The End of a Beautiful Day

The End of aBeautiful Day


The sun is setting behind the great pines of Algonquin, and the humidity is easing up. Dinnertime has come and gone, and everything has been washed and put away so that bears don’t come looking for snacks.


Four folding chairs are placed around the fire and everyone is freshly showered and in pjs. My husband pours me a glass of wine and kisses me on the cheek as he hands it to me, right before cracking open a can of Canadian for himself. The boys have marshmallows out, and I’ve set up chocolate bars and graham crackers for s’mores. The roasting sticks wait for their calling.


A loon calls out from the the nearby lake, and we all stop talking to listen. What a beautiful sound.


One by one, the stars begin to appear in the darkening sky above us, as the fire crackles. We can faintly hear the fires of fellow campers doing the same. My youngest son exclaims that he saw a shooting star and we encourage him to make a wish. He thinks hard for a second and then smiles. Done.


We discuss what we’ve done today as a family. We began the morning with a nice little hike on a trail close by. We packed some water, granola bars and bug repellent just in case, and we took a lot of stunning photos. We made sure to get some family shots, too. We took our time on this hike. We enjoyed the smells, and the views. We even brought a few peanuts for the chipmunks on the trail.


We came back to the site and made soup and sandwiches for lunch, before heading out on our bikes for a bike ride. It was a good workout, being a little overcast made the ride a little more comfortable. We saw a bear along the way, as she munched on blueberries behind one of the campgrounds. She paid no attention to us, she was all about snacking.


When we came back, the boys did some exploring on their own while I headed for a nap. I fell asleep listening to kids playing, squirrels chirping their warnings and crows clucking. My husband also gave into his exhaustion.


Tomorrow is our beach day. It’s supposed to be sunny and very warm. They’re calling for 30+°C and it’s going to be so relaxing. We all love our day at the beach. Caleb will be building sandcastles and moats, and Tyler is talking about swimming out to the island. I have a feeling it won’t happen, it looks closer than it is!


The sun has disappeared completely now, and we can spot the nearly full moon through the trees. The sky is lit up with stars. Millions and millions. I look up to enjoy them, and see two satellites gliding along. I cannot explain the amount of peace and happiness I feel, being here, with my family.


It feels like I’ve come home.

Parks Canada camping reservations open early this year

Shared from Global News – An interesting and exciting development for my camper friends from Parks Canada!

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If you’re looking to plan a trip to one of the country’s best-loved campgrounds or historic sites, and you want to secure the perfect spot months in advance, Parks Canada’s announcement it will open reservations early should help with your itinerary.

Source: Parks Canada camping reservations open early this year

Made With Love… To Enjoy Later

Hello fellow campers!

I’ve redone my recipes so that they can be downloaded as .doc files or image files 🙂 Hope this makes things easier!

Smores and Sundresses

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Another of my favourite topics… FOOD!! So a couple of posts back, I talked about some ideas for food to bring with you when you go camping (RVing, road trips, etc; etc.). I have spent much time perusing the web and Pinterest for ideas for my own family, and I’ve narrowed it down to a few stand-bys. The crockpot is my absolute favourite tool when my family and I go on our camping trips. It is so handy and nearly anything can be adapted for the crockpot. Having said that, I thought I would share some of my recipes for things that I bring with us. Keep in mind, these recipes can be altered and ingredients swapped out according to your family’s likes and dislikes. My family doesn’t have any food allergies (although Tyler acts like he’s allergic to raw tomatoes), so pretty much anything…

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Camp Supplies Checklist

Camp Supplies Checklist

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So, in some parts of the world, it’s nearly SUMMER! I am so jealous, I just have to tell you! The birds chirping, and flowers blooming, the trees are all nice and green again! And you get to look forward to SUMMER CAMPING! You lucky things!

We’ve been using this same list for about 13-14 years… I typed it up for a friend who was more into five-star camping than actually being outdoors (which I respect!), and kept it. Over the years, technology has changed, so items on the list have changed over time.

It’s been downsized along with our vehicle size, and re-prioritized constantly.

I’m offering my family’s list to you, for free! It’s downloadable as a .doc file so you can totally edit it to suit your family’s needs.

(You can left-click to save it as a .doc file on your computer.)

checklist

You’re welcome!

Why Camp At Algonquin Park?

Camping at Algonquin

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My family and I are Algonquin Provincial Park’s biggest fans, and we have been going there for generations, for peace, rest and relaxation. I wanted to share some of the best perks about spending time there and seeing the vast beauty that this area has to offer.

At many of these venues, there is a log book for people to sign their family names, with the date and where they are from. I am always taken aback that people from other countries and continents… I just think it’s so cool to have visitors from so far away, and I love that they made Algonquin their destination! I could probably qualify as a travel agent for Algonquin Park, that is how much I love it!

