Hello from the land of sporadic blogging! Oh, what else is new, eh? I am always a sporadic blogger. I honestly do have intentions to write every day (well, just weekdays, let’s not get too excited) but in the summer things are so crazy I just have too much to talk about and I can’t get it out fast enough. And then the winter is the opposite. I tend to hibernate a bit and the adventures are fewer and further between. And adventures, of course, are my favourite things to talk about (food is second, love is probably third).
So, moving on to the adventures. This weekend we went camping! And not just any old camping, we went to my favourite place in Ontario: Bruce Peninsula National Park (click on that link if you want to see how crazy beautiful it is there).
My parents took my Bestie Lisa and I (and my baby brother Eric) when I was 13 and we had such a great time that the entire experience has really stuck with me. I have been a handful of times since. For a while I was trying to go every year. I love camping, consider myself a pretty seasoned camper, and I have been to many parks in Ontario, but Bruce Peninsula is my favourite. The campsites are spacious and (mostly) private, the trails are plentiful and woodsy and beautiful, Cyprus Lake (where the campground is located) is pretty, calm, and has a great beach…but you can say that about many campgrounds. What Bruce Peninsula has that other places don’t is the clear, deep, and turquoise (and FRIGID) waters of Georgian Bay, rock cliffs, rock beaches, and a natural grotto.
It’s truly a natural phenomenon. But more on the rocks/cliffs/grotto adventure later, let’s talk about the camping stuff first.
Evan and I went on this trip with our friends Dorothy and Ian.
And Bolt, who was a DREAM camp dog. He was so well behaved while also being so entertaining and hilarious that he kind of blew us all away. He can come camping with us any time!
On Friday we packed up Evan’s truck and hit the road. It is nearly a four hour drive but it went by surprisingly fast and we made it to our campsite by the early afternoon. Here it is in all its glory.
Not too shabby at all. And it is car camping so our car is on site with us, which is handy and a half. We quickly got to work setting up shop for the next three days. The tent that Evan and I used last year in Algonquin (when we got rained out) is pretty small, so since we had the dog with us we decided to get a new tent for the occasion. I found a really good deal at Walmart on this beauty.
It is probably the most spacious tent I have ever slept in. I called it the Sultan’s Tent and I felt like I should be in there leisuring on a plush chair while Evan fed me grapes. We had enough room for a queen-sized air mattress, with lots of room on either side…
And then a whole separate area for Bolt’s crate, our bags, other gear we wanted to store…
AND we could stand up in there. It was perfect. My one pet peeve camping is when I am changing out of my bathing suit after swimming and I can’t stand in the tent so I am awkwardly lying on an air mattress trying to get pants onto my clammy legs and I get all frustrated and sweaty. It was so nice to be able to stand and change. You don’t realize what a luxury it is until you can’t.
We also had a sweet screened dining tent.
Not totally necessary, but it’s nice to have around and it sets up instantly.
While we were setting things up, Mr. Bolt settled in and started stalking the squirrels, as he does.
He lives to stalk squirrels. And I’m pretty sure they live to torment him.
After we set up our tents and relaxed on our site for a bit, we headed down to Cyprus Lake beach. It was about a two minute walk from our campsite. Last week was extremely humid and foggy and the fog was still hanging around on Friday.
Still so pretty and peaceful though. Bolt wanted right in that water.
We went back to the lake on both Saturday and Sunday when we (luckily!) had perfect weather and it was much more clear.
I’ve never seen Bolt swim before and he was absolutely hilarious. He just bounds around and tries to eat the water. I wish I got it on video.
Then he comes out, gags/throws up the water he just ate, rolls in the sand like a maniac, and then runs back in and does the same thing.
What a little weirdo. Evan calls him the furry white coconut.
My favourite was watching Evan teaching him how to fetch. I have always thought that Bolt might be a bit too intelligent for playing fetch, like it was above him to chase some silly stick or ball. He doesn’t do it when we try in the field near our house. He just stands there and looks at us and then the stick like “what, I’m supposed to retrieve this?” But around the water he was kind of game. Evan would throw a stick into the water, Bolt would chase it, grab it, and bring it back.
The first time he brought it back he threw the stick into the bushes, peed on it, and then came back to Evan without it. The second time Evan threw the stick (a different stick), Bolt ran into the water to retrieve it, brought it back onto the beach, threw it down away from Evan, shook water all over it, and then went back and sat down in front of Evan. Stickless. Dorothy, Ian and I were in the water watching and we were all just dying of laughter.
But the third time Evan threw a stick, Bolt retrieved it from the water and brought it directly back to him. I think he was getting the hang of it and was actually starting to like it.
Aside from all the swimming we did, we went hiking a lot (it’s a good 25 minute hike to the cliff beach on the Georgian Bay side). I particularly love the hiking trails around Cyprus Lake. They are beautiful.
We hung out a lot around our site as well. Bolt either chilled out beside us on a blanket…
Or just on the dirt.
He was so dirty by the time we got home, although the dirt just seems to absorb into his fur and it doesn’t show. He is always snow white even when he is absolutely filthy.
We had some goooood times around the campfire!
And I have to mention that Dorothy had the best camping chair…
Hers would be the tiny Spongebob one. I think she should have made Ian use it.
On our very first night we accidentally left some chips in the dining tent so we woke up at 2am to a family of raccoons pigging out on those. It sounded like the Tazmanian Devil interspersed with loud crunching. Fun times.
Can you spot that pesky little raccoon eating our chips? They remind me of Winnie (who also loves chips). Evan originally thought it was just one raccoon so he went to go into the tent and chase it off, and then realized there were three so he abandoned that mission. Instead he just took pictures of them from our tent while he laughed harder than I have ever heard him laugh before. Like doubled over at our tent door not being able to breathe. Eventually they ate all the chips and took off. We were much more careful with the food after that.
On Saturday morning we were having some issues with our camp stove so we drove into Tobermory for breakfast. It is the cutest little town, and basically just consists of a bunch of tourist-y stores around a little bay.
It is the scuba diving capital of Canada also (the water is INSANELY clear), so they have a glass bottom boat tour that takes you around to a bunch of ship wrecks, but we opted out of that. It’s expensive and Dorothy and I have both done it before. We preferred to just go back and go swimming and hang around the campground.
So had a really great camping weekend! More to come on Georgian Bay rock climbing and, of course, the food!