Saturday, July 27, 2013

Trip Log: Achray, Algonquin Park - July 15-18, 2013

I can't believe it's taken so long to get this trip log posted!  Between internet issues, Blogger being weird and erasing half the post, and getting a puppy three days after we got home, it's been a busy week.  We got an 8 week old Australian Cattle Dog and are hoping he'll be a great little canoe dog.

Pre-trip

The plan was to spend a night at Lake St. Peter Provincial Park to shorten the drive.  While the adults are okay with a long road trip, the kids were dreading it.  Mum and Dad took the kids with them, and Chris and I were supposed to meet them there, but issues at Chris' job meant he didn't get home until 7:30 pm.  With Lake St. Peter at least 2 1/2 hours away, and the need to get a few things in town before we left, the two of us decided to wait until the next morning to head out and just meet them at Achray.  We went into town to get the things we still needed to pick up, and realized nothing was open anyway.

Day 1

Chris and I got up early and finished packing up, then headed into town by 9 (okay not that early) to gas up the car, pick up two boat safety kits for the kid's kayaks and a few things from the grocery store. By 9:45 we were on the road, headed to Achray.  I won't kid you, it was a hot, long drive, made worse by a long wait in construction between Paudash and Bancroft.

We arrived at the site just before 3, to find mum and dad had the trailer set up, and the kids had already been swimming.  The site had a small beautiful beach that it shared with the next site over.  It was the best part of the whole trip.  Hauling all your stuff to a beach, especially when it's hot, means you either spend the whole day there, or don't go as often.  Honestly, I find sitting around a beach all day really boring, so it was nice to be able to do things around camp and swim when the mood struck.  Also, it meant we could launch canoes and kayaks whenever we wanted, which meant we used them a lot more than we might have.

We had some lunch right away, Grillem's and hot dogs, then swam again.  We pretty much just lounged around in the water for 3 hours then started dinner.  Chris and the kids stayed in the water, playing around in Chris's whitewater kayak while we cooked.  The deer flies were kind of brutal as well as the horse flies. We ate in the screen tent so it wasn't an issue.

After dinner, Chris and I took the kids out in the canoe, across the lake to see if we could find the pictographs.  We didn't see any, or maybe the one red smear that looked like a backwards E was one, we weren't sure.  We did see two painted turtles sitting on a log in the channel leading into Carcajou Bay.

On the way back, we saw six loons swimming nearby.  One of them dove, and popped back up super close to the canoe.  He dove again and must have gone behind us because he didn't join the other five.  The kids practiced making loon calls like Jeremy had taught them last summer at the cottage.  Squatch had no luck at all but Bubbie managed a few good ones.  The loons didn't answer back though, like they did for Jeremy.

As it started to get dark, we realized our neighbours had not come back.  Their dog had been tied up all day, and had been pretty much alone the whole day too.  I had heard stories of people leaving their dogs tied up through the night, and of wolves coming in to camp and ripping them apart.  The people next to us came back around 10:30 and took him into their trailer, but I couldn't help but feel bad for the poor guy.  The mosquitoes had been out as darkness set in, and he was whining.  I think they had friends staying at a dog free site and went there after dinner.

I don't want to start a rant about pets in the park, but I notice the laws regarding pets are the ones people tend to ignore the most.  We have had dogs come and almost pee on our tent in the past because they were off leash. These people kept their dog on his leash (except when they were playing with him at the beach) but leaving him alone all day?  How do they know he's not barking all day, disturbing other campers?  How do you know he's got enough water when it is crazy hot?  It's not out of the realm of possibility for bears to come into a campground.  In this case, the dog was mostly quiet.  He whined a bit, especially once it got dark, but I can't blame him.

We went to bed fairly early, and spent a good part of the night killing mosquitoes inside the tent trailer.  We found out later that one corner of the tent wasn't secured properly.  It made for an exhausting night, though not quite as bad as when Chris and I stayed on Pen Lake.

The next morning, we got coffee going, and made bacon, eggs and maple beans for breakfast.  Without an electrical site, we wanted to make sure we used up anything that could go bad.  Most of our meals were either made with things that wouldn't go bad, or things I'd dried.  Mum and dad had brought the bacon and eggs for breakfast at Lake St. Peter, but since the kids don't like eggs, they decided to wait until Chris and I were there.