I’m sharing the top ten reasons to visit the Park, the links will open a new page for you to check out what the Park has to offer. Enjoy!

10. The. Chipmunks. Are. Adorable.
9. The Logging Museum
8. The Visitor’s Center
7. The Portage Store
6. Biking
5. Hiking
4. Canoeing and kayaking
3. The historical aspects of the land and it’s development
2. Stargazing
1. The breath-taking scenery is, by far, the best reason to visit!

Why Camping is Sweeter Than Christmas Morning

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***Just throwing this out there – today, I have 10 followers and that makes my day! Thank you so much for following! Now back to our regularly scheduled program!***

Why Camping is Sweeter Than Christmas Morning

If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you now know that my love for camping runs deep. It should, really, since it’s something I’ve been doing since I was a baby. Scratch that, before I was born, really. Yup… my mother was 8 months pregnant with me and went to the same campground that my husband and I camp at now with our kids. So what makes a camping trip so great? I have four important points to share:

Fresh Air

The fresh air knocks people out. We know this as parents of little ones, we know this of ourselves, if we’ve spent any time on any kind of outdoor trip. There are many health benefits to taking walks, strolls and hikes, in addition to exercise. In fact, I am so in love with fresh air, I’ll pile blankets on myself and my husband at 10 degrees out, and still have the window open, because I sleep better with fresh air flowing into our bedroom. It’s just a fact.

sunshine

Activity

Camping usually involves a lot of exercise, in many different forms. Much of it is walking, but can include biking, hiking and swimming. You can skip the gym and still feel good about your workouts because you’re doing them in the, *ahem* fresh air. Exercise and fresh air… with that combination, how can anyone not have a great night’s sleep?

waterfall

Relaxation

I’ve touched on this before, but being outside with nature is a very good form of relaxation. It’s been proven to reduce blood pressure and stress and is terrific for the soul. The natural elements are something that we, as a civilization, have fallen out of touch with, because everything in this day and age is about technology. Being away from that forces you to take notice of things that you might not readily take notice of every day.

familybonding

Family-Bonding

Take away phones, laptops, iPads, deadlines, the regular household hustle and bustle, and you are left with time to spend together as a family. You are spending uninterrupted time with your loved ones, giving you the chance to reconnect with one another. The best family conversations happen around the campfire, under the stars. Can you hear the fire crackle and pop? Stir the logs, and watch the embers float into the air. It’s mesmerizing and also causes you to relax… and relaxing with your loved ones helps you to open up, be honest and talk about things you don’t ordinarily have time to talk about. This forms memories you will keep with you for a lifetime.

Do you have anything to add? Please feel free to share!

3 Problems with Camping (and How to Remedy Them!)

canoe

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1. Bugs

There are many ways to combat the bug situation, from bug repellent sprays and bracelets, and mosquito coils to bug zappers (man, those things are COOL!).

But if I’m being honest, and I usually try to be… the best way to beat the bugs at their own game is to plan your trips around their seasons.

We camp in Algonquin Provincial Park, along the highway, and we camp in August. The end of May and all of June are known for black flies. Been there, done that, it was nasty. July is bad for mosquitos… that was so irritating. When we camp in August, a nice, dry month, their time has come and gone.

It may take some experimentation on your part but nailing the bug schedule will save you money on bug deterrents.

camping

2. Rain

As I mentioned, for us, August is usually a dry month for us to camp. Usually. We have had times where it’s rained nearly the entire week, with only one really good, hot and sunny day.

A prepared camper knows to plan for everything. And to pack accordingly.

Tarps will help keep your tents as dry as possible. Packing rain boots is a smart idea as well, but you could always check out Pinterest for tips on how to waterproof shoes (I’ve seen some easy instructions), and you can get a cheap raincoat at any outdoors store. Even Walmart sells emergency rain protective covers to wear… I’ve seen them for a dollar (dollar stores may have them too).

Bring an extra tarp for your firewood because you’re going to need to keep the wood as dry as possible if you still want a campfire. Yes, it is still possible to have a campfire in the rain!

Bridge

3. Dirt/Pine Needles

It. Gets. Everywhere.

This is why our vehicle needs a complete overhaul when we get home! There are three ways you can keep everything as clean as possible:

A. Bring a camp broom and dustpan. You may have left home for a vacation,, but let’s be honest, you didn’t leave housework at home.

B. Bring a small, handheld vacuum. Whip that baby out and get to it (just be super quick about it to reduce the noise levels for your fellow campers, it’s sooooo not cool to vacuum your entire vehicle and three tents every single day.)

C. Invest in some protective plastic automobile mats. We just bought one for the back of our Journey, and it was only $10. This is going to save us a lot of time on cleanup!

There you have it. Solutions to the 3 biggest problems with camping! Enjoy your trip!

Have I missed something? Please share your ideas in the comments!