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New Family Tradition?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

This weekend, our family went camping for the second time since having children. The first time was almost exactly a year ago, when we went for a whirlwind, 2-night trip to Writing-On-Stone Provincial park, a mere 18-hour drive from here. (However, it is only a 1/2-hour drive from the border, and the main purpose of the trip was to try and get our work visas for the U.S.)

This time, it took us less than an hour to get there. We were going to a hunting camp in the middle of the bush not too far north of here, owned by my Mom and Mike. And by "middle-of-the-bush," I mean the last five miles of the trip are off-road. On the way out there, Jabin rode in front of Mom on the (borrowed) quad. Jude and Noah rode in the back of Jason's truck with all the gear. They thought that was pretty cool.

Jason got stuck in a bog. The kids thought that was pretty cool, too. (Jason didn't.)
Well, except for the part about the mosquitoes trying to eat us alive while Jason was trying to dig the truck out.

Note to self: Don't go off-roading without a shovel anymore. Oh, and get new tires.

We were really stuck!

Fortunately, where we got stuck was only about a mile from camp, so we ferried everyone in on the quad, as well as the stuff, and got busy with the serious business of roasting weiners and marshmallows.

The next day, Jason's friend Brian came out and rescued the truck with his Jeep. Then he and his grandson stayed for yet more weenies and 'mallows.

Going camping at an established permanent camp is a little like going to the Camping Hilton. It could have been even moreso like that, had we started up the generator and had power, hot water (including a shower!) and a full kitchen. However, it was warm. We didn't know the particulars about getting the generator started. And it's kind of fun heating all your water and doing all your cooking over the campfire.

Signature Jabin-grin:

The main lodge. There is a full kitchen, dining area and sitting area on the first floor, and four beds in the loft. Noah is peeking out through the screen door. What is difficult to see in this photo are the scratch marks and scrapes on the right-hand side of the window frame, caused by bears. What's impossible to see are the muddy bear paw- and nose-prints on the window, made as it was trying to peer in. I cleaned those off on Saturday.

About a half-mile walk from the camp, up a cut-line, is a pond where the beavers have been very busy. All of the felled trees in this photo were their handiwork ("toothiwork?") There was one rather large tree laying there, stripped completely clean of it's bark. Pretty amazing that the little critters have that much skill, patience, and jaw strength.

On the way home, Jabin was a little tired of walking, so we took turns packing him.

These beaver-tooth marks are the only mars I could see on the stripped-clean log, and they were on the end, close to the water. It almost looks like they couldn't get a good enough grip to drag the thing away!

The boys hanging out and eating trail mix while waiting for Sunday morning breakfast. No, Noah is not intentionally flipping the bird!

One little serendipity I discovered this weekend: Eggs in pancakes are optional. I found this out, 'cause I forgot them.

One more thing: you can easily make your own (healthy!) pancake mix by pre-mixing the dry ingredients, then only bringing your eggs, milk, and oil. (Or, apparently, just the milk and oil!) Then you don't have to worry about those nasty e-mail chain letters warning about toxic reactions to the molds in packaged pancake mix! Since you can't soak your flour using a mix, though, it's probably best to limit consumption of this variety. However, it's a handy time-saver for a weekend trip!

In general, we all had a good time. However, the kids were a little bored for parts of it, and I think Jason was, too. I'm thinking it will be a good thing if we go out there on a regular basis--it can help train our kids to entertain themselves without the use of an electronic device! Yes, we will bring a soccer ball or a frisbee next time (Mommy wasn't thinking about that when she was packing--but at least I brought a deck of cards!). We are also thinking of doing some whittling crafts, etc. Now that we know what's out there, it will help us pack better for the next time out.

And I'm hoping that the "next time out" will be no more than a couple of weeks in the future! 'Cause to me, camping=family fun.

Now, if only I could convince Jason of that!

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  1. Hope your two weeks time frame becomes a reality.....and I'll be there in spirit!

  2. Get this--it's looking like we might actually go again this weekend! Miracles happen! :-D


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