While we ate we discussed our options for the day.  We wanted to go to High Falls and we wanted to paddle the Barron Canyon from either the Brigham parking area, or the Barron Canon Picnic area.  It was super hot and we decided High Falls would be the better choice because the next day was supposed to be even hotter.  Also, there were two option for getting to High Falls, a 2 hour paddle or a 1 hour hike.  With the deer flies so bad, we opted to paddle, and mum and dad decided to stay at camp. My mum has bad reactions to fly bites, and my dad isn't very comfortable in deep water (or in a tippy canoe on top of deep water.)

The kids wanted to kayak over, and Chris said okay. About 5 minutes into the paddle, we realized it was a mistake but didn't turn around.  We should have.  It was a horribly exhausting ordeal that took a lot of the fun out of exploring the High Falls area.  The problem was, the kids were okay on short paddles, but Squatch kept veering way off course and getting frustrated about his problems steering.  Chris and I were spending a lot of our time sitting in the middle of the lake, with Chris trying to explain how better to hold the paddle (using terms not really suited to a frustrated and pissy 9 year old) which only made Squatch more upset because he didn't understand.  By the time we made it to the portage (30 meters) I just wanted to go home and swim and have a big cold drink.  The kids had been determined to portage their kayaks themselves, which didn't happen.  Squatch made it 3 feet, and Bubbie not much further.  I took the kayak and Squatch got in the canoe.

The kid size kayaks were not made for adults.  Duh.  All that happens is it sinks lower in the water, and you have to paddle twice as hard...with a paddle designed for kids, so is far too short.  I made it about 10 minutes and we had to find an empty campsite and Chris took over the kayak with me in the stern of the canoe.  Squatch swears he knows how to paddle a canoe...and he knows how to hold the paddle, but he manages 3 or 4 strokes then stops to rest.  I'm n
ot used to doing anything more than basic paddling (and never really learned how to do more than that) so it was extremely frustrating.  By this point, Bubbie was tired and Chris was realizing, yeah paddling a kid size kayak wasn't easy (it wasn't just me being a wuss) so we all got to another empty campsite and tied the little boats to the back of the canoe.

I had hoped with them being empty and so light, they'd be easy to pull, unlike last year when we towed the kids around Haliburton Lake in an inflatable dingy.  It wasn't much easier.  In fact, it was like paddling through soup...thick pea soup.  But, we could see a point of land and thought that was where Stratten lake turns to the left so we kept going.  It wasn't the point.  When we got to it, we saw another point...that wasn't the one either.  By the fourth point I was ready to cry and just find a campsite and stay there for lunch, no longer caring about High Falls at all.  Chris suggested we find a spot on the side of the lake with no campsites and stash the kayaks, but we were sure the next point was where we needed to go, and besides, paddling across the lake would be more work.  It also wouldn't help us if the kayaks were stashed at that end of the lake, we'd still have to tow them all the way across Stratten and Grand.

Finally, we made it to the take out, where there were about a dozen canoes and kayaks on shore.  We pulled up further along the inlet and tied our canoe up, then gathered our picnic lunch and headed up the trail.  I should say that I gathered up the lunch, cameras, and water...nobody else carrying anything, and with the trail being so rough, I had a hard time since I was just in flip flops. I know, I really need to invest in some sport sandals for canoe tripping.  Anyway, by the time we got to the water slide, I was pissed off, tired and it didn't help matters that there were a lot of people there.  My whole reason for wanting to go was to take pictures, but there was no way I could get any good scenic shots without at least 2 people in frame.  I should have expected it but it hadn't seemed like there were that many people at the campground, and not exactly an easy drive for day trippers.  I swear my parents must have been the only people back at camp.  I suppose there could have been people interior camping, but I was too tired to think logically at the time.

We had fun though.  Bubbie was a little scared, but Squatch barely hesitated.  I am slightly ashamed to say I didn't try it.  I was 99% sure I'd lose my glasses if I wore them, and if I took them off I'd end up asking some strange man to help me find the rope to get back out of the water, thinking it was Chris.  After I took lots of pictures and video, Bubbie decided she was done, so Chris and Squatch headed further down the river to check out the next little falls.  Bubbie and I found a deep pool to just float in while the water flowed past us.  It was nice and relaxing.  By the time the boys got back, I was feeling much better.

Since it had taken us so long to get there, we didn't stay as long as we would have liked.  I wanted to pump water before we left, but Chris didn't think it was necessary.  By the time we got half way down Stratten Lake I was desperately thirsty.  Stopping to pump water now, with the wind in our face and good waves building, would have had Chris upset, so I handed my paddle to Bubbie.  She lasted about 2 minutes before stopping.

