Monday, August 01, 2011

On the Joys of Camping

obligatory site photo

We managed to sneak away to Waskesiu for a few days before our guests began arriving in earnest. We didn't really have enough time to go anywhere too remote, so we opted for the Narrows. It's a little busier than we'd like, but its the camp sites are pretty large and the people that camp there are relatively no nonsense. We didn't have to put up with anything more than a barking dog from our neighbours.

Leo and Anwyn are both getting to be good campers. They set up their own tent, build fires (I still chop the wood), and cook some of the meals. We (by which I mean Wendy) are working on canoeing skills with them, but they still have a ways to go in terms of endurance.
Moss Monster
Now, if you are looking for performance and melodrama, Leora and Anwyn have endurance to spare.
The weather on the first day was spectacular enough that I was able to forgive the ferocious mosquitoes that accompanied it.
Good thing we got some canoeing and beach time in, as things took a dramatic turn for the worse towards the close of day two. We enjoyed the steadily increasing rain for an hour or so, playing cards under our tarp, until the rain turned into golf-ball sized hail and crazy amounts of lightning. We retreated into the van during the worst of the hail -- just in case, but things didn't get quite out of hand. I was able to sufficiently bank the fire so that we still had nice coals as the storm became a light drizzle. We had hot chocolate before bed.

It was midnight when I woke, noticing that lightning was getting close again and suddenly a very strong wind came up and it began to rain again. The trees protected us from the brunt of the wind, but it was loud and a little intimidating. I figured we ought to bring the girls into our tent in case they got scared. A quick look at environment canada showed that they had issued a severe weather warning for our area. Thanks for the notice. Showers were what they had forecast before we left home. We decided to move the girls to our tent. I came back with the last load of our stuff.

Wendy: Where is Anwyn?
Mike: She came first, with her pillow.
Wendy: !!!
Mike: !!! I've got a flashlight... ANWYN!

Picture near panic setting in as rain falls and lightening strikes nearby. I run to the road and see a little flashlight winking in the distance. Anwyn is returning from her trip to the bathroom, half dressed and still clutching her pillow. She maintains that she told Leora before she left. I'll count myself lucky that that moment stands out as one of the most frightening of my parenting career. I'm sure it will be displaced when I meet the first teenage boyfriend!
Usually, I'm a sucker for punishment, but I wasn't really looking forward to another night of that (the forecast was for more of the same). We packed up in the morning, went for a last paddle and picked our way around all the trees fallen onto the road as we came home. Just a little more adventure and less sleep than I bargained for :)

All the pictures are here