfast?” loomed in the air. I think the anticipation helps to make the food taste better.

The kids have been extremely helpful so far. They work together to set the table, clearing the table and doing dishes. The 12 year old boys wanted to make Mac ‘n Cheese for lunch in hopes of getting out of dish duty for that meal. But when it came time to make lunch, they chose to continue playing in the lake. So they wanted to help with dinner.

Dinner was made by myself with the help of the kids. The boys made the salad and my daughter made the fries. She used the bacon grease from breakfast and it made the fries that much more delicious. It was a good effort by all.

Planning the meals in advance also helps to make sure the perishables get used first. Vegetables, breads, thawed meat, etc are prepared in the first couple of days. By the end of a trip we end up eating the canned and boxed goods.

I’m happy that everyone is pitching in. I’m equally impressed with all the help and the fact that the kids want to learn how to prepare the meals.

So far on this trip, Day 2 has been successful.