By the time we got back to camp, we were like zombies.  The kids just wanted out of the canoe and Chris and I were so tired and hot.  I kept paddling with my eyes closed hoping if I opened them a few strokes later, we'd be visibly closer back to camp.  It didn't help.  As soon as the canoe hit our beach, we jumped out and dove straight into the water.  Mum had moved her kayak down to the water so she could meet us half way across the lake, but by the time she saw us coming, and got her swimsuit on and gathered all her stuff, we were about 30 meters from shore, so she just came swimming with us.  Dad came down too and we spent a while just cooling off.

After having some snacks and lots and lots of drinks, we got started on dinner.  We like having spaghetti when camping, it's easy and cheap...and the kids don't complain about it.  I cooked up a big pan of vegetables and dried them before coming instead of making a big pot of sauce and freezing it.  It worked out pretty well.  Mum was bringing the sauce, which is why I didn't dry the sauce and vegetables all together.  We also had salad with lots of fresh vegetables.

Dad and Chris got a fire going, then I suggested to Chris that we go do the Jack Pine hike.  The kids and mum took their kayaks down to the trail end, and we were going to meet them there and take pictures of them with the sun setting behind them.  It didn't happen.  By the time we got to the main road the deer flies were three times as bad as at camp, and once we got to the trail head, the mosquitoes came out in swarms.  I swiped my hand down the back of one arm and killed seven of them.  We barely made it 100 feet down the trail before we turned back.  It didn't help I was wearing shorts, a tank top and flip flops and that I had a sun burn on my upper arms.  Every slap at a mosquito hurt like heck.

I should mention here, I managed to get another weird sunburn.  A few years ago, on a canoe trip, I got a tramp stamp burn, this time I got saddle bags.  I'd put on sunscreen while standing, but once I knelt in the canoe, the hem of the shorts rode up a bit, leaving a patch high on my outer thigh unprotected.

We toasted marshmallows, made jiffy pop and the kids tried some s'smores.  They made some with peanut butter smeared on a graham cracker, and some with a piece of banana squished on as well.  Squatch liked the peanut butter ones best.

Another night of mosquitoes in the trailer meant little sleep.  Also, after the canoe trip I drank a ton of water, so I was up several times in the night to go to the bathroom.  Because the bathrooms (flush toilets in outhouse like stalls) had lights in them, there were tons of mosquitoes inside.  I got bit more times while in there than I did the rest of the trip.

Day 3

Breakfast was cereal, granola bars, bagels and apples.  We were all pretty tired, and it was even hotter than the day before, with humidity putting the temperature at about 41, so we pretty much decided to just hang around camp and swim.  The plan had been to drive to the Brigham parking area and paddle down the Barron Canyon but neither Chris nor I felt like paddling much.

Bubbie and I walked to the park office and bought a block of ice.  While there I checked out the weather forecast and saw they were calling for severe thunderstorms in the afternoon and into the evening.  We weren't worried but decided for sure heading out to do any hikes or paddles would be a bad idea.
Camp all prepared for more rain

Around noon, it started to rain.  We secured the campsite, made sure the screen tent was tied off well if it got really windy.  Then we sat in the trailer.  Mum had a nap, the kids drew some pictures, Chris read and Dad and I talked a bit.  After a while, I took the camera up to our bed and shot some video of the storm over the lake.





Looking across Grand Lake to Carcajou Bay
When the rain stopped, I made lunch - baja burritos from Lipsmackin' Vegetarian Backpackin'. They turned out really well.  We also hung out some tarps over the trailer so we could have the windows open if it rained again since it was so hot and humid.  Being in the trailer with no airflow would have been horrible.

Since the weather looked so promising, I convinced Chris it would be a fun idea to paddle across the lake to Carcajou Bay and check out the campsites there.  Part way across, the skies clouded over again but we thought it would be okay.  Just before we got to the narrows, the skies opened up and it poured like crazy.  We turned around, and with a good tail wind made it back pretty quickly.  Just as the bow of the canoe touched the beach, the rain stopped, the wind died and the sun came out.  Chris jokingly said it was such a nice day, we should go for a paddle. There was lots of fog over the hills, over Carcajou Bay and along the river to Stratten Lake.

We swam again, then made dinner.  One of my favourite dutch oven dinners is an adaptation of a recipe my mum found.  Basically it was ground beef, onion, barbeque sauce and a can of baked beans in tomato sauce with canned bisquits on top.  I added peppers to it, then eventually started adding mushrooms, Franks Red Hot Sweet Chili sauce, and a few dashes of Worchestershire. Since my dad is now a vegetarian, I used lentils in place of the ground beef and it turned out really well.  Though with the rain, we ended up making it on the stove, and skipped the biscuits.  Instead, we made more potatoes in foil, this time with garlic butter.

