Friday, August 23, 2013

Trip Log: Bon Echo Provincial Park - Aug 8-11, 2013

I apologize for the lack of posts the last few weeks.  I was taking a photography course, then Chris had his family reunion, and then we were getting ready for another camping trip...all while handling a new puppy.  Biscuit, the new addition to our family had his first experiences camping, and he did really well.  At the reunion, he slept in a tent and I was completely sure he'd spend most of the time trying to claw his way out.  While everyone was eating dinner, I snuck off and decided to sit with him in it to see how he did...during the day rather than in the dark.

He crawled right onto my sleeping bag and feel asleep.  I know you should let sleeping dogs lie, but I couldn't resist moving him into his own little sleeping bag, and he stayed there for a good half hour.  That night he slept in his bag for a while then crawled into mine.  Since it was a bit of a chilly night, I didn't mind the extra warmth.  Even the storm didn't bother him (though Bubbie was shaking and crying...too soon after the storm at Achray for her to be comfortable camping in bad weather I suppose)

Anyway, onto the Bon Echo trip.  We arrived at our site around 5.  This was a Boler camping trip with our friends who also have a Boler camper.  I'd been bugging Chris for months to do the renovations to the trailer, and he started them the day before we left, so I couldn't get packed up ahead of time.  Some of  the renovations didn't work out as planned, and will require more fiddling, but I'll try and get a post up about the changes we are making.

Our site was in Sawmill Bay again, but this time, we were closer to the comfort station (and there was a path to it so we didn't have to way around)  I was pretty excited about this since I'd have to make all my late night trips to the bathroom solo.  (Oddly enough, in the three nights we were there, I only had to make one trip in the middle of the night...normally it's at least once per night...figures)

Our friends weren't going to arrive until around 8pm so we set up the new screen tent Chris's dad gave him, and had dinner.  I'd frozen left over pulled pork, so heated that up with some extra barbeque sauce, and reheated the barbecue baked black eyed peas I made the day before.  A bag of coleslaw finished the meal.  I'd planned to make cornbread to go with it, but ran out of time.  Everything was really good, and very filling.  Messy though.

We got a fire going and our friends arrived.  We were maybe a little noisy that night...especially the kids.  Two little boys who like to talk don't make for quiet campfires.  Also, their new puppy (only 2 days older than our puppy) was determined to play with Biscuit, who was both terrified and thrilled.

We stayed up later than usual.  Biscuit spent the whole time snuggled on my lap.  When we went to bed, I realized that wearing polar fleece pajama pants when sleeping in a bag with a fleece liner was not conducive to a good night's sleep.  My pants pretty much stuck to the liner and I ended up tangled up.  It was pretty chilly the whole time we were there, except day 2 when we went on our hike.  On the plus side, Chris had taken the memory foam from our old bed and put it on our bed.  It was a lot more comfortable.  Biscuit slept at our feet all night.

The next morning I made spam hash, my first try at this experiment.  It turned out much better than we'd expected, and I've since added a few things to make it even better.  Even Bubbie liked the second version.  We had eggs and maple baked beans with it, all while quoting lines from Monty Python's Spam sketch.

Chris and Shawn worked really hard at learning to ride a unicycle, and made good progress.  Neither of them managed to go more than a half dozen feet, but by the looks of it, 6 feet was quite an accomplishment.

We did a hike that morning, the Tall Pines trail.  It was a nice hike, but with 2 dogs dragging us through it, we didn't get to take in much of the scenery.  There wasn't anything that stood out, no look out or pond, just a nice walk in the woods.  It was hot though, and there were lots of mosquitoes out.  After a quick lunch of hot dogs and Mr. Noodles, we headed for the beach.  While the kids and husbands swam, Andrea and I took the dogs to the dog beach.  Biscuit does not like least not yet.  We'll be working on it.  He was okay until he got to about belly depth, then freaked out and ran to shore.

Dinner that night was a pot luck.  I made barbeque beans and biscuits, Andrea made meatballs and garlic hashbrowns and we both contributed to a really amazing dessert of dutch oven apple pie (which isn't a pie at all, but cinnamon bun pieces with apples, brown sugar and graham crumbs baked together and topped with caramel cream cheese dressing.  Go here for the recipe

I'm not going to go through the rest of the trip. This trip was pretty much about catching up with our friends.  We didn't do much beyond hang out for three nights, and though we did hike a few short trails, it was mostly an excuse to walk the dogs so they'd sleep for a bit.  I didn't get much chance to take pictures because we hadn't brought anything to tie the dog to the table, and his leash is really he cries like crazy if he's not right next to me.

One thing I will say, you don't realize how messy a seemingly clean campsite is until you have a puppy that tries to eat every tiny piece of plastic, every old tent peg, and every scrap of garbage.  Also...I don't know if it's coincidence, but it seemed like we were surrounded by screaming babies the whole time.  I felt a little out of place because we were the only ones that didn't have three toddlers having a breakdown every five minutes.  All night long at least one baby was crying, and usually we could hear them from several directions.

Wildlife spotted: 1 deer


Dinner: Pulled Pork, BBQ baked black eyed peas, coleslaw
Breakfast - Spam hash, scrambled eggs, maple baked beans (cereal for the kids)
Lunch - nachos
Dinner - pot luck - BBQ beans and biscuits, meatballs, garlic hash browns, dutch oven apple pie
Breakfast - blueberry pancakes (cereal for the kids)
Lunch - pizza monkey bread
Dinner - spaghetti
Breakfast - Red River Cereal

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