Monday, July 20, 2009


If given a choice, going camping would not be my first choice for a vacation; I like hotels with housekeeping and casual dinners. When it was suggested that I go on a multi-family (ours and one other) camping trip 3 yrs ago I was quite sceptical. My memories of camping as a child were not good; cold rivers, cold mornings (Vancouver Island in August), and smoky fires. Most people would say that the smoky fire memory was due to sitting in the wrong spot or using the wrong wood for the fire. This would be an incorrect assumption. No matter where I sit, the smoke will follow. Even my husband tells me to move so that he can have a smoke free spot near the fire. It doesn't seem to matter which way the wind is blowing, the smoke will still find me. Despite these memories I have managed to survive 3 July camping trips.

The first year was a 'trial' camping trip of 4 days which went by fast and was acceptable. We camped on a private lot in Fintry, BC above the provincial campsites. Lovely warm weather with a short drive to the beach. A good time was had by all.

The second year we camped at Lac Le Jeune Provincial Park, this was not so much fun. We checked where the campsite was on the map, but forgot to check the elevation. Therefore we packed for warm weather and found ourselves in the cold and the rain. The nights were so cold that the other Mother and I drove into Kamloops to get sub-zero rated sleeping bags so that we could sleep at night instead of shiver through the night. The boys, then 4, attempted to swim in the lake once but froze in the wind when they got out. They didn't ask to swim for the rest of the trip. Thank goodness for the Play Park across the lane from our campsite. The woman who recommended the campsite was prepared, she brought her winter tent and parka along. She thought it was a wonderful site and a great night sleep. I would have too if I had planned for Winter/Mountain Camping in JULY!!! Oh well, we survived and it only took 2 weeks for my voice to come back. Sitting with your feet almost in the fire and having "Smoke Karma" like mine is not good for vocal chords I've found.

This year we went back to Fintry, this time to the Provincial Campsite. The weather was a bit wild, we had strong winds which threatened to take down our shade canopy. We finally ended up taking it down ourselves so that it could survive to offer shade another day. For the most part the days were warm, even when it rained for 1/2 hr here and there it was still warm. Once again we got a campsite across the lane from the Play Park and the kids loved it. We also brought their bikes along for the first time ever and told them which lanes they could ride down to make up their lap of the campground. It was great to be able to send them over to the play park or off on their bikes while meals were being put together. They would ride by and ask "how much longer" to which we would reply "2 more laps." The water was nice, though I tend to sit on the beach and watch more than anything else. The kids had a blast in the small inflated boat we brought along, Hubby and the other Mother would a rope to the boat and to a floating mattress drag the kids around while they floated in the sun. A large shovel was used as an oar for part of the trip, then real oars were purchased. Great fun to watch. I managed to read 4 books while we were there, gotta love the BeBook. I was able to try out a few books until I found exactly the ones I wanted to read. Who knew that Romances would be the genre I prefer for camping?

I do think that 1 week is about as long as I can manage for a multi-family camping trip. By the end of the week every little quirk of the other family was starting to get on my nerves. Things that I can live with the rest of the time cuz it's only a few hrs a week start to niggle after 5 days of 24 hr contact. Hubby didn't notice as much as I did and would probably be happy to go on a 2 week or more camping trip in the future. Perhaps we can bring 2 cars so I can leave earlier... But then I'd miss him too much. Might be better to suck it up and just be sure to get more 'alone time' at the campsite while the others are at the beach. Right now it's a moot point as my yearly vacation time doesn't allow for me to take long breaks in the summer.

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