After dinner, the kids and mum paddled around on their kayaks again, and Chris and I headed out in the canoe so he could fish a bit.  As it got darker, we saw lightening over the horizon so we headed back and battened down the camp again.  Once in the trailer, the kids and Chris played cards while I shot more video out the window toward the lake.  The storm didn't last long, but towards the end there were three really loud bangs that had us all a little jittery.  We were discussing getting into our vehicles for safety but after those three, the storm moved off toward Stratten Lake and we decided to go to bed.

The kids had a hard time falling asleep that night.  Between asking for aloe vera gel for their sunburn, and Polysporin for a few scratches, they kept making me jump out of bed.  It was midnight before they finally settled down.

The next morning was buggy after the rain.  We'd hoped to hike the Baron Canyon Trail on the way out but it didn't seem all that appealing while being swarmed with mosquitoes.  So we packed up and headed out after a quick breakfast of bagels, cereal, and apples.

We stopped in Pembroke for lunch at Tim Hortons and started the long drive back home.

The best part of this trip, as I've said, was the fact we had our own beach.  It let us swim and paddle as often as we wanted, and saved us from being bored when it was too hot to want to do all the things we'd hoped to do when we planned this trip.  The kids had a lot of fun, swimming whenever they wanted.  Achray has two really nice beaches and we didn't swim at either of them.  It was kind of disappointing, not doing any of the hikes or paddling the canyon but it just means we'll have a reason to go back again...maybe in the fall when the bugs are gone.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Campground review: Achray - Algonquin Park

This past week, we had a chance to spend a few nights at Achray, a destination we'd been longing to do for a while.  If you are looking for a car camping experience, with nice camp sites, good beaches, and lots of quiet, you should consider Achray.  It's a bit of a drive (well for us anyway) but well worth it and here's why.

Maybe you've camped at Algonquin before, and while you enjoyed it, found it to be a bit busy.  Maybe you had a few bad experiences with noisy, inconsiderate campers. Maybe you are looking for a bit more solitude but aren't quite ready to try an interior trip.  Achray, to me, felt like a stepping stone to back country.  You still have neighbours, you still have flush toilets, but you are deeper into the wilderness, a crowd is having 2 out of the six campsites around yours in use, and you just feel like you are experiencing more true wilderness than you do at a highway 60 campground.  In fact, when we were sitting around talking, we'd say, "It's not like in Algonquin where..." then realize, yes we are in Algonquin, it's just not the same as being at Pog or Mew Lake.

The campground itself is divided into three sections, with relatively few sites in each area.  The whole place is radio free, and there is a dog free area that is actually a bit separate from the area where pets are allowed (compared to Mew Lake where it seems like an arbitrary line was drawn on the map and someone decided the sites on one side would be dog free.)  I'm sure, if you've camped at any Ontario Provincial Parks, you've noticed the campground maps can be pretty misleading.  In most cases, the sites are a lot closer together than what you'd expect looking at the spacing on the map.  In Achray's case, it's the opposite.

One of the cool things is the picnic areas.  When we booked our site, the one I wanted ended up not being available, and so I went with the one next to it.  I was worried because it was next to a picnic symbol on the map, and pictured a big clearing with a shelter and loads of picnic tables, busy with day trippers.  That's not what they are.  These small areas have a picnic table and allow campers who don't have sites on the water, to take their meal to a table with a view, or just go sit and enjoy a lake breeze when the bigs are bad.  It was a nice touch.

The sites we saw were all of a good size (no tiny sites that we could see) and nestled among tall pines.  Though there wasn't always a lot of under brush to give you privacy (I'd rate them a 2 or 3), the fact that there are only 45 sites ensures you won't have a lot of neighbours.  In fact, almost all the sites were deserted during the day, as people were out canoeing or hiking, or at one of the 2 beautiful sand beaches.

There are three hiking trails close by, Jack Pine, Barron Canyon, and Berm Lake.  There is also High Falls with it's natural water slide, and lots of paddling opportunities (including a day trip down Barron Canyon with it's tall cliffs.)

