Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Trip Log: Silent Lake Provincial Park, July 1-2, 2014

This was just a quick over night trip, unfortunately.  A few days before, we'd gone to Silent Lake for a day trip with my parents, just to have a picnic and let the kids swim.  The kids loved it there and decided they wanted to go back right away.

We arrived around 2pm, and picked out a site in the Granite Ridge Campground.  We'd stayed in the Pincer Bay Campground before and wanted to check out the other area.  After setting up the tent, Chris and the kids drove down to the beach and I walked Biscuit down to the canoe launch near our site.  From there, we followed the Lakeside Trail to the Pincer Bay beach, where I watched them swim and jump off the floating dock from a shady little rocky shallows.  The floating dock was one of the kid's favourite parts of this trip.  No other parks that we've been to have them, and none of the beaches we go to do either.

Once we got back to the site and I set up my new clothes line. SEA TO SUMMIT LITELINE CLOTHESLINE is meant more for backpacking or canoe camping, but I really wanted to try it out.  It worked REALLY well!  It attaches easily to trees by looping around and clipping back onto the rope.  The centre section of the line is two ropes and a bunch of black beads that you can use to squeeze the corners of things like dish towels.  It got pretty windy and nothing blew away.  I'll be honest, I didn't think it would work very well, and I figured I'd have to take a few clothes pegs with me.  I'm so glad I was wrong.  It's also small, comes with a little carry pouch that's attached so it doesn't get lost, and would be perfect for canoe camping or backpacking.

Supper that night was penne with chunky vegetable tomato sauce.  I'd dried the sauce, and it was fine, tasted like it had before I dried it, but next time, I'll do the vegetables and sauce separate.  I think it would have come back better.  While dinner was cooking, we ended up eating banana wraps because we were all so hungry.  These are just whole wheat tortillas with either peanut butter, Nutella or chocolate peanut butter, wrapped around a banana.  It was sort of like dessert before dinner.

While I washed dishes, Chris took the kids down to the canoe launch to fish.  They didn't have so much as a nibble, but blamed it on the fact they couldn't fish from the dock.  A group of guys were sitting there drinking and chatting, so Chris took them a little further down shore to a rocky outcrop.  Biscuit and I came down after we finished cleaning up, and watched for a while, and we saw a HUGE garter snake.  It must have been 3 feet long at least.  It slithered into the crack in the rock, then poked its head out to watch us.

We had a fire for a while until the mosquitoes got bad, then we went into the tent and played a round of Crazy 8s and then a round of Yahtzee.  By around 11pm, we turned out the lights and fell asleep watching fireflies flying all around our tent.  At any given time there were about half a dozen.

The next morning, I got up early (didn't have my watch) and took Biscuit for a walk.  We saw a deer while on our little walk, then we crawled back into the tent and slept until about 9.  Everyone got up then and I made coffee (in my new GSI Ultralight Java Drip), oatmeal and made my first attempt at baking in the reflector oven.  We didn't have much wood so we couldn't get a good hot fire going, but I managed to make some kind of cinnamon roll that wasn't actually rolled.  It was tasty, once we finished cooking the bottom on the propane stove because it was taking so long with the piddly little fire we managed to make.

Since I was distracted with making the cinnamon layered pancake thing, I overcooked the 10 grain hot cereal I was making for Chris and I.  The kids decided to call it slop...though it wasn't really sloppy, more like how I imagine it would look if you course-chopped a few kinds of rice then cooked them.  Another problem I'd had was I took only the kitchen stuff I planned to take for canoe camping...and now realize one pot and no mixing bowl probably won't work.  The Bisquick came in a pouch that made 6 biscuits so I used that but it wasn't really big enough.  Maybe if I'd taken an extra Ziploc bag it would have been better.

By noon we were packed up and headed back to the beach so the kids could have one last swim before heading home.

Silent Lake Provincial Park is a beautiful park.  The sites are hit and miss, some are wonderful, some are just really small, but the beaches are wonderful, the privacy is mostly good, and there's enough to do to keep the family from getting bored.  We did hear highway noise at night, and there's no park store to buy things you might have forgotten, but it's still definitely a place we will go to again.

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