Why it might not appeal to you?  Getting there is a bit of a trial.  It's 52km down a gravel road that was very wash-boardy.  You get your permit at Sand Lake gate, part way in, and though there is a park office/store, it really doesn't have much.  Ice, firewood, a cooler with ice cream treats, some chocolate bars, a Tassimo (or something similar) and a few other little trinkets. Ice was a bit more expensive than at other places, which shouldn't be surprising.    Also, there are no electrical sites and no showers.  There were flush toilets (in stalls that look like outhouses) with sinks, but no comfort stations or laundry facilities.

Achray feels more isolated than any of the highway 60 campgrounds, and for good reason, but for such a small place, it offers enough options for campers who prefer peace and quiet pursuits instead of attending nightly demonstrations or touring educational displays.  Admittedly, this won't appeal to everyone, and that's okay.  If it did, it would be even harder to get a site there.

If you've stayed at Achray, let me know how you enjoyed it.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Boat Safety


If you read my recent trip log for our stay at Bon Echo, you know the kids had a great time in their kayaks.  My mum thought it looked like so much fun, she went out and bought an adult size kayak similar to theirs.  While at MEC (where she bought hers) the sales person reminded her she'd need a boat safety kit (bailing bucket, whistle, floating rope and water proof flashlight.)

I'll be honest, it never occurred to me to get these.  We have one in our canoe, but I never thought about it for kayaks.  The kids little yellow ones have two holes that go right through so a little water comes in, but its never going to fill up, apparently, that doesn't matter.  It's a boat, so you need a boat safety kit.  It wasn't until very recently even stand up paddle boards needed one, and they don't even have a scooped surface that could collect water!

I'm not sharing this information to go all ranty about crazy laws.  I can definitely see the need for an emergency whistle and a floating rope, even a flashlight.  Anyway, I just thought I'd put this out there as a reminder to anyone who, like me, wouldn't have considered the need for a bailing bucket in a boat that really can't hold much water (or any in the case of the kids little ones.)  No point risking a fine, as that would really take the fun out of a good day on the water.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Trip Log: Bon Echo Provincial Park July1-3, 2013

Canada Day camping! 
We arrived at our site around 2:10.  Mum and Dad had already been there for about 45 minutes and had  the tent trailer mostly set up.  We unloaded the canoe and three kayaks and had a quick lunch of burgers then unloaded the rest of our stuff.  Since we were only allowed to have one car on the site, we had to get everything, because the additional car parking was way back at the gate house...not a distance you want to be walking often, nor did we want to have to drive there every time we needed something.

Then we went over to the visitor's centre and the gift shop.  Unfortunately the Visitor's Centre was almost closing, so we didn't get to spend as much time as we wanted there, but planned to go back the next day.  We did a quick check of the Greystones Gift and Book Shop, then headed to the main beach for a minute.  The water was really rough at the beach near our site, and here it was really calm, but the air was chilly, so we decided to put off swimming or kayaking until the next day.  The kids hadn't tried their little kayaks yet, and we weren't sure how tippy they'd be. (They ended up being really stable...Squatch had to really work to tip his so he could practice getting back in while in deep water.  He also was able to use it as a stand up paddle board for a while.)

We headed back to our site and while mum and I started dinner, Chris took Squatch fishing in Bon Echo Creek.  They got a few nibbles, but didn't catch anything.  Dinner was hawaiian ham and pineapple casserole (in the dutch oven), salad and creamed corn.  It started to rain while we were cooking, so we ate in the trailer and didn't bother with a fire.

It was a bit chilly that night.  I had only brought our flannel sleeping bag/liners and we all had long pants and long sleeve shirts, but we were still a bit cold. That day (July1st) had been pretty cool.  Normally, on Canada Day, we spend the day swimming because it's always so hot.  This year, every single one of us wore our sweat shirts all day.

The next morning, we realized neither of us had packed coffee, so we had tea, and I made spicy eggs in the dutch oven, and we had bagels and english muffins with that.

Mum and dad decided to head into Northbrook for some things we needed (like coffee) while Chris and I took the kids for a canoe along Mazinaw Rock to check out the petroglyphs, and do the cliff top hike.  The cliff is amazing.  From the opposite shore, it's impressive, but when you are right at the edge and looking up?  It's dizzying.  We saw some people climbing the rock, then headed to the dock area to check out the hike.

If you have bad knees...be warned, this hike is strenuous.  204 steps (actual stairs, not including the sections where the rock forms natural steps.)  My legs were so numb I could barely climb back into the canoe afterwards. Just when I'd catch up to Chris and the kids, they'd start off again, having hadd a minute to rest while waiting for me...this meant I didn't get a chance to catch my breath.  It was nice though.  The view from the various lookout platforms is amazing, and it's well worth the effort (pain) to get up there.

Mum and dad were sitting at the bench on the point at the narrows when we paddled back.  We stopped for a quick chat then headed back to camp.  They had taken pictures of the rock climbers and the guy had called down asking if dad would email them copies.  Dad couldn't make out the email address, and the guy said he'd be down soon, so mum and dad were going to wait.  Eventually they gave up though.  It was well past lunch and we were all hungry.

Bubbie looking out at Mazinaw Rock from one of the beaches
Lunch was supposed to be grilled veggie sandwiches, but since it was so late, we went with Grillems and hot dogs which mum had picked up on her shopping trip. (They also stopped at a chip truck and got fries and batter fried mushrooms, and went to a Coffee Time.) Chris set up his hammock, and the kids took turns swinging each other in it.  They spent most of their time in camp playing on it.  Squatch kept falling out (no surprise) and Bubbie just enjoyed lying around in it. I don't think Chris got more than 5 minutes in it. Next stop was to take the Ferry ride over so mum and dad could see the petroglyphs.  The young man acting as guide was funny, and we learned a lot about the history of the area.  We'd seen the petroglyphs that were pointed out on our canoe ride, but it was nice to hear the historian's interpretation of what some of them meant.  The guide also had a lot of interesting information about turkey vultures, which I'm guessing was meant to be mostly of interest to the younger passengers (did you know turkey vultures picked their noses and could projectile vomit up to ten feet?)

Another trip to the gift shop, this time for the patch for the trail we'd done earlier
...then we grabbed the kayaks and headed back to main beach.  The kids had a blast.  It was one of their favourite parts of the trip. They picked it up really quick and at one point we had to call Squatch back or he'd have paddled all the way across the lake.  Chris had one of his white water kayaks and had planned to practice his rolls but he was tired so just paddled around with the kids.  I gotta say, these kayaks were the best $23 I've ever spent.  We got them at Costco, and used executive membership cash-back checks to cover most of the price ($99 each.)

Dinner was  dutch oven lasagna, salad and garlic bread.  We all ate until we were stuffed, then went out and sat around the fire for a while.  Mum had bought some of those magic flames packets, and the kids sang their "Go Aqua-fire Go" song, complete with dance moves.  Chris swears he wasn't dancing along, but he totally was. The night was perfect for light painting, and we had fun with that until almost 11 when we realized we were the only people still up making noise (some of the pictures had us laughing a little louder than was probably polite.)

Departure day, as usual, was beautiful.  We finally got some sun! Mum made an apple puff pancake in the dutch oven for breakfast.  It didn't puff up as much as it was supposed to, but it tasted great. Since Chris had to work that afternoon, we started packing up.  Mum took Squatch down to the beach to play with his kayak some more while we got most of the gear packed up.  It didn't take too long to load up and we were on the road.

The most frustrating part of this trip was not being able to park our car at the campsite.  My plan had been to just have the coolers in the back of the Santa Fe so we didn't have to drag them in and out of the back seat of dad's truck each morning and night.  It would have been easier, but dad was reluctant to leave his brand new truck in a parking area far from the site.  From now on, I'll definitely check the number of cars allowed on site when booking a trip.  Most campgrounds have an extra car parking close to each section of sites, but Bon Echo doesn't.

Other than that, this trip was awesome.  Bon Echo is beautiful, with enough trails and activities to keep people of all ages occupied.  There were evening programs both nights but we didn't go to them (dutch oven dinners take time.)  The campsites were nice (some were pretty hilly, so parking a trailer would be difficult) and fairly private.  We have another trip booked here later this summer and I can't wait to get to some of the other hiking trails, and to canoe Joe Perry Lake so we can check out the canoe in sites.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Celebrity Sighting...


Okay, so with how excited the kids were, you'd think we'd seen Zac Efron or some other Disney teen star, but no, we saw Kevin Callan today while shopping in Peterborough.  I actually almost ran him over in the crowds, then realized who it was I'd almost barrelled into.  

There's a few trip logs almost ready to post.  I'm just trying to get the photos in, and then I'll post them.  I'm busy drying up meals for an upcoming trip, and resorting through all the gear to figure out what we do and don't need for this next one.  The living room and dining room look like an outdoors store puked all over them.

Has anyone else been camping yet this summer?  How about hiking?  We found the deer flies to be horrible the other day when we went for a day trip to Petroglyph's Provincial Park.  How's everyone else finding the bugs so far this summer?